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LIVE! Boundary talks with India yielded 'initial results': China

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February 11, 2014

22:23  Boundary talks with India yielded 'initial results': China:  China today said border talks with India have yielded "initial results", enabling the two neighbours to properly handle their differences over the vexed boundary issue and maintain peace along the frontier.   

Speaking shortly after the conclusion of the 17th round of the Special Representative talks between him and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon in New Delhi today, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said the parleys had yielded "initial results".     

"The mechanism of Special Representatives' Meeting fort the Boundary Question, which the two countries set up, has yielded initial results, enabling the two sides to properly handle their boundary-related differences and maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas," he said.   

Yang, who called on Manmohan Singh, said the IndianPrime Minister was "very positive" about the outcome of talks. "The PM was very positive about the result of the meeting and as usual, he showed such wisdom for the furtherance of our relationship and this is a very important message I would take back to the leadership in China," he said.
22:07  Congress President Sonia Gandhi will chair a 50-member Congress campaign committee for the Lok Sabha elections.
21:36  Lata violated norms for housing scheme, government tells HC:  The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay high court today that singer Lata Mangeshkar had violated conditions imposed by authorities to regularise her scheme for reserving houses for people below the poverty line, though the singer denied the charge.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Lata Mangeshkar challenging a notice issued to her on January 4 this year by a state body, saying that she had to obtain permission before selling immovable property on her land at Kolhapur.

The state government said in an affidavit today that the time limit to implement the housing scheme proposed by the singer was to end on July 2011. At her request, the state government extended the time frame to October 2014.
21:07  Criminal case is shocking: Reliance on Kejriwal's charge:  Reacting to Arvind Kejriwal statement that cases will be filed against Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries says the Delhi government ordering an FIR on gas price revision is shocking.

Complaints based on which the Delhi government took the decision are completely baseless and devoid of any merit or substance, RIL said in a statement.
20:51  Raj Babbar keen to contest from Mumbai:  After cricketer Mohammad Azaharuddin, Lok Sabha MP Raj Babbar has expressed his desire not to contest from Uttar Pradesh. While the Congress is likely to field the former Indian cricket team captain from the Howrah seat, Babbar is keen to contest from Mumbai. 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan wants Babbar to move to Mumbai too.
20:46  BJP to support two anti-graft bills:  Our Delhi correspondent reports: The BJP will support the appointment of Lokpal despite protests by senior leader Sushma Swaraj.

The BJP will support two anti-corruption bills and not all the six bills proposed by Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha. The BJP has conveyed to the Congress that they will pass the whistleblowers bill and public grievances bills amid the din, if they have to.
20:43  PM to meet top BJP leadership over lunch tomorrow:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited the BJP top leadership for lunch tomorrow. Earlier, the meeting was slated for dinner, but in the wake of exigencies the plan was changed, reports our Delhi correspondent.

While Sushma Swaraj had suggested that the BJP should act tough, the opinion in the party was that they should be aiming for a constructive meet.
20:40  BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi is meeting BJP MPs over dinner tonight. He will seek a feed back from each of them, reports our Delhi correspondent.
20:38  Now NaMo tea stall in Silicon Valley :   Over 60 professionals working in various IT majors like Microsoft, Cisco, Apple, eBay and Oracle joined hands at the first NaMo tea stall set up in Silicon Valley, United States, as part of extending their support to BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for the Lok Sabha polls.

The Indian American professionals met at a Indian tea-stall in Ortega Park in Sunnyvale as part of the volunteer group --"I Care for India", a press statement said here today.

"The meet-up was set up at a traditional village-side tea-stall where people attended discussion on the role of technology in solving governance issues in India", it said.
20:28  Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar exempted the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill from being sent to the standing committee of home affairs. She invoked her special powers to waive Lok Sabha rules at the request of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is a leader of the Lok Sabha citing an urgency clause to introduce the bill, reports our Delhi correspondent.
20:22  Govt to collect tax in Rs 20,000 cr dispute with Vodafone:  The Centre has decided to withdraw its conciliation proposal to telecom giant Vodafone over a Rs. 20,000-crore tax dispute.

This means that the tax department will now move to collect the dues from the company. The finance ministry has floated a Cabinet note seeking to withdraw the conciliation process with Vodafone International Holdings BV, sources said.

The Cabinet had in June last year approved the ministry's proposal to go in for conciliation with Vodafone to resolve the capital gains tax dispute related to its acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa's stake in Hutchison Essar in 2007.

Sources said talks collapsed because the company dilly-dallied on fine print. Vodafone, they said, wanted to club a Rs 3,700 crore transfer-pricing case of Vodafone India Services with the capital gains tax issue, a demand that the finance ministry did not accept.
19:55  Algerian military plane crashes, 103 feared dead:  A Hercules C-130 crashed in northeastern Algeria, killing as many as 103 people, the local Ennahar television station reported.

Communication with the crew was lost between the cities of Constantine and Oum El Bouaghi, and ambulances are heading to the site, Ennahar said. 

Al Arabiya television reported that the plane was carrying the families of military personnel.Further details weren't immediately available and there was no government comment.
19:40  Pakistani President to visit China next week:  Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain will next week make his first foreign visit to China, during which the leadership of the two sides will deepen "win-win cooperation" between the "all weather" strategic partners. 

Beijing will accord "high and top priority" to Hussain's visit during February 18-20, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said .
19:35  IPL was on Indian Mujahideen radar, says ATS:  Indian Mujahideen had plotted to target cash-rich IPL and one of its operatives had surveyed the Wankhede Stadium here from inside during a T20 match in 2011 but the plan was aborted owing to tight security, a Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad officer said.
19:05  All highways in Maharashtra will be blocked from 9am tomorrow: Raj:  MNS anti-toll agitation. Raj Thackeray says the MNS will not indulge in any vandalism but all highways will be blocked across Maharashtra from 9 am tomorrow. He said he was not opposed to toll tax being charged but said that he was opposed to the manner in which it was being collected. "Every rupee collected at toll plazas has to be accounted for," said Raj.
19:00  Amul's classy requiem to Maruti 800.  Maruti Suzuki India has stopped production of the iconic car brand that had been carrier for millions of Indian middle class families, since last month.
18:41  Update on the Wendy Doniger's book. Here are the five reasons or 'pieces of evidence' offered by complainant Shiksha Bachao Andolan against the book.
18:35  Home minister recommends CBI inquiry into Nido Tania's death:   Just in: Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde recommends CBI inquiry into the death of Arunachal student Nido Tania.

Tania died due to injuries to his head and face caused by a blunt object, the postmortem report has revealed.

The postmortem report, is likely to be submitted before the Delhi high court on Monday. The report says that 19-year-old Tania died due to "blunt trauma on head and face".

Three people have so far been arrested in the case and may now be charged with his murder.
18:20   The fire, according to TV images, seems to have broken out in the generator van of the Rajdhani Express. The train is at Howrah station. 
17:59  The news so far is that a booking attendant called the CISF after spotting an unclaimed bag at the terminal. 
17:58  Bomb scare at Delhi's IGI airport :  Just in: Bomb scare ate IGI terminal, New Delhi. A bomb disposal squad is at the site. Details awaited. 
17:49  Assam's ethnic clashes: 1,327 families yet to be rehabilitated:   The Assam government today admitted that over 1,300 families, who were affected during the ethnic clashes in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts  in 2012, were yet to be rehabilitated. In a written reply to the Assam Legislative Assembly, state revenue and disaster management minister Prithibi Majhi said that a total of 18,823 families lost their houses completely, while 999 houses were partially damaged.
17:40  Over seven killed, several injured in Peshawar bomb blast :   At least seven persons were killed and 20 others injured when three bombs ripped through a cinema hall in this restive northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar today.

The blasts targeted Shama Cinema on Pajaggi Road, the oldest hall in Peshawar owned by the influential Bilour family. Rescue officials said seven persons were killed by the blasts. Twenty injured were taken to state-run Lady Reading Hospital, they said.

CNN puts the toll at 17.
17:37  Fire on Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani:  Just in: Fire breaks out on Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express. The cause of the fire has not been ascertained. Thankfully, no reports of injuries or casualties, so far.  Train services on the Howrah line have been affected.
17:33  Rahul Gandhi meets porters at New Delhi railway station. 
17:27   Hillary Clinton has blamed herself in part for her hubby and former US president Bill Clinton's philandering ways, new documents have revealed.

The former US Secretary of State also described Monica Lewinsky as a "narcissistic loony toon' in a private chat with her best mate, reported.

The papers include correspondence, journal entries, memos and interviews from the mid-1970s to about 2000 belonging to Clinton's friend and confidant Diane Blair, a political-science professor who died in 2000.

After it was reported that President Clinton had Oval Office trysts with Lewinsky, Hillary angrily told Blair the young intern was a nut case -- and blamed the affair on politics, the loneliness of the presidency and her own failures as a wife.

When Clinton finally admitted to the affair after repeatedly lying that he did not have sex with "that woman, Miss Lewinsky,' Hillary defended her philandering spouse in a phone chat with Blair.

The former First Lady gave Clinton credit for trying to cut off the affair with Lewinsky, and insisted he did not take advantage of the young intern.
17:07  Indian election not a game changer says Moody:  A new Moody's report argues that the biggest event on India's political calendar this year will be neutral at best for the country's creditworthiness -- although, at worst, it could heighten existing risks.India's national election, due before the end of May, is dominating the country's newsstands, and has put a freeze on many major policy and investment decisions. Read more
17:03  Govt likely to table Telangana Bill in Lok Sabha on Thursday:  The government has reportedly decided to introduce the Telangana Bill -- the proposal to create the Telangana state -- in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. The earlier plan was to take up the Bill in the Rajya Sabha today, but the house was adjourned after ruckus over the bill. President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent for the Bill to be debated there.
16:41  Singapore riots: Bus driver cleared of fatal accident in Little India:   A bus driver, involved in a fatal accident that sparked Singapore's worst riot in 40 years and led to the deportation of 52 Indians, will not face any legal action, the government said today.

The Attorney General's Chambers said in a statement that the bus driver will not be charged as no offence was committed in the death of Indian national Sakthivel Kumaravelu, 33, who was killed in the accident on the evening of December 8, 2013.
16:33  Hollywood's former child star Shirley Temple dies at 85:   Hollywood star Shirley Temple has died at the age of 85, her family has said.The actress found fame as a child star in the 1930s in films like Bright Eyes, Stand Up and Cheer and Curly Top. She died on Monday at home in Woodside, California, from natural causes. "She was surrounded by her family and caregivers," a statement said. Read more
15:59  My connection here started in the womb, says Varun on Gandhis' turf:  Varun Gandhi, the 33-year-old parliamentarian from the BJP, launched his campaign for the national election today in a part of Uttar Pradesh that has for decades been loyal to his estranged aunt and cousin, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.  

Varun, General Secretary of the BJP, made an emotional pitch to the people of Sultanpur in Eastern Uttar Pradesh today, emphasizing his family's long connect to the region. "The last time I was here, it was in my mother's womb. I have returned as a man. Let me shoulder your burden," he said.

Sultanpur is expected to be Varun's new constituency when the BJP goes public with its list of candidates for Uttar Pradesh. He won the last election from Pilibhit in the northern part of the state, which used to be represented by his mother, Maneka.  

If Varun shifts base to Sultanpur, he will be entering the turf of the other branch of the famous Gandhi family. Read more
15:54  33 children died in Muzaffarnagar riot relief camps, reasons unknown: Govt:   Thirty-three children have died in Muzaffarnagar riot relief camps in Uttar Pradesh, Lok Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Home RPN Singh also told the House that there were no reports to suggest that youth/riot victims living in relief camps in Muzaffarnagar were being provoked by various operatives of terrorist organisations.

"As per report from the state government of Uttar Pradesh, the death of 33 children upto the age of 15 years were reported to a Committee set up by the state government in response to a direction of the Supreme Court," Singh said in reply to a written question.

He, however, said there was no available documentary evidence for the number of death as well as reasons for the same.
15:46  Kabul sees 1st polio case since 2001:  Afghan officials have launched a polio vaccination campaign after a young girl from Kabul was diagnosed with the disease, the capital's first case since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic. But cases have declined significantly in Afghanistan in recent years.
15:42  Why figure skaters are drawn to Schindler's List music:  Sochi Olympian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya used music from Schindler's List in her gold-medal-winning routine. Was she guilty of bad taste?
15:36  Maha Govt to give class 1, 2 jobs to children of 26/11 martyrs:   The Maharashtra government has decided to give class 1 and 2 jobs to the children of the martyrs of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The decision to this effect was taken recently after Poonam Durgude, daughter of slain sub-inspector Bapurao Durgude, who was killed by the terrorists during the 2008 attacks, requested state Home Minister R R Patil to give her a class 1 or 2 job.

According to a senior official in the Home department, government jobs in class 3 and 4 categories were earlier offered under the compensation scheme to the children of martyrs.
15:15  Cong takes on AAP in Amethi: Workers to go on padyatra:  After AAP leader Kumar Vishwas reached out to people in Amethi, Congress has announced it will launch the 'Vikas Janchetna Padyatra' in all 16 blocks of Rahul Gandhi's constituency, under which its leaders will travel on foot to create awareness about the UPA government's work. 
14:53  Biju Patnaik would have been affected to see Orissa in this state: Modi:  More on Modi in Bhubaneshwar:

"Biju babu (CM Naveen Patnaik's father and former Orissa CM) will be the most affected to see Odisha in this state. By creating a developed state, we can pay tribute to Biju babu."

On the third front: "Who are these people from the Third Front? 11 parties out which nine support Congress."

Development plank: "The west is more developed than the eastern part of the country. This is because BJP has runs the government in those states. "
14:50  Who really rules Delhi?:  A power struggle between the local and federal government is underway for control of India's capital, a conflict that political and constitutional experts say raises questions about Delhi's autonomy. Read more
14:45  Modi takes a dig at Naveen Patnaik's limited Odiya vocabulary:  Gujarat CM Narendra Modi is at a rally in Bhubaneshwar. Taking a dig at Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik's limited Odiya vocabulary, Modi who began the speech in the language said he wasn't speaking in Odiya to give the CM a complex.

"I attempted speaking in Odiya not to disrespect your CM. I spoke in Odiya to get closer to your hearts," said Modi. He said the local language must be respected and spoken to connect better with the people.

Modi says he was surprised to learn that most people from Odisha who work in Surat are from the Ganjam district, which is also the CM's constituency.

"I have been running the government for 14 years in Gujarat just like your CM. In 14 years the changes we have brought about has drawn people from Orrisa to Gujarat. But in the same 14 years you have destroyed Odisha," said Modi.
14:27  Indias latte lift: How coffee chains help social mobility:  Upscale coffee shops and restaurants that have sprung up throughout India in recent years are providing a chance for youth from lower middle-income groups to become more socially mobile, according to a recent study.

Being a server has long been regarded as a job for the lower classes in India; meant predominantly for someone without an education.

But work in coffee chains such as America's Starbucks and UK's Costa Coffee, which have set up shop in India over the last decade, pays well, provides respectability, and chances for promotion. It is fast becoming the preserve of educated but less well-off young Indians. Read more
14:21  Mallikarjun Kharge likely to announce more trains, new lines in interim rail budget:   Faced with a revenue shortfall, railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge will not bring about reduction in basic passenger fares in the interim budget on Wednesday but is likely to make adjustment in fuel adjustment component so that impact on fares is minimum in an election year. Kharge is likely to announce more trains, new lines and better passenger amenities in the interim budget. The rail budget will be announced tomorrow.
14:12  LIVE! Cong expells six MPs for disrupting Parl over Telangana:   Congress expells six MPs who were disrupting the House over Telangana.  The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day following uproar over creation of Telangana, harassment of Tamil fishermen and other issues.

Lok Sabha was adjourned within minutes after it met for the day, while Rajya Sabha saw two adjournments during the Question Hour.

Members from Andhra, cutting across party lines, trooped into the Well carrying placards saying 'Jai Samaikyandhra' and 'Save Andhra Pradesh'. The government proposes to bring the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill for creation of separate Telangana even as political parties from the state are divided over the issue.
14:03  Devdutt Pattanaik on Wendy Doniger's book ban: Been referring to Wendy's works forever. A scholar whose views can make the uninitiated squirm and the initiated smile.
13:48  RIL falls over 1% after Delhi govt files case against Ambani:  Shares of Reliance Industries Ltd today lost over 1 per cent after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ordered filing of criminal cases against the company's chief Mukesh Ambani and others on alleged irregularities in gas pricing.

After a positive opening, shares of RIL turned weak following the news and lost 1.56 per cent to Rs 808.80 as the trade progressed on the BSE. On the NSE, RIL's stock fell by 1.70 per cent to Rs 807.95.
13:39  What Ho! Uruguay's president nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for legalizing marijuana. Read
13:29  In Parliament today... pandemonium and little else:  Here's what our ministers did in Parliament today. Nothing.

Turmoil in Parliament over Telangana and other issues took a toll on the proceedings for the fifth consecutive day today, as a result of which no substantive business could be transacted.

Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day at noon and Rajya Sabha till 2 pm after two earlier adjournments during Question Hour.

The ruckus in both Houses, however, did not deter the Chair to introduce three bills - two in Rajya Sabha and one in Lok Sabha - as members of several parties trooped into the Well raising slogans on their respective demands.

As soon as the Lok Sabha met at noon after one adjournment, over 40 members from different parties, including supporters and opponents of Telangana, walked into the Well raising various issues, including Telangana.
13:08  Swapan Dasgupta tweeets: Very uneasy about Penguin decision on Wendy Doniger book. Ideas & academic studies, howevercontentious, cannot be handled by censorship.
13:06  The J-K Assembly has been adjourned for the day amid opposition protests over new administrative units, PDP MLA Mushtaq Ahmed Shah hurt in scuffle with marshals.
12:51  Cong Core Committee to meet on Telangana:   The Congress Core Committee will hold an emergency meet today on the Telangana issue to decide whether the Telangana Bill is a financial bill and in which house the bill should be presented.

For now, both houses of Parliament have been adjourned over the issue, till 2 pm.
12:39  Penguin agrees to axe Wendy Doniger's controversial book The Hindus: An Alternative History :  According to reports, Penguin Books India has succumbed to pressure by various groups and agreed to withdraw all published copies of Wendy Doniger's book, The Hindus: An Alternative History.

 Reports say that they have even agreed to destroy all the remaining copies of the book which are currently with the publisher.

While there is no official confirmation from Penguin, a copy of the agreement wherein Penguin cans the book has been leaked online and is doing the rounds on Twitter and Scribd. Read more
12:35  LIVE! Moily reacts to Kejriwal's gas problems: I sympathise with his ignorance :  Oil minister Veerappa Moily reacts to Arvind Kejriwal's presser where he says an FIR will be filed against Mukesh Ambani, Veerappa Moily and Murli Deora over the gas pricing in the KG-D6 gas block.

Moily says: We should sympathize with his ignorance... he doesn't know how government runs... norms are followed... there is a system in fixing prices.
12:11  People dont want an anarchist, says Goa CM Manohar Parrikar :  Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar has been known for his outspoken ways and austere style much before these things became fashionable politically. He talks about Arvind Kejriwal, his dislike for lal battis, and the prospects for the BJP, now that "everyone's on board".  Read
12:00  India back in Olympics, international committee revokes suspension :   The Indian flag will fly again at the Olympics with the international games body revoking the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association.The Indian body was suspended in December 2012. Its suspension was revoked after new elections.

India's sole luge athlete Shiva Keshavan walked under the Olympics flag and had been listed as an Independent Olympic Athlete.
11:46  Kejriwal's Reliance rant not surprising :  While Kejriwal's sudden press conference taking on Reliance may raise eyebrows given the timing and the party's perilous position in the Delhi Assembly, it must be said that even before Kejriwal became CM, the party had said it would continue to campaign against Reliance Industries' operation of the KG-D6 gas block.

AAP aide Prashant Bhushan had railed against the Cabinet decision allowing RIL and other producers to charge higher prices for natural gas from April 1 2014, terming the decision "grossly corrupt" as issues regarding alleged gold-plating of costs and penalising RIL for falling gas production are still unresolved.
11:35  'Have directed ACB to file FIRs against Ambani, Moily, Deora':  Kejriwal says Reliance plans are to raise the gas price to USD 8, which will effectively mean that the gas which costs less than USD 1 will be sold at USD 8 when the same is being sold to Bangladesh at USD 2.

He says Reliance colluding with ministers to raise gas prices to USD 8 through dubious means. "I have directed the ACB and FIRs will be lodged," says Kejriwal.  
11:30  Kejriwal takes on Reliance gas: FIRs to be lodged against Mukesh Ambani, Deora :   And speaking of Mr Kejriwal, here's what's happening at his press conference. AAP takes on Reliance, saying the company is charging double for gas from the KG-D6 gas block. He says he has asked the anti-corruption bureau to file charges against RIL chief Mukesh Ambani, the then oil minister Murli Deora and present oil minister Veerappa Moily.

Kejriwal says corruption is leading to price rise in the country and he will be writing to the PM and the oil ministry over the issue. He has asked the ACB to file an FIR against Reliance and Deora.
11:15  On idealizing the notion of the people :  When the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi decided to consult the 'people' on whether it should form a government with Congress support, this was generally lauded as a new brand of honest politics, instead of being criticized as exhibiting poverty and indecisiveness of its leadership. Read more
11:04  Inside the culture of covert killing:  And this is what the Hindu says on the Ishrat Jahan case: Killing is a lot easier to do than building capacities for surveillance, investigation and prosecution. The Ishrat case is about a republic that's allowing itself to dissolve into a state of criminal injustice. Read
10:57  'Ishrat Jahan and her accomplices were terrorists':  Rajinder Kumar, former special director of the Intelligence Bureau, who has been charged by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan case, has claimed that he is completely innocent. Read more
10:50  Arvind Kejriwal's Jan Lokpal Bill may be doomed: Centre:  The Centre sees a dim chance of the Jan Lokpal Bill going through in its present form, whether or not Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal seeks approval of the Union home ministry before tabling it in the state assembly.

Its unique provisions seeking powers for the Jan Lokpal to carry out interception and order dismissal of a "corrupt" government servant make it incompatible with the central Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act and also go against constitutional norms. Read more 
10:49  Julia Roberts' half-sister found dead:  Julia Roberts' half-sister, Nancy Motes, has been found dead in a Los Angeles home. She was 37. Paramedics were called to the home on Sunday after Motes was found on the floor of the bathroom, said Los Angeles County Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:12 pm.
10:44  Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will address a press conference shortly. 
10:42  Delhi: Another student from northeast attacked:  In a fresh case of a northeastern youth being attacked in the national capital, a 22-year-old Manipuri man was stabbed by some unidentified men in south Delhi's Mehrauli area in the wee hours of Tuesday.

The man identified as Ksupsikren was stabbed in his stomach and has been admitted to a hospital in Saket, police said, adding he is out of danger now. 

A group of men waylaid the victim when he was returning home from work around 4 am, they said.
08:50  Road mishap in Malda, Bengal kills 13:  At least 13 people were today killed and three others injured when their car was hit by a speeding truck on NH-34 at Kaluadighi near Malda town, police said. 

In the accident, 12 men and a child died at Aat Mile area when the truck coming from the opposite side collided head on with the vehicle at about 7.30 am, they said. 

The victims were returning to their homes at Raiganj in neighbouring north Dinajpur district after attending a wedding reception at Sahapur near Malda town.
08:48  President's nod sought for presenting Telangana bill in LS:  President Pranab Mukherjee's recommendation is being sought for the introduction of the Telangana bill in Lok Sabha, the Union home ministry has said.

The Telangana bill is expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha today.
08:42  US ambassador Nancy Powell to meet Modi :  US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell plans to meet Narendra Modi, signalling a shift in America's stand towards the BJP's prime ministerial candidate in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.        

"We can confirm the appointment (between Modi and Powell)," said a State Department spokesperson. 

The request to meet Modi has been made by Powell herself, but the spokesperson did not comment on the possible date of the meeting, which is expected to take place in Ahmedabad in February.        

"This is part of our concerted outreach to senior political and business leaders which began in November to highlight the US-India relationship," the spokesperson said.
03:28  Sochi Olympics: One man show? :  

If Vladimir Putin hoped that hosting the 2014 Olympic Games would invite the world's admiration, he was wrong.


Read Reonid Lagozin's opinion piece on The Al Jazeera

03:26  Hollande arrives for US state visit:  

Franois Hollande and Barack Obama were seeking to put images of cheese-eating surrender monkeys and awkward marital situations behind them, as they began an unusually warm three-day state visit at the home of Thomas Jefferson on Monday.


The two presidents declared theirs to be the new special relationship, in a joint newspaper column that focused on improved military co-operation between the US and what Washington officials now rarely fail to call America's "oldest ally'.


Read more on The Guardian

03:22  Spanish judge issues arrest warrants for China's former president, PM:  

A Spanish judge issued international arrest warrants Monday for China's former President Jiang Zemin and former Prime Minister Li Peng for alleged genocide against the people of Tibet, Spain's National Court in Madrid said.


The warrants against them and three other senior Chinese officials are the latest chapter in a long-running lawsuit by pro-Tibetan groups and a dual Tibetan-Spanish citizen who seek international legal action against some Chinese officials.


Judge Ismael Moreno issued the arrest warrants for alleged "genocide, torture and crimes against humanity," and ordered them to be sent to Interpol, the international police agency, according to a copy of the order viewed by CNN.


The former officials will surely not be arrested in China, but there's a "medium chance" of them being arrested if they go abroad, "depending on the country and its ethics," said Alan Cantos, president of the Barcelona-based Tibet Support Committee.


Read more on CNN

02:11  Gay NFL draft prospect Michael Sam praised by Michelle Obama:  

American footballer Michael Sam, who aims to become the NFL's first openly gay player, has won praise from First Lady Michelle Obama. The 24-year-old former University of Missouri athlete revealed his sexuality on Sunday.


Mrs Obama took to Twitter to call Sam "an inspiration to all of us". The National Football League has also welcomed the defensive lineman's announcement, saying Sam has "honesty and courage". Mrs Obama said of Sam: "We couldn't be prouder of your courage both on and off the field."


Read more on BBC

02:09  UK floods: Homes evacuated as swollen Thames keeps rising:  

Flooded homes along the River Thames are being evacuated and thousands more are at risk, with water levels expected to keep rising for the next 24 hours. Residents in one Berkshire village say the scenes are from a "horror movie". Fourteen severe flood warnings are in place in Berkshire and Surrey, while two remain in Somerset.


PM David Cameron, who is in flood-hit south-west England, said it was not the time to change personnel amid criticism of Environment Agency head Lord Smith. Homes, shops and businesses in the Berkshire village of Datchet are underwater and hundreds more along the lower River Thames, as far as Shepperton, are under threat, the Environment Agency says.


Several Thames gauges are showing their highest levels since being installed in the 1980s and 90s. Fire crews, who have been rescuing people from their homes in Staines-upon-Thames, say they have never known waters so deep or a flood rescue operation on this scale.


Read more on BBC

01:17  Shooting reported inside Atlanta supermarket:  

Two people have been hospitalized after a lunchtime shooting at the Kroger grocery store in Lawrenceville, police said. Police have arrested one individual in connection with the shooting, authorities said.


A report of a double shooting was called in to police from the store at 422 Grayson Highway at 12:11 p.m., Lawrenceville police spokesman Lawrenceville Capt. Greg Vaughn told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Police are on scene and have cordoned off the entrance to the store, and some witnesses fled to the back of the store '" even into the store freezers '" to escape gunfire, Channel 2 Action News is reporting. Some store employees remained outside the store more than an hour after the shooting, according to Channel 2.


Read more on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

00:19  ACB sends questionnaire to Dhumal in HPCA case:  

The Himachal Pradesh Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau Monday sent a questionnaire to former Chief Minister PK Dhumal asking about the decisions taken by his government with regard to granting of various approvals to Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association.  


The ACB has asked him to file his reply within a week and also sent the photocopies of the file notings pertaining to the issues on which queries are based, official sources said.        


It has also sought to know from Dhumal why he did not recluse himself from chairing the cabinet meetings in which decisions for giving various approvals to HPCA were taken, when he was the chief patron of the HPCA with voting right while his son Anurag Thakur was managing the affairs of the HPCA.        


It also asked Dhumal that why did he concealed the vital fact from the cabinet that land, which was leased to HPCA, belonged to revenue department which was later given to education department which further transferred it to department of Youth Services and Sports, the ACB sources said.

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