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LIVE! Ukrainian MPs vote to oust President Yanukovych

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February 22, 2014

21:17  Ukrainian MPs vote to oust President Yanukovych:  

BBC: Ukrainian MPs have voted to oust President Yanukovych and hold early presidential elections on 25 May. The vote came barely an hour after Mr Yanukovych said in a televised address that he would not resign. Protesters have walked unchallenged into the president's office and residential compounds.


The opposition is in effective control of the capital Kiev, with Mr Yanukovych now in the eastern city of Kharkiv, near the Russian border.

19:28  BJP's 1st list of LS poll nominees likely on Feb 27: Jaitley:  

BJP is likely to come out with its first list of Lok Sabha candidates on February 27 when the party's top leadership discusses the possible candidates at a meeting of the Central Election Committee in New Delhi.  


"First election comm(ittee) meeting is on 27th February," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said on twitter, adding that "hopefully that day" the party will come out with its first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.    


Senior party leaders, including L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi besides others, who are part of the panel, will meet in New Delhi to discuss and finalise the party's list of candidates.   


Sources said the party will finalise the seats for its top leaders and some seats where the candidates are strong and there is no dispute on them.

18:08  BJD alone can provide stable govt in Odisha: Naveen:  

Exuding confidence that the BJD will retain power for a fourth consecutive term in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said his party alone could provide a stable government in the state.       


"The political scenario in Odisha indicates that the BJD alone can form the government in the state," Patnaik said at a public meeting in Phulbani during his whirlwind tour of Kandhamal district.        


Opposition Congress and BJP "are known as synonym to instability" and BJD alone could provide a stable government in the state, he said.        


Stating that the people had extended their "wonderful" support to the BJD in the past, Patnaik hoped they would again do so in the ensuing elections as well to help BJD carry out all-round development of the state, including Kandhamal.

16:51  AAP's office in Mumbai attacked by 'NCP goons':  The Aam Aadmi Party's office in suburban Andheri in Mumbai was today allegedly vandalised by a group of 20-25 people, with the party claiming that the attack was the handiwork of the Nationalist Congress Party.

"AAP Maharashtra office attacked by NCP goons," AAP said in a tweet.        

According to AAP volunteer Paritosh, the vandals entered the second floor of their office, located at Chakala in Andheri, and tore up and burnt the poster of AAP leader Arivind Kejriwal.
16:40  'Tea seller' politics hots up as Lalu chai dukaan opens :  After the BJP opened tea stalls to hard sell Narendra Modi's image of a leader rising from a humble background, the RJD too has done the the same, in the name of party chief Lalu Prasad, claiming that he was the"real" tea seller.        

Besides providing free cuppa and biscuit to people, the partymen at the 'Lalu chai dukaan would tell them about the alleged "falsehood" of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.        

An unfazed BJP, however, said such a "monkey trick" would have no impact on the voters.
16:09  Conversions should be stopped immediately: VHP:   Vishwa Hindu Parishad convenor Ashok Singhal said today that unless conversions were stopped immediately, the day would not be far off when Hindus would be reduced to a minority in India.        

Addressing a press conference, he said it has become "imperative" for each Hindu couple to have five children each.        

The VHP convener heaped praise on BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and attacked Congress President Sonia Gandhi over a number of things.
15:57  Cong announces 'primary' to choose candidates in Delhi:  In keeping with party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's plan of holding 'primaries' for the selection of the Lok Sabha candidates for some seats, the All-India Congress Committee today announced the opening of the exercise for the New Delhi parliamentary constituency.        

Gandhi's proposal aims to empower grassroots Congress workers by allowing them a say in the selection of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, party sources said.        

"In the first phase, the primaries project has been started for the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat. The project will soon be launched in the north-east Lok Sabha constituency as well," said a Congress leader.
15:56  Maid murder case: Court dismisses bail plea of BSP MP:  A Delhi court today dismissed the bail plea of BSP MP Dhananjay Singh, who along with his wife Jagriti Singh was charge-sheeted in connection with the murder of their maid, saying he can influence the witnesses.       

Additional Sessions Judge Lokesh Kumar Sharma rejected the plea of Dhananjay, a sitting BSP MP from Jaunpur constituency of Uttar Pradesh, on the ground that he is an influential person and can influence the witnesses in the case, if released on bail.        

The Delhi police said it would file a supplementary charge-sheet in the case, giving viscera report of the deceased and some other forensic evidence in the case.
15:55  Will BJP, JD-U team up against Centre?:  With the JD-U and the BJP launching separate agitations to protest the Centre's denial of special category status to Bihar like Seemandhra, the BJP today said if Chief Minister Nitish Kumar supported its 'rail roko' stir on February 28, it would also join his March 2 statewide bandh.        

"The issue is the same. So if the CM and his party JD-U supports the BJP's 'Rail roko' on February 28, the party will also join his March 2 Bihar bandh to protest against the Centre's discriminatory approach on special category status," senior BJP leader Sushil Modi said.        

The former deputy chief minister alleged that Kumar's decision to defer the bandh call by a day to March 2 seemed to be aimed at "disturbing" Narendra Modi's rally at Muzaffarpur on March 3 by disrupting road and rail traffic.
15:05  'Obama-Dalai meeting an embarrassment for China':  As China made strong diplomatic protests over US President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama, the Chinese media today said the event turned out to be an embarrassment for Beijing, with its warning making little difference.        

While Obama played "dumb" at his meeting with the Dalai Lama at the White House, so far China has found no effective way to counter such acts, said the state-run Global Times, which is also an official publication of the ruling Communist Party of China.

"With China growing stronger, old practices such as US presidents meeting the Dalai Lama or selling arms to Taiwan are having less impact. But still, Friday's meeting embarrassed China. Beijing had to protest, but the protest did not make much difference," it said.
14:16  Chidambaram arrives in Sydney to attend G20 meeting:  Finance Minister P Chidambaram arrived in Sydney today to attend the two-day G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, during which he is expected to press for expeditious reforms in the IMF, among other things.    

He is also expected to raise the issue of automatics sharing of tax information and greater transparency in the US Fed's tapering operations.        

Besides the minister, the Indian delegation at the G20 ministerial comprises Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan and senior officials of the finance ministry including Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram.
14:15  Facebook won't change privacy settings when you die!:  Facebook has reportedly announced that it would no longer change the privacy settings of a deceased person's account on the site.   

Earlier, Facebook would change the privacy settings on a ''memorial account'' so that only their friends could view the page.   

However, the social networking giant has said that it would no longer tweak the settings and leave the pages/ accounts ''as they were'' set by the deceased.
13:57  Hope Sonia listens to Rahul: BJP:  Without directly naming Congress President Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader Arun Jaitley stated, "I hope the leader who makes comment like zeher ki kheti (farming poison) and maut ke saudagar (merchants of death) against the opposition, also listens to Rahul".

When asked why the BJP-led NDA had not agreed to the division of Andhra Pradesh during its five-year-rule, Swaraj pointed out that coalition allies, including the TDP and the Shiv Sena, were opposed to the creation of a new state.
13:54  Rahul is a late entrant in anti-corruption crusade: BJP:  "Rahul Gandhi is a very late entrant in the anti-corruption crusaders bandwagon," senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley stated at a press conference on Saturday.

"And not a genuine entrant," quipped Sushma Swaraj.

Stung by Gandhi's recent comments -- that the BJP had betrayed the government by refusing to cooperate over anti-corruption bills -- Jaitley claimed that the Congress vice-president was merely "posturing".

"Why was he quiet for the last ten years in Parliament over the issue of corruption? Now, on the last day of Parliament, he decided to appropriate the issue of corruption," said Jaitley.

He pointed out that Gandhi had not spoken up even when the Congress-led UPA government kept on getting embroiled in massive corruption scams like 2G, chopper scam and cash-for-vote.
13:33  Swaraj defends disruptions of Parliament:   BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said the "people will judge us on the role we played in the opposition, and as the ruling government in several states, in the Lok Sabha polls".

She pointed out that by June 1, a new Lok Sabha would have been constituted.
13:30  Congress has broken all records of corruption: Swaraj:  "I was pained at the disruptions in the 15th Lok Sabha, but those triggered by the Opposition were necessary to make the government accountable," Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday.

She alleged that the Congress "had no control" over its own ministers and MPs.

Swaraj slammed the ruling UPA for treating institutions like the CAG and the CVC as "obstacles to development".

Reacting to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi's allegation -- that the Opposition betrayed the Congress over bills to fight corruption -- the BJP leader said, "This government has broken all records of corruption".
13:02  Orissa minister, who was shot at, out of danger :  Odisha Tourism and Culture Minister Maheshwar Mohanty was today operated upon and the bullet lodged in his ribs removed after he was shot at by assailants in his constituency Puri .        

The condition of the 59-year-old minister is stable and "he is out of danger," hospital sources said.        

The minister was in the intensive care unit of the private hospital after the surgery by a team of four doctors.
13:01  Indian-American Pentagon official to join think-tank :  Vikram Singh, the highest-ranking Indian-American at the Pentagon, is joining an eminent US think-tank after serving the Obama administration in various positions for over five years.        

Singh, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, is joining the Centre for American Progress as its vice president for National Security and International Policy and will oversee its work on national security around the globe, while continuing his focus on Asia.       

He will officially join the CAP in March.
12:38  US not targeting Indian companies, says FDA chief :  The United States is "not targeting" Indian companies, but has a strict quality control regime for all products being imported into America, the head of the US Food and Drug Administration said today.        

"We are not targeting Indian companies. We are undertaking our required regulatory activities. We inspect and take appropriate action against companies within the United States," the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told reporters.    
12:29  Gursharan Kaur attends Parliament on last day:  From a correspondent in Delhi: The SPG was on tenterhooks on the last day of Parliament as Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was inside the House to watch the proceedings.

Shaken by the pepper spray incident, SPG personnel who were guarding Kaur kept an eye out for anti-Telangana activists.

Meanwhile, a special tea session was arranged for Kaur by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
12:22  Ramesh's book on Telangana has no mention of PM!:  Jairam Ramesh is all set to write a book titled Bifurcation boom for Seemandhra, where he will highlight the role played by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu in creating the new state.

Interestingly, in the proposed 8 chapters in the book, there is no mention of the PM or Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Ramesh is expected to seal the deal for the book with a foreign publisher. 

The book is expected to hit the stalls in July 2014, the first month of the notification of Seemandhra.
12:19  How Congress, BJP reached a deal on Telangana:  From a correspondent in Delhi:  BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu and From a correspondent in Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel managed to reach a deal on Telangana after Jairam Ramesh, a member of the GoM on Telangana, proposed several projects, including three airports, to appease Seemandhra.    

Meanwhile, YSR Congress leaders suspect that the deal is not only about the projects, but some of them would be sanctioned to BJP leaders. 
12:17  General V K Singh to join the BJP soon:  From a correspondent in Delhi: Former army chief General V K Singh is expected to join the BJP soon.   

The Congress is not too happy about this development, as Singh reportedly has evidence to prove that the political leadership of the UPA, especially the PMO, was weak during his tenure.   

The PM was not only weak but he was a darbok (a coward), believes Singh.   

To prevent the General from joining the saffron party, the Military Intelligence has reportedly started to circulate documents, stories and photographs to show that Singh was instigating a coup. 
12:16  EC will soon announce dates for Lok Sabha polls:  A correspondent in Delhi reports: The Election Commission will declare the schedule for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls once the communique of President Pranab Mukherjee -- appending his consent to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill -- makes it an Act.   

The EC has finalised the dates and already informed the Union home ministry about them.   

The schedule for the Lok Sabha polls will be announced anytime between February 26 and March 2, according to EC sources.
12:14  When Dr Singh laughed for two minutes!:  A correspondent in Delhi reports: Dr Manmohan Singh was seen laughing for two entire minutes!   

This is the first time in his ten year tenure as India's premier when Dr Singh was actually seeing laughing.   

The PM started laughing when senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley told Dr Singh that a rainbow coalition was taking shape between the Trinmool Congress and activist Anna Hazare.   

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari too seemed to enjoy this political joke, made by Jaitley at the farewell accorded to retiring Rajya Sabha MPs.
12:12  Modi will ensure a 'Congress-free' India: BJP:  A correspondent in Delhi: Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad had some words of praise for Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj -- during Question Hour on the last day of the 15th Lok Sabha -- over the eradication of polio from India.   

"Polio mukt bharah sambhav nahi hota unless my illustrious predecessors had not played a key role,' said Azad.   

When BJP leader Shanawaz Hussain muttered, quite audibly, that soon Narendra Modi will ensure a 'Congress mukt Bharat', his comment was greeted with boisterous laughter and a smile from party patriarch LK Advani.
10:44  Who will be in the driver's seat?:  'Acclaimed novelist' Chetan Bhagat explains the dilemma that Indian voters will face when the Lok Sabha polls come knocking on our doors. 

Do you want a thoroughly corrupt driver, or do you want one who is communal or racist, or would you rather hire a driver who is honest but combative and incompetent?

Confused? Fear not, Bhagat explains it all for you.
10:40  Meet Pakistan's very own William James:  "Personality is very important in defusing bombs. Lots of trained people reach bomb sites and lose courage. You need to be very calm and bold," believes Shafqat Malik, the chief of Pakistan Army's Bomb Disposal Unit.

Malik shares his expertise on the modus operandi of various terror groups, getting inside the head of a suicide bomber and ways to sniff out a second explosive device at the blast site.

Click here to read more
10:35  Ramachandra Guha on Verrier Elwin:  Historian Ramachandra Guha remembers Verrier Elwin, a British priest who lived in and worked for tribal India, and wrote uncommonly well, about his experiences .

Click here to read more
10:16  Meet the Indian responsible for $19 billion WhatsApp deal:  
Meet WhatsApp's business-development employee,  marketing executive, human-resources head and publicist: Neeraj Arora.

Want to know more about how the former Google employee sealed the eye-popping $19 billion deal with Facebook?

Click here
10:13  Remembering Maulana Abul Kalam Azad:  On Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's death anniversary today, it is important to remember his version of Islam, one that was much more accommodative than the contemporary rigid and combative Islam.

Click here to read more

10:11  Nandan Nilekani to contest Lok Sabha polls?:  Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani may be embarking on his most ambitious venture yet: Joining Indian politics.

The billionaire is gearing up to contest polls at a time when Indian politics is even more chaotic and challenging than his earlier colossal project -- the UIDAI.

Click here to read more
10:08  McKinsey on poverty in India:  A study by McKinsey Global Institute has urged the Indian government to spend more in the fields of sanitation, health and water.

Creating jobs and boosting productivity, not doling out welfare schemes, will help eradicate poverty, said the study.

Click here to read more 
10:04  Obama discusses Ukraine deal with Putin:  US President Barack Obama spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the telephone about the deal reached between the Ukrainian government and the opposition and agreed that it should be implemented quickly.        

During the conversation, the two leaders said that it was very important to encourage all sides to refrain from violence. Putin affirmed that Russia wants to remain part of the implementation process.
01:25  Obama meets Dalai, defies China's warning about impact on ties:  US President Barack Obama today offered "strong support" for Tibetans' human rights as he met the region's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, defying China which lodged a diplomatic protest stating that bilateral ties had been seriously damaged by it.

Obama, during the meeting, extended support to the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" approach of neither assimilation nor independence for Tibetans in China. "The President reiterated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet's unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People's Republic of China," the White House said after the meeting.

The meeting took place in the Map Room of the White House -- Obama's residence -- and not in his Oval Office, where the President usually holds talks with visiting dignitaries. Obama commended the 78-year-old Dalai Lama's commitment to peace and non-violence.

"The President stressed that he encourages direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences and that a dialogue that produces results would be positive for China and Tibetans," the White House said in a statement.

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