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LIVE! Scrapping of VIP chopper deal won't absolve govt: BJP

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January 01, 2014


21:16  Scrapping of VIP chopper deal won't absolve govt: BJP:  The BJP today claimed its campaign against the government on the AugustaWestland chopper deal has led to the cancellation of the order but said this would not absolve the government of its "wrongdoings".      

"This is a victory of the BJP's sustained campaign against corruption of the Congress-led UPA government. Cancellation of the deal will not absolve the government of its wrong-doings because three helicopters have already been delivered and in case compensation has to be paid, the country will have to pay the damages," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
21:14  Rahul Gandhi should be PM candidate: Hooda :  Joining the chorus, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi should be the prime ministerial candidate for this year's Lok Sabha polls.        

Describing Rahul as a strong candidate for becoming the next prime minister, Hooda said that it was his personal opinion that his (Rahul's) name should be declared as the prime ministerial candidate.
21:13  Snowfall disrupts normal life in JK:  Heavy snowfall disrupted normal life for the second consecutive day in Jammu and Kashmir as intense cold wave conditions persisted in north India with a thick fog disrupting air, rail and road traffic in several parts of the region today.        

However, the New Year brought some respite from bone chilling cold for Delhiites as the minimum temperature settled at 10.4 degrees Celsius, three degrees above normal.
21:12  Telangana bill to be tabled in Parliament in February: Reddy :  Union Minister Jaipal Reddy today said the Telangana statehood bill would be tabled in Parliament in the first week of February.        

Reddy, who is a senior Congress leader from Telangana region, said he was confident the bill would be passed.        

"I am not only a cabinet minister but also a senior parliamentarian. I have my own assessment," he said.
20:21  Kejriwal can't stop Modi's march to Delhi: BJP :  A BJP leader in Punjab today asserted that Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party "will not and cannot stop" Narendra Modi's march to Delhi to become the prime minister of India.        

There is a Modi wave across the country and he will head the next NDA government at the Centre, former Punjab minister Manoranjan Kalia said, while responding to reporters on whether the AAP could repeat its Delhi assembly poll performance in the Parliamentary elections.
20:20  PM concerned over increasing crimes against women and children:  Amid rising incidents of crimes against women and children, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed concern over the "growing phenomenon" and expressed hope that future training will help new police officers to better deal with the problem.        

He also cautioned young IPS officers to overcome the "temptation to ride roughshod over human rights" and stressed on the need to provide emphasis on protecting human rights in police training.
19:21  Peace process may make some headway in India: Pak:  Pakistan today said that though the full Indo-Pak composite dialogue may not start before the general elections in India, the peace process will make some headway. 

Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz said an initiative has been taken to improve relations with India.
18:52  Price of non-subsidised LPG hiked:  Price of non-subsidised LPG has been hiked by RS 220 per cylinder. 
18:50  PM should complete term in office: Assam CM Gogoi :  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should complete his term and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi should be projected as the next leader of the party, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said.        

''There is a lot of speculation going on in the media about whether the prime minister will complete his term or not. It is my personal opinion that he should complete his term,'' Gogoi said.        

''Rahul Gandhi can be projected as the next leader of the party after that,'' he added.
18:37  Delhi govt orders audit of 3 private power firms:  
The Delhi government has ordered an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of three private power distribution companies. 
18:30  Ganguly case: Govt to take call on sending Presidential reference :  The government is likely to take a decision on Thursday on sending a Presidential reference to the Supreme Court for conducting a probe into the allegation of sexual harassment against Justice (retired) A K Ganguly.        

"The home ministry will place a note before the cabinet tomorrow (to discuss the issue of sending Presidential reference in Ganguly case). The cabinet will take a call," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters today.        

The home ministry will also place the views of Attorney General G E Vahanvati, who has noted that a case can be made out against Ganguly following allegations of "unwelcome behaviour" towards a woman law intern.
18:29  Jaitley attacks AAP for targeting 'short term gains':  Attacking Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over providing water subsidy in Delhi, BJP leader Arun Jaitley today said by doing so, the AAP government is looking at "short term gains" and creating debts for tomorrow while ignoring the weakest sections of society.        

"The more you subsidise, the more you will have to eventually raise the taxes. Through subsidisation a government thinks of the short term gains. It leaves a debt for tomorrow .A subsidy may prove counter-productive for the more vulnerable sections," he said in an article.
18:27  President signs the Lokpal Bill:  President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday evening has signed the Lok Pal bill. 

The Bill was sent to the President after being passed by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, had been pending in the House for over two years.
18:16  'Want death penalty for those who gang-raped my daughter':   The family of the 16-year-old gangrape victim, along with some Left leaders, met West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan today and demanded the death penalty for the accused.        

"We want those who have gang-raped my daughter to be given the death penalty. We have also requested the governor to see that our family members are provided security as we fear for our lives," the father of the victim said after meeting the governor.
17:42  Doctors concerned with Suchitra Sen's fluctuating heart rate :  Actress Suchitra Sen remains in a stable condition at a private hospital in Kolkata but her fluctuating heart rate is a cause of concern for the doctors attending on her.        

On a course of antibiotics and other supportive therapies for her respiratory ailment, the 82-year-old actress needs continuous monitoring for fluctuating heart rate and oxygen saturation, said a health bulletin issued by Belle Vue clinic today.        

Suffering from a respiratory tract infection and fluid accumulation in the lungs, Sen was admitted to the hospital on December 23.
17:38  Virbhadra meets Ambika Soni:  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who is in the eye of a storm over corruption charges against him, today presented his version of the issue to Congress General Secretary Ambika Soni, who is in-charge of the state.        

He could not meet either party chief Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi, who were not in Delhi.
17:37  Kiran Reddy quashes talks of launching new party:  Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NKiran Kumar Reddy, who has rebelled against the Congress high command over the state's proposed bifurcation, today maintained that he has no plans of floating a new political party.        

"I have no such thoughts," the chief minister told reporters during an informal chat on the occasion of New Year's Day.
17:09  Slash power tariffs in Maharashtra: Sanjay Nirupam:   In the wake of the AAP government slashing power tariffs by 50 per cent in Delhi, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam has sought similar measures in Maharashtra.

Nirupam has further said that reports of cartels being operated by private power companies should be investigated.
16:49  India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear facilities:  Pakistan and India today exchanged the list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement that bars them from attacking each other's atomic facilities.        

Pakistan handed over the list of its nuclear installation to the Indian High Commission.        

Similarly, the external affairs ministry handed over its list to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.        

The agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988 and entered into force on January 27, 1991, says that the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the agreement on January 1 of every calendar year.
16:03  Kolkata gangrape victim's father writes to Guv, seeks security:   In a letter written to West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan, the father of the Kolkata gangrape victim has sought protection for his family members.

The girl, who had been gangraped twice, died of burn injuries sustained during a suicide attempt. 

In the letter, the victim's father also blamed the Kolkata police's inaction and the indifference of the doctors at R G Kar Hospital in the matter.

Her further alleged that Kolkata police had asked him to leave the state and return to Bihar with his daughter's body.

"The police officials threatened me and asked me to leave the state and return to Bihar with the body. The police officials and some local thugs also threatened me that if I did not do so, they would stop me from driving my taxi," said the victim's father.
15:56  Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal scrapped:  The Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal between the Indian government and British-Italian firm AgustaWestland has been cancelled in the wake of massive allegations of corruption. 

The decision to scrap the deal was taken after a two-hour long meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony.

The government had already frozen the contract for the supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF after allegations that two top officials of the firm paid kickbacks worth Rs 360 crore to secure the contract.
15:45  Under fire, Himachal CM to meet Sonia today:  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is expected to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi today to explain the serious charges of financial irregularities levelled by the BJP against him. 

In a scathing letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had alleged that during his tenure as the Union steel minister and as the CM of Himachal Pradesh, Singh had been involved in various irregularities to accrue financial gains.
15:39  Arvind Kejriwal takes oath in Delhi assembly:  Arvind Kejriwal, who has been unwell for a couple of days, on Wednesday took oath as the chief minister of Delhi in the state assembly.

Kejriwal also told media personnel that the formal order on auditing three power corporations will be received by today evening.
15:36  US, UK take fresh initiative to end Bangladesh crisis:  World powers, including the US and the UK, have taken a fresh initiative to end the deadlock in Bangladesh. They have asked two major political parties to resolve the impasse over upcoming elections through dialogue.        

The US and British envoys in Dhaka have been shuttling between the camps of ruling Awami League and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party in the past several days in their bid to bridge the gaps between the two rival parties despite the apparent failure of a UN mission to end the political crisis.        

The developments came as the opposition BNP and its allies have begun enforcing a non-stop blockade of road, rail and water transports across Bangladesh from early today, the first day of 2014, to thwart the elections on January 5.
14:40  Youth Congress activists stage protests near Rajnath's residence :  A day after BJP youth activists staged a protest outside Rahul Gandhi's residence, members of Congress' student outfit NSUI today demonstrated near Rajnath Singh's house in Delhi, levelling corruption charges against the saffron party.        

Activists of the Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India were baton charged by Delhi police. Some of them were detained as they tried to undertake a protest march towards the official residence of the BJP president.
14:17  Take advantage of Sharif's peace initiatives: Envoy to India:  Asking India to take advantage of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's "genuine interest" in improving ties, Pakistan's new envoy to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani has said New Delhi will "lose a big opportunity if they do not."        

Jilani, who had earlier served in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, said Sharif had a "genuine interest" in improving relations with India.        

"They will lose a big opportunity if they do not," Jilani, the former foreign secretary, was quoted as saying by the Dawn.
14:16  SIT chargesheets 225 people in Muzaffarnagar riots :  The Uttar Pradesh government constituted Special Investigation Team has chargesheeted at least 225 people so far in connection with the September riots in Muzaffarnagar and neighbouring areas, police said today.        

The SIT has chargesheeted 225 people in 28 riot cases so far while 28 complainants in other cases could not be traced,said Manoj Jha, Additional SP, SIT.
14:15  Global temperatures to rise 4 degrees by 2100:  Global average temperatures will rise at least 4 degrees Celsius by 2100 and potentially more than 8 degrees by 2200 if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced, a new research has warned.        

Scientists have found that the global climate is more sensitive to carbon dioxide than most previous estimates.        

The research also appears to solve one of the great unknowns of climate sensitivity, the role of cloud formation and whether this will have a positive effect on global warming.
14:14  Wrong propaganda by Left over rape victim's suicide: TMC:  The ruling Trinamool Congress today accused the Left Front of launching wrong propaganda" against the state government over the suicide of a 16-year-old gangrape victim.        

"The CPI-M is alienated from the people and they are desperately trying to launch wrong propaganda against the government over this (gangrape) issue. But the people will not accept this," TMC General Secretary Mukul Roy told PTI.        

Describing the death of the girl at a city hospital as "sad," Roy said the administration did whatever was necessary to bring the culprits to book.        

"The accused are in jail and a charge-sheet has been filed against them," the party leader said.
13:01  Ramesh Chennithala joins Oommen Chandy cabinet:  Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala today joined the UDF ministry headed by Oommen Chandy as part of a move to boost prospects of the coalition in the coming Lok Sabha polls by setting factional and equations correct.       

In a limited Cabinet expansion, Governor Nikhil Kumar administered oath of office and secrecy to 57-year-old Chennithala.        

He is tipped to get the home portfolio in the ministry, replacing his party colleague Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan, who has been retained in the cabinet. 

Chandy, his cabinet colleagues, senior party functionaries, leaders of the UDF partners and deputy leader of opposition in the assembly Kodiyeri Balakrishnan were present at the function.
12:58  Seven trains cancelled due to dense fog in Delhi :  Dense fog in the northern region continued to disrupt train operations with seven trains being cancelled today and six Delhi-bound trains running behind schedule.        

Jharkhand Express, Ujjaini Express, and Howrah Janata Express were among the trains cancelled due to low visibility conditions.
12:52  UPA govt indicates further relaxation in FDI policy:  The government today indicated further liberalisation of the FDI policy in the coming weeks to attract foreign investments into the country.     

"The government will continue its endeavour for liberalising the FDI Policy further in the coming weeks to ensure that India retains its leadership position for attracting foreign investments," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in a statement.
12:02  Devyani Khobragade's UN application review still on: US:  The US is still reviewing the application for the transfer of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade to the United Nations and issue the necessary documents to her for full diplomatic immunity, a top American official said.        

"It is under review. We cannot predict when that review will be completed," said a State Department spokesperson in response to a question on the status of the UN request to grant full diplomatic status to Khobragade.
11:59  Telangana Bill to rock Andhra assembly session:  The winter session of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, which is resuming on January 3, is expected to generate much heat as the debate on the draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, is on the agenda.        

The winter session of the assembly began on December 12 and the Business Advisory Committee of the House had decided to take up a debate on the draft bill, but that did not happen due to the din over the issue. The assembly was adjourned on December 19 for resumption on January 3.
11:58  Riots in Little India inexcusable: Singapore PM:  Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has described the December 8 outbreak of violence among South Asian foreign workers in Singapore as inexcusable, but he assured that Singapore will treat its guest workers fairly as long as they abide by the the city state's laws.        

"We will continue to treat foreign workers fairly, but we expect them to obey our laws and social norms," said Lee in his New Year message.        

"The riot in Little India was inexcusable. We have taken firm action against the culprits. Several have been charged, others warned and repatriated, and still others advised to abide strictly by our laws," he said.
11:57  Musharraf fails to appear before court :  Embattled former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf today failed to appear before a special court in Islamabad.        

Musharraf was supposed to appear before the court to face treason charges for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts.
01:26  Girls kidnapped for forced marriage suffer rising crime in India:  

Rupsona's kidnappers struck at dusk, when most children in her village in eastern India were outside playing and their parents were resting after tending crops all day.

 

The 14-year-old student had just finished geography class and was walking home along a road lined with rice paddies when she felt a blade at her throat. The man holding the eight-inch knife and his two accomplices were clear: If Rupsona didn't quietly climb into a nearby car, they would slit her throat. When the door closed, she was beaten, groped and forced to swallow pills that made her woozy.

 

Two car rides and a train trip later, she and her captors arrived at her final destination: the town of Kaithal, almost a thousand miles from her home. A man was waiting for her. He told her that his name was Sandeep Malik and that she was his wife. Later she would learn he'd paid $800 to have her abducted. On her first night in captivity, Rupsona said, Malik forced her to have sex again and again. The nightly abuse continued for fourteen months, until she escaped.

 

Read the full article on Bloomberg

01:08  New Year bash organisers cheat revellers in Mumbai:  

PTI: Thousands of revellers were left high and dry at the New Year eve party that was to take off on the premises of a suburban hotel in Mumbai apparently due to mismanagement by organisers.        

 

Revellers alleged that unprofessional conduct of organisers left them in the lurch as the bash never started as promised though some music was played initially.        

 

The crowd started gathering on the premises of hotel Tulip Star from around 8 pm but no proper arrangements were in place to issue passes to those who booked tickets online and members of crowd alleged that the party never started.        

 

Rahul Gupta (26), who works at a private firm in Cuffe Parade area and the resident of Kharghar in Navi Mumbai, told PTI he has paid Rs 3800 for couple-entry but when he arrived at the spot at around 8:30 pm the party was not started and after a while guests were told that organisers have just run away.        

 

"We are completely disappointed and leaving the place. We hope police will help us to get our refund," he said.        

 

Samkit Mehta (22), an MBA student, said he came with his friend after paying Rs 8,000 but was completely disappointed as no party was happening there. "We had to leave without any celebration," he said.        

The ground was overcrowded and organisers were charging Rs 5,000 for those buying tickets on the spot, he alleged.      

 

ACP Dattatreya Jadhav said organisers cheated revellers and the party discontinued midway. "The capacity of the venue was 4000 but about 6000 to 7000 people turned up. We will initiate appropriate action against organisers," he said. Police said the revellers told them that they booked online with one Purplestone Entertainment for the bash.

01:02  Planet likely to warm by 4C by 2100:  

Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study. The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were cut, the planet would heat up by a minimum of 4C by 2100, twice the level the world's governments deem dangerous.

 

The research indicates that fewer clouds form as the planet warms, meaning less sunlight is reflected back into space, driving temperatures up further still. The way clouds affect global warming has been the biggest mystery surrounding future climate change.

 

Professor Steven Sherwood, at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, who led the new work, said: "This study breaks new ground twice: first by identifying what is controlling the cloud changes and second by strongly discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming in favour of the higher and more damaging estimates."

 

"4C would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous," Sherwood told the Guardian. "For example, it would make life difficult, if not impossible, in much of the tropics, and would guarantee the eventual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheet", with sea levels rising by many metres as a result.

 

Read more on The Guardian

00:14  Planet likely to warm by 4C by 2100:  

Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study. The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were cut, the planet would heat up by a minimum of 4C by 2100, twice the level the world's governments deem dangerous.

 

The research indicates that fewer clouds form as the planet warms, meaning less sunlight is reflected back into space, driving temperatures up further still. The way clouds affect global warming has been the biggest mystery surrounding future climate change.

 

Professor Steven Sherwood, at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, who led the new work, said: "This study breaks new ground twice: first by identifying what is controlling the cloud changes and second by strongly discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming in favour of the higher and more damaging estimates."

 

"4C would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous," Sherwood told the Guardian. "For example, it would make life difficult, if not impossible, in much of the tropics, and would guarantee the eventual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheet", with sea levels rising by many metres as a result.

 

Read more on The Guardian

00:10  Top headlines at this hour:  

'When it comes to corruption, all parties are the same'

Kejriwal hijacked Anna's movement to become CM: Ramdev

Congress MLA Mateen Ahmed to be pro-tem Delhi speaker

Congress accuses AAP of cheating people on water

Lokpal Bill sent to President for assent

Nitish's son richer than father by over three times

Last Muzaffarnagar camp vacated, 483 families move out

Tariff cut will be implemented at the cost of welfare projects: BJP

Row over diplomat not to affect Indo-US defence ties: Antony

The PARTY IS ON! How the WORLD is welcoming 2014

AAP keeps promise #2: Cuts electricity prices by 50 per cent

AAP's Lok Sabha dreams take off in Rajasthan

PHOTOS: Kashmir witnesses heaviest snowfall on New Year's Eve

Virbhadra lands in Delhi to explain bribery allegations

Rizwan Ahmed takes over as UP's first Muslim police chief

Mulayam on Lalu: 'Some are licking the feet of Congress leaders'

US on underpaying Indian staffers: 'We have done nothing wrong'

Australia: Indian student still in coma, 2 teens charged for assault

 

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