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LIVE! Fake Twitter, Facebook accounts misrepresenting my views: Shah

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January 07, 2014


23:42  55 IPS officers shifted in Rajasthan:  In another major reshuffle of senior police officials within 24 hours, Rajasthan government tonight shifted 55 IPS officers including SPs, commandants, and deputy-commissioner of police in the state.

Yesterday, the Vasundhara Raje government had transferred as many as 40 IPS officers, including the Director general of police (jail), 11 additional director generals, 10 inspector generals .
23:08  Delhi-bound Air India plane makes emergency landing:  Delhi-bound Air India plane with 135 passengers on board was forced to make emergency landing at an airport here today due to a technical snag, about 15 minutes after it took off.

The Air India plane took off at 4:40 pm from Varanasi's Lal Bahadur Shashtri International airport for New Delhi, but just after 15 minutes of flying it had to land back again at the airport due to detection of technical snag in the aircraft by its pilot, said Airport Manager K P Singh.
23:03  Pankaj spoke about his journey that started from a humble corner of the Himachal Pradesh and his craving for knowledge and hard work. 

In the pic: Chiki Sarkar of Penguin asks Pankaj about the exciting writers in the Asian countries.


23:02  Penguin launches Pankaj Mishra's A Great Clamour: Encounter with China and its neighbours :   Penguin today launched A Great Clamour-Encounter with China and its neighbours by Pankaj Mishra.

Author Rana Dasgupta and Mishra also engaged the audience in conversation where Asia to Latin America was discussed.

In a bit controversial statement Mishra, who is writing relentlessly against the ills of free market economy and politics, said he is , in fact, "poster boy of capitalism."

22:40  How Kejriwal and the AAP has proven politically expedient in India:  Arvind Kejriwal is not a socialist. He'll be the first one to say this. In interview after interview, Kejriwal, a rising political star in India, consciously distances himself from any left-wing associations

Read the full article here
22:39  Fake Twitter, Facebook accounts misrepresenting my views: Shah:  

Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have come up in the name of BJP general secretary Amit Shah who issued a statement today identifying the genuine ones.        

 

In a statement, Shah said he is on social media through his official Twitter handle @amitshahoffice and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AmitShah.Official.     


Some fake accounts in his name were opened by individuals and these were disseminating wrong information on the Internet, he said.        

 

Any other Twitter handle or Facebook page claiming to speak on his behalf is misrepresenting and represents neither his views nor that of the BJP, Shah said.      Earlier, a fake Twitter account had also been opened in the name of Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.

22:34  Penguin launches Pankaj Mishra's A Great Clamour: Encounter with China and its neighbours:  Penguin today launched A Great Clamour-Encounter with China and its neighbours by Pankaj Mishra.

Author Rana Dasgupta and Mishra also engaged the audience in conversation where Asia to Latin America was discussed.

In a bit controversial statement Mishra, who is writing relentlessly against the ills of free market economy and politics, said he is , in fact, "poster boy of capitalism."

He spoke about his journey that started from a humble corner of the Himachal Pradesh and his craving for knowledge and hard work.  
20:46  First consignment of chemical weapons leave Syrian coast:  BBC: First consignment of chemical weapons leaves Syrian port of Latakia on Danish ship as part of UN-backed deal.
20:11  LIVE! CBI gets 6-day custody of Tunda in 20-year-old blast case:  

The CBI today took custody of LeT bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda in connection with serial blasts in five trains that left two persons dead and 22 injured in 1993.        

 

A special court in Ajmer granted CBI the custody of 72-year-old Tunda, who is now in judicial custody of Delhi Police.        

 

The court sent Tunda for a six-day police custody to CBI with an instruction to produce him before it on January 13.        

 

Blasts took place on Mumbai Rajdhani, Flying Rani Express, Andhra Pradesh Express, New Delhi-Howrah Express and Howrah- New Delhi Express between December 5 evening and wee hours of December 6, 1993.        

 

The cases registered by different police stations were handed over to CBI by the Centre. During its probe, the agency found that bombings were an act of common conspiracy, CBI sources said.        

 

Concluding its probe, CBI filed its charge sheet before Tada court in Ajmer on August 25, 1994. Ten years later, special judge V K Mathur pronounced all the 15 persons facing trial guilty and sent them to life imprisonment but Tunda remained out of clutches of law enforcement agencies.

19:22  VVIP chopper deal: CBI to question middleman Guido Haschke:  A team of CBI officials is leaving for Milan to question European middleman Guido Haschke who will be produced before an Italian court on January 9 in connection with alleged bribery scandal to clinch Rs 3,600crore VVIP chopper deal in favour of AgustaWestland.   

CBI sources said a team led by an SP-level officer will be part of the defence ministry team that has been given access to examine the middleman on January 9 before the Milan court where he is facing trial for alleged corrupt activities along with top executives of AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica.
18:57   No link between ISI and Muzaffarnagar riot victims: Home Min:  The Centre today said there is no link between Pakistan's ISI and Muslim youth, who were victims of Muzaffarnagar riots, but agreed with Delhi Police's statement that two suspected LeT operatives had met two persons in the area.

"There is no evidence or intelligence inputs that suggested that the ISI had approached the riot victims," a senior Home Ministry official said.

Minister of State for Home R P N Singh had also expressed similar view while replying a question in Parliament on December 11, 2013.
18:53  Yash Birla's home was totally destroyed in Uttarakhand floods :  The Yash Birla group has diversified interest in industries like steel pipes, machine tools, cutting tools, tool holders, iron castings, textiles, carpets, furnishing and lifestyle.

The last time he was in the news, it was because of this story: Birla's private retreat near Kedarnath on the banks of the Mandakini river, where he spent many an hour meditating, was destroyed in the Uttarakhand floods last year. Birla was in London when he was informed about the tragedy. The old caretaker of the place managed to jump out of a window in the nick of time. The house, of course, was totally destroyed.
18:44  Live! Tax raids at five Yash Birla companies in Mumbai, Delhi:   Just in: Income tax raids at five companies belonging to the Yash Birla group for tax evasion. Search and seizure operations have been conducted on five  group companies across Mumbai and Delhi. A total of 15-20 premises have been covered, including the residential premises of group officials.
18:22  Justice Ganguly should prove innocence legally: Brinda Karat:  Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat said Tuesday that former Supreme Court Justice AK Ganguly who has been accused of sexually harassing a law intern and had to resign as Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC), should prove his innocence through legal procedures.

"Once the Supreme Court has taken a decision with three judges of the court, approved by the chief justice, there is no alternative for Ganguly but to quit from his post and take legal course," said Karat.

"He should try to prove that he is not guilty through legal procedures, if he claims that he is innocent. He knows well about judicial procedures," she said.
18:18  Cong will do anything to make Rahul's statement true: SP:   Commenting on recent news reports of the Lashkar-e-Taiba approaching Muzaffarnagar riot victims, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Tuesday said that Congress would do everything to make their party vice president Rahul Gandhi's statement true.

"This had to happen because this information was given by Gandhi way back, and Congress would do everything to make their ''yuvraj''s'' statement true, said Khan.

"How come Rahul Gandhi was informed about something like this, and what sorts of links does he have? These things need to be questioned, if any of this is true," he added.
17:58  Sony Six acquires India telecast rights of Australian Open:  Sports channel 'Sony Six' has bagged the broadcast rights of Australian Open for India for the next five years. The channel, owned by MSM India will telecast all matches of Australian Open live from 2015 to 2019, said Sony Six in a statement. 
17:49  Michael Schumacher's wife tells media to leave hospital:  Corinna Schumacher asks that doctors treating her husband after skiing accident are left in peace. Read
17:43  Goa bldg collapse: Adjacent structures to be demolished; builders untraceable:  The Goa government today announced that three buildings adjacent to the structure that collapsed in Cancona, killing 17 people, would be demolished even as the police continued their search for the property's builders, against whom an FIR has been registered.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said all the authorities had certified that there was no possibility of finding any more survivors in the debris of the collapsed building.

The building caved-in as its design was faulty and the quality of construction was poor, Parrikar said, adding that the structure that collapsed, as well as the ones adjacent to it, had been built on a weak foundation.
17:38  Ganguly's resignation letter: Allegations are unfounded :  Justice A K Ganguly in his resignation letter to West Bengal governor MK Narayanan says: "Allegations appearing against me in the media are unfounded and baseless and I deny the same. The purported recommendation to the President for my removal is based on grounds, which are "untenable and misconceived."
16:41  Who set fire to the Sabarmati Express, asks Arun Jaitley:  "I was invited on January 4, 2014 to Pune for the launch of the Marathi edition  of the book  "Modinama' written by Madhu Purnima Kishwar, an academic and  activist.  Madhu has never been a BJP supporter.

"If at all I remember her  as a critic of the Party on several occasions in the past.  The English and Hindi edition of the book  are yet to be  released. The Marathi edition  has been printed by Vineet Kuber of Pune. 

"The book is based on several months of research  by the author.  In relation to the 2002 riots she has recorded interviews of several people  and has based the book  on the factual impressions that she got. 

"While speaking at the launch function, I referred to several steps taken  towards a sustained campaign (or conspiracy) to implicate Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots.  I further explained some of these attempts which collapsed because they were based on falsehood.                

"I refer to three important facts that I mentioned in my Speech.

The First -- Who set fire to the Sabarmati Express.

Read Arun Jaitley's blog today.
16:28  Thousands flee tribal clashes in India's Assam state:  Thousands of people have fled their homes in Assam after clashes between two tribes left at least nine people dead. More than 3,000 Karbi and Rengma Naga tribal people have taken shelter in relief camps following the violence. Assam has been plagued by ethnic clashes and separatist violence in recent years. Read more
16:28  Live! BJP demands withdrawal of all Muzaffarnagar riot cases:   Taking exception to UP government's proposed move to withdraw cases against Muslim leaders in Muzaffarnagar riots, BJP today asked Governor B L Joshi to press the government to withdraw all cases, including those lodged against its leaders, in connection with the violence.

Alleging that the government's move would disturb communal harmony in the state, the party submitted a memorandum to the Uttar Pradesh Governor, demanding his immediate intervention in the matter.

In its memorandum, BJP alleged that on the basis of reports lodged against 4,000 people in connection with the violence, police was "terrorising and financially harassing them" and the government was not concerned with that, BJP's chief spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

The delegation was led by state president Laxmi Kant Bajpai.
16:21  Musharraf's medical report submitted to court:  Former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf's medical report was today presented in a sealed envelope to a special court conducting his treason trial, following which he was exempted from appearance for two days.

Justice Faisal Arab' the head of the special court' said the bench will give its decision on the medical report after reviewing it on Thursday.

The report was submitted in a sealed envelope by the court's registrar, Abdul Ghani Soomro. "Lawyers will also be allowed to see the report," said Arab.

Musharraf was admitted to a military hospital in Rawalpindi on January 2 after he suffered heart problems while being taken to the special court to face charges of high treason for imposing emergency in 2007.
16:09  Why yoga's greatest guru deserves Nobel Peace Prize :  On Feb. 1, the Nobel Committee will close nominations for the 2014 Peace Prize. The list of eligible nominees (there were 259 last year) will be huge, partly because the question of what constitutes enduring work for peace allows for so many convincing answers.

The Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai was strongly tipped last year, and will have many backers again. The names of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden will be considered. Even Vladimir Putin appears to have become a contender.

Curiously, although India is often associated with ideas of peace and tolerance, no Indian has ever been awarded the Peace Prize.

Read more
15:33  Live! Over and out, finally! Governor accepts Justice Ganguly's resignation from WBHRC:  West Governor MK Narayanan has accepted Justice AK Ganguly's resignation as West Bengal Human Rights Commission. The two met for 30 minutes yesterday ending weeks of speculation on whether Ganguly would step down voluntarily or force the Centre to remove him from the post of the chairman of the  WBHRC. 

The former Supreme Court judge, accused of sexually harassing a law intern, submitted his resignation yesterday. The development took place on a day the Supreme Court threw out two petitions praying the Centre should be restrained from acting against Ganguly.
15:26  Dec 16 gang rape: Juvenile can't be tried again:  The Centre today told the Supreme Court that the law did not allow the minor convicted by the juvenile board in the December 16 gang rape to be tried twice for the same offence as sought by the parents of the victim who demanded his retrial by a criminal court.

The ministry of women and child development said it would be legally and constitutionally impermissible to put him on trial again as the Juvenile Justice Board has already given its verdict of guilt on the juvenile and the prayer for his fresh trial has been rendered redundant.

"As such, under Article 20 of the Constitution as also Section 300 of criminal procedure code, there can be no second trial for the same offence, and the adjudication of guilt of the juvenile offender having been determined by the JJ Board under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, the second prayer does not survive nor was sustainable,' the ministry said in its affidavit.
15:10  AAP to contest LS election from Amethi on development issue:   Aam Aadmi Party today said despite being regarded as a VVIP constituency, Amethi is lagging far behind in the race of development and the party will contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from the seat on the issue of development.

"Despite the constituency being represented by Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi, farmers here have to face hardships in getting a sack of fertiliser, roads are in a bad shape, government tubewells are out of order and it is corruption all around," national spokesman of AAP Sanjay Singh told newspersons.

He said that the people of Amethi were fed up with the dynasty politics and now want development.
15:05  Senior journalist and author of a biography on Sonia Gandhi, Rasheed Kidwai tweets that "For all practical purposes priyanka gandhi is part of active politics now."
15:02  Saudi FM arrives amid speculations of Musharraf exit deal:  Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal was accorded a warm welcome when he arrived Monday on a two-day official visit to Pakistan for holding bilateral talks with Pakistani leadership. Read more
14:59  4 ways the Congress won power through Constitutional coups:  Since 2004 the Congress has hung on to power in a situation in which it was on track to be out of power. In each case, the Congress effectively gamed the system through Constitutional coups, argues columnist Rajeev Srinivasan. Read more
14:54  Jayalalithaa as PM: Mathematically, it's possible:  Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's aspirations to be prime minister seem entirely logical with more multi-cornered contests, uncertainty in Andhra Pradesh and the winner-takes-all history of elections in Tamil Nadu. Praveen Chakravarty explains on Rediff.com. Read
14:51  Jains to get minority status :  The Centre is seriously pondering over a proposal to give minority status to the Jain community in India, who constitute 2 per cent of the population.

A note is being prepared by the Union Minister for Minority Affairs K Rahman Khan to this effect, sources said.

The Jain community in Punjab had appealed to the Centre to give them minority status, so that members of the community can avail of scholarships and funds under the Prime Minister's 15-point programme for minorities.

Once notified, Jains will become the sixth religious minority in India after Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis.

The Law Ministry has given its green signal to this proposal.

A review petition is pending before the Supreme Court challenging a three-judge verdict on the issue.However, Law Minister Kapil Sibal says, this does not bar the Centre from notifying Jains as a minority community under the National Commission for Minorities Act.

Jains have been notified as a minority in 13 states including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.  -- IndiaTV

Ankit Jain ‏@indiantweeter
Jains as a religious community dont need to be recognised as minority, hinduism is our religion and jainism is a way of life.
14:37  Live! Rahul, Priyanka meet senior Cong leaders, reshuffle in the air?:   Senior Congress leaders are meeting part vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra ahead of the 2014 polls. Priyanka has met Cong leaders from Rae Barelli and Amethi -- Sonia and Rahul's constituencies. The meeting is being held at Rahul Gandhi's residence. Reports say a reshuffle is likely.  A significant AICC meet is expected on January 17.

And no, Priyanka Gandhi has not changed her mind. She will not be contesting the 2014 polls.
14:12  Kejriwal's new idea: Abandoned buses as night shelters for Delhi's homeless:   The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi has hit upon a novel idea of providing night-shelters for the city's homeless. It has now embarked upon a plan to convert abandoned buses into temporary refuge for people who are forced to sleep in the open.

"All abandoned buses in Delhi are being modified into night shelters. These buses will be provided with blankets and other basic amenities so that the homeless can at the least sleep properly," a post on the AAP's Facebook page said. Read more
13:26  Grow up, say netizens as China and Japan liken each other to 'Lord Voldemort':  Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to London, compared Japan to Lord Voldemort in an article published on The Daily Telegraph. Read
13:24  French restaurant shut down for 'no Pakistanis' policy:   A French restaurant, running in a posh locality in Islamabad, was raided and shut down by police following a public outcry over its policy of not allowing Pakistanis in.

'La Maison', running out of Islamabad's F7-1, was not allowing Pakistanis in, citing the French style of cooking that uses wine. Also, the food was not halal and even pork was served.

The controversial policy had led to a storm on various social media networks, with many comparing the policy to apartheid and the infamous colonial boards outside clubs in India during British rule.

The momentum against the restaurant was started by Cyril Almeida, senior journalist working with a leading Pakistani daily, who launched a Twitter war against the restaurant.

The restaurant-owner Philippe Lafforgue wrote to him, claiming he is changing his policy. Lafforgue, however, continued to bar Pakistanis. "What can I do? I am just trying to respect the local culture. Pakistanis with dual nationality are allowed," Lafforgue had said prior to the raid.
13:15  Live! BJP demands Centre, UP explain how Lashkar got to Muzaffarnagar:  A delegation from the Uttar Pradesh BJP is meeting the governor over reports that the Lashkar has been contacting Muzaffarnagar riot victims. The BJP says that if the report is indeed true, it is a serious breach of security and the Centre as well as the state must explain the lapse.

Two Muslim clerics from Haryana arrested for alleged links to the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba tried to recruit men from riot-hit Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi Police sources have said.

The two men from Muzaffarnagar told the Delhi police that the terror suspects, arrested last month, made several visits to relief camps set up after the September communal clashes. Some of the men who were allegedly approached refused to work for the Pakistan-based terror group and went to the Delhi Police instead, sources say.

They are believed to have told the police that the clerics - Hafeez Rashidi and Shahid - made several visits to the relief camps.

Digvijaya Singh has said that if this is indeed true, it gives credence to what Rahul Gandhi had said.
12:49  CPI leader D Raja discharged after bypass surgery:  The Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja has undergone a bypass surgery at a city hospital in Mumbai. "D Raja (64) was discharged last night after undergoing a complex cardiac procedure at the Asian Heart Institute here," a hospital spokesperson said.

"The CPI leader underwent the surgery at the hands of Dr Ramakanta Panda, reputed cardiac surgeon," the spokesperson said.
12:19  Militants injure four cops in Sopore, encounter still on:  Rediff.com's Mukhtar Ahmad reporting from Srinagar gives us an update on the encounter story.


Four policemen were injured during a cordon and search operation in north Kashmir's Sopore town in Baramulla district this morning.

A senior police officer said security forces had surrounded Chankhan locality of the town this morning on specific information about the presence of militants there.

"As security forces were laying the cordon, militants opened fire injuring four policemen. The injured cops were immediately shifted to hospital for treatment," a senior police officer said.

He said the condition of one of the injured cops was critical. "Searches are continuing and more reinforcements have been rushed to the area.
12:11  Encounter in Sopore, three policemen injured:   A encounter between policemen and terrorists is on at Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir. Early reports indicate that three cops have been injured and two to three militants are still holed up inside a house and exchange of fire is still going on. Details awaited. 



Details awaited. 
12:08  Islamic scholars in Pakistan push for hate speech ban:   Leaders of major Islamic sects in Pakistan have agreed to curb provocations, but enforcing a voluntary code will be a challenge. Read more
11:50  Live! Salman has faith in Kejriwal: I pray he does well :  In an interview to Rediff.com's Sonil Dedhia, Salman Khan talks about -- not just his films, or his co-stars, or his love affairs -- but Arvind Kejriwal!

Excerpts:

"People in India are disheartened by the way systems function here. I feel Arvind Kejriwal is going to do good things and bring about some good changes in our society.

"I hope he sticks to his promises because people have voted him to become the Chief Minister of Delhi as they believe in him.

"If he doesnt deliver, people will be so disappointed that if tomorrow we have the most righteous people joining politics, they will not vote for anyone.

"I feel that there shouldnt be a scenario where he delivers what he promises, but leaves the government in deficit.

"I hope he has the administrative skills to function in the the day-to-day routine of a chief minister.

"Ill pray that he does well as people have faith in him. His only agenda should be to prove the people right."

Read the full interview on Rediff.com shortly.
11:29  For Hasina, India swims against tide:  The developments in Bangladesh are compounding the challenges before India's foreign policy establishment which today decided to recognise Sheikh Hasina's "victory" in the general elections.

New Delhi's stand may help consolidate a relationship it feels is beneficial to national security interests but it risks a breakdown of tentative contact established with the Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party of Khaleda Zia. Read more
11:26  The PM's marksheet for himself :  A press conference by the prime minister is big news; after all, he has held only three in nine years. He would not have held one unless he thought he had something of importance to convey.

His introduction consisted largely of a mark sheet for himself and his government. He listed his government's achievements as well as work in progress; as regards errors and failures, he left it to law to deal with crimes, and to fate to deal with the rest.  Read the opinion piece on the Telegraph.
11:24  Orissa sprinter Mallick to train under Usain Bolt's coach:   Be it the 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh or the PT Usha's, the country had always seen ace sprinters emerge from either north or southern India.

Eastern India till now had seen middle-distance runners like Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, a two-time Asian Games gold medalist in 800m and 1500m, excel internationally but this is the first time when eastern India is seeing a 200m national champion Amiya Mallick displaying the potential to take on the best in the world. Read more
11:19  Delhi law minister scolds law secretary for not calling judges' meet:  A row has erupted between Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti and law secretary AS Yadav. Last week, Bharti is learned to have rebuked Yadav when the latter expressed his inability to convene a meeting of all Delhi court judges at the state secretariat.

According to sources in the high court and the state government's law department, Yadav told the minister that the judiciary is independent of the executive and only the Delhi high court can summon a meeting of judges. 
Read more
11:11  Kejriwal govt transfers 800 Delhi Jal Board officials:   The capital's Aam Aadmi Party government transferred around 800 officials of the Delhi Jal Board on Monday night in a massive reshuffle said to be aimed at improving efficiency and delivery.

Sources said transfer orders were issued at the orders of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is the chairperson of the Delhi Jal Board.

On December 28, soon after Kejriwal took office, the water distribution board's Chief Executive Officer Debashree Mukherjee was transferred."All those officials who have worked for over three years in a particular place have been transferred to a different place," a senior DJB official said.
Read more
11:07  Lashkar men tried to recruit us: Muzaffarnagar riot victims tell cops :  Two Muslim clerics from Haryana arrested for alleged links to the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba tried to recruit men from riot-hit Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi Police sources have said.

Sources have confirmed to NDTV that two men from Muzaffarnagar told the Delhi police that the terror suspects, arrested last month, made several visits to relief camps set up after the September communal clashes. Some of the men who were allegedly approached refused to work for the Pakistan-based terror group and went to the Delhi Police instead, sources say.

They are believed to have told the police that the clerics - Hafeez Rashidi and Shahid - made several visits to the relief camps.  Read more
11:00  Polar freeze' grips United States, disrupts travel, business:   A blast of Arctic air gripped the vast middle of the United States on Monday, bringing the coldest temperatures felt in two decades, causing at least four deaths, forcing businesses and schools to close and canceling thousands of flights.

Shelters for the homeless were overflowing and the weather threatened to briefly curtail some oil production in the severe cold described by some meteorologists as the " polar vortex" and dubbed by media as the "polar pig".
10:58  US hopeful of resolving Devyani Khobragade issue:   The US has expressed hope of arriving at a resolution of the Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade issue, which has resulted in "hiccups" in the India-US bilateral ties.

"Absolutely" the State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf, told reporters at her daily news conference yesterday, when asked if the US was hopeful that the issue would be resolved.

This comes in the wake of strong Indian statement to the US that it cannot be "business as usual" between the two sides till the issue is resolved.

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh conveyed this to US Ambassador Nancy Powell when she met her at South Block in New Delhi yesterday.
10:54  Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat group heading for split?:  
After the Hurriyat's 2002 split into the "hardliners" and "moderates" factions led by Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq respectively, the section led by the Mirwaiz Monday appeared headed for another split. 

Facing flak from the faction led by hardline separatist leader Geelani who Monday accused its former chairman, Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat of lack of political foresight, the group saw serious differences crop up with leaders of constituent parties attack the Mirwaiz . 

In a major development, Shabir Ahmad Shah, chairman of Democratic Freedom Party, Muhammad Nayeem Khan, chief of National Front and Azam Inquilabi, chief of Mahaz-e-Azadi, accused the Mirwaiz of "having made the conglomerate a personal fiefdom". 

Leaders of all the three parties which are presently constituents of the Hurriyat headed by the Mirwaiz took strong exception to a secret letter allegedly written by the Mirwaiz to the head of his group's Pakistan chapter, Yusuf Naseem. 

Read more HERE
10:28  Just In: India test-fires indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range in Odisha.
10:26  Flight operations normal at Delhi airport:  
After being badly disrupted for two days due to dense fog, flight operations at the IGI airport were largely unaffected on Tuesday though the airport witnessed shallow fog.

There was fog at the airport and visibility dropped to around 500 metres at one of the runways but flight operations were unaffected as the visibility at the main runway was normal, airport officials said. 

Though there were some delays in flights, it was due to operational reasons and not due to fog or poor visibility. 

The visibility on the main runway was above 1,000 metres while on the third runway it was around 500 metres, they said.
The airport had witnessed the second longest duration of dense fog conditions in the last eight years on Sunday and Monday, which led to suspension of flight operations for about three hours on Sunday night and affected the schedule of over 600 flights. 

A total of 463 flights were delayed, 52 diverted and 140 cancelled due to poor visibility due to dense fog.
10:08  Kolkata braveheart's parents to meet Prez today:  
The parents of the Kolkata gang-rape victim are expected to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday demanding a probe by the Central Investigation Agency into the case. 

The 16-year-old victim from West Bengal was gang-raped twice in October. She passed away on December 31 at a hospital here after allegedly being burnt by some men known to the rapists. 

The gang-rape took place in Madhyamgram town, near Kolkata, on two successive days in October. Six suspects have so far been arrested in the case.

The victim, in her dying-declaration made before police officers, had said that two men poured kerosene and set her afire on December 23. While the duo was arrested the next day, the police revealed her statement only on January 2. 
10:07  Cong's Sadachar yatra to counter Modi begins today:  
Further intensifying its 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Gujarat Congress will on Tuesday kickoff Sadachar yatra that will cover 41 districts of the BJP-ruled state. 

According to reports, Congress' 'Sadachar yatra will take place in five phases and cover nearly 5000 kms, passing through 41 districts of the state. 

The Sadachar yatra, beginning today will conclude on Jan 23. 

State party president Arjun Modhwadia will lead Porbandar-Bhavnagar route, which will cover 1470 km route through Junagadh, Gir Somnath and Amreli. This part of yatra will start on 7 January.
 
Shaktisinh Gohil will lead the yatra on Naliya-Rajkot route covering 1115 distance through Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar and Rajkot districts. This part of yatra will start on 8 January. 

Tharad-Vadodara route covering 1116 km distance through Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Mahisagar, Dahod, Panchmahal, Chhota Udepur, Vadodara will be led by Siddharth Patel. 

A yatra on 745 km long Varahi,Mehsana,Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch route will be led by Shankersinh Vaghela who will be joined by Bharatsinh Solanki, Dinsha Patel and other leaders in some districts. 
10:05  German Chancellor Angela Merkel injured in skiing accident:  
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was injured in a fall while cross-country skiing in Switzerland, forcing her to stay off her feet and cancel meetings, her spokesman said on Monday, just as her new government got down to business. 

Taking reporters by surprise, Steffen Seibert said that Merkel, 59, had fractured her pelvis, requiring her to postpone two meetings with European leaders this week and also to cut back her schedule for the next three weeks. 

However, she would continue to work, mainly from home, after doctors advised that she remain lying down as much as possible, he said.
09:57  Cold wave: Delhi schools shut till January 11:  
Following the worst fog of the last eight years, the Delhi government has announced leave for all schools from January 7 to 11. 

Due to fall in the temperature and dense fog today morning, air, road and rail traffic in the national capital was badly effected. 

Fog and cold wave hit normal life here as the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) airport was forced to shut down partially for around three hours early today after extremely poor visibility on the runway. 
 
The national capital woke up to a foggy morning today with the minimum temperature settling down at 6.4 degree Celsius, one degree below normal. 

The thick blanket of fog had descended last evening leading to disruptions in flight operations and delay in train movement. The fog, however, cleared as the day progressed. 
09:57  Goa collapse: Deputy town planner held; builders still missing:  
A senior town and country planning officer has been arrested in connection with the Canacona building collapse in Goa, which has left 17 dead and several others injured.

Deputy Town Planner Prakash Bandodkar was arrested on Monday night while Municipal Engineer Ajay Desai is still missing, Superintendent of Police Shekhar Prabhudesai said on Tuesday.

Goa Police has registered an FIR against several persons including government officers who were allegedly involved in clearing this controversial five-storey project comprising 80 flats.

Three directors -- Jaideep Saigal, Pradeepsingh Birring and Vishwas Desai--of a property firm (Bharat Realtors and Developers) which was constructing the structure have also been booked but they are still untraceable, police said.

Bandodkar was then the Deputy Town Planner of Canacona when the under-construction building was approved in 2010. 

State Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had told reporters on Monday that the deputy town planner had sanctioned the building without referring the matter to higher-ups in Panaji, which is mandatory as per the law. 
09:52  Tehelka case: Court order on Tarun Tejpal's bail plea today:  
Goa district and sessions court will on Tuesday give its order on Tehelka former editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal's bail plea in connection with sexual assault case. 

Former Tehelka editor Tejpal, who was arrested on November 30, 2013, after a junior colleague accused him of sexual assault during a conference held at a Goa resort, has already spent over a month behind bars, both in police as well as judicial custody.
 
The journalist is presently lodged in Sada sub-jail in the port town of Vasco, 35 km from Panaji, as prisoner number 624. 

The initial FIR on November 22, 2013, was registered suo-moto against Tejpal and he was charged under Sections 354, 376 and 376 (2) (k) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for sexual harassment and rape. 

Later, the police added Section 341, Section 342, Section 376 (2) (f) and Section 376C of the IPC.
09:46  AAP effect: Raje says no to luxurious CM bungalow:  
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje seems to have taken a leaf out of her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal's book -- cutting down on her security and turning down a luxurious residence.

Raje, who had been at the receiving end of the opposition parties for her upscale lifestyle during her previous tenure, has now scaled down her security by half, promised to stop at red lights with common commuters and said no to the luxurious chief ministerial bungalow, sources close to her said.

A few days back, she had asked the state's Director General of Police (DGP) Omendra Bhardwaj to scale down her security.

"In her directions, she asked the police chief to depute the hundreds of policemen, who would be relieved of her security duty, in service of the common men," a senior police officer said.
09:44  LeT trying to infiltrate communally sensitive parts of UP: Sources:  
CNN-IBN reports: The special cell of Delhi police during its investigations in the riots-hit Muzaffarnagar has found that the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba tried contacting riot-hit youngsters from western UP. 

According to sources, the terror outfit is trying to infiltrate the communally sensitive areas.

Interrogation of two men arrested from Mewat in December also indicated that the LeT was offering money to lure cadres. 

Sources say that the Intelligence Bureau had also intercepted calls that show Pakistan-based LeT commander Javed Baluchi in touch with operatives in north India.

Police had earlier cracked down on the LeT module and arrested 2 people. Hunt is on for remaining LeT operators.
09:33  Pravasi Bharatiya Divas begins in Delhi today:  
Engaging with the youth and discussions on healthcare will be key focus areas of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2014 which kicks off in New Delhi on Tuesday. 

This year's theme is "Engaging Diaspora: Connecting Across Generations" and the Youth PBD is expected to open new horizons of a strong network of young overseas Indians to contribute to India's engagement with youth in all sectors. 

"Engaging with the youth and healthcare will one of the major sectors where discussions will take place this year," Overseas Indian Affairs minister Vayalar Ravi told media persons.

To be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Malaysia's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Y B Datuk Seri Palanivel will be the chief guest. 

Ravi said Palanivel is a very prominent leader of Indian origin as well as an important politician. 

President Pranab Mukherjee will deliver the valedictory address on January 9 and will confer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards which will be given to 14 people this time. 
09:28  FTIL hearing at Sebi today:  
The Securities and Exchange Board of India has summoned Jignesh Shah-promoted Financial Technologies for a hearing on Tuesday. 

In December 2013, Sebi had issued a showcause notice to FTIL, questioning its 'fit and proper' status to run MCX-SX.

The hearing is scheduled in the evening on Tuesday, sources said. 

It could not be confirmed whether Jignesh Shah would personally attend the hearing along with FTIL's legal team. 

FTIL owns a 4.99 per cent stake in MCX-SX and also convertible warrants, along with MCX, amounting to 69 per cent stake after conversion. FTIL will have to reduce its shareholding in the stock exchange substantially if Sebi declares it is not 'fit and proper'. 

Both Sebi and FTIL officials couldn't be reached for comments.
04:07  What is a 'polar vortex' and why is it so dangerous?:  As of Monday afternoon, the Midwest was battling uncommonly frigid weather that threatened to break some all-time-low temperature records. January is typically cold, but not this cold, with several Midwestern cities such as Chicago gripped by daytime temperatures well below zero.

So what's happening?

A huge mass of arctic air has slipped away from the North Pole, settled over the U.S. and made everything really, really cold, meteorologists told The Times. You may know the phenomenon by a phrase you've seen in headlines lately: the ominous-sounding "polar vortex."

Read more
03:28  China destroys 6 tons of illegal ivory to prevent elephant poaching:  China destroyed about 6 tons of illegal ivory from its stockpile on Monday in an unprecedented move wildlife groups say shows growing concern about the black market trade by authorities in the world's biggest market for elephant tusks.

Authorities displayed a pile of ornaments, carvings and tusks to reporters, diplomats and conservationists before feeding them into two crushing machines. Tusks that were too long were cut up into smaller chunks by workers with circular saws before they could be pulverized.
03:27  Syria rebels besiege Qaeda-linked jihadists:  Syrian rebels have laid siege to jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in their northern stronghold, hoping to crush the Al-Qaeda affiliate accused of widespread abuses. 

A broad coalition of moderates and Islamists opposed to President Bashar al-Assad is seeking to drive ISIL - which is accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing rival rebels and civilians - from its stronghold in the northern city of Raqa.
02:45  Egypt's army chief Sisi seen edging closer to presidential bid:  In Egypt, it no longer appears to be a question of if, but when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will declare his candidacy for president. For the second time in three days, local media reported on Monday that Sisi had finally made up his mind.

With no other obvious candidates for the post, the general who deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July has kept Egyptians guessing about his intentions as the clock ticks down to the presidential vote that could happen as soon as April.
02:24  Iran should urge Syria to halt bombings before talks: US:  Iran could show it wants to play a constructive role in upcoming Syrian peace talks by urging the Damascus regime to halt bombardments of civilians and allow aid access, US officials said today. 

"There are also steps that Iran could take to show the international community that they are serious about being a positive player," a senior State Department official told reporters travelling with Secretary of State John Kerry.
02:24  'Slight improvement' in Schumacher's condition: source:  There has been a "slight improvement" in Michael Schumacher's condition, a source close to the Formula One legend said today, eight days after a skiing accident left him with life-threatening injuries. 

Schumacher remains in a critical condition in hospital where he has been in a medically induced coma since the accident on December 29 in the French ski resort of Meribel.
02:03  Car bomb kills 3 police officers in Afghanistan:  A provincial official in Afghanistan say a suicide car bomber has attacked a security checkpoint in the country's east, killing three police officers. 

Musa Khan Akbarzada, the governor of Ghazni province, says the attack Monday also wounded three officers in the Shilghar district.
01:31  Live! After dizzying weather, New Yorkers brace for Arctic Blast:  It's snowing. It's raining. It's cold. It's warm. And soon it could be record-breaking cold. 

Even for New Yorkers accustomed to being whipsawed by weather, the last few days have been dizzying.

And now there is the polar vortex, a deep low-pressure system bringing with it all the chills that the name implies.

Read more
01:12  How Liz Cheney gave up everything to win nothing:  Liz Cheney's sudden decision to end her Senate bid in Wyoming may wind up being the high point of campaign in which the daughter of the former Vice President sacrificed just about everything and won nothing.

In her relentless and fruitless pursuit of a Senate seat, Cheney uprooted her family from Virginia, deeply damaged Republican Party unity in her father's home state, harmed decades-old family friendships and is no longer on speaking terms with her only sibling. 
01:11  Supreme Court puts Utah same-sex marriage on hold:  The Supreme Courton Monday put same-sex marriages on hold in Utah, at least while a federal appeals court more fully considers the issue.

The court issued a brief order blocking any new same-sex unions in the state.
01:04  15 massage parlours raided in Hyderabad; 10 persons held:  Police conducted raids at 15 massage parlours and spas today and arrested ten persons, including six managers of such establishments, after they were found to be violating certain rules. 

Raids were conducted at 15 such parlours and centers across posh Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills areas here and cases were registered against five parlours under relevant sections of Hyderbad City Police Act, said V Satyanarayana, DCP (West Zone).
00:50  Saudi FM arrives amid speculations of Musharraf exit deal:  Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal was accorded a warm welcome when he arrived Monday on a two-day official visit to Pakistan for holding bilateral talks with Pakistani leadership.

He was received at the Noor Khan Airbase by Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Abdul Aziz Ibrahim al-Ghadeer and other high officials from the foreign office.

Saud al-Faisal's visit has come amid speculation circling in the local media regarding a likely deal between Pakistani and Saudi government to provide General (retd) Pervez Musharraf a safe exit out of the country.

Read more
00:32  'Jihad Jane' gets 10 years in US in terror plot:   A US woman involved in a plot to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after telling a judge she was once obsessed with jihad. 

Fifty-year-old Colleen LaRose had called herself "Jihad Jane" online and agreed in 2009 to kill artist Lars Vilks over his series of drawings depicting the prophet Muhammad as a dog. 

Vilks was never attacked. LaRose faced a potential life term. But the judge accepted a government request to reduce the sentence because of her extensive cooperation with investigators.
00:26  Top headlines of the day:  

No business as usual till Khobragade issue resolved: India

Worst fog in 8 years affects 600 flights at Delhi airport

Influential medical group in the US to attend PBD 2014

Sikar gang rape victim's family threatened inside AIIMS

'PBD has lost its charm in attracting NRIs and PIOs'

Shinde contradicts Rahul, says no wrongdoing in Adarsh

Close shave for 168 passengers as AI plane's tyre bursts

Bhushan tries to distance himself from Kashmir referendum remark

Raised entry fee, visa issues to mar Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2014?

Justice A K Ganguly resigns as chief of WBHRC

Snoopgate: Guj police refuse to file FIR against Modi, Shah

There is no question of a referendum in Kashmir: Kejriwal

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