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LIVE! Tharoor's Twitter account hacked, tweets sent to Pak journalist

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January 15, 2014


23:12  Lokpal Bill draft will be ready in a day or two: Kejriwal:  
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said the draft of Jan Lokpal Bill will be ready in a day or two.

"I have spoken to the Chief Secretary, and by tomorrow or day after the Jan Lokpal Bill draft will be ready," Kejriwal told reporters. 

He said his government will bring the promised Jan Lokpal Bill by the first week of February. The government has formed
a committee with the responsibility of drafting the Jan Lokpal Bill.

The committee is being headed by the Chief Secretary, while other members are secretaries of Urban Development, Law and Finance departments, besides senior advocate Rahul Mehra. 

The committee also has the freedom to choose other officials for this purpose.

In its election manifesto, the Aam Aadmi Party had promised passage of the anti-graft bill on December 29 at a special session of the Assembly from the Ramlila Ground.
21:20  INSAT-3D becomes operational today:  India's advanced meteorological satellite INSAT-3D became operational today, giving a boost to weather forecasting and disaster warning services.

"The project has been undertaken as a joint collaboration with the ISRO and the MET department. This will have an improved forecasting of weather and will receive and process satellite data on real time basis," said A K Mitra, director (software) of the programme.

"This would add new dimensions to weather monitoring through its atmospheric sounding system, which provides vertical profiles of temperatures, humidity and integrated ozone from surface to top of atmosphere in weather forecasting," he said.

This will see improved forecasting about the onset of monsoon over Kerala, tracking and predictions of tropical cyclones, fog, snow cover mapping. Further, the system will also aid in detection of high impact weather events such as heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and dust storms.
20:42  Now, Lalu too is on twitter:  Recognising importance of social media used successfully by political leaders like Narendra Modi and others, RJD president Lalu Prasad has opened an account on Twitter.

"Only change is constant. With change, we change, finally on twitter," said the first message of the RJD chief on his account, twitter.com/laluprasadrjd.

"Let us all work together towards a common goal for better future," said his another message. Known for his earthy style and comments, Prasad has drawn 68 followers with the start of the account yesterday.

Prasad's entry on social media has been radical considering his famed comment "Ye IT YT kya hota hain" (what is this IT (Information Technology).
19:49  Lalu joins Twitter, says change is constant in first message :   Recognising importance of social media used successfully by political leaders like Narendra Modi and others, RJD president Lalu Prasad has opened an account on Twitter.

"Only change is constant. With change, we change, finally on twitter," said the first message of the RJD chief on his account, twitter.com/laluprasadrjd.

"Let us all work together towards a common goal for better future," said his another message.
19:20  Tharoor's twitter account hacked, tweets sent to Pak journalist:  NDTV reports: Shashi Tharoor, junior minister for human resource development, announced this evening that his Twitter account had been hacked.

"Sorry folks, my @Twitter account has been hacked & will be temporarily deactivated. Bear with me while we solve this." Tharoor tweeted at 5:48 pm.

His announcement was preceded by a series of tweets from his handle to a Pakistani columnist Mehr Tarar, that clearly caught her by surprise and had Twitter abuzz.
18:45  After 24-hour silence Kejriwal reacts on Danish woman's rape: Will speak to top cop :  Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal finally reacts to the alleged gang rape of a Danish woman in the heart of Delhi. A 51-year-old Danish woman was allegedly beaten, robbed and gang-raped in Connaught Place in the heart of the capital on Tuesday evening, when she lost the way back to her hotel.

AAP came under severe criticism over its complete silence over the issue. A tweet said that rape not an issue for AAP as woman is not a Delhi voter.

Kejriwal has finally reacted saying he will meet the Delhi police commissioner over the rising rape cases.
18:12  "The knives are out: Sandeep Dixit tells NDTV AAP not making Danish woman's gangrape an issue because she doesn't have a vote in Delhi," tweets NDTV's Sonia Singh.


18:09  Rebellion in AAP ranks: Binny, Tina and now Mallika :  A day after party colleague Mallika Sarabhai slammed him, Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas on Tuesday hit back questioning her contribution during various protests in Delhi in the recent past.

Asking the danseuse- cum- activist to restrain from making statement against him, the satirist- turned- politician said, " Where was Mallika when I was fighting with the police after the rape of Gudiya, a minor girl, in Delhi in April? The police were beating me.

"Where was she when I was raising a movement against the coal scam? She should look at herself before questioning me on any issue."

Quoting an old video footage in which the AAP leader was heard saying that Modi is " a Shiva who is cleaning the world of poison", the danseuse, who joined AAP less than a week ago, questioned the ideology of Vishwas.

Read more
18:00  India won't have misfortune of Rahul as PM: AAP's Kumar Vishwas:   The Aam Aadmi Party's Kumar Vishwas, who plans to challenge the Congress party from the Gandhi family's bastion in Uttar Pradesh, said it would be unfortunate if Rahul Gandhi became India's prime minister.

Vishwas's remarks came as Gandhi suggested in a rare interview published on Tuesday in the Dainik Bhaskar that he was ready to be prime minister if the Congress returns to power in the 2014 general election due by May.  Read more
17:46  Maya slams filmstars for Saifai:  BSP chief Mayawati today attacked the Samajwadi Party government in UP saying when Muzaffarnagar riot victims were suffering and needed help, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav were busy in revelry at Saifai on government money.

She also suggested that it would have been better had the artistes from Mumbai avoided performing at 'Saifai Mahotsav' on "moral grounds".

"Riot victims are facing immense problems in Shamli and Muzaffarnagar, but it is even more sad that instead of providing them help the SP government sends its ministers and legislators abroad for 'sair sapata' and its head, with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, is busy organising mela in Saifai on government money," Mayawati said at the party's savdhan rally in Lucknow.
17:27  Hate tweets for Tina Sharma for criticising AAP.

Chetan Prakash Singh: Tina Sharma is just an opportunist and planted on Opposition. So Kick these type of persons out of the Party.

Dilawar Khan: Aam Aadmi Party Govt chose to ignore the security of women in Delhi, says Tina Sharma who recently joined the party.

AK4PublicMovementAAP: AK give us Rakhi Birla type. V don't need Mallika Sarabhai & Tina Sharma type opportunists
17:07   Our movement was never anti-Congress, it was and is anti-corruption, says AAP minister Manish Sisodia to the Indian Express.
17:03  LIVE! More rebellion: After Binny, another party member criticises AAP:  More rebellion in the AAP. Party worker Tina Sharma says AAP is working on the 2014 manifesto without catering to the 2013 manifesto. Sharma, a former BJP member joined AAP before the Delhi polls with a startling comment that traditional political parties don't need educated women. She had also said she would try to increase the female vote bank for AAP.

This comes in the wake of AAP MLA Vinod Kumar Binny likely to be served a notice by the party after he criticised it for deviating from its promises on the basis of which it was voted to power.

Binny, who was denied a cabinet berth in the AAP government in Delhi, said he would sit on a hunger strike if his party failed to respond to his charges.

"There is a lot of difference in what we promised and what is happening. We are going to hold a press conference tomorrow. We're not going to discuss party affairs behind closed doors," Binny said.

This is not the first time that Binny has revolted. Immediately after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal named his cabinet, Binny said he would divulge details about the party if he was not made a minister.

Binny, a former Congressman, was then promised the post of parliamentary secretary to Chief Minister Kejriwal.
16:52  LIVE! Shinde's comment on minority youths in jail new low for India: Modi:  Dubbing it as a "brazen attempt" to woo the minority community Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's remarks on minority youths in jails on terror charges, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said it marked a "new low"for the country.   

He also asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to advise his cabinet colleague not to focus his attention on minorities alone as "principles at stake" could not be sacrificed "at the altar of political expediency".   

In a letter to Singh, the BJP's prime ministerial contender said Shinde's statement could send a wrong message about the country's criminal justice system and have a demoralising effect on the law enforcement machinery.  

"The Home Minister's concern is a brazen and callous attempt to woo the minority community and even the minority community will raise questions on the timing of such statements," Modi said.   

"The suggestion (from Shinde) is unprecedented and marks a new low for  the country.... the principles at stake are far too valuable to be sacrificed at the altar of political expediency," he said.   

The Gujarat Chief Minister said, "a crime is a crime irrespective of the birth marks of the criminal and his religious beliefs could not determine the guilt or innocence."   

Shinde had last week made a statement that he would write to all state governments to set up review or screening committees to assess the role of minority youths languishing in jails on terror charges without trial.
16:47  Is French president Hollande's mistress pregnant?:  The mistress of the philandering French President is four months pregnant, it was claimed last night. Actress Julie Gayet, 41, is expecting Francois Hollande's baby in June, according to unconfirmed reports by a French blogger. Read more
16:35  RK Singh is BJP's answer to Pradeep Sharma:  Former home secretary RK Singh's remarks against Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has boomeranged on media strategists of the Congress. Till now, the BJP has tolerated Pradeep Sharma, but now it has found that the way to divert the attention from his comments is to make RK Singh speak more. A senior BJP leader said it was about time the Congress learned lessons not to instigate IAS and IPS officers against chief ministers.
16:25  Will 'top secret' note to Sonia help her in anti-Sikh riots case:  Our correspondent in Delhi tells us that legal luminaries in the Congress has studied the USA court orders on Sonia Gandhi filed by Sikhs for Justice. The SFJ has alleged that the Congress president has been shielding Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and other party leaders from prosecution for their alleged role in anti-Sikh riots.

Sonia's legal advisors in the party are considering whether the contempt notice against Sonia will lead to a Red Corner Notice. They are looking at whether she should visit the USA to continue her medical treatment.

It is believed a one-page note was submitted to Sonia Gandhi by a Union Minister, with the contents of the page marked as "top secret".
16:00  TMC leader Somen Mitra resigns, joins Congress :  Trinamool Congress leader Somen Mitra has quit the party today and will be joining the Congress formally. He has submitted his resignation to Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar.

In 2013, alleging breakdown of law and order, Mitra had announced he would quit the party and return to the Congress.

"Congress is my mother party. I made a mistake by joining the Trinamool. I have realised it. I want to undo the mistake by rejoining the Congress," Mitra had said.

Mitra had said that to adhere to ethics, he would not join the Congress while remaining a Trinamool member of Parliament.
15:55  The Congress core group to meet today ahead of the CWC meeting tomorrow. 
15:53  Non-bailable warrant against 12 more accused in 26/11 case:   A Mumbai court trying the case of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative and 26/11 key handler Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, today issued non-bailable warrant (NBW) against 12 more accused in the Mumbai terror attacks case.

The court has issued NBW against 12 more persons, Special Ujjwal Nikam said today. All these accused are allegedly based in Pakistan.

Earlier, the court which conducted trial against terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab had issued NBW against 35 accused.

With this, the total number of wanted terrorists in the 26/11 case has gone up to 47.

Those against whom NBW have been issued include Major Sameer, Sajid Mir alias Vashi and Commander Yakub.

Sajid, according to police, was present at the control room set up in Pakistan during the strikes, which left 166 dead and many more injured on November 26, 2008. The Mumbai police, last month, had filed draft charges against Jundal.
15:16  Suchitra Sen remains critical and weak:  The condition of veteran actress Suchitra Sen, admitted to a hospital three weeks ago following acute breathing problems, remains unchanged but she has grown extremely weak, doctors attending on her said today.

"She is critical but stable and her condition has not deteriorated," critical care specialist Dr Subrata Maitra said. He said they are giving the 82-year-old actress constant oxygen support, nebulisation and chest physiotherapy at a private cabin of the ITU (Intensive Treatment Unit) of the super-speciality Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata.    

Doctors said besides age, diabetes and thyroid is also working against her but they have not yet decided to put her on invasive ventilation.
15:14  India's first ministry of cows:  Even in a country where the cow is revered, a government ministry dedicated to the protection of the animal is a first. Rajasthan's right-wing Hindu administration is set to establish a government department for the preservation and protection of cows and to start research institutions, or cow science universities, focused on the rearing and health of the animal.
Read more
15:03  Ex-R&AW officer B Raman's book says British agents recced Golden Temple as tourists :  Former R&AW officer B Raman's book confirms that the UK secret services recced the Golden Temple in 1984 at the request of the Indian authorities. Raman, however, refers to them as MI5 operatives, the UK's internal security intelligence agency and not the Special Air Services.  Read more
14:56  Australia heatwave prompts fire alerts:  South-east Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather, with temperatures of over 40C in some areas, and several bushfire warnings in place.

In Victoria, lightning strikes sparked more than 250 fires on Tuesday night, fire authorities said. A fire ban has been issued across the state.

In Melbourne, a tennis player and a ball boy at the Australian Open collapsed in the heat.

Temperatures in the city remained above 30C for much of Tuesday night.

Country Fire Authority chief officer Euan Ferguson said in a statement: "The extreme temperatures [in Victoria] over the coming three days will test fire services and the community. It's critical we minimise the risk of any fires before Friday."
14:54  At least 26 people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in central Iraq, reports the BBC. 
14:45   HC disposes of plea for security to CM Arvind Kejriwal:  The Delhi High Court today disposed of a plea seeking direction to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to accept security cover after the Centre submitted that it was providing him adequate protection through security men in plain clothes.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana disposed of the petition, which had also sought direction to the Centre to provide adequate security to Kejriwal and his cabinet ministers.

During the hearing, petitioner advocate Anoop Awasthi told the court that the chief minister was no more an "Aam Aadmi (common man) but a Khas Aadmi (important man) having the responsibility of the entire state and, therefore, he needs to be protected and should take security to remain safe".

He said the Chief Minister is time and again refusing security, putting his life and that of his cabinet ministers in grave danger.

At this, the bench asked him, "Who are you? What is your interest. The person for whom you are seeking security is himself not interested. He is the Chief Minister of the State. He is aware of the consequences." To this, the petitioner replied that, "I am a citizen of the State and interested in the well being of the Chief Minister."
14:33  LIVE! 33-year chill ends: Amitabh greets Rekha in public :  It was a moment long looked for by industry insiders and cine-fans and it happened completely unexpectedly.

At the Screen Awards held in Mumbai on January 14, superstar Amitabh Bachchan didn't give actress Rekha, his co-star of many hit films and rumoured once-upon-a-time paramour, the public cold shoulder he has never failed to deliver ever since Silsila, their last film together, in 1981.

No. This time, circa 2014, he ended 33 years of sub-zero snubbing by greeting the beaming Umrao Jaan star with a namaste and a smile. 
Read more
14:25  Vinod Binny's tell-all presser on AAP corruption tomorrow:  More on the rebellion within the AAP: MLA Vinod Kumar Binny says Arvind Kejriwal did not come to form a party, he came to serve people. He said he would speak tomorrow on allegations of to corruption in AAP. "I am not hankering after a party post, but party cannot deviate from key principles," he said. 
14:18  The BSP is not going to forge an alliance with Congress in UP or at the national level. The party will go it alone in Lok Sabha polls, says Mayawati
14:07  Rahul gets his principles right, facts wrong: Jaitley:  Arun Jaitley's blog today: "Outside the personality cult there have been two Congress Prime Ministers who have stood apart. Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri was a Prime Minister for a brief period. His simplicity and high credibility inspired the whole country. His goodness is not a part of the Congress legacy.

"Despite some failings Mr. PV Narasimha Rao has a place in history as a leader who transformed India's economy and foreign policy. He never appears on Congress Party's billboards.                       

"Having popular leaders like Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr. Narendra Modi is very different from the BJP becoming personality centric.

"These leaders were and will always remain subject to the Party structure. Mr. Rahul Gandhi has got the principle against personality centered party right, he has got his facts all wrong." Read more

This is what Rahul Gandhi said in an interview with the Dainik Bhaskar. Read
13:59  The civil defamation case filed by former justie Swantanter Kumar against media houses will come up for hearing today. 
13:58  Next election not a two-horse race, predicts Omar:  Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said it is "misplaced arrogance" on the part of political leaders who suggest that the next general election in the country would be a "two-horse race".

"There is a fine line between talk to boost cadre moral and misplaced arrogance. To suggest that next election is 2 (two) horse race is the la(t)ter," Omar wrote on Twitter.

The Chief Minister was apparently referring to the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in the country which many see as a direct fight between ruling Congress and opposition BJP.

Omar also questioned the accuracy of polls conducted through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

"Every time I see twitter & FB polls, I'm reminded of @ImranKhanPTI. If social media users elected leaders, he (Imran Khan) would have been leading Pakistan," he posted.
13:44  Why didn't Binny speak at AAP meetings, asks Kejriwal:  Arvind Kejriwal hit back at party MLA Vinod Binny, questioning why he had not raised his issues related to the party's functioning in meetings.

"Why didn't Binny speak in yesterday's meet of candidates who had contested Assembly polls if he wanted to on certain issues," Kejriwal asked.

Stating that Binny wanted a cabinet berth first and recently asked him for Lok Sabha ticket, Kejriwal said, "Party has decided sitting MLAs won't get ticket for MP post."
13:41  Rebel AAP MLA Vinod Binny says nobody as big a liar as Kejriwal:   AAP has issued a statement over MLA Vinod Kumar Binny's revolt saying "Whoever wants to leave the party is free to do so. There is no place in the party for those who nurse personal ambitions."

Delhi CM and party chief Arvind Kejriwal also said that Binny's request for a Lok Sabha ticket has been denied since he is a sitting MLA.

To this, Binny tweeted: "If Arvindbhai has said this then its unfortunate, then no one is a bigger liar than him.There was no talk of LS tickets."

Binny, who had stopped short of an open revolt when he was left out of the Delhi AAP cabinet in December, has revived his dissent and vowed to "spill all" in a press conference on Thursday.
13:05  News updates at this hour:

1. The Centre has told the SC that private firms who have been allocated 61 coal blocks have been asked to clear deficiencies within 4-6 weeks for obtaining mining lease.


2. On her 58th birthday, Uttar Pradesh's former CM Mayawati addresses a huge rally, where she blamed the SP saying Uttar Pradesh has emerged as "crime pradesh" under Akhilesh Yadav's rule.
13:01  Unfit to fight:  Women fighting a war --  be it on land, sea or in the skies -- continues to be a problem in India.

The Indian military seems to be edging towards increasing the active role of women in combat-support roles, but this is only in areas of distant or indirect fighting.

So, direct fighting, together with unlimited access to military leadership or comradeship, remains practically and conceptually a no-go zone for Indian women.  Read the editorial on the Telegraph.
12:51  Justice Swatanter Kumar moves HC seeking to restrain media:  The former Supreme Court judge and National Green Tribunal Chairperson Swatanter Kumar today moved the Delhi High Court seeking to restrain the media from reporting the alleged sexual assault case of his former woman law intern. Justice Kumar has also sought a whopping Rs 5 crore as damages from two English news channels and a leading English daily for defaming him in the case.
12:47  Fashioning a vision of the future :  As the AAP begins to push ahead, the demand for a clearer understanding of the nature of society and its aspirations would certainly become acute. Read
12:35  66th Army Day celebrations today :   The Indian Army celebrates its 66th Army Day today, reaffirming it pledge to defend the nation against all adversaries, external and within.

This day is celebrated on January 15 every year to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to maintain the territorial integrity of our country and safety of their fellow citizens. 

This is RK Lakshman's tribute to the Indian soldier.
12:21  Britain 'backstabbed' Sikhs by advising India on 1984 Golden Temple raid:  Britain betrayed us by advising Indira Gandhi on her fatal raid against militants barricaded in Amritsar's Golden Temple, say Sikh leaders. Read
12:12  Action in London, felt in Tehran:  In 1984, when Margaret Thatcher decided she would help Indira Gandhi to deal with "extremists", it would have been the most natural reaction of the British Prime Minister to send for the SAS. If the reports are correct, an officer, presumably someone very senior, was sent to India.

It is not known what his advice was, though the British are generally not trigger-happy and prefer playing a long game. But it is also a part of British policy never to give in to the demands of hostage takers or terrorists.

Read Amit Roy's column in the Telegraph.
12:02  Arming India into dependency:  The government-to-government weapon contracts between the U.S. and India, with no competitive bidding or transparency, are deepening India's import dependency without arming it with a decisive edge, writes Brahma Chellaney. Read
12:00  Gen. Brar denies UK involvement in Operation Bluestar:  Ex Indian Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar, who headed Operation Blue Star at Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984 to take down Sikh separatists, has reportedly refuted claims of UK link.

The general shunned the allegations saying that there is no question of Thatcher administration advising the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the time of the raid.

The alleged involvement of UK surfaced after MP Tom Watson claimed that he had seen declassified documents stating the same, the BBC reported.

While British Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered investigations following the allegations, Brar expressed his amazement at the revelations and said that he did not believe the documents to be authentic.

Brar reiterated that the operation was planned and executed entirely by military commanders of the Indian army. The claims were made by Watson after he read two letters published on the blog Stop Deportations that was released under the 30-year rule The UK government has said that the cabinet secretary will investigate the matter to bring forth the facts as quickly as possible
11:57  The pleasure of watching Uncle Sam being outwitted on his own terrain:  This has been another good week to be an Indian journalist in Washington. It felt nice to be sought out at venues such as the National Press Club, where diplomats from regions as diverse as Latin America and Europe to Africa and Asia are associate members; and sought out, not merely for trading stories, for a change, but sought after to bend elbows together only because you are Indian.

The joy among Washington's diverse diplomatic corps, one of the largest for any city in the world, over the perception that India showed Americans where to get off on the Devyani Khobragade episode is surprisingly boundless.

The Telegraph's KP Nayar writes on the episode that has made Indo-US diplomatic ties chilly. Read
11:49  'Kejriwal will force Modi to change his electoral campaign':  "Modi cannot content himself anymore with merely indulging in Congress bashing and referring to the Gujarat "miracle". He will have to show that his party is as clean and as innovative as the AAP. And this is impossible because the AAP is new and the BJP is now old," says Christophe Jaffrelot, author of several acclaimed books on Indian politics. Read
11:48  AAP a party of jurassic ideas, third rate stink: Salman Khurshid:   Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party has Jurassic ideas, no serious ideology and some of the most third rate people across the country, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has said in a scathing attack on the party his Congress supports in Delhi.  Read more
11:39  AAP may serve notice to rebel MLA Vinod Kumar Binny :   AAP MLA Vinod Kumar Binny is likely to be served a notice by the party after he criticised it for deviating from its promises on the basis of which it was voted to power.

Binny, who was denied a cabinet berth in the AAP government in Delhi, said he would sit on a hunger strike if his party failed to respond to his charges.

"There is a lot of difference in what we promised and what is happening. We are going to hold a press conference tomorrow. We're not going to discuss party affairs behind closed doors," Binny said.

This is not the first time that Binny has revolted. Immediately after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal named his cabinet, Binny said he would divulge details about the party if he was not made a minister.

Binny, a former Congressman, was then promised the post of parliamentary secretary to Chief Minister Kejriwal.
11:29  Dalit Panther founder and poet Namdeo Dhasal passes away:   Namdeo Dhasal, poet and one of the founders of the Dalit Panther movement, lost his battle to cancer in the wee hours of Wednesday.

Dhasal's most famous works include Moorkh Mhataryane, Tujhi Iyatta Kanchi, Khel and Priya Darshini.

Dhasal was one of the most prominent representatives of the Dalit Panther movement in India.
11:25  Shadows leap from Bluestar past :  The UK documents that claim to show Margaret Thatcher sent a British adviser to counsel the Indian military on the 1984 Operation Bluestar focus attention on the botched attack by a shadowy unit called "Establishment 22' that reported to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's office.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has launched an inquiry into the alleged British role that was mentioned in "top-secret' letters attributed to senior officials of the Thatcher government 30 years ago. Read more
11:23  Emraan Hashmi's four-year-old son Ayan has been diagnosed with first-stage cancer, reports the Times of India. Read
11:14  LIVE! SC notice to Centre, AG, Justice Swantanter Kumar in law intern sex harassment case :   The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre, attorney general GE Vahanvati and justice Swantanter Kumar on the plea of a former law intern seeking the setting up of a permanent mechanism in judicial bodies to address complains of sexual harassment at the workplace.

The SC has appointed senior advocates Fali S Nariman and K K Venugopal as amicus curiae to assist it in the case and made it clear that it is not expressing any opinion on the allegations made by the intern against Justice Swantanter Kumar.

Justice Swatanter Kumar has been accused of sexual harassment by a law intern, an alumnus of National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), who worked with her in 2011.

Given that the incident allegedly happened in 2011, the SC asks why the intern has made the the allegations so late.
10:52  Danish rape survivor does not want to undergo medical examination, wants to go home :  More details on the rape of a Danish woman in Delhi.  Senior police officials remained tight lipped about the case, but police sources say the Danish Embassy has been informed and woman has been taken to the Embassy after recording her statement with the police. According to sources, the victim has refused to undergo a medical examination and has expressed her desire to return home.
10:47  Expelled US diplomat, wife made offensive remarks about India:   Wayne May, the US diplomat expelled last week by New Delhi in tit-for-tat action over the Devyani Khobragade row, and his wife Alicia Muller, also an embassy official, made deeply offensive comments about India, its people and culture on Facebook during their stay in the national capital.  Read more
10:36  Rahul is PM candidate? Congress poster seals the deal:  The Congress seems to have made up its mind about declaring party vice president Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate.

Recently released posters of the Congress, a day before a crucial meeting of the AICC, features only the Gandhi family scion.

Neither his mother, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, nor Prime Minister Manmohan Singh find a place in the poster.

Image used for representational purpose only
10:31  CBI's special unit to probe sports fraud cases:  
The CBI will set up a specialised unit to probe cases of sports fraud, the investigative agency's director Ranjit Sinha has said.
09:29  Priyanka wants Congress to revive ties with DMK:  From a correspondent in Delhi: Priyanka Gandhi has apparently suggested to Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad that the party should try to revive its ties with the DMK.  

She has pointed out that the DMK had supported Congress President Sonia Gandhi in 2004, when she had been facing flak over the issue of her foreign origins.

Priyanka also shares a cordial relationship with DMK leader and 2G accused Kanimozhi. She has reasoned that Kanimozhi was made an accused in the massive corruption case, and subsequently arrested, due to "legal reasons".

Her arrest had nothing to do with the Congress, believes Priyanka.

She has also urged Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu to refrain from criticising the DMK.
09:23  Thaw in icy ties? US representative meets Indian envoy:  India and the US have affirmed their shared commitment to continue their work on a broad range of bilateral issues and move forward post the Devyani episode.        

US Deputy Secretary of State William J Burns hosted the new Indian ambassador S Jaishankar for a productive lunch meeting at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.
09:15  Going through painful moments: French president:  Addressing reports about his alleged affair with an actress for the first time, French President Francois Hollande has admitted that he is going through some "painful moment in his personal life". 

Media reports had claimed that Hollande was having an affair with French actress Julie Gayet.

His partner Valerie Trierweiler, who has remained mum about the incident, was hospitalised days after the scandal broke.
09:08  Obama to talk about national security leaks:  US President Barack Obama will deliver a speech on Friday to present the outcomes of his administration's recent review of the national security leaks that made public the secretive telephone and Internet surveillance programme. 

"Actually, it's getting close. So I'll have quite a bit to say about that very soon," Obama told reporters when asked if he had finished his review on the National Security Administration.
08:58  Danish woman raped near Delhi station:  A 51-year-old Danish woman was raped in Delhi on Tuesday night.

The woman was on her way back to her hotel in Paharganj from the National Museum when the incident happened. 

According to media reports, she had lost her way and asked a group of men near the Delhi station for directions. They accosted her, robbed her and sexually assaulted her.

Delhi police have detained 15 people in connection to the incident.
01:24  India seeks info from UK govt on claims about Op Bluestar:  
India has sought information from the United Kingdom on the claims that Margaret Thatcher's government may have helped Indira Gandhi plan Operation Bluestar in 1984. 

"We have seen these reports in newspapers. We have sought information from the UK government in this regard and without factual information I cannot comment further," MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said. 

Reports siggested that recently declassified documents in the UK indicated that Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) officials had been dispatched to help India in the planning on the raid of the Golden Temple to flush out militants from the shrine, an operation that left more than 1,000 people dead.

The documents being referenced were released by the National Archives in London under the 30-year declassification rule as part of a series over the New Year. 

A "top secret and personal" letter, dated February 23, 1984, nearly four months before the raid in Amritsar, and titled "Sikh Community", stated: "The Indian authorities recently sought British advice over a plan to remove Sikh extremists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. 
01:22  Hollande admits 'painful' times but refuses affair questions:  
French President Francois Hollande admitted today he was going through a painful time in his private life but refused to say whether his relationship with his long-term girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler is over after the revelation of an affair.

Trierweiler, France's de facto First Lady, has been in hospital since Friday with stress linked to last week's revelation that he has been having a liason with Julie Gayet, a blonde actress 18 years his junior. 

Hollande said that the issue of whether Trierweiler accompanies him on an official trip to Washington next month would be resolved before then. The couple are due to spend a night at the White House as guests of Barack and Michelle Obama.

At an eagerly anticipated press conference at his official residence, the Elysee Palace, Hollande, 59, insisted on his right to address his personal problems in private. 

Asked directly if Trierweiler was still France's First Lady, he replied: "I understand your question and I'm sure you will understand my response. 

"Everyone in their personal lives can go through tough times. That is the case (for me). These are painful moments. But I have one principle: these private affairs are dealt with in private. This is neither the time nor the place to do it so I will not be responding to any questions about my private life."
01:21  Religious conflict up in most of the world: study:  
Except for the Americas, religious conflict within countries rose around the world in 2012 to the highest level in six years, according to a study out today. 

One third of 198 countries reviewed saw high or very high levels of internal religious strife, such as sectarian violence, terrorism or bullying in 2012, compared to 29 per cent in 2011 and 20 per cent in 2010. 

The biggest rise came in the Middle East and North Africa, two regions that are still feeling the effects of the Arab Spring of 2010-2011, said the Pew Research Center. 

As an example, it cites an increase in attacks on Coptic churches and Christian-owned businesses in Egypt. It said China has also witnessed a big rise in religious conflict. 

The number of countries whose governments have imposed restrictions, such as bans on practicing a religion or converting from one to another, has remained more or less the same, however. Three out of ten countries have high or very high levels of restrictions, the study said. 

Among the 25 most heavily populated countries, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan and Myanmar suffered the most religious conflict.
01:21  Egyptians vote in constitutional referendum, 12 killed:  
Egyptians today flocked to polling centres to vote on a new draft constitution widely seen as a referendum on a likely presidential bid by powerful army chief General El-Sissi since the overthrow of the Islamist regime, even as 12 people were killed in poll-related violence.

The new charter aims to replace the constitution passed under former president Mohammed Morsi months before he was deposed by the army in July 2013 after nationwide protests against his Islamist rooted regime. 

The two-day voting is also the first test for the army-backed coup that ousted Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, which has since been designated a terrorist group. The Brotherhood has called for a boycott of the polls. 

Meanwhile, one person was killed during an anti-referendum protest in Cairo, BBC reported citing local officials.

Three people were killed in clashes with security forces in Sohag city while eight other deaths were reported. 

Another 28 people were injured during the day.
01:21  UN cuts rations for a million Zimbabweans:  
Around a million poverty-stricken Zimbabweans face hunger after the UN World Food Programme announced today it was cutting food rations due to a cash crunch.

"We'd been hoping to have scaled up our seasonal relief operations... in the coming months with distributions of food and, in some areas, cash," Tomson Phiri, WFP spokesman in Zimbabwe, said as the country enters the peak of the so-called hunger season. 

But "we've had to cut rations for one million of our beneficiaries in recent months and there are likely to be deeper cuts as from next month," Phiri said in a statement. 

At least 2.2 million people -- a quarter of Zimbabwe's rural population -- will need food aid until the next harvest in May, according to estimates by aid agencies and government departments.

Food prices have doubled since last year, forcing many more into hardship, according to the WFP. 

The UN food agency needs $80 million to feed hungry Zimbabweans in the next six months. 
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