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LIVE! Asaram's ashram at Bhedhaghat demolished

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January 28, 2014

23:23  Asaram's ashram at Bhedhaghat demolished :  

Local authorities today demolished Asaram's ashram situated at Chowkitaal in Bhedhaghat area near Jabalpur after clearing all legal hurdles.        


Nearly 7,000 square feet of permanent illegal construction in the ashram was demolished by local authorities in the presence of a large number of police personnel, officials said.        


Bhedhaghat's municipality's Chief Executive Officer Anita Yadav and Tehsildar Rishabh Jain told reporters at the demolition site that permanent illegal constructions measuring 7,000 square feet was demolished by authorities in the absence of any legal papers.        


The total area of the ashram is 21,000 square feet, they said. The construction was declared illegal in October 2013 after which ashram authorities went to the high court.        


However, the high court directed the district collector to take up the matter. After the ashram failed to get any relief from the collector, the illegal construction was demolished. Asaram's supporters were present in large numbers on the occasion and turned emotional when the structure was being demolished.  

22:05  Rahul's remarks on 1984 riots 'full of hypocrisy': SAD:  The Shiromani Akali Dal today termed as "full of hypocrisy" Rahul Gandhi's remarks that the Congress government tried to stop the anti-Sikh riots and accused it of shielding individuals involved in the "carnage" and delaying deployment the army.

"Total hogwash, full of hypocrisy. He says that Narendra Modi was responsible for Gujarat because he was the chief ,inister. Then what about Rahul Gandhi's father who was the prime minister when in Delhi the massacre of Sikhs was taking place," SAD leader Naresh Gujral said.

He said that in Gujarat there were riots but in Delhi "it was carnage of the Sikhs which was done by the Congress party and the government of the day did not call the army out for three days".

Gujral said his father former prime minister I K Gujral, General (retd) J S Aurora, Air Marshall Arjan Singh and others went repeatedly to the President and Home Minister.
21:53  Lanka military denies using illegal weapons against LTTE:  The Sri Lankan military today denied accusations that it used illegal weapons in combating the LTTE during the decisive phase of the civil war in 2009.

"Never at anytime during Sri Lanka Army's 25 years of counter terrorism operations has it resorted to the use of illegal weapons," military spokesman

Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. He was responding to accusations levelled by Tamil groups that the army had used chemical weapons and cluster bombs during the battle.
21:40  Court orders Salem's transfer back to Taloja jail:  A designated TADA court today directed the prisons department to transfer extradited gangster Abu Salem back to Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai from Thane jail where he has been lodged since November last year.

"The special court has directed the prisons department to transfer Salem back to Taloja jail by February 2," Salem's counsel Sabha Qureshi told PTI.

Salem had in July 2013 moved an application before the special court seeking directions to the jail authorities that he should either be moved to Embassy of Portugal in Goa/Delhi or to Taloja jail.

"The applicant (Salem) may be transferred to Portugal Embassy till the final decision is reached on the issue of his repatriation to Portugal post termination of Extradition Order in the interest of justice," Salem had said in his application.
21:07  Rahul's claims of rooting out corruption 'hollow': Vishwas:  Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas today said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's claims of rooting out corruption was "hollow".

Vishwas, who is likely to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from the Amethi segment, also alleged that if Gandhi became Prime Minister of the country scams bigger than the one involving 2G spectrum allocation would happen.

Talking to reporters, the poet-turned-politician said, "I am not here to do politics, but to change the way politics is being done..." On Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh's nomination to the Rajya Sabha from Assam, Vishwas said that "whatever Rahul does he could not avert his defeat" from Amethi.

Earlier there was speculation that Singh, who holds considerable influence in Amethi, could join the BJP.

Taking a swipe at Gandhi for contrasting the Gujarat with the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi during a television interview, Vishwas said, "A riot is a riot... How a person who does not know what riot is, will run the country."
20:53  4 candidates file nominations for 3 RS seats in Assam:  With closing of the application process, a total of four candidates have filed nominations for election of three Rajya Sabha seats from Assam, to be held on February 7.

Congress' present Rajya Sabha member Bhubaneshwar Kalita and Lok Sabha member from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh Sanjay Singh filed their nominations, while the party's ally in the state Bodoland Peoples Front have fielded its present member of the Upper House Biswajit Daimary.

Former journalist Haidar Hussain was the last candidate to file his nomination with support from the opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, comprising BJP, AGP and AIUDF.

"Today three candidates filed nominations, while one person filed yesterday. The last date of filing the nomination ended today," Assam Legislative Assembly Principal Secretary Gauranga Prasad Das told PTI.
20:51  Wary of ticket-hunting shady elements, AAP screens aspirants:  In order to prevent "unwanted elements" from entering the party with an aim of contesting up coming Lok Sabha polls, the Aam Aadmi Party has formed screening committees, both at the national and the state level.

"We have formed committees, both at the centre and the state. The primary job of the state committees is to scan the forms of applicants, check their background. "This will help in keeping a check on some wrong applicants who have entered the party with an aim of contesting elections," said senior party leader and member of Political Affairs Committee Gopal Rai.

The party has formed committees both at the state level from where it has received applications for Lok Sabha tickets and also at the national level. The party is yet to announce names of people for the committee at the national level.
20:18  Akhilesh announces schemes for Madarsas:  In an apparent bid to woo Muslims, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today announced hike in honorarium paid to Madarsa teachers and the establishing of awards for them. "...the honorarium of Madarsa teachers will be hiked... It has been decided, but we have to work out on the amount," Akhilesh said, addressing a conference of Madarsa managers and principals here.
20:16  SC commences hearing on fresh interpretation of term juvenile:  The Supreme Court today commenced the final hearing on the pleas seeking fresh interpretation of the term 'juvenile' in the statute and leaving it to the criminal court, instead of the Juvenile Justice Board, to determine the juvenility of an offender in heinous crimes. 

Two petitions were filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and parents of the victim of December 16 gangrape, who have challenged the constitutional validity of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.
20:12  Earlier govts responsible for state of affairs: PM Sharif:  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today blamed previous governments for the current state of affairs in Pakistan but expressed confidence that the country would bounce back. 

Vital state matters were "neglected" by previous governments and if they had taken decisions in the national interest, the state of affairs would have been different today, he said.
19:15  Tollbooth vandalism: Case registered against Raj Thackeray:  
A case has been registered in Pune against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray's for his party's role in the vandalism of tollbooths across the state.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers on Monday went on the rampage, vandalising toll plazas in different parts of the state following their leader's diktat not to pay the levy and "thrash" those who raise a voice against it.
18:41  Subrata Roy can't leave country: SC:  Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy will not be allowed to leave the country with the Supreme Court today refusing to relax its order restraining him from going abroad till his company furnishes details of refunding Rs 20,000 crore of investors money. 

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said that it will allow him to leave the country only when the Sahara group furnishes all the documents to reveal the source of Rs 22,885 crore which it claimed to have refunded to its investors.
18:28  Pakistan and US back at the table: Why it matters:  The meeting between large US and Pakistani delegations at the State Department on Monday looked on the surface like any other grip-and-grin style powwows that are part of daily life at the agency, where ministers restate their commitment to x and express their mutual agreement of y. 

But this round of talks, headed by Secretary of State John Kerry and Pakistani foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz, was notable simply because the two sides were sitting at a table breaking Danish together.

Read more here
18:09  Former cricketer Azharuddin to contest Lok Sabha polls from WB:  Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin will contest the Lok Sabha polls from West Bengal. "I have worked for the people of Uttar Pradesh and now want to work for the people of Bengal," he said.       
17:50  Now, Tarun Tejpal accused of harrassing police officer, denies charges:  NDYV reports: Former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, arrested in November for allegedly raping a colleague, has now been accused of harassing a lady police officer. He however has denied the charges.

Tejpal, who is imprisoned in Goa, says that the investigating officer handling his case has wrongly accused him of intimidation, and that influenced a judge to deny him bail earlier this month.

Tejpal, 50, has written a letter to police officer Sunita Sawant, which has been released to the media by his family, an NDTV report adds. 

He writes that after reviewing the court order that outlined the reasons for refusing him bail, "I am shocked and distressed by the observation that suggests you have complained of being intimidated and harassed by me. This is so far from the truth as to be outrageous," he wrote.

Read the full report here
17:40  NCW chief writes to President, LG demanding action against Somnath Bharti:  National Commission for Women's chief Mamta Sharma has written to President Pranab Mukherjee and Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung demanding action against Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti.

Bharti, who led a midnight raid in Khirki's extension, allegedly misbehaved with Ugandan women.     
17:07  Trouble for Congress-Omar Abdullah alliance?:  The Congress five-year alliance with the National Conference seems to be in serious trouble, ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls.

The NC alliance with the Congress is not final, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told CNN-IBN. He cited reservations within the party.

Insiders say that there was trouble brewing in negotiations.

Abdullah has threatened to snap ties if a proposal to create new administrative units in the state is not approved in a cabinet meeting on February 1, according to a report in NDTV
16:51  Threaten me, but I will say what I feel: Vishal Dadlani:  Vishal Dadlani was defiant over his tweet, apparently targeting Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, which has ignited a furious political debate online, reports NDTV.

"Stuck between a moron and a murderer....what now, India!?" tweeted the music director on Monday night, soon after an interview of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was aired by a TV channel.

As Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal retweeted the comment, a deluge of tweets followed, many attacking Dadlani as "misinformed".

Dadlani took them on and tweeted: "Here's the bad news, trolls. You can threaten me all you like, and scream and shout yourselves hoarse. I will still say what I feel. Simple."

16:13  Sexual harassment case: Suspended AMU professor sent to jail:  
Suspended chairman of Department of Law Aligarh Muslim University was sent to jail after his bail plea was rejected. 

Professor M Shabbir's bail plea was rejected by Additional Chief Judicial magistrate Vinay Kumar yesterday. The matter is now scheduled to be taken up in the court of the Additional District Judge today. 

Prof Shabbir was suspended in the first week of December following a charge of sexual harassment by a girl student. 

He eluded arrest for four weeks before suddenly presenting himself before the court and securing interim bail earlier this month. 

It may be mentioned that Prof Shabbir against whom an arrest warrant had been issued in mid December was granted interim bail on Jan 7 in the court of additional district judge after he had surrendered. 
15:42  Union minister Kumari Selja resigns:  
Kumari Selja has resigned from the Union Cabinet.

The move comes just hours after the Congress named her as nominee for Rajya Sabha elections

The decision on Selja's nomination came after intense deliberation. 

Media reports quoted party sources as saying that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was rooting for either retiring Rajya Sabha member Ram Prakash, whose term ends on April 9, or state Congress chief Phool Chand Mullana.

Selja's nomination surprised even senior AICC leaders who termed the move was a shot in the arm of the senior Dalit leader who leads the anti-Hooda camp.

Selja had won the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Ambala by a margin of around 11,000 votes. Given her anti-Hooda stance, she could have been faced with tough prospects in Ambala had she been fielded again.
15:15  New PAN card to cost Rs 105:  
New PAN cards issued by the Income Tax department will cost Rs 105, including taxes. 

The I-T department has recently notified new procedures for verifying personal and proprietary data of an individual or entity for allotment of new PAN cards.  

The step, sources said, has been taken in order to weed out the problem of fake or multiple Permanent Account Number cards.

"The cost of getting a new PAN card, including all taxes, is Rs 105. This service charge by-and-large has been kept unchanged. The new procedures of checking original documents for proving date of birth, address and identity have been brought in to check the complaints of fake PAN cards or multiple cards obtained by any entity," a senior I-T official said.

From February 3, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified that individuals or others wanting PAN will have to furnish copies of proof of identity, address and date of birth attached with their application forms and they will be checked against their original documents when applications are submitted at PAN facilitation centres. 
15:03  Wife wrote note found in dead Tata Motors MD's room: Police:  
In a fresh twist to the death of Karl Slym, Tata Motors Managing Director, Thai police said today that the 3-page handwritten note found in his hotel room from where he plunged to his death, was written by his wife Sally.

The note mentioned "domestic problems", Police Lieutenant Somyot Booyakaew said. 

"The letter was written by Karl Slym's wife about domestic problems," Somyot told PTI, adding that Slym's death was not a murder. 

51-year-old Slym's body was found on Sunday by the staff of the riverside Shangri-la Hotel on the balcony of the fourth
floor after plunging from the 22nd floor.

He was here to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Thai subsidiary of his company. 

Somyot earlier said there were no signs of a struggle in the British national's room, which did not have a balcony but had a big sealed glass window and another smaller window that could be opened. 

The room has a big sealed window overlooking the Chao Praya River and a smaller window which could be opened nearby. 
14:31  I will say what I feel: Vishal Dadlani defends Rahul-Modi tweet:  
NDTV reports: Vishal Dadlani confronted vicious trolling on social media Tuesday over his tweet, apparently targeting Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, which has ignited a furious political debate online.

"Stuck between a moron and a murderer....what now, India!?" tweeted the music director on Monday night, soon after an interview of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was aired by a private TV channel.

It was an apparent reference to Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gandhi, who is largely seen as the Congress' man for the top job if it retains power in the national election due by May.

As Arvind Kejriwal retweeted the comment, a deluge of tweets followed, many attacking Dadlani as "misinformed", publicity-seeking and worse.

He took it on the chin, tweeting: "Here's the bad news, trolls. You can threaten me all you like, and scream and shout yourselves hoarse. I will still say what I feel. Simple." 

He also did not bother to hide his inclinations. "Also note, I didn't mention an option 3. You chose it on your own, for good or bad. Sign of the times? Big parties are clearly rattled!"
14:10  SC refuses to review gay sex verdict:  
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to review its verdict declaring gay sex an offence punishable up to life imprisonment. 

Seeking stay on the operation of the judgement, gay rights activists, including NGO Naz Foundation, said thousands from the LGBT community became open about their sexual identity during the past four years after the high court decriminalised gay sex and they are now facing the threat of being prosecuted.

They submitted that criminalising gay sex amounts to violation of fundamental rights of the LGBT community. 

The NGO submitted there are a number of "grave errors of law" and "wrong application of law" in the judgement which needs to be corrected. 

"This court has failed to consider the submission that Section 377 violates the right to health of men who have sex with men, since criminalisation of same sex activity impedes access to health services, including HIV prevention efforts. This contention was supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this court," the petition said. 
14:04  Alagiri told me Stalin will die in 3 months: Karunanidhi:  
In his first reaction on the Alagiri suspension issue, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday said that he was suspended because he used "harsh words" against Stalin.

"Alagiri came to my house on January 24 and complained regarding Stalin and troubled me and used harsh words. Alagiri told me Stalin will die in three months. No father can tolerate such words against his son," Karunanidhi said, explaining.

"I do not know why Alagiri has nurtured such hatred against Stalin for many years. Alagiri should have met me in person and spoken about any issues he had about his suspension. But he has been talking to the media. He is still under temporary suspension, party will take a call on expulsion," the DMK chief added.

Alagiri was suspended from the DMK on Friday, January 24.

In a statement, the DMK said that action against Alagiri had been taken for going against the party stand in the public domain.
13:32  Kargil records season coldest night at minus 20 deg C:  
Kargil town in Jammu and Kashmir recorded season's coldest night with the mercury settling at a low of minus 20 degrees Celsius even as most parts of the Valley witnessed a dip in night temperature. 

"Kargil recorded minimum temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius which is lowest for this winter," an official of the MeT department said. 

The town in Ladakh region had yesterday recorded a low of minus 18.6 degrees Celsius. 

Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, recorded a low of 0.3 degree Celsius, down by more than half a degree from yesterdays 0.9 degrees Celsius. 

Mercury in Qazigund --the gateway town to Kashmir valley -- settled at minus 1.6 degree Celsius, slightly down from minus 1.2 degree Celsius the previous night.

Kokernag, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 4.1 degrees Celsius as compared to the previous nights minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, the official said. 

The mercury in the tourist resort of Pahalgam plunged to minus 10.4 degrees Celsius as compared to minus 4.6 degrees Celsius the previous night. 
13:01  Legendary US folk singer Pete Seeger dies at 94:  
Folk singer Pete Seeger, who established the music as an expression of community, conscience and social justice during a career that spanned eight decades, has died. He was 94.

Perhaps more than any performer, Seeger was instrumental in popularizing the traditional American folk repertoire. Many of the countrys most loved songs were passed along via Seegers voluminous recordings of them; his album discography runs to over 100 titles.

Click HERE to read more
12:58  Discontent is not enough for a successful revolution:  
It is difficult to make sense of the latest round of discontent expressed in the form of a dharna by the Aam Aadmi Party.

Click HERE to read why
12:49  11 degrees more apart than Salman:  
Rubbing shoulders with Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap is 11 times more difficult than doing so with superstar Salman Khan.

Click HERE to read why
12:20  Yogendra Yadav's R-Day Google Hangout raises Rs 18 lakh:  
A Google Hangout by Aam Aadmi Party senior leader Yogendra Yadav on India's 65th Republic Day raised Rs 18 lakhs from the party's supporters worldwide. 

The Google Hangout with Yadav was held in 17 cities across the globe, including London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago and Philadelphia, wherein AAP supporters posed direct questions to the leader. 

A total of Rs 18 lakh was raised through the Hangout session, according to a release issued by the party yesterday from Silicon Valley, California. 

"This is one of the second highest daily contributions that the AAP has received since the beginning of this year. On New Year's day, the party had raised Rs 40 lakhs," the release said.

The Hangout session coincided with AAP's "Let's celebrate Swaraj" fund-raising campaign for the Republic day. 

"It was wonderful to see the response of our global community. Clearly there are huge expectations from the AAP," Yadav said.
12:09  Kerala: 11 of 12 convicts in Chandrashekaran murder case get life term:  
Eleven of the 12 convicts in Revolutionary Marxist Party leader TP Chandrashekaran's murder case have been given life sentence by a Kerala special court. 

Those who have been given life sentence by Additional and Sessions Court judge R Narayana Pisharady include the seven-member killer gang and the three Communist Party of India(Marxist) leaders who were found guilty of conspiracy.

First to seventh accused MC Anoop, Manoj Kumar, NK Sunil Kumar, TK Rajeesh, KK Mohammed Shafi, Annan Shijith and K Shinoj were members of the killer gang. In addition to life term NK Sunil Kumar and Manoj Kumar have also been given 10 years and five years of rigorous imprisonment respectively.

The three CPIM leaders sentenced to life term are PK Kunjannathan, Panoor area committee member, KC Ramachandran, local committee member and Manoj, a local leader. PV Rafeeque, who helped the killer gang has also got a life sentence.

MK Pradeepan, who disposed of the swords that were used to hack Chandrashekaran, was given three years imprisonment.
CPI(M) leaders P Mohanan and CPI(M) District secretariat member and husband of MLA KK Lathika were acquitted in the sensational murder case.

Chandrashekaran's murder had created a political turmoil in the state as the party alleged that CPI(M) had orchestrated the murder.

Chandrashekaran was a CPI(M) worker and he left the party in 2009 after a feud with the official faction. He was fighting against the dissolution in party ideologies and the right-wing opportunism. He was close to opposition leader VS Achuthanandan, even after his death Achuthanandan has maintained that Chandrashekaran was a brave communist even as the party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan called him a traitor.
11:18  HC notice to Kejriwal on PIL against his election:   Just In: Delhi High Court issues notice to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on a plea of a BJP leader seeking to declare his election void.

A similar notice was sent to controversial Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti
11:11  SC to hear Bhullar's plea for commenting death to life sentence:  
The Supreme Court will hear Khalistani militant and 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar's plea seeking commutation of his death penalty to life term. 

Bhullar through his lawyer, senior counsel KTS Tulsi, filed a plea to file an amendment application and sought revision of the earlier sentence on the grounds that it was contrary to the recommendations of the Law Commission that death penalty cases should be heard only by a Constitution bench, also because the execution was delayed for eight years. 

Another plea made by Bhullar was that his original death sentence was awarded by a 2:1 split verdict which cannot be relied upon as "there was an element of doubt" among the judges in awarding the capital punishment. 

Bhullar was sentenced to death by a designated TADA court on August 25, 2001, for his role in the September 10, 1993, blast in Delhi targeting the cavalcade of car carrying then All India Youth Congress president MS Bitta, who escaped with serious injuries, though nine security personnel were killed.
10:38  Kejriwal under fire for backing tweet abusing Rahul, Modi:  
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has courted another controversy by re-tweeting a post by music director Vishad Dadlani, in which he apparently called Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi a "moron" and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi a "murderer". 

The Aam Aadmi Partyleader, on Monday night, retweeted Dadlani's post which said: "Stuck between a moron and a murderer....what now, India!?"

The music director tweeted after Rahul Gandhi's first interview after a gap of 10 years. 

Dadlani is a known supporter of Kejriwal-led AAP. 

Meanwhile, BJP leader Nirmala Sitharamam has criticised the tweet and warned Kejriwal about endorsing such controversial tweets. 

In his one month tenure as Delhi Chief Minister, Kejriwal has been embroiled in many controversies like the Somanth Bharti episode, protest near Rail Bhawan against Delhi police and sacking of AAP MLA Vinod Kumar Binny after he he turned rebellious and called him a "dictator".
10:07  Tehelka case: Goa Police to file charge sheet by Feb 5:  
The charge sheet against Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal in connection with the sexual assault case would be filed by next week. 

"The charge sheet in Tehelka case would be filed by February 5. The investigation in the case is almost over," a senior crime branch official said. 

A former junior woman journalist of the Tehelka magazine had alleged that Tejpal had sexually assaulted her inside the lift of a five-star hotel during an event in Goa in November last year. 

Tejpal(50) was arrested by the crime branch police on November 30 in Goa after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a local court. 

He is currently lodged in Sada sub jail after the court sent him in judicial custody.

The investigating officer has already recorded several statements, including that of former Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury and Tejpal's daughter, along with the deposition of the victim in connection with the case. 

The crime branch officials expect to file a "water tight" case against Tejpal.
09:51  RBI policy review: Will Raghuram Rajan spring a surprise again?:  
Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan will be in focus when he unveils the monetary policy today. 

The RBI is likely to hold interest rates steady, thanks to easing inflation, according to majority of economists.

But Dr Rajan has surprised the Street in the all the three policy reviews ever since he took over as the RBI chief in September last year.

Raghuram Rajan had hiked rates twice by 0.25 per cent to tame soaring prices. But in the last monetary policy review on 18 December, Dr Rajan kept the key policy rates unchanged despite retail inflation accelerating to a record high of 11.24 per cent in the previous month (November) and wholesale inflation surging to 7.52 per cent, the highest in 14 months.

Dr Rajan said he expected food prices to come down in December and his gamble paid off. The wholesale price index slipped to five-month low of 6.16 per cent in December. But it is still stuck well above the RBI's commonly perceived comfort level of 5 per cent since June last year.

Despite the fall in inflation, economists expect the RBI policy decision to be a close call as the core inflation still remains high. Core inflation is a measure of inflation that excludes certain items like food and fuel that see volatile price movements.

Read more HERE
09:47  Kim Jong Un executes all blood relatives of 'traitor' uncle:  
In a brutal purge to obliterate any trace of his uncle Jang Song-thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of all the blood relatives of the traitor uncle, said reports. 

The North Korean regime carried out "extensive executions" of Jang Song-thaek's entire family, not sparing even children. 

'Some relatives were shot to death by pistol in front of other people if they resisted while being dragged out of their apartment homes,' the Daily Mail quoted South Korea's Yonhap agency. 

The mass execution was ordered by the leader to ensure that "no traces" of the 'traitor' uncle were left, Yonhap agency quoted a source as saying. 

Those executed in cold blood include Jang's sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband Jon Yong-jin ( who was also North Korea's ambassador to Cuba), and Jang Yong-chol, a nephew of Jang, the North Korean ambassador to Malaysia, as well as his two sons. 
Only few marriage relatives, like the wife of Malaysian ambassador, were let free and sent to live in remote villages. 

The sons, daughters and the grandchildren of Jang's two brothers, too, were not spared, reports the Daily Mail, citing Yonhap news agency. 
09:45  Australia braces for heatwave, issues fire alert:  
Various parts of Australia are preparing for another round of heatwave with temperatures set to cross 40 degrees Celsius and fire alert has been sounded in a few states. 
States have declared total fire bans across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania ahead of the extreme heat. Adelaide's maximum temperature today is pegged to reach 41 degrees C, with 40 C on Friday, 41 C on Saturday and 40 C on Sunday, an ABC report said. 

A catastrophic fire danger rating has been issued for the state's lower south-east, the report said. 

Country Fire Service state coordinator Brenton Eden said "We are facing a horror day when we already have existing fires burning in the state." 

In Victoria, some parts are expected to stay above 40 degrees C for six days, while Melbourne will be in the 30s for much of the week. 

Mildura in the state's north is expected to touch 40 degrees C for a week while southern parts of Victoria will also have a period of extended heat. 
09:43  Can't block porn sites on our own: ISPs tell SC:  
Internet Service Providers have told the Supreme Court that it is practically and technically impossible for them to block pornographic sites without orders from court and government and they cannot be made liable for the objectionable contents of the sites. 

In its reply to a PIL requesting the Apex court to pass an order to block websites with pornographic content in the country, the ISPs association submitted that there is need to define the term pornography as its boundaries are "amorphous". 

"It is neither legally nor technically nor practically possible for ISPs on their own to block pornographic sites unless a direction is received from a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with law or from DoT (Department of Telecommunication)," it said, adding, "It is impossible for them to carry out pro-active monitoring of the content in absence of any mandate by the DoT." 
09:42  Delhi Cabinet likely to clear Jan Lokpal Bill today:  
The Jan Lokpal Bill is likely to be approved by the Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday as its draft has almost been finalised by a panel headed by chief secretary. 

According to an official, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday held a long discussion on the Bill in a meeting attended by lawyer and AAP leader Prashant Bhushan, advocate Rahul Mehra, Cabinet ministers and senior government officials. 

"The Cabinet meeting is likely to be held on Tuesday and the agenda is Jan Lokpal Bill," said the official.

A source said the government is taking all steps to meet its February first week's deadline to pass the anti-corruption Bill in a special session of Delhi assembly from Ramlila ground.

On a query about Delhi Police's reported objections on holding assembly session in Ramlila ground citing law and order issue, he said the government was taking one step at a time and would address the matter once it is ready with the draft and approval from the Cabinet. 
09:41  New study says Delhi's air more polluted than Beijing's:  
An examination of daily pollution figures collected from New Delhi suggests that the air in the national capital is laden with dangerous small particles of pollution, leapfrogging Beijing -- the city that has a widespread reputation of having some of the most polluted air of any major city in the world. 
In mid-January, Beijing's US Embassy sent out warnings when a measure of harmful fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 rocketed above 500, in the upper reaches of the measurement scale, for the first time this year. This refers to particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter believed to pose the greatest health risk as it penetrates deeply into lungs. 

However, for the first three weeks of this year, New Delhi's average daily peak of fine particulate matter from Punjabi Bagh, a monitor whose readings are often lower than those of other cities and independent monitors, was 473, which was twice more than the average of 227 in Beijing, the Verge reported. 

By the time pollution moved breached the mark of 500 in Beijing for the first time on the night of January 15, Delhi had eight such days. Instead, only once in three weeks did New Delhi's daily peak value of fine particles fall below 300, a level more than 12 times the exposure limit recommended by the World Health Organization. 
03:38  US govt to allow tech cos to disclose more data on surveillance requests:  

The Obama administration will allow Internet companies to talk more specifically about when they're forced to turn over customer data to government agents, the Justice Department said Monday. The new rules resolve legal fights with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook before the nation's secret surveillance court.


But while under the terms of the new arrangement, customers will have a somewhat better idea of how often the government demands information, they still won't know what's being collected, or how much.


The dispute began last year after a former government contractor, Edward J. Snowden, revealed that F.B.I. and National Security Agency surveillance programs rely heavily on data from U.S. email providers, video-chat services and social-networking companies. Sometimes, FBI agents demand data with administrative subpoenas known as national security letter.


Other times, the Justice Department makes the demand under the authority of the surveillance court but without a specific warrant Either way, the justification is typically secret and companies are prohibited from saying much.


Read more on The New York Times

03:36  Ukraine 'to scrap' anti-protest law :  

The Ukrainian president and opposition leaders have agreed to scrap anti-protest laws, the presidency has said, a key demand of demonstrators. Viktor Yanukovych also offered the post of prime minister to opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, but he rejected it. The president met leaders of the three main opposition parties to try to end the deepening political crisis.


Demonstrators had rejected previous offers of concessions, pointing to the protest laws as a sticking point. The law was hastily passed in parliament by Yanukovych loyalists on 16 January. The changes included a ban on unauthorised tents in public areas, and criminal responsibility for slandering government officials.


Read more on BBC


China's brand new moon rover is already saying farewell. The diminutive lunar explorer, known as Jade Rabbit, or "Yutu" in Chinese, was about halfway through a three-month mission to study the moon's crust when it suffered a potentially crippling breakdown, said state media.


The report, authored by China's state-run Xinhua news, was written in the voice of the rover itself. "Although I should've gone to bed this morning, my masters discovered something abnormal with my mechanical control system," said the Xinhua report, in the voice of the Jade Rabbit.


"My masters are staying up all night working for a solution. I heard their eyes are looking more like my red rabbit eyes." "Nevertheless, I'm aware that I might not survive this lunar night," it added.


Read more on CNN

03:07  Olympic torch moves through Dagestan amid new threat:  

The Olympic torch has wound its way through more than 100 cities in the relay leading up to next month's Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. But the turn it took Monday highlighted a fear held by many people across the globe.


A runner carried the torch through Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan -- a region embattled by Islamic insurgents. The event went off without a hitch, with security in place and some cheering supporters lining the streets.


But the international focus on that moment served as a reminder of the militants who have carried out deadly attacks recently in Russia, and who have threatened more. Russia is working to "ensure that there will be joyful, peaceful, and successful Olympic games," the country's ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, told CNN on Sunday, insisting he is "absolutely certain" the Games will go off without any terrorist attacks.


Read more on CNN

03:05  Ukraine protesters leave justice ministry:  

Ukrainian anti-government protesters have ended their occupation of the justice ministry after the minister threatened a state of emergency. A spokesman for the protesters said they had left because they did not want to provoke the authorities. The EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has brought forward a visit to Ukraine to Tuesday, citing "deep concern" about the situation.


Unrest has spread across Ukraine in recent days. Protesters across the country have targeted, and in many cases occupied, the offices of regional authorities. The protesters stormed the justice ministry building late on Sunday in a "symbolic act" to strip the authorities of justice.


Read more on BBC

03:04  Egypt army backs Sisi as presidential candidate:  

Egypt's top military body has given its approval for armed forces chief Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to run for the presidency.


The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) said: "The people's trust in Sisi is a call that must be heeded as the free choice of the people." Security sources say he will resign and announce his candidacy within days.


Field Marshal Sisi led the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi in July, following mass protests against him. An election must take place by mid-April. Correspondents say Field Marshal Sisi would be likely to win, given his popularity and the lack of any serious rivals.


Read more on BBC

01:04  Beijing's bad air would be step up for smoggy Delhi:  

In mid-January, air pollution in Beijing was so bad that the government issued urgent health warnings and closed four major highways, prompting the panicked buying of air filters and donning of face masks. But in New Delhi, where pea-soup smog created what was by some measurements even more dangerous air, there were few signs of alarm in the country's boisterous news media, or on its effervescent Twittersphere.


Despite Beijing's widespread reputation of having some of the most polluted air of any major city in the world, an examination of daily pollution figures collected from both cities suggests that New Delhi's air is more laden with dangerous small particles of pollution, more often, than Beijing's.


Lately, a very bad air day in Beijing is about an average one in New Delhi. The United States Embassy in Beijing sent out warnings in mid-January, when a measure of harmful fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 went above 500, in the upper reaches of the measurement scale, for the first time this year. This refers to particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which is believed to pose the greatest health risk because it penetrates deeply into lungs.


Read more on NYT

01:02  North Korean leader's family members executed:  

The direct relatives of the recently executed Jang Song Thaek have all been put to death on the orders of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said on Sunday.


Entire families directly related to Kim Jong Un's late uncle, who was executed in December for plotting to overthrow the Pyongyang government, were put to death with their children and grandchildren, "multiple sources' told Yonhap News. Among those allegedly executed were Jang's brother-in-law and Ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong-jin and Jang's nephew and Ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-chol, the anonymous sources said. The killings were reported to have taken place after Jang's own execution on December 12 and designed to "mean that no traces of him should be left.'


Read more on NK News

00:59  Sanjiv Bhat's interesting tweet after RaGa interview:  Sanjiv Bhat's, the anti-Modi former Gujarat IPS officer whose wife contested against the Gujarat chief minister from Maninagar, tweets, "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain
00:57  Crime bu no punishment in Indian elections:  

Elections in India are known as a one-of-a-kind festival of democracy, replete with colorful pageantry, flamboyant personalities, and very large numbers. The size of the country's electorate when India heads to the polls for parliamentary elections later this spring is expected to reach nearly 800 million.


According to census data, an estimated 150 million people are eligible to vote for the first time'"a figure larger than the total number of voters that took part in the 2012 U.S. presidential elections.Elections certainly bring out the best in India's raucous democracy, but they also expose some of its blemishes.


Consider this extraordinary figure: 30 percent of members of parliament have criminal cases pending against them. And that is an increase from the previous election in 2004, when "only' 24 percent of MPs were similarly situated. In the fight to curb these figures, there have been some positive developments and valiant efforts to raise awareness.


The Supreme Court of India recently decided that sitting politicians who are convicted of criminal acts should be removed from office upon conviction'"a new practice in India. And for the first time, an anticorruption party vaulted to victory in Delhi's state assembly. These are certainly bright spots, but, if recent state elections are any indication, efforts thus far have barely scratched the surface.


Read more of Milan Vaishnav's article on Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website

00:09  Kejriwal holds review meeting as AAP completes one month:  As the AAP government completed one month in office today, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today held a review meeting of all the ministers and sought reports on the work carried out by them in the given period.

The one month of Delhi government led by Kejriwal has not only seen implementation of some of the promises (in some cases partially) AAP made before Delhi assembly election, but also generating several controversies by the actions of its ministers.

On the positive side, the Delhi government announced free supply of 20 kilolitres of water per month to domestic households with metered connections, reduction of power tariff by 50 per cent for first 400 units, besides ordering a CAG audit of power distribution companies.

The government also launched anti-corruption helpline to curb graft in its administrative departments.
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