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LIVE! Cong cannot win elections by spreading lies: Modi

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January 31, 2014

23:10  Cong cannot win elections by spreading lies: Modi:  

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at the Congress saying that they cannot win the elections by spreading lies among the people. "When people are fed up of mis-governance of the UPA government led by Congress, the party cannot win the elections by spreading lies," Modi was quoted as saying in a BJP statement.        


Modi was addressing a state executive meeting of the party held in Gandhinagar today. The chief minister told party workers to get at least one lakh people enrolled in each Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat with the BJP before the elections.         He also stressed on the use of social media saying it can play a vital role in reaching out to the people.        


During the meeting, the BJP decided to launch their 'one note, vote on lotus' programme in the state from January 11 to 20. The party will also take up door-to-door campaign for the Lok Sabha elections during that time.

22:15  Now, BJP denies Pawar-Modi meeting:   Amid talk of the NCP giving mixed signals on its alliance with the Congress for Lok Sabha polls, the BJP today denied that there had been any meeting between Sharad Pawar and party leader Narendra Modi, even as it dismissed any speculation of a likely tie-up. 

"As far as my knowledge goes, there was no meeting between the two," BJP President Rajnath Singh told reporters when asked to respond to reports about Pawar and Modi meeting in Delhi recently.
22:13  WB to withdraw cases against Singur, Nandigram activists:  The Mamata Banerjee government, which catapulted to power because of the Singur and Nandigram agitations, today decided to withdraw cases filed by the previous Left Front regime against activists, including two ministers and a prominent TMC MP. 

"Of the cases filed by the previous Left Front government against activists in Singur and Nandigram, the state government has decided to withdraw cases against 303 in Nandigram and 122 in Singur on the basis of the merit of those cases," Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee told reporters.
21:59  Anti-Arunachal Pradesh economic blockade continues:  The indefinite economic blockade against Arunachal Pradesh, in protest against the killing of 10 people in the state on January 29, today affected the supply of goods to the hill state.        

At least 25 loaded trucks bound for the neighbouring state were detained by the blockade sponsors Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and some other organisations, official sources said.        

The trucks were carrying essential commodities, including foodstuff, petrol and diesel from Tezpur, Nagaon and Lakhimpur districts of Assam, they said, adding the economic blockade had affected the supply of goods to Itanagar, Naharlagun and East Siang, West Siang, Along and Pasighat.
21:33  Parties raking up 1984 riots issue for votes: Congress:  Accusing rival parties of politicising the 1984 anti-Sikh riots issue, the Delhi Congress today said the AAP's move to order a SIT probe was aimed at wooing the community ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.        

"We welcome all inquiries into the 1984 Sikh riots. But don't order a probe just for vote-bank politics; don't ask for votes based on 1984," Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh Lovely said.        

"We also want strict punishment for those involved in the riots. But parties are raking up this issue currently for the Sikh votes," Lovely said, adding if the parties are genuinely concerned about justice for the victims, then they must keep the issue alive even after elections.
21:31  Tiger Woods on his way to India:  Star golfer Tiger Woods, who is all set to arrive in New Delhi on Tuesday, said that his dream of visiting India will finally be realised as his "friend" Arjun Atwal has been requesting him to visit the country for some time.     

"Arj (Tiger calls Atwal by that name) has been asking me to come to India, but somehow it never happened. Now it has.Yeah, I'm looking forward to it, finally going to go (to India) for my first time," Woods said today.
20:53  Tata Power exits Indonesian coal block PT Arutmin:   Tata Power has exited Indonesian coal block PT Arutmin for $500 million.
20:52  Jaitley-Chidambaram verbal duel continues...:  The war of words between P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley refuses to end with the BJP leader today taking a dig at the finance minister, saying he appears to be planning a life after retirement as he is practicing writing columns, which will make for "excellent" reading.    

"Finally my friend Mr P Chidambaram, the Union finance minister, appears to be planning life after the North Block. He is an extremely competent lawyer. Parliament's loss will be Supreme Court's gain," said Jaitley.
20:51  Satyapal Singh not in touch with us: BJP:  Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde today said that he or any other party leader had not held any talks with Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, who has resigned from service and is planning to join politics.     

"Singh has neither contacted me nor has he contacted any leader from the Maharashtra BJP. We would have known had he contacted any leader at the Centre," Munde told reporters.
20:49  Social media shocked over Arunachal student's death:  Social media has erupted with outrage and horror over the death of a student from Arunachal Pradesh, who was reportedly assaulted by some shopkeepers at Lajpat Nagar, Delhi after a verbal altercation.

Read the report here
20:47  How will Taliban react to 2014 Presidential polls?:  How will the Taliban react to the 2014 Presidential elections in Afghanistan? If the militant group plans to disrupt the polls, how will they go about it?

Click here to find out
20:29  No SIT probe in Batla House encounter: Congress:  The Congress today dismissed a demand for an SIT probe into the Batla House encounter, a day after a party MLA from Delhi raised the matter.    

"The stand of the Congress and the government on the Batla House encounter remains the same for the last many years. There is not even an inch of change in it," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
20:27  Tehelka: Case filed for disclosing rape victim's identity :  Goa police today registered a case against unknown persons for disclosing the identity of the victim who was allegedly raped by Tehelka Founder Editor Tarun Tejpal, and for circulating defamatory emails against her.        

Deputy Inspector General O P Mishra told PTI that a case under Section 228 of the Indian Penal Code and under section 66 of the Information Technology Act has been registered by the Crime Branch.

"The case has been registered against unknown persons and the investigation is going on," Mishra said.
20:14  Diesel price hiked by 50 paise; non-domestic LPG cut by Rs 107:  Diesel price was today hiked by 50 paise per litre but there will be no change in petrol rates. The hike, effective midnight tonight, is excluding local sales tax or VAT. 

The actual increase will be higher and will vary from city to city. However, the price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG), which customers buy after consuming their quota of 12 subsidised cylinders, was cut by Rs 107 per cylinder on easing international rates.
20:12  Tehelka: Case filed for disclosing rape victim's identity:  Goa police today registered a case against unknown person for disclosing the identity of the victim who was allegedly raped by Tehelka Founder Editor Tarun Tejpal, and for circulating "defamatory" emails against her. 

Deputy Inspector General O P Mishra told PTI that a case under section 228 of the Indian Penal Code and under section 66 of the Information Technology Act has been registered by the Crime Branch here.
20:08  HC reserves orders on plea regarding public meeting of Modi:  Madras High Court today reserved orders on a petition seeking a direction to DGP, and Superintendent of Police,Kancheepuram not to grant permission for a public meeting on February 8 in which the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is going to participate.
20:05  German President to begin 5-day India visit on Feb 4:  German President Joachim Gauck will arrive here on February 4 on a five-day State visit during which he will focus on the vast spectrum of bilateral relations. 

The President will be accompanied by a high-ranking delegation comprising, among others, representatives of the German cabinet, Parliament and business, a release from the External Affairs Ministry said today.
20:05  No hurdle in creation of Telangana: Shinde:  Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today made it clear that there will be no hurdle in creation of Telangana during the tenure of UPA-II and the statehood bill will be passed in the coming session of Parliament beginning February 5. 

"The bill will be passed. There will be no problem," he told reporters here when asked about the fate of Telangana in the wake of Andhra Pradesh Legislature's rejection of the proposed legislation.
19:57  Andhra Pradesh MPs device ways to slow passage of Telangana Bill:  Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh with the help of Telugu Desam Party and BJP MPs have decided to submit at least 1,236 amendments to the Telangana Bill to create a huge stumbling block.   

Though there shall be eight major items on the Terms of References on Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh Bill, the 1,236 amendments will take at least one month in the Lok Sabha alone.   

Even if the UPA convenes a Joint Session of Parliament to pass the Telangana Bill, Congress MPs shall formulate another strategy said a Union minister from Seemandhara.
19:57  Home Minister Shinde confuses between two RK's:  Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde failed to distinguish between IAS officer R K Singh and R K Sinha.   

Shinde requested a senior BJP leader not to accommodate RK Singh as Rajya Sabha MP.   

The BJP leader who figured it was a case of mistaken identity told Shinde that the BJP had nominated R K Sinha to the Rajya Sabha and not RK Singh.
19:56  Congress leaders boo Chidambaram for his comment:  Congress leaders were up in arms against Finance Minister P Chidambaram's comment on lack of funds for the 'Namma Metro' in Bangalore.     

Chidambaram was booed and criticised for his remark   Senior leaders Veerappa Moily, Jairam Ramesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, GK Vasan stoutly opposed his comment.   

"If such stoppage of funds were to be made known to the public the Congress will not win even one seat in Bangalore, said Moily.
19:24  The surprising transformation of Bilawal Bhutto:  The Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban are two very different things. The Afghan Taliban, who have stubbornly resisted the worst that the US and Britain could throw at them for the past 12 years, brought a measure of peace and stability to their war-racked country during the late 1990s. 

Sons of the Pashtun soil, they gained widespread support with their claims to being pious and honest, even though their version of Islam was brutally reductive. That helps to explain why they are still such a force to reckon with today.

Read more
19:10  Kejriwal lists 'India's most corrupt' politicians:  
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday listed India's "corrupt politicians" who, he said, should not be allowed to contest elections.

Among the top mentions were Kapil Sibal, A Raja, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, P Chidambaram and Suresh Kalmadi.

Kejriwal was addressing his Aam Aadmi Party workers on a day his cabinet is to discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill that seeks to punish corruption with a maximum sentence of life in jail.

"People who have spent Rs 500 crore to build their brands will take that money back from us only. How can they deliver good governance?" Kejriwal asked.

"Our aim should be to not allow a single corrupt politician or even a family member to enter the House," he said, urging the people to submit similar 'corruption' lists of their own.

Here is the list of names Kejriwal presented at the meet:

Suresh Kalmadi
Nitin Gadkari
Sushil Kumar Shinde
Praful Patel
BS Yeddyurappa
Anant Kumar
Veerappa Moily
HD Kumaraswamy
P Chidambaram
Salman Khurshid
Annu Tandon
A Raja
Tarun Gogoi
Kapil Sibal
Mulayam Singh
Sriprakash Jaiswal
Pawan Bansal
Farooq Abdullah
Naveen Jindal
18:58  Section of Srinagar airport road to be closed for flyover construction:  A section of the airport road in Srinagar will be closed due to construction of a flyover, prompting the authorities to announce today a traffic management plan for smooth movement of vehicles on the route.
18:53  Teesta gets transit bail in case of usurping funds:  The Bombay High Court today granted transit anticipatory bail to social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand on a complaint lodged against them in Ahmedabad for alleged embezzlement of funds. 

Justice Mridula Bhatkar today granted Teesta and Anand relief from arrest for four weeks.
18:39  Gadkari, Vasan threaten to sue Kejriwal for calling them 'corrupt':   NDTV reports: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today proclaimed a series of top national leaders as corrupt and said his Aam Aadmi Party will target them in the national election.

Two of the politicians he named -- Union minister G K Vasan and Nitin Gadkari of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party - have warned that they will sue him for defamation unless he apologises. "He should have added his own name to the list," offered the BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad.
18:38  Syria must accelerate chemical disarmament: watchdog:  The world's chemical watchdog called today for Syria to "pick up the pace" in shipping out its chemical weapons stockpile after a key deadline was missed. 

"The need for the process to pick up the pace is obvious," Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement after a meeting of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' (OPCW) executive council yesterday in The Hague.
18:37  BJP demands closure of 55 mines along river Baitarni:  Describing the river Baitarani as the Ganges of Odisha, BJP today demanded immediate closure of at least 55 mines in its catchment area as per the recommendation of the Justice M B Shah Commission. 

"The 55 mines along Baitarani, which are allegedly affecting the river, have been identified by the Shah Commission of Enquiry," BJP leader Sameer Mohanty said, adding the closure of the mines need to be included in the action taken report.
18:13  'Attack on Arunachal student not racist':  Student Union leader says that incident involving northeast student Nido Taniam is not a racist attack. Delhi police sources say that they will treat it as a normal case.  
17:40  Vijay Goel among 3 BJP leaders elected unopposed to RS:  BJP nominees Vijay Goel, Ram Narain Dudi and Narain Pachariya were today elected unopposed in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections from Rajasthan.

As there was no contestant against them after the time of withdrawal ended, they were declared elected by Assembly Special Secretary and Returning Officer P K Shastri.
17:30  Friends of Arunachal student Nido Taniam said that he came home after a tussle and never woke up after that. 

Nido was the son of an MLA.   
17:15  Will go to court: Farooq Abdullah on Kejriwal's 'India's most-corrupt' list:  Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today said he will approach court and give "answer" to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for mentioning his name in his list of "corrupt" politicians.  

"I am happy that my name figured in the list. I will go to the court and answer... I will ask him (Kejriwal) also,"Abdullah told reporters after calling on DMK chief MKarunanidhi at his residence in Chennai.
16:52  Yasin Malik, other separatist leaders arrested in J&K:  Over 10 separatist leaders, including JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, were taken into preventive custody and several others were placed under house arrest to scuttle protests after Friday prayers against the army's recent decision to close Pathribal fake encounter case.

Malik and 10 of his senior party colleagues were detained when they tried to take out a march to Lal Chowk from their headquarters at Maisuma in the heart of the city this afternoon, police sources said.

JKLF had announced a march to Lal Chowk after Friday prayers to protest the Army's decision to close the Pathribal fake encounter case by giving clean chit to its personnel.
16:48  Racial attack? Arunachal student dies after being beaten in Delhi :  A college student from Arunachal Pradesh has died allegedly after being beaten by a group of men at a crowded locality in south Delhi on Wednesday.

The altercation started after the boy, identified as Nido Taniam, broke a window of a sweet shop after they made remarks on his hair.

According to the Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union, Nido was subjected to racial slur and teased about the colour of his hair.

His family says that he was beaten to death on Jan 29 in Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi.

The northeast community will hold the protest in front of the sweet shop tomorrow. 
16:32  Documentary on Sachin's farewell on YouTube tomorrow:  A documentary charting the euphoria around the farewell days of legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar in the game will be available on social media platforms, including YouTube from tomorrow.

The film portrays people's emotions during Tendulkar's last Ranji Trophy encounter in Haryana and the final Test-series against the West Indies in November last year.

The documentary, prepared by sports journalist Jasvinder Sidhu, is called 'Last Goodbye to 22 yards'. "This film is a tribute to the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen. This 38-minute film, subtitled in English, is like a documentary evidence of what exactly Sachin means to India," said Sidhu.
16:28  Arvind Kejriwal sworn-in as NDMC member:  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was today sworn-in as a member of the New Delhi Municipal Council, a day after the Union home ministry notified his membership of the civic body.

Surinder Singh, the AAP MLA from Delhi Cantonment, was also sworn in along with Kejriwal at a special meeting of the council.
16:19  Harvard's India-born dean says sorry for gender bias at campus:  Harvard Business School's India-born dean Nitin Nohria has publicly apologised for the school's treatment of women students and professors, and vowed to make changes at the premier institution to deal with gender bias.

Nohria acknowledged that Harvard Business School had sometimes treated its female students and professors offensively.

Nohria conceded there were times when women at Harvard felt "disrespected, left out, and unloved by the school. I'm sorry on behalf of the business school," he told at a gala event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of women MBAs at the school.

"The school owed you better, and I promise it will be better," CNN money quoted Nohria as saying.
16:09  Second supermoon of 2014: Gear up for another celestial treat on Friday:  
Sky enthusiasts can gear up for another celestial treat as the second supermoon of 2014 is coming up today. 

According to Space Foundation, an organisation working for popularising astronomy, the second of the five supermoons of 2014 would be visible on Friday.

January is the only month with two supermoons until January 2018, the first supermoon of the year 2014 appeared on January 1. 

The second supermoon of 2014, which will occur Friday would be visible around 3.30 pm. 

While the remaining three supermoons will be visible July 12, August 10 and September 9, the August supermoon would be closest to Earth. 

'A supermoon phenomenon can be seen when the moon makes it closest approach to Earth in its orbit than usual. 

According to NASA, because of how close the supermoon is, it can appear as much as 14 percent larger in the sky and 30 percent brighter to our eyes than the normal moons.
16:05  Delhi govt has no right to function if it cannot provide 24x7 power: BJP:  
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday criticised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for failing to provide uninterrupted power supply, and said the state government has no right to function if it is unable to provide electricity to the people.

"It is the responsibility of the Delhi Government and the chief minister to provide 24 hours uninterrupted power supply to the people. He had promised people 50 percent reduction in power tariffs," he said.

"There has been no 50 percent reduction, and people are still getting bills at inflated amount. No citizen of Delhi has got the benefit of 50 percent cut till now. If the government is unable to provide electricity to people, I don't think it has any right to function, and be talking about the politics of the country," he added.
15:52  US regulator downgrades India's aviation safety ranking:  
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has downgraded India's aviation safety ranking, which means Indian carriers cannot increase flights to the United States and face additional checks for existing flights.

The FAA has downgraded India to Category 2 from Category 1, Prabhat Kumar, India's director general of civil aviation, was quoted by a business newspaper as saying.

Jet Airways and state-run Air India operate flights from India to the United States.

"It is a big national embarrassment, particularly for the fact that for five years we did not get our act together. There was a first warning of a downgrade in 2009 which we managed to avert by bringing in some temporary people," Kapil Kaul of aviation consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, told NDTV.

The move could impact Indian carriers future operations in the US, their code share arrangement and the foreign passengers' perception on Indian safety, he added.
15:29  Indian small cars fail independent crash tests:  
Some of India's best-selling small cars have failed independent crash tests conducted by a global car safety watchdog.

All five small cars popular on the Indian market last year, including the famous Tata Nano and the Hyundai i10, failed the crash tests performed by London car-safety watchdog Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme).

The cars that were tested were the Tata Nano, Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo.

All cars had to be made-in-India models only, and the most basic or entry-level version available in the market was selected for testing. This meant none of them had airbags -- one of the most basic prerequisites globally to pass a safety test. 

There were two tests carried out on identical cars of the same make -- meaning two of each car were procured by Global NCAP from Indian showrooms, and shipped to Germany for the tests. One crash test was performed at 56 kmph, the other at 64 kmph.

All five cars failed the test, landing a zero on a scale of 1-5. 

Click HERE to read
15:26  Pay today or we cut power: NTPC tells Delhi govt:  
The National Thermal Power Corporation has Delhi government's plea not to stop power supply to BSES Yamuna Power Ltd for defaulting on payments.

Sources say that NTPC has warned of snapping power supply to BSES Yamuna Power Limited if payment not made today.

However, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd has said it has no funds to pay public sector generation units for power supplies. The company had written to the Delhi government asking for an extension of credit and more time to clear its dues.
14:59  Face of Congress' ad faces Twitter fire:  
Zee News reports: The face that has now become synonymous with Congress' advertisement pitching for Rahul Gandhi as the future leader has started to come under attack. 

Hasiba B Amin, who projects herself as a young face of the Congress party in the Hindi TV ad, is being attacked on the social media. 

The reason: her credentials are under doubt.

Click HERE to read more
14:33  Schumacher 'blinks' after a month in coma: reports:  
Legendary Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, who met a near-fatal accident while skiing, is "responding to instructions" after the doctors on Thursday started to reduce the dose of sedatives to bring him out of artificial coma, L'Equipe newspaper has reported.

According to the report, Schumacher has blinked during brain tests. 

L'Equipe has also cited "very reliable sources" as saying that the seven-time world champion is responding "positively" to various neurological tests since the start of this week.

The 45-year-old champion F1 driver was kept under artificial coma to reduce swelling in his brain after the traumatic accident on December 29 in the French resort of Meribel.

The French daily also reported that Schumi was administered high dosage of powerful anaesthetic drugs to give his brain injury time to heal.

The newspaper report said: "After gradually reducing the sedation of the patient, the team of Professor Emmanuel Gay [the medic overseeing Schumacher's treatment] has been doing neurological tests since Monday. During this first stage, the patient blinked."
14:31  CBI files review petition in SNC Lavalin case:  
With just days left for the time for appeal to end, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday filed a review petition in the SNC Lavalin case in which CPI-M state secretary Pinnarayi Vijayan was discharged by a CBI court. 

On Nov 5 last year, CBI special court judge R. Reghu termed the investigation agency's chargesheet baseless, and accepted Vijayan's discharge petition, also exonerating all the seven who had filed a discharge petition. 

The CBI filed the review petition Friday at the Kerala High Court and stated that the CBI court did not go in-depth into the agreement that was signed by Vijayan with the Canadian company, SNC Lavalin, in 1997 for renovating three power plants in the state.
In June 2009, the CBI had filed chargesheets against nine accused in the Rs.374 crore scam. Vijayan was the seventh accused in the chargesheet. 
14:20  Indian worker beheaded for murder in Saudi Arabia:  
An Indian worker, convicted of murdering his Saudi sponsor, has been executed in the Gulf kingdom.

Muhammad Latif was beheaded here yesterday after being found guilty by a local court of killing his sponsor Dhafir Al-Dossari by hitting him with an iron rod during a dispute, according to the Interior Ministry.

He then hid the body in an abandoned well, the Ministry was quoted as saying by state-run SPA news agency. 

The court had earlier postponed the execution until the minor sons of the sponsor are old enough to agree to the verdict.

This was the third execution this year in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, that practices a strict version of Shariah law under which rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death. 
13:55  Sachin to receive Bharat Ratna on February 4:  
President Pranab Mukherjee will on February 4 decorate Sachin Tendulkar with Bharat Ratna at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Tendulkar,40, who retired from international cricket on November 16 last year was chosen for the award along with eminent scientist Prof CNR Rao. Tendulkar will be the first sportsman to be bestowed with the country's highest civilian honour. 

The announcement was made by Rashtrapati Bhavan within hours after Tendulkar played his 200th and farewell Test against the West Indies in Mumbai. 

An official statement said Tendulkar has been a true Ambassador of India in the world of sports and his achievements in cricket are unparallelled, the records set by him unmatched, and the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by him exemplary. 

"That he has been honoured with several awards is testimony to his extraordinary brilliance as a sportsman," it said, noting that Tendulkar has played cricket across the world and won laurels for the country during the last 24 years (the maestro began playing when he was just 16).
13:32  Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna quits:  
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna resigned from his post on Friday. 

Addressing the press, Bahuguna said he has submitted his resignation to the state Governor. He added he was merely following the wishes of his party. 

Union Minister Harish Rawat and state minister Pritam Singh have emerged as the frontrunners for the top job in the hilly state. 

The decision to replace Bahuguna was taken at a meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had with senior party leaders on Thursday.
Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and AICC general secretaries - Janardan Dwivedi and Ambika Soni, who is in charge of party affairs in the state - are being sent there as central observers for the changeover, PTI had quoted highly-placed Congress sources as saying. 

Rawat and Pritam Singh, who is Food and Civil Supplies Minister in the Bahuguna Cabinet, are the frontrunners, they said. 
12:03  Giant hunt for desi clues to stroke, cognition loss:  
India plans to launch its first giant population study that will track the health of about 15,000 healthy people above 50 for at least five years to pinpoint the risk factors for stroke and cognitive decline.

The study, to be jointly conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here and Erasmus University in the Netherlands, will seek to identify India-specific factors that can influence these two ailments.

"The incidence of stroke in India appears to be different from that in the West," said Kameshwar Prasad, a senior neurologist at AIIMS and the studys principal investigator.

"About half of stroke cases we see in India cant be explained through known risk factors."

Click HERE to read further...
11:33  Indias political class scurries for cover:  
If the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan were alive today -- and been the partys most-likely prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming parliamentary poll in April -- he would have advised Indias venerable pollsters of public opinion to go slow. At the rate at which they are going, they are making the April poll a redundant affair...

Read more HERE
11:25  Justice JS Verma's family refuses Padma Bhushan award:  
The family of Justice JS Verma, the architect of a report that became instrumental in shaping stronger anti-rape laws in the country, has refused to accept the Padma Bhushan award.

Justice Verma, who died in April, was awarded one of India's highest civilian awards on the occasion of Republic Day. 

But his wife Pushpa Verma wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday that "my family and I have decided not to accept" the award. She saying the family had never received any official communication; they found out from media reports that he was being given the posthumous honour.

"My late husband never hankered or lobbied for any acclaim, reward or favour," Mrs Verma wrote in the letter. "We do not want to accept what we know Justice Verma himself would not have accepted. He will remain satisfied with being remembered as one of India's most pre-eminent jurists...The greatest honour to him remains how he is held in the hearts and minds of his fellow countrymen, as a true friend not just to women or the youth, but to those most in need of one."

Read more HERE
11:06  Pawar denies secretly meeting Narendra Modi:  
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has denied media reports that he secretly met BJP's Prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 17 to discuss the new alliance.

"News of my meeting with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 17 appeared in a newspaper is completely mischievous, baseless and false. During state visits or in Chief Ministers' conferences in Delhi, I meet CMs and barring these occasions, I have never met Modi in last one year," he tweeted in clarification.

Marathi daily Loksatta had claimed that Pawar may change the side after the Lok Sabha elections 2014.

Just days ago, Union Minister Praful Patel defended Modi on Gujarat riot issue. 

Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's interview, Patel had said that people should respect Supreme Court's verdict in Gujarat riot case.

It is also believed that Pawar is not comfortable with the idea of working under a much-younger Rahul Gandhi. 

The Congress has named Rahul as its face for the 2014 poll campaign and it is widely believed that if the UPA comes back to power, he would lead the next government. 

Current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already ruled himself out of a thuird possible term. 

But whether the BJP-NCP alliance will materialise or not remains to be seen as the BJP's Maharashtra unit is reported to be averse to the idea of joining hands with NCP.
10:58  SC stays execution of 1993 Delhi blast convict Bhullar:  
The Supreme Court on Friday hear stayed the execution of 1993 Delhi blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar 

After considering the curative plea in a chamber hearing on January 28, the apex court bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam, Justice RM Lodha, Justice HL Dattu and Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya on January 28 held hearing on Bhullar's plea in open court today. 

Chief Justice Sathasivam had on January 24 directed the hearing of Bhullar's plea on January 28 after senior counsel KTS Tulsi told the court the curative petition was pending since September 2013. 

Tulsi had told the court the April 12, 2013 judgement of declining to commute Bhullar's death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground that he was convicted under the terror law has become per incuriem in the light of three judges' verdict. 

Bhullar was given capital punishment for the September 11, 1993 blast at the Youth Congress (YC) office on Raisina Road, New Delhi, a stone's throw from Parliament House, which left nine dead. The attack was targeted against then YC leader Maninderjeet Singh Bitta.
09:37  Hyderabad-born Satya Nadella may replace Ballmer as Microsoft CEO:  
Technology giant Microsoft is likely to name Indian-American top executive Satya Nadella to replace longtime chief Steve Ballmer as the new Chief Executive Officer, capping a five-month search for the only third CEO in the company's history.

The Hyderabad-native, who is the executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, has been among the front-runners being considered for the top job.

Microsoft is getting closer to naming a CEO with the sentiment inside the company shifting to Nadella, 46, a report in the Wall Street Journal quoted people familiar with the process as saying.

The WSJ report said as potential candidates outside of Microsoft were ruled out of the CEO hunt, in recent weeks the sentiment inside the company and among people familiar with the process shifted in favour of Nadella. 

The Microsoft board is also discussing replacing co-founder Bill Gates as chairman, in what would be a historic shift for the company. 

The board is believed to be considering Microsoft lead independent director John Thompson as Gates's replacement. 

Nadella is responsible for building and running the company's computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services.
09:32  Delhi Police to reply to SC queries on AAP dharna:  
The Delhi Police, under fire for allowing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues to hold protest in the national capital on January 20-21, will on Friday furnish the explanation sought by the Supreme Court. 

Pulling up the Delhi Police, the apex court bench of Justice RM Lodha and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh on January 24 directed the Delhi Police commissioner to file an affidavit within a week and respond to the question as to why it permitted Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues to assemble and hold dharna when prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) were in force in the area. 

The court order to the commissioner came on a petition by advocate N Rajaraman. 

In another PIL, the court issued notice to the central government and the Delhi government on whether a chief minister who is expected to uphold the rule of law could act in its violation.
08:59  No need to ban khap panchayats: CM Kejriwal:  
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who described himself as an 'anarchist' earlier this month, has now sparked a controversy when he said he does not see the need for banning 'khap panchayats' because they serve a "cultural purpose". 

Kejriwal, who is a self-proclaimed advocate of progressive social politics, told a news agency in an interview that he would not ban the illegal village courts.

Notably, khap panchayats often support harsh treatment of women and issue misogynistic diktats, including ordering 'dishonour killings'. 
According to Reuters, the 45-year-old's stand on the unelected all-male bodies contrasts with that of some women's groups who want them dismantled. 

"No, it is not a question of banning these panchayats," Kejriwal told Thomson Reuters Foundation late on Monday. "Khap Panchayats are a group of people who come together. There is no bar on people to assemble in this country ... (But) whenever they take a wrong decision, whenever they take an illegal decision, they ought to be punished." 
08:59  Delhi to see 8-10 hour power-cuts from Saturday:  
People in eastern and central parts of Delhi should be prepared for power cuts lasting 8-10 hours from Saturday, as the distribution company catering to the two regions, BSES Yamuna, has sent an alert over its unviable financial situation.

The second-largest of the three private discoms in the national capital supplies to 1.35 million consumers.

BYPL chief executive officer Arvind Gujral told Delhi power secretary Punit Goyal in a letter: Unfortunately, it appears inevitable that there will be substantial load-shedding of up to eight-10 hours, possibly as early as from February 1, in our licence area, causing grave hardship to millions of our valued consumers in east and central Delhi.
08:54  Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna to quit today:  
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna may tender his resignation on Friday. 

Union Minister Harish Rawat and state minister Pritam Singh are emerging as the frontrunners for the top job in the hill state. 

The decision to replace Bahuguna was taken at a meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had with senior party leaders on Thursday. 

Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and AICC general secretaries Janardan Dwivedi and Ambika Soni, who is in charge of party affairs in the state, are being sent there as central observers for the changeover, PTI quoted highly-placed Congress sources as saying. 

Rawat and Pritam Singh, who is Food and Civil Supplies Minister in the Bahuguna Cabinet, are the frontrunners, they said. 
08:39  Police detains two suspects in Delhi heist case:  
Two people have been detained in connection with the Rs 7.69-crore heist here. 

The detention comes after several teams of the Delhi Police raided Haryana's Mewat, Rohtak, Sonipat and Panipat districts in search of the robbers.
Six people robbed Rs 7.69 crore in cash from the business partner and manager of a Delhi-Gurgaon-based businessman near Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi and hijacked the car in which he was going with four other employees on Tuesday.

Police found out that businessman Rajesh Kalra was arrested in 2000 for connection with bookies and was charged in the Hansie Cronje match-fixing case. 

Police are also looking for the source of the looted amount. 
08:35  Mumbai police chief resigns, may join BJP to fight Lok Sabha polls:  
In an unprecedented move, Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh on Thursday tendered his resignation to Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil. 

Singh is the first Mumbai commissioner of police to quit.

According to reports, Singh is likely to join BJP to contest the Lok Sabha election either from Uttar Pradesh or Mumbai. 

Notably, Singh is due for retirement in 2015. 

Reports also added that Singh had been in talks with party president Rajnath Singh and former party president Nitin Gadkari regarding his chances to contest the Lok Sabha polls as a BJP nominee from Uttar Pradesh. 
08:35  US warns Moscow of concern over cruise missile test:  
The United States has raised concerns with Moscow over a reported Russian test of a cruise missile and is evaluating whether it breaks a 1987 treaty, a US official said today. 

Washington has raised "the possibility of... a violation," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, amid reports that Russia had tested a new ground-launched cruise missile. 

The New York Times said today that Moscow had begun testing the new missile as early as 2008, and that the State 
Department's senior arms control official Rose Gottemoeller had repeatedly raised the issue with Moscow since May.

Psaki said she could not refute the details of the Times report, and there was an ongoing interagency review to determine whether the Russians had violated the terms of a US-Russian arms control pact.

The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev, eliminated nuclear and conventional intermediate range ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles. 
08:29  Yahoo email account passwords stolen:  
Yahoo has said that usernames and passwords of its email customers have been stolen and used to access accounts, but the company isn't saying how many accounts have been affected. 

Yahoo is the second-largest email service worldwide, after Google's Gmail, according to the research firm comScore. There are 273 million Yahoo mail accounts worldwide, including 81 million in the US. 

Yahoo Inc. yesterday said in a blog post on its breach that "The information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts' most recent sent emails." 

That could mean hackers were looking for additional email addresses to send spam or scam messages. By grabbing real names from those sent folders, hackers could try to make bogus messages appear more legitimate to recipients. 

The bigger danger: access to email accounts could lead to more serious breaches involving banking and shopping sites. That's because many sites use email to reset passwords. Hackers could try logging in to such a site with the Yahoo email address, for instance, and ask that a password reminder be sent by email.
08:20  New PAN allotment norms put on hold; old procedure to continue:  
New norms for issuing of PAN (Permanent Account Number) cards have been put on hold by the Finance Ministry.

They would have come into force from February 3 and required verification of original documents of applicants. Currently, a PAN applicant has to just submit photo copies of documents required. The originals are not checked.

In a statement, the ministry said, "the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to keep in abeyance the decision to change the procedure for PAN allotment till further orders. " In the meantime, it added, the old procedure of PAN application and allotment "shall continue".

The statement, however, did not give reasons for keeping the proposed norms on hold.

Under the proposed procedure, copies of proof of identity, address and date of birth attached with PAN application forms were to be checked against original documents when applications were to be submitted at PAN facilitation centres.
03:27  US will seek death penalty against Boston bombings suspect:  

The US government says it will seek the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement: "The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision."


Seventeen of 30 charges against the 20-year-old carry the possibility of capital punishment, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. The bombings killed three and injured more than 260 in April 2013.


Mr Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty and no trial date has been set. Prosecutors allege that Mr Tsarnaev and his deceased older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, built and planted two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon.


Read more on BBC

03:25  US briefs Nato on Russian 'nuclear treaty breach':  

Russia has been accused by the US of breaching a key arms control treaty banning medium-range nuclear missiles. According to reports in the New York Times, citing US officials, Russia has been conducting flight tests since 2008 of a ground-launched cruise missile. Such a test would fall under the treaty's parameters.


The US has not publicly stated that Moscow is in breach of the treaty but it has now briefed its Nato allies on the issue. Washington is also reported to have raised concerns with the Russians several times during the past year but has been told that there is no issue to be resolved.


Read more on BBC

03:24  'Cocky' Justin Bieber tested positive for pot, Xanax, police docs say:  

Justin Bieber was under the influence of alcohol, pot and Xanax when police stopped him for drag racing in Miami Beach last week, police documents allege. "Yeah, we were smoking all night at the studio," the singer told a police officer who told he "reeked of marijuana" as he rode in a patrol car, according to documents released Thursday.


Bieber was "excited," "talkative," "insulting" and "cocky" and "used profanity," according to a intoxication evaluation conducted by Miami Beach police.


Read more on CNN

03:23  Amanda Knox found guilty of murder again by Italian court:  

An Italian appeals court convicted former exchange student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito on murder charges Thursday night. Prosecutors said the couple had killed Meredith Kercher in November 2007.


They were convicted two years later of murder, but those charges were overturned on appeal in 2011. A judge said Thursday that Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison. Sollecito's sentence was 25 years.


It is unlikely that Knox, who lives in Seattle, Washington, will return to Italy to serve additional prison time because U.S. law dictates that a person cannot be tried twice on the same charge, a legal expert told CNN. He believes that if Italy were to ask for extradition, U.S. officials would deny the request.


Read more on CNN

03:22  Barclays to cut hundreds of jobs:  

Hundreds of jobs are being lost at Barclays under changes in its corporate banking division, it has been announced. Around 400 posts will go, and the Unite union said a further 120 were being placed at risk this year.


Barclays said it would try to avoid compulsory redundancies, but Unite said staff would be "reeling". National officer Dominic Hook said: "This constant insecurity will do nothing for the morale of the workforce.


Unite is calling on Barclays to rethink these job losses and ensure that there are no compulsory redundancies at the bank." Barclays said in a statement: "As part of the ongoing transformation of Barclays, the shape of corporate banking will also need to change, as we react to advances in technology and simplify the business to better serve our clients.


Read more on The Guardian

02:16  Amartya Sen: Poverty and the tolerance of the intolerable:  

Professor Amartya Sen with Prospect's editor Bronwen Maddox.  


Last night, Professor Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, delivered the Prospect/Joseph Rowntree Foundation anti-poverty lecture in front of an audience of several hundred people at the London School of Economics, with many more watching the live stream online and following #LSEpoverty on Twitter.


Sen took as his title "Poverty and the Tolerance of the Intolerable'. No country in the world, he declared, is "free from poverty', though in India, the country of his birth, where there is a "massive disparity between the privileged and the rest', extreme deprivation is particularly deeply entrenched. India, he said, is an example of a country with a large middle class which is able to tolerate, with something approaching equanimity, the serious poverty in its midst. '


(Although the situation in India is extreme'"Sen referred to the "special nature of the neglect of its poor' '"there is no reason for those of us elsewhere in the world, especially the developed world, to be complacent. "Blaming the victims' of poverty, he observed, is as common today as it was in the era of the Poor Law.)


Read more on Prospect

01:35  Clinton prohibitive White House favourite... again:  

AFP: It's as if the last seven years never happened: Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive early Democratic favourite in the White House race.   A Washington Post poll today had Clinton obliterating the potential Democratic field and showed she would handily dispatch scandal-dented Republican hopeful Chris Christie in a 2016 general election.        


Still, the fact that Clinton is leading polls at this early stage hardly means she'll burst through the glass ceiling in which she said she made 18 million cracks in the 2008 White House race.        


Clinton was the heavy early favourite for the Democratic nomination in 2008 -- until the phenom known as Barack Obama exploded into life just before voting started and snatched away the prize.


While there appear to be no rock star candidates hiding in the wings this time around, the lesson of 2008 is that apparent "inevitability" does not guarantee victory.        


Polls this early in a presidential race -- when no candidates are yet declared, though several are mulling runs -- are notoriously unreliable.         What is clear, though, is that if she does give it another go, any Democrat taking Clinton on could be in for a rough ride.        


According to the survey, the former secretary of state would trounce her closest possible rival, Vice President Joe Biden, in a primary race. She currently leds him 73 percent to 12 percent among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic.

00:35   US 'concern' at Syria chemical weapons delay:  

The US says only around 4% of the chemical weapons declared by the Syrian government has been removed. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said he was "concerned" that the UN-backed plan to remove Syria's chemical arsenal was behind schedule. Mr Hagel told reporters in Poland that Damascus "had to take responsibility for fulfilling its commitment".


Delegates from Syria's government and opposition have attended peace talks in Geneva for a sixth day. UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters that there had been both tense and promising moments.


He said a minute's silence was held by the delegations on Thursday for all those killed in the conflict, which began in March 2011. In a separate development, a report from Human Rights Watch has accused the Syrian government of "deliberately and unlawfully" demolishing thousands of homes in opposition strongholds.


Read more on BBC

00:33  Top headlines at this hour:  

Pak court stop's Bilawal's 'cultural coup' on Mohenjodaro\

Condemned prisoners in Rajiv assassination case deserve death: SC

AAP to contest over 350 LS seats, will fight tainted leaders

Cong-RJD-LJP alliance final in Bihar: Ram Vilas Paswan

Srinagar-Muzaffarabad peace bus service to resume from Monday

Jung asks Kejriwal govt reasons for DCW chief's removal

People are 'happy' in one month report card: Kejriwal

Don't want a government of rioters: Mamata on former ally BJP

Trying to stop formation of Telangana is useless: TRS

Sonia attacks Modi at Bihar rally: 'Some only want to grab power'

TWO MISTAKES Rahul Gandhi made in his TV interview

'Tehelka' case: Photographs of journalist Tejpal assaulted circulated


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