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July 08, 2014


22:05  Air raids siren go off in Tel Aviv after rockets launched from Gaza:  Israel shot down a rocket fired at its commercial capital Tel Aviv,  a military source said, the deepest such attack from the Gaza Strip during a two-week-old escalation of fighting in the Palestinian territory. Live television showed a double-burst of smoke in the clear blue skies above Tel Aviv after air raid sirens sounded. Israel's Iron Dome interceptor shot down the projectile fired by Palestinians, hours after Israel intensified its bombing campaign in Gaza. 
21:38  PM Modi to leave for Brazil on July 13:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for the two-day summit of five-nation BRICS forum in Brazil on July 13 and will make a transit stop in Germany. Modi's first participation in a multilateral meeting after taking over as PM will also give him an opportunity to meet with world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and heads of South American countries.
21:04  Washington stores begin selling legal marijuana:  Marijuana dispensaries in Washington state began legally selling recreational weed this morning, joining Colorado to officially become the second state in the country where adults can lawfully purchase marijuana. Customers formed lines outside of retailers in the Pacific Northwest state early Tuesday as select shops planned to open their doors for the first time ever.
20:48  Special frisking enclosure for women at Pragati Maidan station:  A special frisking enclosure for women at Pragati Maidan Metro station was inaugurated by the Director General of Central Industrial Security Force Arvind Ranjan today. He also inspected the security arrangements and preparedness of the staff in dealing with the passengers on a day-to-day basis at the metro station. 
20:27  BJP to refuse Congress's bid on LoP position:  According to CNN-IBN, the Bharatiya Janata Party is set to reject the Congress's claim to the Leader of Opposition post, saying they have no case to argue. The Congress has threatened to go to court if their bid is rejected. 
20:18  FIR against Cong leader Mukesh Sharma:  
An FIR has been registered against Congress leader Mukesh Sharma for removing Sadanand Gowda's nameplate, stepping on it in protest of what the party has called a anti-poor budget. 

Congress on Tuesday slammed the Railway Budget as 'pro-rich'.  
19:54  British pair who travelled to Syria admit terror charges:  Two British men of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin, who went to war-torn Syria to join rebel fighters today pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in a UK court. 

Childhood friends Mohammed Nahin Ahmed and Yusuf Zubair Sarwar, both 22, spent eight months in Syria last year after contacting Islamic extremists from the UK.
19:35  Israel launches new Gaza airstrikes:  Israeli military officials said Tuesday that they had carried out airstrikes targeting at least 100 sites in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as part of a new offensive aimed at halting rocket attacks by militants.

The strikes prompted President Obama to urge both sides to exercise restraint. But the Israeli military said the strikes would help "retrieve stability to the residents of southern Israel, eliminate Hamas' capabilities and destroy terror infrastructure operating against the State of Israel and its civilians."

The airstrikes resulted in five Palestinian deaths and over a dozen injured, Gaza's Health Ministry said.
19:17  Nearly 100 pilots found drunk in pre-flight tests since 2011:  Almost 100 pilots have been punished for being drunk ahead of flights between 2011 and June 30 this year, though there has been a declining trend of alcoholism among the cockpit crew, Rajya Sabha was told today.

From 2011 till June 30 this year, a total of 97 pilots have been found drunk in pre-flight alcohol checks. Of them, 28 pilots belong to Jet Airways and 17 pilots each were from IndiGo and SpiceJet, Minister of State for Civil Aviation G M Siddeshwara said in reply to a question.
19:03  Nothing new in rail budget: Nitish:  I cant see anything concrete in the #RailBudget. Nothing new was said. People had huge expectations, says JD-U chief Nitish Kumar.
18:58  Kerala Cong leader who said Rahul was a joker remains unrepentant:   Unremorseful over his controversial 'joker' remarks against Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi despite his suspension, former Kerala Minister T H Mustafa today said he had not committed anything wrong.

Mustafa, suspended from the party for his May 28 remarks, told reporters here that he had not called Gandhi a 'Joker', but only said he was 'acting like a joker' and "there is nothing wrong in saying so."

His remarks (in the backdrop of Congress' debacle in Lok Sabha polls) had triggered a debate in the party with several others also airing their views against Gandhi, Mustafa said.

On his suspension, Mustafa, a Minister in the K Karunakaran cabinet in the 1990s, said he had not been informed by the party about his suspension and had come to know about it through media reports.
18:37  'Put in place mechanism to handle emergency at juvenile homes':  The Delhi High Court today directed the city government and the police to "put into operation" at the earliest the mechanism evolved by them to deal with emergent situations at observation homes for juveniles.
18:25  Bodies of Badaun rape/murder victims to be exhumed :  In a new twist to the alleged rape of two girls in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, CBI has decided to exhume the bodies of the victims for a fresh autopsy as the probe agency feels that proper procedure was not followed while conducting the postmortem.

Highly-placed sources in the agency said the first post- mortem was conducted at night, which is usually against laid down procedures.

Post-mortem is not conducted after sunset except in an exceptional emergency cases.

Ahead of exhuming, CBI will constitute a medical board after which the agency will move a local court for a direction for exhuming the bodies of the two girls for a fresh postmortem.

The move comes after the autopsy report of the state government was only suggestive of rape without conclusively proving it.

The postmortem was conducted by a woman doctor who had no prior experience, said the sources.

The two cousins, aged 14 and 15, went missing from their house on the night of May 27 and their bodies were found hanging from a tree in the village in Ushait area the next day. The incident had sparked a nationwide outrage.
18:13  Court rejects CBI closure report in DSP Zia-ul-Haq murder case:  A special court on Tuesday rejected the closure report of the Central Bureau of Investigation in Kunda Deputy SP Zia-ul-Haq's murder case in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. The court has asked the investigating agency to re-investigate the case.

UP Minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya was the key accused in the case. The CBI had in its closure report gave clean chit to Raja Bhaiyya and his four aides -- Gulshan Yadav, Hari Om Srivastava, Rohit Singh and Guddu Singh.
18:05  Parveen Azad (wife) on DSP Zia-ul-haq murder case: Court ordered further investigation rejecting CBI's report, I'm happy and hopeful. 
17:58  Other reactions on the rail budget:  Some TMC members are making deliberate actions to disrupt proceedings of house,It is uncalled for. Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP).

Don't think they care whether house run or not as they've majority,there is no sense of reconciliation: Veerappa Moily (Cong).

It is unfortunate that some members came to well and did not allow the Railway Min to make his budget speech in peaceful manner: Venkaiah Naidu (BJP).
17:54  Oppn slams rail budget, calls it 'disappointing', 'illogical':  Opposition parties today slammed Narendra Modi government's maiden rail budget, variously describing it as "illogical" and "disappointing" after claiming it had overlooked large parts of the country.

Biju Janta Dal (BJD) termed the budget, which was presented in Parliament by Rail Minister Sadananda Gowda, "quite shocking" and "illogical" as it complained that no emphasis had been made in it for the areas that generated more revenue from freight.

JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, too, criticised the budget, saying it had left out large parts of the country's geography. "There was no reference to Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Kerala, Telangana and Seemandhra. These are the parts where a large chunk of the population resides. Also, all pending projects should have been completed first," said Yadav.
16:51  TMC MPs on dharna outside Parliament House over 'abuse' by BJP:  Update on the BJP-TMC clash: As soon as the House assembled at 3.30 pm  after an adjournment on the Rail Budget issue, the agitated Trinamool Congress and AAP members trooped into the Well protesting over the budget.

While Trinamool members were raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and the Railway Budget, BJP members raised counter slogans from their seats like 'abkji baar Modi sarkar (this time Modi government)'.

Amid the war of slogans and counter-slogans, two BJP MPs rushed to the Well apparently accusing Trinamool members of disrupting proceedings.

A heated exchange of words ensued and the members from the two sides came on the verge of a clash. A couple of House marshals were also seen separating the members from the two parties.

Hukma Dev Narain Yadav, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House till 4.30 PM sensing the gravity of the situation as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar, his senior M Venkaiah Naidu and Minister Kalraj Mishra rushed to calm the tempers. Some Congress members were also seen rushing to the Well to avert any ugly incident.

Those involved in the incident included Hari Narayan Rajbhar (BJP). An agitated Trinamool leader Kalyan Banerjee wanted to meet the Speaker. He gathered all his party members who later sat on dharna near Gandhi statue in Parliament House complex alleging that BJP members threatened to hit them and used objectionable language.

TMC member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar later told reporters that some BJP MP used derogatory language when they were protesting against the Railway Budget. She said it was an unwarranted and uncalled for interference by BJP members.
16:40  Pic that's doing the rounds on social media: Sadananda Gowda's version of the bullet train. 
16:28  TMC MP Shatabdi Roy: BJP MPs who abused us were drunk :   BJP MP Jagdambika Pal reports on the BJP-TMC scuffle: This is drama. Rail budget was being presented and TMC workers were raising slogans against PM.

Shatabdi Roy, TMC MP, however says two BJP MPs abused and threatened to attack us, I am sure they were drunk.  
16:18  TMC MP: If we aren't safe in Parl, where can we be safe?:  TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh says they were simply raising slogans inside Parliament, inside the well of the house, because the budget has nothing for Bengal, when suddenly BJP MPs approached them and abused and threatened them, she says. She named BJP MP Hari Narayan Rajbhar as the man who led the group of BJP MPs. She said if MPs and women MPs in particular are not safe inside the Lok Sabha, where else can they be safe.

There is a rule in Parliament that whenever there is a ruckus, the cameras should focus on the chair and not on members, so it's unlikely that there will be a record of what happened today. 
16:13  BJP MPs threatened, abused our women, says TMC MP:   Kalyan Banerjee (TMC MP) said BJP MPs threatened them and badly abused women MPs. Banerjee and a few other MPs ran out of the Parliament screaming, "marne ke liye aaye hain, marne ke liye aaye hain."  A hysterical Banerjee, known to always be vociferous in Parliament, says BJP MPs attacked them.

His colleague, Kakoli Ghosh, TMC MP, "We were peacefully protesting inside LS, one drunk BJP MP along with others came and threatened and abused us."

Details awaited.
15:48  The Lovely Cong leader who led the protest at Gowda's residence :  Congress workers protesting outside Sadananda Gowda's residence in Delhi were led by DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely. The protesters reached Gowda's 1, Tyagraj marg residence around 3 pm and raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gowda. They also demanded immediate rollback of the recent rail fare hike.

"Modi government's budget is useless and the bullet train proposal is just an eyewash. They should first roll back recent rail fare hike immediately. With this proposal, BJP-led government has unleashed a 'bullet inflation' on the people of Delhi and as well as country," Mukesh Sharma, DPCC chief spokesperson said.
15:30   'Pro-rich' Rail budget seeks to please PM's home state: Kharge:  Congress today slammed the Railway Budget as "pro-rich" with former
Congress leader Mukesh Sharma removes Sadanand Gowda's nameplate, steps on it in protest of what the party has called a anti-poor budget.

Today, former railway minster Mallikarjun Kharge said that the rail budget was bereft of any new scheme, plan or railway line and seeks to please the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Kharge, who is also Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, said that "the budget is only for Ahmedabad."

He also ridiculed the government's plans to introduce a bullet train in Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector and setting up of a Diamond Quadrilateral network of high speed rail connecting major metros and growth centres.

"Government has provided a sum of Rs 100 crore for the project. With this money only four to five kilometre of railway line could be constructed. Hence this plan will remain only a plan. Many announcements have been made but they will remain mere announcements. This is a PPP (Pubic Private Partnership) and FDI budget not a railway budget. The budget has nothing for the poor.

"It's a pro-rich budget. The budget has nothing new to offer. There is no new new scheme, no new plan and no new railway line. They themselves have admitted that it is a plan holiday. When they are not going to give anything what is the point in talking about it," Kharge told reporters outside Parliament after the budget was presented in Lok Sabha.
15:26  Singapore to double riot police after Little India riot:  In other news: Singapore will double the size of its frontline anti-riot forces and step up surveillance after the country witnessed its worst street violence in 40 years during the Little India riot last year.

Talking about the December 8 riot and a report from an official probe into the incident, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in Parliament yesterday that 300 more officers will be added to the Special Operations Command (SOC), doubling its current strength of deployable frontline troopers trained in riot control.
15:04  A large population and a big geographical outline has been left out in the #RailBudget, says Sharad Yadav, JDU.
15:00  Amul's positive take on the upcoming general budget. Finance minister Arun Jaitley will present the budget on Thursday.
14:59  India to get 10 swanky railway stations of global repute:  Railway minister Sadananda Gowda in his maiden rail budget proposed to develop 10 major stations in the country at par with global standards. 

Simultaneously, Gowda also emphasised on increasing allocation for cleanliness and also assured to start battery operated cars for the handicapped and elderly on platforms. 
14:52  Mamata smarts at 'insults and rejection' of Bengal in rail budget :   Has anybody seen such insults and rejection? Bengal has been totally deprived by the now Central Govt: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on the rail budget.

If you recollect, in 2011, when Banerjee was a railway minister, the BJP had called the rail budget an "election manifesto" for West Bengal Assembly polls which has "ignored" the rest of the country.

"Mamata Banerjee's rail budget is like an election manifesto. The entire focus is on West Bengal, and the rest of India has been totally neglected," BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar had said. 

14:37  LIVE! Lalu: Gowda just hurriedly read out what was written for him:  Sadananda Gowda just hurriedly read what was written out for him, says a peeved Lalu Prasad Yadav. Lalu was a former railway minister and had introduced the Garib Rath trains and kulhars instead of paper cups in trains, during his tenure.

14:32  Kevin Pietersen: England must beware India's new stars :  When England beat India 4-0 last time, Graeme Swann was in his pomp and made Andrew Strauss's captaincy look good. But now Virat Kohli and co have a point to prove. Read
14:29  Highlights of the rail budget :  Union Minister for Railways, DV Sadananda Gowda in his maiden Budget presentation today highlighted the achievements of the Indian Railways. He said passenger fare revision was a tough decision but it was necessary. Here are the highlights of the budget. Read
14:10  Rupa subramanya tweets: Rahul Gandhi's standard answer to everything:"it's not pro-poor".The poor on the other hand decided not to be pro-Rahul Gandhi these elex.
14:10  Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till tomorrow after ruckus. 
14:09  Rail budget will make the poor cry: Cong :  Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari: Ye aam aadmi ko rulaane wala budget hai. This didnt look like a #RailBudget but a privatization of the railways.
14:08  Pre-cooked, hygenic meals, promises rail minister:  The Railway Budget today proposed to introduce ready-to-eat meals of reputed brands on-board trains to improve food quality and cancel vendors' contract if services were not up to the mark.

Presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15, Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda also proposed to introduce a 'quality assurance mechanism' to improve catering services through third party audit.

"In order to improve quality, hygiene of on-board catering services and to provide variety, I propose to introduce pre-cooked (ready-to-eat) food of reputed brands in a phased manner," Gowda said, expressing concern over catering services.

To bring about a perceptible improvement in catering services, the Minister proposed a quality assurance mechanism through a third party audit by National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies.

A system of collecting feedback through IVRS mechanism from the travelling passengers on the quality of food served will be launched shortly, he said. "If the service is not up to the standard set, especially in the hygiene and the taste, severe action would be initiated against the vendors including cancellation of contract," he said.

Gowda also proposed to set up food courts at major stations to provide the option of ordering regional cuisine while on-board, through emails and sms.
13:59  Other reactions to the rail budget :   Venkaiah Naidu: Some people dont seem to be able to digest the fact that a true budget has been presented.

Rahul Gandhi: The budget is not pro-poor.

Kirit Somaiya:  We have already done our homework as far as bullet train for Mumbai-Ahmedabad is concerned.

PM Narendra Modi: Der aaye durst aaye... we have begun the path to development.
13:56  LIVE! Rail budget shows where we want to take the country: Modi:  PM Narendra Modi on his rail minister Sadananda Gowda's budget: The budget shows its planned for railways as a whole and is not ad hoc. The budget will strengthen transparency. Now in real terms this is a Bharatiya Railway.

"For a long time, the vision was broken, not unified. Now it's the 21st century budget. First time there is holistic railway budget of modern India. Rail budget shows where we want to take the country," says Modi
13:38  Govt will be happy to have a recognised LoP in LS: BJP:   Asserting that the issue of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha was in the "exclusive domain" of the Speaker, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the government would be happy to have a recognised LoP in the House like in the Rajya Sabha.

Hitting out at Congress, Naidu accused the party of running a campaign in the media casting aspersions on the Speaker and claiming that the government did not want a Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

He criticised Congress leader Kamal Nath for his remarks that the decision of the Speaker in the matter would be "flavoured" by the view of the BJP government.

Naidu said that he regretted that even without formally staking claim some Congress leaders were talking of going to courts on the issue.
13:15  Lok Sabha adjourned till 2pm after uproar.
13:14  Ruckus from the opposition Sadananda Gowda reads out the rail budget. Can't fathom the reason, except that lunch time nears. 
13:11  Airport security: you won't fly to the US if your mobile phone battery is dead:   British Airways says it will turn away passengers booked on US-bound flights if their electrical devices will not switch on. Read
13:07  High Speed trains on 9 routes including Mumbai-Ahmedabad:   Ruckus in Parliament after Gowda announces high speed trains on nine routes including Mumbai-Ahmedabad. MPs want their constituencies to be addressed.
12:51  LIVE! Gowda comes clean: Bio toilets, clean drinking water, mechanised laundries:   Rail minister Sadananda Gowda addresses the single-biggest quibble: Dirty trains. Gowda says bio-toilets in trains to be increased to mitigate direct discharge of human waste on tracks and platform. The number of mechanized laundries for quality bedrolls in AC coaches will be increased apart from the introduction of RO drinking water.
12:42  Coming soon! Gandhi statue at London's Parliament Square:   British Foreign Minister William Hague and Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne have announced plans for a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the inspiration for non-violent civil rights movements around the world, to be installed  in Parliament Square in London.

"A monument in a location of symbolic value for our democracy is a fitting tribute to this great man, which will inspire us all to uphold his ideals and teachings ahead of important anniversaries of key moments in his extraordinary life. Gandhi has a particular connection to London, having studied here like so many of the talented young Indians we welcome today.        

"Our ambition is for the monument to be in place early next year. Once installed, the statue will provide a focal point for commemoration next summer of the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's return to India from South Africa to start the struggle for self-rule, as well as the passing of 70 years since his death in 2018, and the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2019," said William Hague.

The Foreign Minister and Chancellor made the announcement while visiting Gandhi Smriti, the Gandhi Memorial in New Delhi, on the second day of their visit to India (8 July).

The memorial is located on Tees January Marg at Gandhi's home and the site of his death on 30 January, 1948.

Pic: William Hague outside the Gandhi memorial in Delhi
12:41  Hema smiles? :  Smita Prakash: RO drinking water in stations. (Hema Malini smiles, I think?)

Actor-turned-politician Hema Malini landed in trouble in 2007 for raising whats just her second question in Parliament. Hema suggested an excise cut on the water purifiers that use the reverse osmosis technology, saying the equipment used for water purification using this process be given tax cuts.

However, the first-time-MP probably forgot that she has a direct, commercial link with one such equipment manufacturer.

Hema endorses Kent RO water purifiers and this has landed her in bit of hot water with Parliament's ethics committee.

Parliament rules that say an MP cannot raise any question in House for a product that he/she endorses.


12:31  LIVE! 'In last 10 years, of 99 new projects, only 1 project completed' :  Point to note: Rail minister Sadananda Gowda says: In the last 30 years, 676 projects were sanctioned, but only 317 completed. In the last 10 years, 99 new line projects, but only 1 project completed.
12:25  Rail stocks fall as much as 8% in early trade :  Stocks of companies related to railways sector fell as much as 8 per cent in morning trade today due to profit-booking ahead of the railway budget.

Shares of Texmaco Rail & Engineering tanked 7.72 per cent, while Titagarh Wagons plunged 4.99 per cent on the BSE. Similarly, Kernex Microsystems fell by 4.93 per cent.

Rail stocks have surged in the past few days on hopes of some measures from this railway budget including FDI in railways, introduction of bullet trains, robust maintenance system for railway tracks, increasing the number of trains and raising the speed of trains. In the stock market, the benchmark BSE Sensex was trading at 26,055.28, down 44.80 points at 1130 hours.
12:22  Gorgeous pictures and a Raj nostalgia: The long history of Indian Railways, told through images. See
12:15  Sheila Dikshit to meet Pranab today:  Sheila Dikshit, Governor of Kerala and V N Duggal, Governor of Manipur will be meeting President Pranab Mukherjee today. It's been touted as a courtesy visit. 
12:02  Ek saugaat toh inho ne pehle hi de di rail kiraya badhaa ke (They have already given us a gift in the form of hiked rail fares), Pawan Bansal former Rail minister says.
11:57  New York Times shuts India-specific blog -- India Ink:  The New York Times has shut its India Ink blog, "the first-ever country- specific" news site after a nearly three-year run, as it no longer wants to "direct its resources" towards blog-style content.

NYT had said in a June 30 blog post titled 'We're Moving' that 'India Ink' will have a new online address and it will be merged with coverage of news stories from rest of the world. Read more 
11:45  George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, Britain, tweets: "Gandhi was father of democratic India. Can announce we'll honour his memory with statue in front of mother of parliaments in parliament sq."

Osborne is on a two-day visit to India, where he welcomed the ambition, drive and pace of Narendra Modi, Osborne is accompanied by William Hague, the foreign secretary.
11:36  JUST IN: SC grants three months more time to CBI to furnish details about all registered NGOs in the country and whether they file IT returns.
11:24  The railway bridge across  the Beas River built in 1971 at a cost of Rs 1.46 crore.
11:22  Sensex, Nifty slip from record highs on profit-booking:  After opening on a positive note, markets witnessed hectic profit-booking in most of the sectors in late morning trade, leading to fall in the Sensex and Nifty by nearly 100 points from their all-time highs ahead of the the Railway Budget.

Earlier, the Sensex touched new all-time high of 26,190.44 and Nifty crossed the 7,800-mark for the first time. Shares of realty, capital goods, banking, power, oil & gas, metal, auto, IT and teck segments encountered heavy selling pressure.

However, healthcare, FMCG, consumer durables remained in positive terrain.
11:17  JUST IN: India successfully test-fires advanced version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Odisha coast.
11:15  Cong won't disrupt rail budget if Speaker promises price rise debate:  News at this hour:Dinesh Trivedi, former rail minister, says, "Railways is like our jersey cow, our political system has never understood this."

Rail minister Sadananda Gowda say, I'm going to present my maiden Rail Budget today. Hope we are able to meet public expectations."

Congress sources say that the party will not disrupt the Rail Budget if Speaker gives assurance of discussion on price rise and Leader of Opposition status to Congress. The Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge to meet Speaker Sumitra Mahajan over the LoP issue.

Pic: Rail minister Sadananda Gowda and MoS Manoj Sinha with the budget papers.
11:05  What can we expect from the rail budget? :  The Narendra Modi government's maiden railway budget is due any time now. Having done a pre-budget hike of 14.2 per cent in passenger fares and raised freight rates, Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda's maiden budget is likely to adopt a realistic approach in announcing new trains, lines and survey in view of the cash crunch of Rs 26,000 crore.

With the growth in passenger earnings declining, railways is likely to spell out its strategy to earn additional revenue to reach the target in the current fiscal.

While many unviable projects may be scrapped, Gowda will also announce some new projects on priority basis in the rail budget 2014-2015 on Tuesday. Read more
11:00  Wimbledon 2014: Why does Victoria Beckham never smile?:  The men's final at Wimbledon 2014 will go down as one of the finest ever, with a celebrity-packed Centre Court cheering on the gripping five-set battle between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

But there was one person in the royal box who did not crack a smile; who never appeared to wince when Djokovic slid dangerously along the baseline; who failed to cheer when Federer fought back to take it into a fifth set: Victoria Beckham.

Beckham sat dispassionately, with her lips pursed, throughout the three hours and 56 minutes, and managed to make Prince Michael of Kent look positively relaxed - an impressive feat. Read
10:57  'Don't know if I'll ever get my 4 months' salary that Iraq govt owes me':  Although Lesima Jerose Monisha is relieved that the nightmare is over, now that she and her 45 colleagues are back in India from warn-torn Iraq, she has no idea whether she will get her four-and-half-months' salary that the Iraqi government owes her. Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar reports. Read
10:53  Sangh lends Shah backing AND key aides:  The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has endorsed Amit Shah's elevation as the next BJP president, Sangh and party sources have said.A weekend meeting of Sangh seniors at Mohankheda in Madhya Pradesh endorsed Shah's elevation, they added, and an announcement could come in the "next two days'. Read more
10:52  On the mythology of social policy:  India is among the world champions of social underspending. Without enlightened social policies, growth mania is unlikely to deliver more under the new government than it did under the previous one. Read
10:51  A green opportunity:  The Bharatiya Janata Party government has been friendly to private industry; the relationship has paid off, as shown by Gujarat's growth rate and share of industry in GDP -- close to a fifth by the last count. India is an underdeveloped country; it lags far behind the industrial world. And in the past two decades, it has lagged far behind China. This is depressing.
Read more
10:07  No advice for railway minister for his station master brother :  NDTV reports: Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda has a deeper connection with the ministry. His younger brother DV Suresh Gowda is a railway station master in Karnataka. 

But Suresh Gowda, who is posted at Nandikoor near Mangalore, says he is not one to offer suggestions to the railway minister, even if he is his brother.
"I am sure it will be a good budget," he said.

Read the full report here
09:51   Ahead of the Railway Budget, the rupee opened higher at 59.95 per dollar against Monday's close of 60.01. 
09:46  Markets open at an all-time high ahead of Rail Budget:   Markets open at a record high today for the second day. Nifty hit an all-time high, it crossed the 7,800 mark.    
08:44  We want to make Railways people-friendly: Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda :  Ahead of the Rail Budget today, Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda tells DD News, "We want to make railways people-friendly. He said Budget to benefit in the long run. We cannot promise immediate smile for the common man." 

He said that an announcement on bullet trains will be made today. "The focus will be on amenities for commuters," he said.

Gowda also said that the ministry has launched Facebook and Twitter IDs to make Railways interactive.      
08:36  Tensions flare over killing of Israeli teens:  Israel has carried out more air strikes on the Gaza Strip, following a volley of rockets fired by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

Nine Palestinians, including a woman and two children, were reportedly hurt in the strikes, reports BBC.
03:05  Maharashtra government revises toll policy:  

PTI: Maharashtra government tonight revised its toll policy, under which road projects to be completed with budgetary provisions will not attract levy, a politically sensitive issue which has attracted a lot of attention ahead of the assembly polls.        

 

Also, under the policy, road projects costing under Rs 200 crore will not be executed through public-private partnership. The decision to revise the toll policy was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Mumbai.        

 

According to government officials, toll for future projects would be on per kilometre basis. "If the cost of a road is more than Rs 10 crore, the toll would be 1.5 times of the cost," they said.        

 

The toll on express highways would be 1.25 times and at places where the highway will be expanded to six lanes the levy would be 75 per cent till completion of work. The State Transport buses have been completely exempted from toll, they said.        

 

On a single road, distance between two toll plazas would be 45km. Also, distance between two toll collection centres on two different roads will not be less than 20km, the officials said.        

 

Motorists will have amenities like washrooms, drinking water and parking space, among other things, at the toll units. They will also get discount ranging from 10 to 20 per cent on purchase of Rs 50 to Rs 100 coupons.

03:03  Top Iraqi general killed in mortar attack:  

The general commanding the Iraqi Army's Sixth Division was killed in a mortar attack Monday morning west of Baghdad, according to officers in the division and a counterterrorism official. Brig. Gen. Najim Abdullah Ali al-Sudani was killed in or near the town of Garma, which is close to Falluja, a city that has been held by Sunni militants for most of this year.

 

In recent weeks, Iraqi troops bolstered by militia groups have been trying to reclaim the city. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki offered his condolences after hearing of the general's death.

 

Read more on New York Times

00:36  Islamist terror threat to West blown out of proportion: Former MI6 chief:  

The government and media have blown the Islamist terrorism threat out of proportion, giving extremists publicity that is counter-productive, a former head of Britain's intelligence service has said. Sir Richard Dearlove, chief of MI6 at the time of the Iraq invasion, said that Britons spreading "blood-curdling" messages on the internet should be ignored.

 

He told an audience in London on Monday there had been a fundamental change in the nature of Islamist extremism since the Arab spring. It had created a major political problem in the Middle East but the west, including Britain, was only "marginally affected".

 

Unlike the threat posed by al-Qaida before and in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks 13 years ago, the west was not the main target of the radical fundamentalism that created Isis, (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), Dearlove said. Addressing the Royal United Services Institute, the London-based security and defence thinktank, he said the conflict was "essentially one of Muslim on Muslim".

 

Read more on The Guardian

00:35  Iraq's orphans left to ask: 'Why do these people kill other people?':  

Eleven-year-old Hajer Sami says she does remember her father. She was only 4 when he was killed, but she struggles to recall vivid memories of him and their family when it was whole. Her family was torn apart when her father, a policeman, was gunned down seven years ago on the streets of Baghdad.

 

She struggles to comprehend why anyone would have wanted to kill her father or why some people detonate explosives in the middle of a crowd. "Why do these people kill other people? Do they get paid money to do it?" she asks. Why? It's a question likely asked by many at the Al Noor Children's Center in Baghdad's Sadr City, a Shiite enclave home to more than two million people.

Read more on CNN

00:34  Rockets hit Israel as Hamas vows revenge for Gaza strikes:  

Dozens of rockets have been fired at southern Israel after Hamas promised revenge for Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. The Palestinian Islamist movement said one Israeli strike near Rafah killed five of its fighter.

 

But the Israeli military said the men appeared to have died after handling explosives in a tunnel that had been hit on Thursday. Tensions have risen since a Palestinian youth was killed in apparent reprisal for the murder of three Israelis. An Israeli official said about 20 rockets were fired in just a few minutes on Monday night, adding that four had been destroyed by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

 

Read more on BBC

00:31  Top headlines at this hour:  

Congress, BJP lock horns in and outside Parliament

After US, now Canada extends invitation to PM Modi

Badaun rape: CBI conducts polygraph tests on victims' family

Pallavi murder case: Watchman Sajjad Mogul sentenced to life

BJP leader must apologise to all women for Bihar brides comment: Manjhi

RSS senior leader Ram Madhav joins BJP

Manmohan wanted to do a lot but 'super PMs' stopped him: BJP leader

Illegal mining a way of life in this town

On first meeting with PM, Assam CM discusses militancy

New Katra train service worries businessmen in Jammu

Israeli foreign minister snaps ties with Netanyahu over Gaza

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Nalini moves SC

Frustrated over 'bure din', Congress workers try to gherao Parliament

Flying to the US? Keep your phones, laptop charged, or face extra screening

7/7 London bombings memorial defaced on anniversary

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