22:01 President asks Governor of Puducherry to step down from post:
The President has directed Virendra Kataria to step down from the post of Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry and has appointed Lt General (Retd) Ajay Kumar Singh, Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to discharge the functions of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, in addition to his own duties.
21:29 Major mishap averted at Bagdogra airport:
Two flights came almost together with a distance of only 700 feet at Bagdogra airport in West Bengal. It was a near collision as two airlines Air India and Indigo flights were given similar altitudes by Bagdogra airport authorities. Airlines have confirmed the incident
21:25 Amazon inches a step closer to deliveries by drone:
Online giant Amazon has sought permission for drone test flights in the United States, saying it is moving forward on plans for deliveries using the unmanned aircraft. Amazon said an exemption to the rules would be "in the public interest" and "is a necessary step towards realising the consumer benefits of Amazon Prime Air," which company founder Jeff Bezos has described as a plan for drone delivery to consumers.
21:09 Israel PM says they will resist pressure to halt operations against Gaza:
Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Israel will resist international pressure to halt Gaza operations." Around 100 people have now died in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, according to the Palestinian healthy ministry. The mounting death toll comes as US President Obama said the US is willing to negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
20:35 19 Ukrainian troops killed by pro-Russian separatists :
At least 19 servicemen were killed after pro-Russia rebels fired missiles on them, a Ukrainian Interior Ministry official said. Zoryan Shkiryak, an adviser to the Interior Minister, said authorities would react swiftly to punish the perpetrators. "They will be destroyed or captured and be made answerable to Ukrainian law," he said.
20:10 Iraq-return Nurses will get salary arrears: Kerala CM:
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today assured that the 46 nurses from Kerala, who were evacuated from violence-hit Iraq recently, would get their salary arrears amount shortly.
Salary arrears would be collected through Indian embassy and it would be given to nurses, he said at a meeting convened here by Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department (NORKA) with nurses to discuss issues related to their rehabilitation.
20:09 Kerry to bang heads together in Iran nuclear talks:
Britain and Germany's foreign ministers will join US Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna this weekend to seek to bridge what Washington called "significant gaps" in ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, London and Berlin said today.
The negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, which last week entered the final straight, are aimed at forging a lasting deal with Iran meant to ease fears that the Islamic state might develop nuclear weapons.
19:23 This his how Gavaskar brought in his birthday:
A gathering of greats for Sunny Gavaskar's birthday last night in Nottingham, UK. In the picture (clockwise from left) former South African Test Cricketer Mike Procter, birthday boy Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram and former England skipper Ian Botham. Gavaskar turned 65 yesterday.
19:05 LIVE! Hotel refuses to cough up Rs 2 cr damages for wrecked Lamborghini :
Here's why you should read the small print: The five-star hotel has refused to pay the damages of over Rs 2 crore after its valet damaged a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder car last week. The hotel says: Parking is at owner's risk.
In a 'costly' mistake, a valet of a five-star city hotel in Delhi wrecked a multi-crore Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder car last week. As per reports, the car suffered extensive damage on the front after the valet apparently lost control while parking it.
The Lamborghini first rammed into a stationary car before crashing into the concrete railing of the rampart.
The accident happened at New Delhi's five-star Le Meridian hotel on July 3.
According to a hotel spokesperson, the valet also suffered injuries in the incident.
The Lamborghini car belonged to a businessman who is in the construction business.
The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder sports car is custom built for customers and costs over Rs 3 crore.
According to the owners, the repairs of the car's front would alone cost around Rs 2 crore.
The hotel has refused to foot the bill, after initially agreeing to do so, they claimed.
A case has been filed with the Delhi Police against the valet as well as the hotel.
18:56 All files relating to Gandhi's assassination in safe custody of National Archives: HM: The
Union home ministry on Friday told the Rajya Sabha that it had destroyed
no more than 11,100 files, and not 1.5 lakh files as alleged, in
deference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's instructions asking all
government departments to weed out irrelevant and outdated files.
of the files destroyed between June 5 and July 8 related to important
historical events such as Mahatma Gandhi's assassination or Lord
Mountbatten's return journey to England, as claimed by a section of the
In fact, around 52 files and 67 sets of exhibits,
containing 11,186 pages, relating to the assassination of Mahatma
Gandhi's murder are in safe custody of National Archives of India, Union
home minister Rajnath Singh informed the Elders. Read more
HMO India @HMOIndia tweets: All files relating to Mahatma Gandhi's assassination are in safe custody of National Archives.
18:36 Sunil Gavaskar denies complaining to SC about BCCI:
Sunil Gavaskar has issued a statement today saying, "The story about me writing to the Honourable Supreme Court of India complaining about BCCI not having compensated me is totally false and utterly mischievous. I have done no such thing and expect a retraction from whoever came up with this story."
Gavaskar, it was reported, had written to the Supreme Court, asking it to clarify the status of his position in the BCCI at present. The court had put Gavaskar in charge of the IPL this March, after asking BCCI president N Srinivasan to step down till the investigation into the IPL spot-fixing case was completed. It had also directed that Gavaskar should be released from his contractual obligations with the BCCI as a commentator but said he should be compensated for his new role, reports ESPN Cricinfo.
Reports on Friday had suggested that Gavaskar had written to the court regarding this compensation, but he denied this.
18:22 DNA pulls down column on Amit Shah:
Ramachandra Guha tweets: A column by @RanaAyyub on Amit Shah has been pulled down by DNA: check http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/standpoint-a-new-low-in-indian-politics-2000913 ' A new low for media self-censorship?
This is what Rana Ayyub wrote. Read
18:15 LIVE! Now, Smriti Irani caught sleeping in Parliament during budget speech:
After Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was caught on camera dozing in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, it is now his bete noire, Smriti Irani, HRD minister, who followed in his footsteps yesterday. Lok Sabha cameras caught Smriti sleeping in Parliament when finance minister Arun Jaitley was tabling the union budget yesterday. Smriti once famously said, "Judge me by my performance in Parliament."
18:10 BJP stages walkout on drought issue:
Accusing the Congress of failure in tackling the drought situation in the state, BJP members today staged a walkout in the Karnataka Assembly. During a debate on the issue, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah assured the House that all steps had been taken to face drought-related problems and that the government is ready to face it.
"The government is ready to face drought. There is no dearth of money. The government will give money to solve all problems relating to drought including drinking water problem," he said. However, not satisfied with Siddaramaiah's reply, the BJP staged a walkout raising slogans against the government. Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar said the government had failed to address the drought situation and had "not prepared" any contingency plan.
18:07 Margaret Alva to be sworn in as Goa Governor tomorrow:
Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva would be sworn-in as Governor of Goa on Saturday after predecessor B V Wanchoo resigned last week.
Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, Mohit Shantilal Shah will administer the oath of office to the Governor at Durbar hall of the Raj Bhavan at 6 pm on Saturday, according to a statement issued by the state government.Alva, was given the additional charge of Goa after Wanchoo resigned on July 4, a day after CBI quizzed him in VVIP chopper deal case.
He was appointed in Goa on May 4, 2012.A lawyer and former parliamentarian, Alva is credited with steering several landmark legislations through the Parliament to improve the position of women in society and polity.Beginning her political career as the only woman Block President in Karnataka after the split of 1969, she went on to head the Congress party's women's wing in Karnataka in 1972.
She soon moved on to become the General Secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.
17:34 Meet Mrs Novak Djokovic!:
Jelena Ristic holds a special place in the heart of the tennis world No 1 Novak Djokovic.The mad-in-love couple have been inseparable since the last seven years. On Tuesday, Djokovic married Ristic at a seaside resort on the Adriatic. See the slideshow.
17:14 Rating agencies say Jaitley's fiscal targets hard to achieve:
Rating agencies today said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's assumption of containing fiscal deficit at 4.1 per cent of GDP is difficult to achieve given the poor outlook on the revenue front and absence of reduction in subsidies. "The fiscal deficit target will be hard to achieve. The government is betting on a sharp increase in revenues in a slow growth year," rating agency Crisil said in a note today.
16:34 India to send 224 athletes in Glasgow Commonwealth Games:
India will field a strong 224 member contingent, its second largest ever, in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games to be held from July 23 to August 3, with athletics forming the biggest squad of 41.
The sports ministry has cleared the 224 athletes from 14 sporting disciplines, including seven para-athletes, at government cost, along with a contingent of 90 officials, coaches and support staff. The Glasgow Games will have 17 sports and 261 medal events and India will not be fielding athletes only in three disciplines -- netball, rugby sevens and triathlon.
16:31 Iraqi Kurds have taken over two oil fields, the oil ministry says, amid a growing dispute with the central government in Baghdad, reports the BBC.
16:23 Tactics aligned to strategy:
There are many positives in the Union budget with the steps in its overall strategy well aligned to try and fulfil people's aspirations. A negative is that they have not been integrated to tell a coherent story of how they are going to help solve the country's problems. Read
16:20 LeT founder Hafiz Saeed addresses seminar in Lahore High Court:
Just days after his organisation was declared a terror outfit by the US, Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, who orchestrated the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, addressed a seminar at the Lahore High Court spewing venom on India and America.
This is the second time that Saeed, who is the founder of banned terror organisation Laskar-e-Taiba, has addressed lawyers and others within the court premises this year.
In May, Saeed, who roams around freely in Pakistan despite being a designated terrorist, was invited as chief guest at the Lahore High Court Bar Association, one of the premier bar associations in Pakistan. At that time, the decision was opposed by a section of the lawyers.
16:11 AAP to oppose TRAI Bill:
Aam Aadmi Party today said it will oppose in the Lok Sabha a Bill to amend TRAI Act which seeks to remove a legal hurdle in the appointment of former TRAI chairman Nripendra Misra as principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A senior AAP leader said that the party will oppose the measure as it will "destroy" the neutrality of the telecom regulator. "The ordinance earlier issued in this connection was also unethical," the leader said.
Seems an apt time to post this picture of India's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru as he arrives in USA where he received a Military Guard of Honour with President Truman in Washington. The picture was taken in 1949, when India was a freshly-minted nation.
In September, PM Narendra Modi is off to Washington. US president Barack Obama sent him a written invite today.
15:12 Arvind Kejriwal tweets: Amit Shah's lawyer being made SC judge. Nitin Gadkari's lawyer being made Additional Solicitor General. Ye achhe din hain?
15:03 Govt promises action in rape of minor on panchayat diktat:
The heinous rape of a 10-year old Dalit girl in Jharkhand allegedly on the diktat of a panchayat head had its echo in Rajya Sabha today with the entire House demanding stringent punishment to the culprits, forcing the government to promise necessary action.
"Necessary action will be initiated in the serious matter after taking up the issue with the Prime Minister," Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot said as the entire House condemned the incident and demanded an action taken report on the issue.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Prabhat Jha (BJP) said heads should hang in shame over the incident, alleging that the head of a panchayat issued a diktat for raping the 10-year-old in broad day-light, with the entire village remaining a mute spectator.
He said the girl was dragged to the forest and raped but none could come to her rescue while the hapless father and mother of the victim had to face much difficulty in lodging the complaint with the local police station as the police said there was no witness.
14:54 Editor Indian Defence Review Capt Bharat Varma, passed away this morning. He pioneered defence publishing in India. RIP.
14:45 'Obama wants to strengthen economic relations':
Burns conveyed Obama's desire to strengthen economic relations, including in next-generation technologies and manufacturing sector; cooperate in enhancing energy security; deepen security cooperation, including in maritime security, counter-terrorism and intelligence exchange; expand consultation and coordination on Afghanistan; and, work more broadly for security and prosperity in Asia. Modi saw immense opportunities for deepening cooperation across the full spectrum of the relationship and laid special emphasis on involving youth in creating new avenues of promoting cooperation between the two countries.
The image below, which was tweeted by the PIB, was edited within seconds after if it was posted. Seems like the PM doesn't need a team. He's man enough to take on the US alone.
14:40 US deputy secy of state calls on Modi :
US Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns calls on Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. To the PM's left are NSA Ajit Doval and the foreign secretary Sujata Singh and to his right is the US team.
Now, wait for the next image.
Rain takes it's toll on the FOB at Bhayandar station towards the Virar end. Thankfully, no casualties reported.
13:49 Chitthi aayi hai: Obama invites Modi to Washington :
Narendra Modi says he looks forward to a result-oriented visit to
the US with concrete outcome that imparts new momentum to
strategic partnership. A letter was delivered to Modi by Deputy Secretary
of State William Burns today.
13:48 Obama invites PM to Washington in September, Modi accepts :
US President Barack Obama invites PM Narendra Modi to Washington in September. The PM says he accepts the invite and looks forward to a result-oriented meet. This is the second invite from Washington, the first invite came during the congratulatory call to Modi by Obama after the Lok Sabha election results were out. Obama was among the first foreign leaders to call up Modi and congratulated him on his "emphatic election victory" and said the largest democracy in the world has given a "decisive mandate".
12:52 Anuj Gurwara '@AnujGurwara tweets a picture of Veera Desai Road at Andheri. "It's a swimming pool. Drains choked with garbage & construction material," she says.
kailash Korde @kkorde01 tweets a picture of a car stuck in an open drain at Kala Chowky. Traffic cops trying to pull out it.
12:44 Traffic updates:
Shariq Patel @shariqpatel: Mumbai's SV Road -- traffic jam for north-bound traffic at Bandra Masjid. Traffic backing up into causeway.
Two days of rain and this is what happens to Mumbai
12:33 'Manmohan Singh continues to enjoy immunity':
Former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh continues to enjoy immunity in an alleged human rights violation case filed against him in a US court even though he is no longer the head of the State, the US Department of Justice has said.
The US Department of Justice informed this to a Washington court yesterday in response to a petition filed by the New York-based Sikh for Justice (SFJ) in which it argued that since Singh is no longer the prime minister of India, the clause of immunity does not apply on him.
Last September, when Singh visited the US to meet President Barack Obama at the White House, SFJ had filed a case of alleged human rights violations against him. The court had later issued summons to the Prime Minister.
12:29 Roads you should avoid :
Dhruv '@IDhruvjaywant tweets: Linking road from Juhu Garden towards Bandra has bumper-to-bumper traffic, please avoid.
Vivek Kukreja tweets: Bad traffic from Dadar Circle to Lalbaug flyover... avoid the route.
12:20 BMC: Rain situation in Mumbai under control :
The BMC's disaster managment department says the situation in Mumbai is under control.
Mahim junction, Kurla (west) and Churchgate flooded. This is one of the few times that south Mumbai is water logged. If you recollect, during the floods of July 26, 2005, when Mumbai went under with 944 mm of rain, south Mumbai was remarkably dry.
Pic: That's a picture of Worli tweeted by Pooja Bedi @poojabeditweets, writes: Despite a century of trying to get drainage issues sorted... Just 2 hours of rain & Worli , Mumbai is flooding!!!
12:13 Here's what the tweets say: Amit Bhowmik: Saw a delivery guy on his cycle in this torrential rain. Half the wheels under flood water. It isn't Mumbai Spirit. It's making a living.
Faridahtakia tweets: cheers !!! For the Mumbai Traffic Police, for being relentlessly out there in the rain controlling the maddening traffic.
That's near Hindmata cinema in Parel, Mumbai, which always gets water-logged during heavy rains.
12:07 Heavy rains hit road, rail traffic in Mumbai :
Local trains services across Mumbai has been affected. The harbour line was the hardest hit with trains running around 20-25 minutes late. Central line fared no better with an average delay of over 15 minutes, the situation on the Western line was marginally better.
Many arterial roads faced waterlogging with commuters facing a tough time in areas like King Circle, Hindmata, Colaba and Kurla.
As per the Met dept, Colaba has recorded 101 mm rains while the figure stood at 47.8 mm in Sanatcruz.
The Met dept has predicted heavy rainfall over the next 48 hours for the city.
Pic: Bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link
12:01 Mumbai waterlogged after 24 hours of heavy rains :
Monsoon in Mumbai is likely to get stronger and the city may experience heavy rainfall over the next 48 hours, a senior MeT official said yesterday.
"Typhoon Neoguri that was active in the Pacific region over the last few days crossed Japan yesterday. The typhoon was pulling away moisture which decreased the intensity of rainfall here. The outshore trough now developed here has activated monsoon in Maharashtra and parts of Konkan region," said V K Rajeev, Director General, Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai.
11:52 Road flooded outside Dadar station :
The monsoon is making up for the dry spell in June and it's been raining heavily in Mumbai. There is a foot of water next to Dadar station (w).
11:49 A village watches as headman sanctions retaliatory rape of Dalit girl:
It is a rape that no one denies. The parents and neighbours of the 14-year-old Dalit girl raped in this hamlet on July 7 evening say their caste headman sanctioned the act and that everyone watched as she was dragged away. Accused and fellow Dalit Nakabandi Pasi's wife agrees, justifying it as a revenge rape as the girl's brother had allegedly tried to molest her. Read
11:45 The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for 10 minutes after Dr V Maitreyan asked a question on the revenue loss of BSNL with respect to Sun TV. However, the chair did not permit it and ADMK MPs trooped into the well of the house.
Zohra Sehgal, who attended Queen Mary's Girls College in Lahore started the Zoresh Dance Institute there.
11:29 Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's statemetn today that should thrill all hawks: "Chaahe Pakistan ho ya Pakistan ka koi baap ho,Kashmir ko Hindustan se koi nahi chheen sakta."
Our tribute to veteran actress Zohra Sehgal who passed away on July 10 in Delhi. Read
11:17 Lawyer who represented Amit Shah elevated to Supreme Court judge:
Senior lawyer Uday U Lalit, who represented Prime Minister Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah in two high profile criminal cases, is likely to be elevated as a Supreme Court judge after the government controversially rejected Gopal Subramanium last month.
A Supreme Court panel led by the Chief Justice of India has recommended Lalit's name, along with three others, for the top court. The list will go to the Law Ministry, the PM and finally, President Pranab Mukherjee.
Lalit represented Amit Shah - who was named BJP president this week - in cases involving the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati in Gujarat. Shah faces charges of murder and conspiracy in both cases.Read more
11:16 And while on Amit Shah, read this story. Why Modi picked 'autocratic' Amit Shah as BJP chief...
As journalist Sonia Faleiro tweets: "I guess the next statue Modi will build will be of Amit Shah."
11:09 A letter to the FM, from those with disabilities:
People with disabilities are possibly the most unheard minority in our country. Ms. Ketna Mehta writes an open letter to the Finance Miniter, about her own and others' hopes and disappointments from Budget 2014. Read
11:07 Jaitley's budget is like Chidambaram's with a saffron lipstick: Swaminathan Aiyar:
It's not a radical Modi budget but a Chidambaram budget with saffron lipstick added. Many of Arun Jaitley's budget figures and policies resemble those in Chidambaram's interim budget.
Many thought Jaitley's maiden budget would produce a major vision for five years, major reforms and some bitter medicine.
Sorry, there was no great fiscal vision, only minor reform, and sugar-coated pills rather than bitter ones.
Instead of being long on vision, the budget speech was long in duration (almost two and a half hours).
Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar dissects the budget. Read
11:01 Budget makes it easier for Govt to shut down NGOs and trusts:
Not just an Intelligence Bureau blacklist, the government's crackdown on NGOs continues into the Budget. The Finance Bill, 2014, has brought in a series of amendments in Sections of the Income Tax Act, which cover tax exemption for NGOs, trusts and charitable institutions, that give sweeping powers to the government -- from withdrawing tax benefits or cancelling their registrations. Read
10:58 Pune limps backs to normalcy after blast:
An uneasy calm prevailed in the city today as people took to their chores, a day after a low-intensity blast rocked the parking lot of a police station here resulting in minor injuries to five persons.
An IED planted on a stolen motorbike exploded in front of the Faraskhana Police Station, located in the sensitive zone which houses the famous Dagadusheth Halwai Ganesh temple, bringing back memories of earlier bomb explosions in the city for which terror outfit Indian Mujahideen was blamed.
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, who visited the blast spot last night, announced handing over the probe to Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) while describing the explosion as "suspicious".
10:57 Nagaland governor quits after being transferred :
Nagaland Governor Vakkom B Purushothaman has resigned.
Purushothaman said that he had decided to resign in the light of his transfer from Mizoram to Nagaland with additional charge of Tripura without consulting him, reports The Hindu
"They have transferred me without consulting me. I will resign tomorrow. I will remain active in the party, but there will be no more electoral politics," Purushothaman said.
He was transferred last week.
10:08 10-year-old raped on village headman's order in Jharkhand:
A 10-year-old girl was dragged from her home, as the entire village watched, to a nearby forest, where she was raped by a 25-year-old man on Tuesday, NDTV
The child was raped on the orders of a self-appointed headman of a
remote village in Jharkhand's Bokaro district. He decreed that she be
raped as revenge for her older brother's alleged attempt at molesting
her assaulter's sister.
09:23 Infosys results beat estimates :
Infosys has consolidated net profit for the first quarter up 21.6 per cent year-on-year to Rs 2,886 crore. It has consolidated revenue up 13.3 per cent to Rs12,770 crore in April-June quarter. It gives rupee revenue guidance of 5.6-7.6 per centfor FY '15.
08:37 Germany expels US embassy official:
The German government expelled a person it describes as the representative of United States foreign intelligence services based at the US embassy in Berlin, reports CNN
The move comes after two allegations emerged of Germans spying for the United States over the last week, claims prompting an investigation by German prosecutors of a suspect accused of passing secrets.
The German government said Thursday it is expelling a person it
describes as the representative of U.S. foreign intelligence services
based at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin.
The move comes after two
allegations emerged of Germans spying for the United States over the
last week, claims prompting an investigation by German prosecutors of a
suspect accused of passing secrets.
03:33 Hamas drifts into Gaza fight it doesn't know how to finish:
The latest mini-war between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas began with the Gaza-based militants eager to strike a blow, but the escalation that followed has left them physically and diplomatically exposed, with no ready way out.
Hamas has sent its rockets streaking into Israel after a month of army raids in the occupied West Bank - in search of three missing Israeli teenagers - that landed more than 900 Palestinians in jail, many of them Hamas members.
The self-styled Islamic Resistance Movement was further prompted to action by widespread anger at the burning alive of a Palestinian youth by suspected Jewish extremists last week, an apparent revenge attack after the missing teens were found shot dead in the West Bank - murders Israel blames on Hamas.
Read more on Reuters
03:26 Exclusive: Coastal flooding has surged in US:
Coastal flooding along the densely populated Eastern Seaboard of the United States has surged in recent years, a Reuters analysis has found.
During the past four decades, the number of days a year that tidal waters reached or exceeded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flood thresholds more than tripled in many places, the analysis found. At flood threshold, water can begin to pool on streets.
As it rises farther, it can close roads, damage property and overwhelm drainage systems. Since 2001, water has reached flood levels an average of 20 days or more a year in Annapolis, Maryland; Wilmington, North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Sandy Hook, New Jersey; and Charleston, South Carolina. Before 1971, none of those locations averaged more than five days a year. Annapolis had the highest average number of days a year above flood thresholds since 2001, at 34.
Read more on Reuters
01:26 Warlord's bling: Rolex or 'Islamic watch?':
His black robes and turban may harken back to Arab rulers from 1,500 years ago, but Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's taste in wrist-wear is decidedly more 21st century. Days after the mysterious leader of the Sunni terror group ISIS was purportedly filmed at a mosque in northern Iraq calling on believers to wage "jihad" against God's enemies, social media is ablaze with speculation on the make of al-Baghdadi's watch.
But while critics claimed that the flashy silver timepiece dangling from the Arab warlord's wrist was a luxury Western watch worth thousands, his supporters say he was actually wearing a relatively more modest $560 "Islamic watch" from Al-Fajr, a Saudi Arabia-based watchmaker.
The deluxe stainless steel WA-10S watch -- the preferred choice of "true Muslims," according to some commentators on social media -- can be programmed with the correct prayer times for hundreds of cities around the world.
Read more on CNN
01:21 Germany expels CIA official in US spy row:
The German government has ordered the expulsion of a CIA official in Berlin in response to two cases of alleged spying by the US. The official is said to have acted as a CIA contact at the US embassy, reports say, in a scandal that has infuriated German politicians.
A German intelligence official was arrested last week on suspicion of spying. An inquiry has also begun into a German defence ministry worker, reports said. "The representative of the US intelligence services at the embassy of the United States of America has been told to leave Germany," government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
Read more on BBC
00:12 Modi got more votes than anyone in universe: Cameron:
British Prime Minister David Cameron today said that he congratulated Narendra Modi for winning more votes than any other politician in the universe during his phone call after the "extraordinary" Indian election.
"I won't forget my conversation with Prime Minister Modi congratulating him on his victory. I picked up the phone and said, 'It's great to be talking to someone who just got more votes than any other politician anywhere in the universe'," he said.
Cameron disclosed his private conversation with India's newly-elected leader during an address to Britain's Indian community at an annual event hosted by the Conservative Friends of India here.
"Britain and India now both have bold reforming governments that believe in free enterprise and progress," he said.