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July 22, 2014

23:16  FAA bans US airlines' Israel flights for 24 hours:  The US aviation authority today banned American carriers from flying to and from Israel for at least 24 hours following a militant rocket strike near Tel Aviv's main airport. The Federal Aviation Administration has told US airlines that they are prohibited from flying to or from Israel's Ben Gurion international airport for a period of up to 24 hours.

The FAA issued Notice to Airmen in this regard in response to the rocket strike which landed about a mile from Ben Gurion Airport this morning.

The NOTAM applies only to US operators, and has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from the airport, FAA said. The FAA will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation.
21:38  CBI starts inquiry in Kolkata Port Trust scam:  
CBI has set up a preliminary enquiry into the scam related to alleged irregularities in the operations of Kolkata Port Trust which has caused an estimated loss in thousands of crores of rupees to the exchequer. 

Highly placed sources said the agency started the enquiry last week against unnamed persons. However, they added the names of some influential people might surface during the inquiry as handling of onshore activities in ports is a huge business.

The sources said they have asked the officials of Kolkata Port Trust to furnish all the documents related to operations of Haldia dock and records of tendering, cargo handling etc as soon as possible. 

They said the agency is looking into allegations that senior officials of the port allowed a private agent to handle shore operations at Haldia dock for years without any revenue- sharing mechanism causing losses which run into thousands of crores of rupees. 

The sources said the officials allegedly allowed unauthorised agents to take up onshore operations which is in violation of of the Major Port Trust Act. 
20:08  Vladimir Putin calls for full crash investigation:  Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia would use its influence with separatists in eastern Ukraine to allow a full investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 but said the West must put pressure on Kyiv to end hostilities.

Putin also called on Western powers not to meddle in Russia's domestic affairs and said steps were needed to strengthen the country's military capabilities because of moves by NATO and to protect the economy from "external threats."
19:42  Israel soldier missing amid assault on Hamas in Gaza:  Israel reported one of its soldiers missing in action as the army's assault on Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip entered its third week on Tuesday under growing diplomatic pressure to end the violence.

The Health Ministry in Gaza said the Palestinian death toll rose by 33 during another night of Israeli shelling and airstrikes, bringing the total to 604. Another 3,700 Palestinians have been wounded, it said.
19:13  Families of workers stranded in Iraq protest at Jantar Mantar:  Families of stranded Indians (mainly from Punjab) in conflict hit Iraq are staging a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, demanding the central government's intervention for their release.   

At least 3,000 Indians are still stranded in armed conflict hit Iraq and there is still no word on the plight of 39 workers abducted by the ISIS, who have now spent more than five weeks in custody.      

Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, along with four Lok Sabha MPs of the party, met the families today afternoon.   

MP Bhagwant Mann accompanied the family members to meet senior officials in the external affairs ministry.  
18:59  Syria war causes USD 21.4 bn losses to oil industry:  Syria's oil and gas industries have suffered total losses of USD 21.4 billion since the outbreak of the country's war three years ago, Oil Minister Suleiman Abbas said Tuesday. "The circumstances the country is going through have caused considerable losses to the oil and gas sectors," said Abbas in a statement.
18:45  Indian maids to get salary of SR 1,200 under new contract:  Indian maids working in Saudi Arabia would get a monthly salary of around Rs 19,250 under a new labour contract that aims to better protect their rights, a Saudi recruitment committee has said. 

The National Recruitment Committee has fixed the monthly salary of Indian maids at 1,200 Saudi Riyal. The new labour contract stipulates that maids must be given free time for at least eight hours daily and a paid vacation of 15 days annually or 30 days after two years of service. Maids must also be given return economy tickets, the committee said.
18:10  Why treasury benches are seeing almost 100 pc attendance :  The fear of Narendra Modi seems evident in almost in all the 280 Lok Sabha MPs. This is evident from the full house of Treasury benches during question hour. It was Modi who asked the 154 first timers in the BJP to participate in the Lok Sabha proceedings without absence -- otherwise severe action would be taken against the erring MPs. The MPs were told this on the first day of the session.

One senior BJP MP was heard saying that Narendra Modi has implemented the Gujarat model of Assembly proceedings where 100 per cent attendance used to be there when he was chief minister for 13 years. But in the UPA regime, even after Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh's dictats, most of the MPs and even Union Ministers used to skip Parliament.
18:05  Will the Secy Gen of LS get another term?:  P Sreedharan's term as Secretary General of the Lok Sabha will end on July 30.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is likely to discuss this with the Leader of the Lok Sabha Narendra Modi and also Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu on whether an extension should be given to him. Or whether they should seek a new face from the IAS or the Indian Legal Service or promote the senior most Secretary in the Lok Sabha.  A decision is likely to be taken by this weekend.

The Leader of Opposition will not be brought in as was done by former Speaker Meira Kumar, who had consulted Sushma Swaraj --  the then Leader of Opposition. 
18:02  Central Hall of Parliament loses its appeal :  Central Hall in Parliament has always been the centerpiece for political gossip. In the last one month, first-time MPs have just begun to realise that. On earlier occasions, seniors used to sit and 'pass on' classified information or leak stories against their opponents here.

But in the Narendra Modi regime, the Central Hall seems to have lost its punch. As many MPs are are first timers, they are wary of gossiping.
With the possible exception of finance minister Arun Jaitley, other Union Ministers are also not keen to sit in Central Hall to chat with reporters. Today, when Sonia Gandhi left for her residence at 1:30 pm, none of the Congress MPs were present in Central Hall and nobody acknowledged that she was walking by.

It wasn't that she was being ignored -- she just took a short route to her car parked outside Parliament House. 
17:53  Who was talking to whom in Central Hall today:  So, who spoke to whom in Parliament today?
Kamal Nath and Sharad Pawar for over half an hour.
Poonam Mahajan and Praful Patel.
Anand Sharma was talking to Digvijaya Singh. They were so involved in the conversation that neither noticed Sonia Gandhi going past their their seats in the Lok Sabha. 
17:47  2G money laundering case: Court reserves order on bail pleas:  A special court today reserved for August 6 its order on the bail applications of former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and other accused who were chargesheeted by Enforcement Directorate in a 2G scam-related money laundering case.
17:46  AAP's Kumar Vishwas offered Rs 5 crore for Bigg Boss?:  Can one man's loss be the same man's gain? That's what seems to have happened in the case of Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas, after his humiliating loss to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year when he even lost his security deposit. Production company Endemol, for one, wants Vishwas in its hit reality TV show Bigg Boss, and has reportedly offered him Rs 5 crore for it. Read more
17:03  Will facilitate talks if concrete sale is possible: SC :  The Supreme Court said it would enable Roy to facilitate a sale of assets by allowing him a six-hour break from jail. The court has however rejected his bail plea.
16:51  Sahara has been claiming that it has paid over 93% of its dues to investors directly and only some remain to be repaid.

Under the law, it can pay back the amounts in cash as average deposits were was to the tune of Rs 8,400 per head, Sahara claims.

The company insists that its payments so far to Sebi to the tune of Rs5,619 crore were enough to cover all payments to investors and the market regulator should verify these and ensure the return of the rest to the company.

Roy's lawyers had stated while asking for bail that it was impossible for him to meet clients and negotiate sale of assets while he was inside Tihar jail.
16:44  SC allows Subrata Roy to meet clients from 10 am to 4 pm outside Tihar :  While the Supreme Court has rejected Sahara chief Subrata Roy's bail plea, it has allowed him to meet visitors outside the jail between 10 am and 4 pm. The court says this would allow Roy to facilitate the sale of his assets. 
16:30  Manmohan Singh, former PM on the Katju issue: The former Law Minister has explained everything, I have nothing to add.
16:27  Schumacher could be home next month after he starts communicating with his eyelashes:  After surviving a near fatal accident, Formula One star Michael Schumacher is now showing signs of revival. A report has revealed that he is now communicating with his family members by fluttering his eyelashes.The recovery shown by Schumacher may allow him to go back home soon but he will still require round-the-clock medical care to recover completely, reported the Mirror.  Read
16:23  Four months and counting, Subrata Roy's bail plea rejected:  The Supreme Court has rejected Sahara chief Subrata Roy's bail plea. Roy, 65, has been in jail since March 4 for non-refund of over Rs 20,000 crore to depositors. The court had passed the order on a petition filed by Roy challenging constitutional validity of its order passed on March 4 by which he was sent to jail for not complying with its order to deposit around Rs.20,000 crore of investors money with SEBI.
16:06  Karnataka CM's shocker on Bangalore school rape: Is this the only news?:  Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday shrugged off questions on the alleged rape of a 6-year-old in a Bangalore school saying: "is this the only news?"

Siddaramaiah's statement on the Bangalore rape, the incident that has spread widespread outrage across the city, comes days after he was seen dozing off during a debate on sexual offences against women in the Legislative Assembly. Read more
16:02  The inevitable parting :  After what Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah described as a "comprehensive' rout of the National Conference-Congress alliance in the State in the Lok Sabha elections, it was only a matter of time before the two parted ways. Read
15:51  Condemn Modi: Online petition issued by Sikh for Justice group:  A New York-based Sikh rights group, which had earlier campaigned against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, has launched an online petition campaign urging President Barack Obama to cancel invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

"Instead of hosting Modi at White House, President Obama should condemn Modi and ban BJP for perpetrating violence against Muslims, Sikhs and Christians," says the White House online petition which was launched by the Sikh for Justice (SFJ) yesterday.

Obama has invited Modi to visit the US and for a meeting with him at the White House on September 30.

"In June 1984, BJP instigated military attack on the Golden Temple resulting in the massacre of thousands of Sikh pilgrims. In 2008, BJP orchestrated violence against Christians in Orissa," the petition alleges.

The petition, requires at least 100,000 signatures by August 20 to gain any attention of the White House, on the first day had got less than two dozen petitions.

The SFJ had campaigned against Gandhi and Singh in connection with the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 following the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
15:33  CM will meet Sonia Gandhi to discuss issues: Rane:  Congress leader Narayan Rane today said that AICC President Sonia Gandhi will be requested to intervene and resolve the deadlock over his resignation from the post of Industries Minister.

Rane said that it was decided that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will seek an appointment with Sonia Gandhi in the next couple of days and that he, along with Chavan and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre, will meet Gandhi to discuss the issues with her.

The senior party leader said he was "not satisfied" with the two hour discussion with the state Congress leadership.

"Chavan tried to persuade me to withdraw my resignation and work in the government and the party, saying that my services were needed. But I responded by telling him that the issues raised by me in my resignation letter need to be addressed first," Rane said.
15:26  LIVE! 'Threat of terror attack looms over Amarnath pilgrims':  There are intelligence inputs which suggest threat of terrorist attacks on Amarnath pilgrims, Lok Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said there are intelligence inputs about the plan of terrorists to target Amarnath yatra and the same has been shared with security agencies at the Centre and state levels.

Rijiju said since the beginning of the yatra this year, the reports of some incidents of stone pelting on yatra vehicles from Jammu and Kashmir's Ganderbal district have been received.

In these incidents, injury to one pilgrim and damage to the windowpanes of three vehicles have been reported, he said adding the state government has been taking adequate measures to provide security to the Amarnath pilgrims.
15:23  Sensex jumps 304 pts to regain 26,000-level in pre-close trade:  The benchmark BSE Sensex regained the 26,000-mark by surging over 304 points in pre-close trade today as metals, oil & gas, infrastructure and consumer durable stocks led the rally on continued foreign fund inflows amidst encouraging corporate earnings.

After opening higher, the 30-share Sensex shot up by 304.48 points, or 1.18 per cent, to trade at 26,019.65 at 1500 hours with tech, oil & gas, metals, IT and infrastructure sector indices leading the rise. The gauge reclaimed the 26,000-mark for the first time since July 8.
15:23  Sensex jumps 304 pts to regain 26,000-level in pre-close trade:  The benchmark BSE Sensex regained the 26,000-mark by surging over 304 points in pre-close trade today as metals, oil & gas, infrastructure and consumer durable stocks led the rally on continued foreign fund inflows amidst encouraging corporate earnings.

After opening higher, the 30-share Sensex shot up by 304.48 points, or 1.18 per cent, to trade at 26,019.65 at 1500 hours with tech, oil & gas, metals, IT and infrastructure sector indices leading the rise. The gauge reclaimed the 26,000-mark for the first time since July 8.
14:55  Pak violated ceasefire 19 times since Modi took over:  Pakistan violated ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir 19 times since the new government took over and the Indian side retaliated appropriately in each case, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

"Our head has not bowed... This government will not let our heads bow," Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said replying to questions in Rajya Sabha. Jaitley's response came when Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Narendra Modi, before becoming the Prime Minister, used to accuse the then UPA dispensation of being "weak". Then why the government has "bowed" to the recurring ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Azad asked.

The minister said during the current year till July 16, there have been 54 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.
14:54  "Have done nothing wrong in my life,all matters on record.Don't want to add or reduce anything more," Ex-CJI Lahoti on Katju.
14:25  Buy it, Sam: Casablanca piano goes up for auction:  Loved the film, Casablanca? Grab the piano from Rick's Cafe in the classic romance. Auction this autumn. Here's the what, where, how.
14:19  A congratulatory tweet from author Jeffrey Archer @Jeffrey_Archer:   Congrats to India on a brilliant victory. Let's hope @ECB_cricket has the courage to change the team by the time we meet you in Southampton.
14:16  MH17: my error of judgment, by Sky News reporter:   Sky News reporter Colin Brazier on how he came to pick up crash victims' luggage live on air -- and immediately realised he had crossed a line. Read

Meanwhile, the train with remains of MH17 plane crash victims arrives in Ukrainian city of Kharkhiv, outside rebel territory.
14:06  The gods seem to have been working out:  India's Hindu gods and goddesses are getting a superhero makeover. In new comics, paintings and popular books, depictions of Vishnu, Rama and other greats in the Hindu pantheon are being reimagined to give the deities broad shoulders, six-pack abs, flashy get-ups and smoldering good looks. Read
14:00  The world's earliest selfies in pictures:  The selfie isn't a 21st-century invention. Buzz Aldrin has reminded us on Twitter that he took the first space selfie in 1966. Here's a selection of other early examples of the form -- from the 1830s to the 1980s. See
13:55  Cong: Assam minister quitting not rebellion against Rahul:  Congress leader Kamal Nath nixed reports of a coup to oust Rahul Gandhi as the de facto leader of the party. Nath said, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's resignation was rebellion against Rahul. He said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi continues to enjoy a majority and dismissed suggestions that the dissidence in the state was against party vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Pic: Rahul as a toddler with grandmother Indira Gandhi and then West Bengal CM Siddhartha Shankar Ray
13:45  China builds a spiffy police state:  Seven Years in Tibet was the title of a popular book and movie. I spent only five days in Tibet in early July -- just long enough to get adjusted to its headache-inducing altitude (the capital is 11,800 feet above sea level) -- so I hesitate to draw sweeping conclusions.  Read
13:37  Stunning aerial views of India by drone. See 
13:37  Update on the death of a a jawan in J-K: PTI quoting army sources says it is an infiltration attempt in the Pallanwala sector today, firefight ensued and search ops is on.
13:29  We Have To Challenge The Status Quo: Star India CEO Uday Shankar. Read
13:18  Alastair Cook is not working as England captain - it is time to roll the dice and give the job to Eoin Morgan. Read
12:57  And Indian Army soldier has been killed in firing from the Pakistani side in the Akhnoor sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
12:55  1969: On this day, India welcomed US President Richard Nixon. President Nixon referred privately to Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as an "old witch" and national security adviser Henry Kissinger insulted Indians in general, according to transcripts of Oval Office tapes and newly declassified documents released in 2005. 
12:45  MH17: Train of death begins a long journey home :   A train carrying the remains of 280 people killed in the Malaysian plane disaster was finally allowed to leave a rebel-held region in eastern Ukraine as the militants declared a truce today around the crash site.

Five days after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot out of the sky, pro-Russian separatists conceded to a furious international clamour for the bodies and the plane's black boxes to be handed over to investigators.

The devices, which record cockpit activity and flight data, were handed to Malaysian officials by the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Borodai, in front of scores of journalists.

"We will order a ceasefire in an area of 10 kilometres around" the site of the disaster, which killed all 298 people on board the plane, he said.

Meanwhile, after days of bitter wrangling, the rebels released the bodies of the dead. Loaded on a train, they will arrive in the government- controlled city of Kharkiv today before being put on a plane to the Netherlands, where the flight to Kuala Lumpur originated and which suffered the greatest loss, with 193 citizens killed in the crash.

The rebel concessions came after US President Barack Obama insisted that Moscow force the insurgents it is accused of backing to cooperate with an international probe into the disaster.
12:14  28 years ago, memories of another Lord's day:  Monday's win at Lord's was only the second time India has won a Test at the Mecca of Cricket in 82 years. A look back at when it happened for the first time... Read the report on
12:13  Prior to miss rest of India series due to injuries:  England wicket-keeper Matt Prior has taken an immediate break from the national duty due to a set of injuries and will not be part of the remainder of the Test series against India.

Prior's decision came after England suffered a crushing 95-run defeat at the hands of the visitors. The wicket-keeper batsman said he tore his quad before the first Test and apart from a hand injury an Achilles problem has forced him to take the decision.
12:09  Student's rape: B'lore's new police chief meets parents, school authorities:  Bangalore's new police commissioner MN Reddi meets Vibgyor school authorities and parents. The Karnataka government on Monday transferred former Bangalore police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar in the wake of a series of rape cases, including that of a six-year-old girl student at Vibgyor public school. The school has been shut since Thursday following protests over the rape of the student allegedly by the school's skating instructor.
11:53  WWE star slammed for using MH17 tragedy as tasteless storyline in grudge match between Russian and American wrestlers. Read
11:49  Reporter rummages through MH17 victims luggage:   "We shouldn't really be doing this, I suppose,' the reporter said. And he was right. In the mad, often ruthless scramble to report breaking news, reporters '" and the networks they work for -- can let their pursuit of an angle the other guys don't have get in the way of things like basic journalistic ethics and humanity.

Take, for instance, Sky News correspondent Colin Brazier's live report from the site of the MH17 crash on Sunday '" a report that included brazenly rummaging through the wreckage.In his report, Brazier picked through the luggage of a victim, pointing out "a set of keys, toothbrush''

Read more
11:42  MH17: World's anger at Russia grows as bodies pile on to train at crash site:  MH17: Experts fear clues as to why Malaysia Airlines plane was brought down could be lost for ever as chaos at scene persists. Read
11:35  No agenda beyond getting to the truth on MH17 crash: US:  The United States has no agenda except for getting to the truth of shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, allegedly by the Russia-backed Ukrainian separatist, the White House has said.

"The (US) President's priority is that this investigation should be conducted by an international set of investigators that don't have an agenda beyond getting to the truth," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

His remarks came as the Obama Administration intensified its international effort for an independent and impartial investigation into the shooting down of the Malaysian plane that killed all the 298 people on board.

The Boeing 777 was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over pro-Russia rebels-held territory of the eastern Ukraine on Thursday. It is still not clear if the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down purposely or mistakenly.
11:14  MH 17 crash: Thank you Mr Putin, for killing my only child...:  A bereaved Dutch father has written a savagely ironic open letter to whoever shot down flight MH17, "thanking" them for killing his 17-year-old daughter Elsemiek, "my dear and only child".

"Thank you very much Mr (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, separatist leaders or the Ukrainian government, for murdering my dear and only child," Hans de Borst said in the letter published by Dutch media on Monday.

"Suddenly she's gone. Shot out of the sky in a foreign war-torn country," De Borst said of Thursday's crash, in which 298 people died including 193 Dutch.

The crash has been widely blamed on a missile fired by pro-Kremlin separatists allegedly supplied by Russia, but Moscow blames the Ukraine government.

"Elsemiek was going to finish school next year with her best friends Julia and Marine (who were not on the flight), and she was doing well. She wanted to study civil engineering at Delft University, and she was really excited."

"I hope that you're proud to have destroyed her young life and that you can look at yourself in the mirror," wrote the bereaved father.

"I hope that you will read this message soon, maybe translated into English (which you, as intelligent men, can read)."

"Thanks again!"

Anger is growing in the Netherlands that the dead have yet to be returned from rebel-held eastern Ukraine, with many deploring the chaotic handling of the bodies and the crash site.

And this message is all across Twitter: RoH (@Roger_J_H): My avatar will be black until the day they bring the beloved dead their families. #MH17 #bringthemhome
11:06  MH17 crash: Rebels hand over black boxes:  Update on the MH17 crash:

Rebels gave Malaysian officials the data recorders from downed Flight 17 on Tuesday, days after the passenger jet crashed in eastern Ukraine.

"We believe these are the black boxes and these boxes will reveal the truth," said Alexander Borodai, the self-declared rebel Prime Minister in Donetsk.

Read more
10:52  Amit Shah-Mukhi meet today holds key for Delhi govt formation:  The Bharatiya Janata Party is in no mood for fresh elections in New Delhi, and is determined to install Jagdish Mukhi as its next chief minister.

The party high command, that is Amit Shah, the new president, has told Mukhi to get ready for the swearing-in ceremony.

The BJP thinks that if election is held again, the Aam Aadmi Party will get "unnecessary" revival in the public space even if it won't win seats to form the next government.

A BJP leader says, "This anarchist party should not be allowed to use the democratic process like elections."

By this evening the intent of the BJP will be finalised after Shah and Mukhi meet.
10:49  Reactions to Katju's blog today :  Reactions to Katju's blog today.

BJP leader MA Naqvi: Manmohan Singh should answer to the issue raised by Markandey Katju, the point is not when it happened.

BJD's Jay Panda: These are serious accusations and can't be dealt with lightly. Even if it's coming out late it should be inquired into.  
10:43  Bharat Ratna Bhimsen Joshis heirs vie for his riches in high court:   The heirs of Bharat Ratna Bhimsen Joshi are locked in a bitter legal battle for his property worth at least Rs 10 crore, apart from royalty from around 20 music companies.

The row has landed in the Bombay high court where the legendary vocalist's three children (two sons and a daughter) from his second wife, Vatsala, have challenged a September 2013 order passed by a Pune civil court restraining them from creating any third party rights in the Kalashree bungalow, where the vocalist stayed, and two of his flats, all in Pune.  Read more
10:40  Another ex-judge backs Justice Katju, alleges political influence in high court appointment:  Former law minister HR Bhardwaj, who served from 2004 to 2009, on Monday admitted that a district judge who was appointed as additional judge of Madras high court in 2003 and was later confirmed despite adverse intelligence reports, had significant political backing.

However, Bhardwaj, who was law minister when the controversial judge was given extensions and later made permanent, denied Justice Markandey Katju's claim that the judge got a seat on the bench because UPA government succumbed to the pressure from an important ally. Read
10:34  3 foreign advisers killed in suicide bomb attack outside Kabul airport:   Three foreign advisers and an Afghan interpreter were killed on Tuesday in a suicide bomb attack outside Kabul international airport, police said. The bombers targeted the anti-narcotics office.

The nationalities of the foreign advisers were not immediately clear.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihulllah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack. "In this successful attack up to 15 invader soldiers were killed or wounded and many vehicles were damaged," he added.
10:26  BJP not keen for elections in New Delhi:  The Bhartiya Janta Party is no mood to contest elections in New Delhi and is determined to make Jagdish Mukhi as its next chief minister.

BJP's new president Amit Shah, in fact, has asked Mukhi to get ready for the swearing-in ceremony.

The BJP thinks that if an election is held again the Aam Aadmi Party will get " unnecessary" revival in public space even if it won't win seats to form the government.

A BJP leader said, " This anarchist party should not be allowed to use democratic process like election!"

By this evening, the BJP will take a final decision after Shah and Mukhi meet.

On Monday, 27 AAP MLAs led by the party convenor Arvind Kejriwal met Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and told him that delay in dissolving the Delhi Assembly was encouraging horse trading.
10:11  Justice Katju questions former CJI:  After allegations that three former Chief Justices of India made "improper compromises" to keep a corrupt judge, Justice Markandey Katju today confronted one of them, Justice RC Lahoti, with six questions.

On his blog, Justice Katju posed six questions to former Chief Justice of India Justice Lahoti.

The Press Council of India chairman wrote: Justice Lahoti, the former Chief Justice of India, when contacted by some media people about my statement which was published on my blog and in Times of India yesterday, generally remarked that he has never done anything wrong in his life. He has not gone into any specifics, so let me put him some specific questions :

"Is it , or is it not, correct that I first wrote him a letter from Chennai, stating that there were serious allegations of corruption about an Additional Judge of Madras High Court, and therefore he ( Justice Lahoti ) should get a secret intelligence enquiry held against that Additional Judge,and thereafter I personally met Justice Lahoti at Delhi and again requested for a secret IB enquiry against the Additional Judge about whom I had received several complaints, and from several sources, that he was indulging in corruption ?"

"Is it, or is it not, correct that on my request Justice Lahoti ordered a secret IB enquiry against that judge," he asked.

Read the full blog here

09:58  Sensex surges 119 pts on fund inflows, corp earnings:  Continuing its winning streak for the six session in a row, the benchmark BSE Sensex today rose over 119 points in early trade on encouraging corporate earnings and sustained foreign capital inflows coupled with a firming trend on other Asian bourses.

The 30-share index, which had gained 708 points in the previous five sessions, gathered another 119.33, or 0.46 per cent, to 25,834.50. All the sectoral indices, led by infrastructure, realty FMCG and oil and gas, were trading in positive territory with gains up to 0.78 per cent.
09:47  Encephalitis claims 60 lives in Bengal:   At least 60 people have died due to encephalitis in the seven districts of north Bengal, state's Health Services director Biswaranjan Satpathy said. The region has been affected badly by the disease and the situation is 'alarming', Satpathy said.

The 60 people have died during the period between July 7 and 20, said Satpathy who chaired a meeting of chief medical officers health in north Bengal on Monday. A total of 344 people have been affected by the disease, he added.
09:47  Fire breaks out in Delhi Police Headquarters:  A minor fire broke out in the fourth floor of the Delhi Police Headquarters this morning, fire officials said. No was injured in the blaze.   

"We got a call about the fire at 7:10 am. Being a highrise building, eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The fire had broken out in a battery panel on the fourth floorwhich was doused," the officials said.
09:28  Hillary Clinton for tougher sanctions on Russia:  Hillary Clinton, the former United States secretary of state and a 2016 presidential contender, has called for tougher sanctions on Russia in view of the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane allegedly by Russia-backed Ukrainian separatist.

"We should work to bring our European allies together with us on tougher sanctions that would make it clear to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that there is a price to pay for this kind of behavior," Clinton said yesterday.

She said that the US should encourage Europeans to start immediately to make sure they are less dependent on Russian energy so they are not intimidated.
08:47  US issues travel advisory to Israel and the West Bank:   The United States has urged its citizens to defer their non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank in view of the ongoing hostilities in Gaza.

"The department of state recommends that U citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to US citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip," the State Department said yesterday.

Noting that the security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, the travel advisory said US citizens need to be aware of the risks of travel to these areas because of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel.
08:37  These boxes will reveal the truth: Rebel leader :  Pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine have handed over two flight-data recorders from the downed MH17 plane to Malaysian experts.

A senior rebel leader signed them over to the Malaysian officials at a meeting in the city of Donetsk. The handover came hours after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to demand immediate international access to the crash site, reports BBC.

"We believe these are the black boxes and these boxes will reveal the truth," said Alexander Borodai, the self-declared rebel Prime Minister in Donetsk, reports CNN.

Speaking to international reporters invited to watch the handover at the headquarters of the pro-Russian rebel movement early Tuesday, Borodai said the separatists had done their best to retrieve bodies and handle wreckage at the crash site. And he denied accusations that rebels shot down the plane.

"This is an information war," he said. "We don't have the technical ability to destroy this plane. Ukrainians are not interested in the truth."

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