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July 23, 2014

23:16  Just in: India among 29 countries who vote in support of a UN Human Rights Council resolution on Gaz.
23:02  Indian embassy asks students to postpone travel to Ukraine:  In view of prevailing unrest in eastern Ukraine, the Indian embassy in Kyiv today advised Indian students planning to return for their new academic year in institutions in the areas in that country, to postpone their travel.

The embassy has asked students planning to return in the first half of August to their educational institutions in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, for the new academic year commencing in September, to postpone their travel plans and await the embassy's advice in this regard.

"India's embassy in Kyiv advises students to postpone plans 2 return 2 Eastern Ukraine for academic year in September," spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.
22:02  UN rights chief warns of possible Gaza war crimes:  The UN's top human rights official has warned all sides in the two-week war in the Gaza Strip to not indiscriminately attack civilians, and that violations may amount to war crimes. 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today said that around three-quarters of those killed in the Gaza Strip were civilians and thousands more have been injured. 

At least 657 Palestinians and 31 Israelis have been killed during the conflict. Among the Palestinian dead, Pillay said there were at least 147 children and 74 women.
21:58  Cabinet to meet on Thursday:  The cabinet on Wednesday postponed its meeting to Thursday morning to study bills to prove that the government has put its reforms agenda on fast track.

The Modi government has decided to bring a bill raising the FDI limit in insurance and pension funds to 49 per cent in Parliament next week. 
21:13  Two Ukrainian fighter jets downed by rebels near MH17 site:  Pro-Russian separatists shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets today in the same eastern region where Malaysian Air (MAS) Flight MH17 was destroyed, the government said.

Rebels downed two Su-25 fighters over the village of Dmytrivka in the Donetsk region, a Defense Ministry spokesman, Oleksiy Dmytrashkovsky, said by phone. 

Another ministry spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, later told reporters in Kiev the planes were flying at an altitude of 5,200 meters (17,000 feet) when they were brought down by a "powerful' anti-aircraft missile. The pilots ejected and their whereabouts are unknown, the ministry said on Facebook.
20:49  Koirala returns home from US after undergoing cancer treatment:  Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has returned home after successfully undergoing treatment for lung cancer in the US. 

Upon arrival last night, the 74-year-old Nepali Congress leader said that he has fully recovered from the lung cancer, which was in its initial stage.
20:12  India to lead parade in CWG opening ceremony:  India, by the virtue of being the previous hosts, will lead the parade, featuring more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories, during the opening ceremony of the 20th Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park here tonight. 

The team will parade on the basis of region as spectators will be shown videos of the work that UNICEF is doing in that part of the Commonwealth.
20:11  Plane crashes in Taiwan, 51 people killed:  
Taiwan's Central News Agency says a plane has crashed in a failed emergency landing, killing 51 people.

The news agency cited the head of the fire department in the Taiwanese county of Penghu as saying that seven people were also injured in the crash. 

The report cites the Civil Aviation Administration as saying the flight crashed Wednesday with 54 passengers and four flight crew and was operated by a Taiwanese airline, TransAsia Airways.

The report says the plane likely crashed when an attempt to make an emergency landing in the city of Magong. 
19:10  Days after MH17 tragedy, rebels down 2 Ukrainian fighter jets:  
Pro-Russian rebels today shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets in eastern Ukraine just days after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a Ukrainian military spokesman said. 

"Two Sukhoi Ukrainian fighter jets have been shot down. The fate of the pilots is not known," spokesman Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky said, adding the planes were brought down some 25 kilometres from the crash site of MH17.

But a second military spokesman said the jets had been downed at a different location by rockets fired by insurgents. The two pilots managed to parachute out, he said. 

"Today in the south of the Lugansk region close to the village of Dmytrivka, pro-Russian fighters shot two Su-25 jets from a missile system," spokesman Vladislav Seleznev said. 

"The pilots took evasive action ... but the planes were hit," he said.
18:06  Another bungalow for Mr Gandhi :  The Lok Sabha House Committee has rejected the plea of Rahul Gandhi for a second government bungalow. Rahul wrote to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan seeking special permission from her to have second bungalow for guests. The Speaker, however, is bound by the recommendations of the House Committee.

In the UPA regime, there were out-of-turn allotments of many guest houses at the recommendations of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

But the new BJP regime is examining the earlier allotments made on discretionary powers and of course, Rahul Gandhi's letter opened has a Pandora's box.
17:57  India, Pakistan foreign secretaries to meet in Islamabad on August 25. 
17:26  Monster tutor beats up 3-yr-old in Kolkata :   The police is on the lookout for a middle-aged woman home tutor who is accused of brutally beating a three-year-old boy in Kolkata, the police said.

The incident came to light on Wednesday morning after a CCTV footage showed the tutor mercilessly beating the kid in their Lake Town home in Kolkata, reports the Indian Express.

"We have received a complaint and are on a lookout for her," Officer in Charge of Lake Town Police station Ashok Sen said.

According to the complaint lodged by the kid's family, the tutor was given appointment just a few days back.

The tutor later apologised and requested the kid's family not to inform the police. But later on, her husband came and threatened them not to lodge a complaint, forcing the family to file a police complaint later.
17:11  Sensex rises to new peak in longest winning run since Sept 2012:  The benchmark Sensex today rose 121 points to end at a new peak of 26,147.33 extending its winning run to seventh session, its longest since September 2012, boosted by gains in IT and banking bluechips on upbeat earnings, higher capital inflows and positive global cues.

The NSE Nifty barometer rose 27.90 points, or 0.36 per cent, to end at yet another record close of 7,795.75. The Nifty also hit new all-time intra-day peak of 7,809.20, surpassing its previous record of 7,808.85 hit on July 8. Software giant TCS attained a market valuation of over Rs 5 lakh crore for the first time, helped by a 2.21 per cent rally in the stock. Infosys was the best gainer today among the 30-share Sensex as it jumped nearly 3.5 per cent. Its peer, Wipro inched up by 1.9 per cent.
16:39  What happens in Parliament when Rahul, Sonia are absent :  Sonia Gandhi was absent in Parliament today. And yes, so was Rahul Gandhi. And when that happens, dear reader, there is no coordination between Mallikarjuna Kharge -- the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha and Jyotiraditya Scindia. 

Today, the party faced a major embarrassment when they walked out on the issue of a Muslim catering contractor being force-fed by Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare at the Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi when he was fasting for Ramzan.

Sushma Swaraj and M Venkaiah Naidu appealed to Kharge to return to  House.

It was pathetic to witness the dismal scene from the press gallery of Scindia and  Kharge arguing. Scindia saw it from the point of view of North Indian politics and wanted to stage a walkout, while Kharge did not as the Congress is ruling in Karnataka.

Kharge's toll in the Lok Sabha is being felt by Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah in the state assembly.
16:20  Wish we could be a fly on the wall :  BJP senior leaders Shatrughan Sinha, Sushma Swaraj and LK Advani sat in the first row in Parliament today and spent 20 minutes discussing political issues. PM Narendra Modi was seated just two seats away.

It's anybody's guess that the discussion may have been about Yashwant Sinha being made as the chief minister of Jharkhand or as the Indian High Commissioner of UK. Buzz is that Advani is unlikely to have a voice in the decision making.
15:57  'Peaches Geldof died of heroin overdose' :  In other news, the BBC reports that Peaches Geldof died of a heroin overdose.

The TV presenter had been a heroin addict and took the substitute drug methadone for two-and-a-half years before her death, the inquest heard.

A police search found 6.9g of heroin in her house but there was no indication she had planned to take her own life.

Her husband, musician Tom Cohen, told the hearing in Gravesend the 25-year-old had started using the drug again in February this year.

He added he had witnessed her flushing drugs she had hidden in their home down the toilet.
15:45  Vichare says he apologises if he has hurt religious sentiments. 
15:44  Vichare said he respects all religions and added, "I even attend roza/iftar parties." 
15:42  The Shiv Sena MP who force-fed a staffer observing Roza:  So, who exactly is Rajan Vichare? Apart from making headlines today for force-feeding a Muslim caterer on fast at the Maharashtra Sadan over the poor quality of food, he is from the Shiv Sena politician and made a name for himself after winning the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Thane constituency. He trounced his nearest opponent (former MP Sanjeev Naik of Nationalist Congress Party) by nearly 6 lakh votes. Read more
15:38  Didn't know staff was Muslim: Rajan Vichare:  Vichare says he was only trying to highlight that the quality of the food was bad and not fit for human consumption.  He said he did not know the staff was Muslim since the mane was not wearing a name badge. He said he came to know that the man was Muslim only through the media.
15:34  Force-feed Sena MP unrepentant, blames 'poor facilities at Maharashtra Bhavan':   Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare, the man who is believed to have spearheaded the force-feeding issue in the Maharashtra Sadan, is largely unrepentant. He said there were no proper facilities at Maharashtra Sadan and the incident is being given a communal colour, which must not be done.

However, he said he was willing to apologise despite not knowing that the catering contractor was Muslim and therefore on fast for Ramzan.
14:55  Sikh players forced to remove turbans during FIBA Asia Basketball Cup in China:  Just in: Two Sikh players -- Amritpal and Amjyot -- of the Indian basketball team were forced to remove their turbans and stopped from entering the court at the 5th FIBA Asia Cup in China during the India-Japan match.
14:16  Sena's Rajan Vichare led the rest...:  An Indian Express report identified the 11 Shiv Sena MPs as Sanjay Raut (Rajya Sabha), Anandrao Adsul (Amravati), Rajan Vichare (Thane), Arvind Sawant (Mumbai-South), Hemant Godse (Nashik), Krupal Tumane (Ramtek), Ravindra Gaikwad (Osmanabad), Vinayak Raut (Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg), Shivaji Adhalrao Patil (Shirur), Rahul Shewale (Mumbai-South Central) and Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan).

Soon after the incident, Shankar Malhotra, deputy general manager of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism, which handles subsidiary catering for Maharashtra Sadan, shot off a letter to Maharashtra resident commissioner Bipin Mallick.

In the letter, Malhotra wrote, "All the guests along with media reporters and staffs of Maharashtra Sadan got into kitchen where I was getting the orders prepared. They caught me and put the chapati into my mouth. I was wearing a formal uniform set as prescribed by IRCTC and everybody in the panel also knew my name as 'Arshad' as I was wearing the name tag. Even then they inserted chapati in my mouth which caused my fast to break on the eve of Ramzan. I was hurt with the thing they have done as religious sentiments are concerned."
14:12  Reactions to Maharashtra Sadan force-feed issue:  BJP senior leader Subramanian Swamy: "If the charges are proven, the MPs must apologise."

NCP: This is an unfortunate incident. We shouldn't be sensationalising the issue.

Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena chief: We are Hindutva-wadi, but we do not hate others. This is an attempt to suppress the Shiv Sena's voice.
13:58  Teething troubles tell on session:  The Narendra Modi government is likely to truncate the ongoing Parliament session for want of a tangible legislative agenda blamed in part on inadequate preparedness by some ministers.The session -- the Modi administration's first long-drawn one to pass the general and rail budgets, and discuss demand for grants -- may be curtailed by a week or more, unless the government lines up adequate business to keep members engaged. It began on July 7 and was scheduled to continue until August 14.   Read more
13:54  Mother's regret over young MH17 victim's plane crash fear:  The mother of two brothers killed in the MH17 plane crash has spoken of her regret at not taking her youngest son's fears over the flight seriously.

Ten-year-old Miguel Calehr died alongside his older brother Shaka, 19, when the Malaysia Airlines jet came down in Ukraine, close to the border with Russia, last Thursday.The pair were on their way to Bali for a fun-filled holiday with their grandmother.Their middle brother Mika, 16, was supposed to be on the flight too, but it was fully booked, and he had to take a seat on a later plane. Read
13:49  First MH17 dead to be flown to Netherlands from Ukraine:  The first bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in Ukraine last week are to be flown to the Netherlands for identification. The Netherlands is holding a day of mourning for the 298 killed in the 17 July crash, 193 of whom were Dutch.Meanwhile, US intelligence officials say pro-Russian rebels shot down the jet by mistake, but they have not found any direct link to Russia. Read
13:46  What happened isn't right,evn Parl Affairs Min has spoken against it,believe concerned MPs have apologized: LK Advani on Maha Sadan incident.
13:45  Disquieting disclosure:  The line between a whistle-blower and a motivated accuser can be very thin, and too often those making controversial disclosures face troubling questions over their motive and timing.

Former Supreme Court judge and Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju's startling disclosure that an additional judge of the Madras High Court was improperly given repeated extensions of tenure, and finally made a permanent judge in 2007, despite adverse reports about his integrity, has caused understandable disquiet in legal, judicial and political circles. Read
13:01  The ugly face of Indian politics: Rajan Vichare, Shiv Sena MP from Thane force-feeding a fasting Muslim catering supervisor at the Maharashtra Bhavan in Mumbai.
12:54  Fire in a residential-cum-commercial building at Bhuleshwar. Details awaited. 
12:49  Lok Sabha adjourns for 15 minutes following uproar over allegations of Sena MPs forcing a worker to break Ramzan fast.
12:40  Poddar School bus collides with tempo on Palm Beach road, Nerul, Navi Mumbai; 10 students injured; rushed to MGM hospital. 
12:38  Milind Deora tweets: The Shiv Sena issue isn't just about religious bigotry. It's about taking the law into your own hands. Mob justice by MPs is unpardonable!
12:37  Leopard trapped in IIT-Bombay, rescue team sent:  The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has confirmed the presence of a leopard inside its premises, reports the Indian Express.

According to authorities, the leopard is trapped near the mechanical department block of the institution.The SGNP control room has been informed about the presence of the leopard at IIT-B in Powai area of Mumbai.

According to the latest information, a team of the SGNP has rushed to the spot.
12:34  Toad that looks like the China Communist Party chief?:  Chinese reports about a giant inflatable toad have been deleted from the Internet after social media users compared the puffed-up animal to a former Communist Party chief.

The installation of a giant inflatable duck in Hong Kong's harbour last year sparked a national craze for oversized blow-up wildlife, with several Chinese cities launching their own imitations, reports the Straits Times.

The latest, a 22-metre-high (72-feet) toad, appeared in a Beijing park last weekend, but met with mockery from social media users who compared its appearance to that of former President Jiang Zemin.
12:31  Ukraine: Meddlesome great powers like to fish in troubled waters :  Ukraine is at the crossroads, its future uncertain, its ethnic faultiness dangerously exposed to the deepening turbulence in Russia-Nato relations. The country is a house divided, of conflicting identities -- Russian in the industrialized East, non-Russian in the rural West -- with combustible angles of vision on a fraught past. Read
12:15  MH17 tragedy: Black boxes to be sent to UK for analysis, says Malaysia:  Malaysia on Wednesday said the black boxes from Flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine last week, will be sent to British aviation investigators for forensic analysis.

The international investigation team led by the Netherlands has decided to pass the black boxes, which record cockpit activity and flight data, to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said it was a normal procedure for black boxes to be sent for analysis to the nearest laboratory authorised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. 
12:10   Britain still exporting arms to Russia: MPs:  In other news: Britain is still exporting arms and military equipment to Russia, according to a parliamentary report released today just hours after Prime Minister David Cameron rapped France for selling weapons to Moscow. Cameron has urged the EU to ban military sales to Russia - accused of equipping and training separatists in eastern Ukraine - and said Monday Britain had already halted such arms exports.

The British government promised in March to stop military sales to Russia. However the report found 251 licences were still in place for the sale to Russia of controlled goods worth at least USD 225 million.
11:53  What happens when a woman wearing shorts walks in Delhi's Connaught place? Watch
11:53  What happens when a woman wearing shorts walks in Delhi's Connaught place? Watch
11:47  Ness threw lit cigarettes at me: Preity:  In other news, Bollywood actor Preity Zinta, who has accused industrialist Ness Wadia of molestation, said her former boyfriend had thrown lit cigarettes at her and locked her up in a room even before the May 30 incident at Wankhede Stadium after which she filed a police complaint. Read
11:38  Skating instructor was a paedophile addict :  The Bangalore police on Sunday arrested the school's skating instructor in connection with the rape of the six-year-old. The police said that a laptop seized from the accused contained child pornography and videos of school children being raped.

The skating instructor, said the police, is a porn addict and was expelled from the school where he worked before for touching girls inappropriately.  

He was sent three notices by authorities from the earlier school warning him to mend his ways, after which he was sacked.

Mustafa, 30, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly raping a Std I student of Vibgyor High School on July 2. Mustafa or Munna had been training children at the Vibgyor High School since 2011. The 30-year-old is married and has two children.
11:29  Bangalore rape: School chairman arrested for destruction of evidence:  Bangalore school chairman Rustom Kerawala has been arrested for destruction of evidence and failing to ensure the safety of the student. The arrest comes two days after the new Bangalore police commissioner took over. 
11:18  Bangalore rape: School's chairman arrested :  Just in: Bangalore school chairman arrested for the rape of a six-year-old girl in the school premises. The girl was allegedly raped by two men, one of whom is absconding. The other man, the school's skating instructor has been arrested.
11:15  Maharashtra Sadan break-fast issue to be taken up in zero hour :  Shiv Sena MPs meet in Parliament over the Maharashtra Sadan issue after a huge uproar by the opposition over the issue. The Lok Sabha Speaker has said the issue would be taken up during Zero Hour. 

Eleven Sena MPs forced a Muslim staff member at Maharashtra Sadan to break his Ramzan fast. According to sources, the Sena leaders were unhappy that they were not being served Maharashtrian food and then forced the caterer to eat the food he had cooked.

Following the incident, IRCTC, which provides the catering, has written to the officials seeking that action be taken.

Maharashtra Sadan has already apologised to the official for the abuse. Sanjay Raut, Sena MP, has however, rubbished the claims, saying the allegations are baseless. 
10:59  Nifty hits new lifetime high of 7,809.20 on capital inflows:  The National Stock Exchange index Nifty today scaled a new record-high of 7,809.20 points, led by a rally in IT, tech, auto, oil & gas, banking and pharma stocks on sustained foreign capital inflows amid robust corporate earnings.

The 50-issue index regained the 7,800-level for the second time this month by surging 41.35 points, or 0.53 per cent, to trade at an all-time high of 7,809.20, surpassing its previous intra-day high of 7,808.85 touched on July 8.

Brokers said market sentiments were upbeat on sustained capital inflows and widespread buying by retail investors after several bluechip companies came out with better-than-expected first quarter earnings.
10:54  National Stock Exchange index Nifty hits new lifetime high of 7,809.20.
10:32  Cops book Rambha for abuse of sister-in-law:  Former actress Rambha and her family was booked for alleged dowry harassment by the Banjara Hills police. Cops registered a dowry harassment case against the actress, her brother Srinivas Rao and parents Venkateshwar Rao and Usha Rani under Section 498-A (subjecting a married woman to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 3 and 5 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. Rambha's sister-in-law Pallavi alleged that her husband Srinivas had been harassing her for additional dowry for the past one year. 
09:58  Sena MPs force Muslim staff member to break his Ramzan fast at Maharashtra Sadan:  11 Shiv Sena members of Parliament forced a Muslim staff member at Maharashtra Sadan to break his Ramzan fast. According to sources, the Sena leaders were unhappy that they were not being served Maharashtrian food. Following the incident, IRCTC, which provides the catering, has written to the officials seeking that action be taken. Maharashtra Sadan has already apologised to the official for the abuse. Sanjay Raut, Sena MP, has however, rubbished the claims, saying the allegations are baseless. 
09:51  Enough evidence to chargesheet Maran: Attorney General :  Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi has, according to sources, told the Central Bureau of Investigation, that there was enough evidence to file a chargesheet against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran in the Aircel-Maxis deal, in news that could spell trouble for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, meanwhile, said that the Aircel-Maxis deal was a big scam, which impeaches national security. 
CBI, in its FIR filed in the case in 2011, had alleged that Maran as a telecom minister had coerced Sivasankaran to sell his entire stake in Aircel to Krishnan. In return, Maxis, the company owned by the Malaysian businessman, invested Rs. 650 crore in Sun TV network, run by the Marans.
09:37  IED explodes in Assam; kills 1:  One person and three others are injured after an improvised explosive device blast in Assam's Goalpara area. The blast took place near a tea stall outside the Krishnai police station. The sensitive area is now on high alert and tensions run high in the surroundings. Sources say that the blast might have been targeted at the security forces in the area. 
09:29  Modi's Gujarat baggage:  You can take Narendra Modi out of Gujarat but you can't take Gujarat out of Modi. Not yet, at least. Nearly two months after taking over as prime minister, Modi's foreign policy pronouncements suggest he carries a hangover from his previous job as Gujarat's chief minister for 13 years.

Read the full story HERE.
08:45  Malaysia to bring bodies of MH17 victims by end of the week:  Local media has shared information on when the remains of Malaysian passengers are expected to arrive in the country. Head of the special Malaysian team of investigators Khairil Hilmi Mokhtar, who is currently in Ukraine, was quoted as saying the bodies may be back by the end of the week. "Insyallah, the first of the bodies can be brought back by Friday... [W]e will work round the clock to make good on the prime minister's instructions to bring our Malaysians home by Hari Raya [Eid]."
08:12  Malaysia quietly works back channels to secure bodies, black boxes:  Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that his government had negotiated the release of the remains of nearly 300 victims of Flight MH17 from separatist-held territory. Najib, working through intermediaries to reach rebel leader Alexander Borodai, was a key figure in brokering the deal, according to sources. 

Read more HERE
08:08  Rail officials further added that the Rajdhani pilot engine derailed after Maoists blew up the tracks in Aurangabad. Furthermore, Rail Minister Sadananda Gowda has asked authorities for a report on the incident. 
07:56  Trains delayed after Maoists blow up tracks:  Over a dozen trains were delayed on the Delhi-Howrah route after Maoists in Bihar's Gaya area blew up railway tracks between the Buraru-Ismailpur railway stations, late Tuesday night. Confirming the incident, Station master Nagender Prasad said that he Maoists had blown up the tracks and tried to halt the trains. However, train services have resumed in the affected area.
00:01  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  Modi sarkar diktat to MPs: Don't talk to journos, don't skip meetings
Manmohan's PMO intervened in Madras HC judge case: Govt
Wadia threw burning cigarettes at my face: Preity to cops
Infighting dogs Congress, Rahul's silence adds to woes
Eminently funny historians
Encephalitis toll rises to 102 in Bengal, 43 in Assam
Ram Naik sworn-in as UP Governor

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