22:42 Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk:
Ukrainian officials said their forces advanced to the outskirts of a key town north of Donetsk today in hopes of retaking the stronghold held for months by pro-Russia rebels.
The move comes as Ukrainian forces appear to have gained some momentum recently by retaking control of territory from the rebels.
But Russia also appears to becoming more involved in the fighting, with the US and Ukraine accusing Moscow of moving heavily artillery across the border to the rebels.
Ukrainian national security spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Ukrainian forces were outside Horlikva, just north of the regional center of Donetsk.
"The direct route is open for the forces of the anti-terrorist operation to the capital of the Donbass region -- the city of Donetsk," Lysenko said.
Donetsk, a city of about 1 million people, is a major center of the separatist uprising that has battled Ukrainian government forces for five months.
21:11 Centre sends 600 paramilitary forces to UP:
Around 600 para military force personnel have been sent to Uttar Pradesh by the Central government to maintain law and order situation in the state in the wake of violence in Saharanpur.
The decision to sent the para military forces was taken after Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, official sources said.
Singh had asked Yadav to ensure communal harmony in the state in the wake of violence in Saharanpur and offered all help to contain the situation.
The Home Minister, who is personally monitoring the situation in Uttar Pradesh, had telephoned Yadav and expressed his concern over the violent clashes that broke out between two communities in the Western UP town.
He had also conveyed to the Chief Minister that the Central government would provide all assistance, including paramilitary forces, to the state government to maintain law and order.
20:54 Bangalore Police issues guidelines for schools after 6-yr-old's rape:
CNN-IBN reports: To ensure stringent security for children, the Bangalore Police has issued fresh guidelines for schools. In an order to all schools to implement these guidelines, Bangalore Police Commissioner MN Reddi has said that schools will be prosecuted under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) if they fail to follow the guidelines.
The schools have been asked to implement the guidelines by 31 August. These have been issued under the Karnataka Police Act.
The guidelines state that all school buses should have GPS and CCTV cameras, CCTV cameras should be installed in perimeters of the school. Schools have also been asked to depute floor vigilance officers.
The police has told the schools that the bus drivers should not be allowed to mingle with children beyond a limit. Sports facility has been asked to be limited only for the authorised staff members.
To ensure safety, the police said that the parents should be issued ID cards to pick up their kids and if the parents in case can't pick them up, they should send an SMS to an authorized person for the same.
20:15 Dhoni defends Jadeja; says ICC made a very hurtful decision:
A livid India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today lambasted the ICC decision to impose a fine on Ravindra Jadeja, saying many a thing were neglected in the case and his players cannot ignore if abuse is hurled on them.
Jadeja was fined 50 percent of his match fee after being found guilty of playing against spirit of the game.
"To me, personally, it is a very hurtful decision. A lot of things were neglected in judging the case," said Dhoni ahead of the third Test.
The Indian skipper then explained his version of the incident at Trent Bridge.
"If you see what exactly happened, the umpires called for lunch and we started walking towards the pavilion. I don't want to take any other individual's name. We started walking and the other individual started using foul language against Jadeja. I had to step in the middle. And by the time we reached the boundary ropes, I thought the situation had diffused," Dhoni said.
"By the time we were going through the members' area, I was ahead of Jadeja, he was a couple of yards behind me. Then again something happened. Something was said to him. And he just turned across to the individual and after that he was pushed. And he barely gained his balance and he turned to see as to what is happening. And on the basis of that he is fined," he added.
20:01 Chandela wins CWG gold in 10m Air Rifle, Paul gets silver:
India's Apurvi Chandela won the gold medal, while compatriot Ayonika Paul clinched the silver in the women's 10m Air Rifle at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, on Saturday.
Chandela finished top with 206.7 points while Paul finished a close second with 204.9 points.
Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi won the bronze with 184.4 points.
19:56 AI ends contract of 30 pilots, including 15 expats:
Air India has ended the contracts of almost 30 pilots, including expatriates, over the past six months, a move that would help the cash-starved national carrier make some savings.
Fifteen of these pilots are expatriates who were hired for flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliners till Air India's crew got trained, airline officials said, adding that their contract was not renewed any further.
With the number of Boeing 777s in Air India's fleet depleting with five being sold to Gulf-based Etihad Airways and three more on the block, the contracts of 11 pilots of these aircraft have also been terminated, they said.
The remaining pilots whose contracts have not been renewed include two simulator instructors who are senior pilots and two of Boeing 747 jumbos, sources said, adding that this was a continuous process.
18:18 MP Sanjay Singh's son booked for looting, trespassing:
Police have booked Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh's son Anant Vikram Singh and 18 others on charges of loot and trespassing.
An FIR was lodged against Anant and the others for breaking into Bhupati Bhawan, ancestral property of Sanjay Singh in Amethi, by the house's caretaker Santosh Singh, station incharge Mohd Samid said.
Tight security arrangements have been made at Bhupati Bhawan and its main door remained locked today. Sanjay's first wife Garima Singh along with Anant, two daughters Sabya and Mahima remained on the third floor of the building.
District Magistrate Jagatraj Tripathi said it was a family matter and the administration has nothing to do with it. The administration's job was to maintain law and order and it was being done, he said.
Seven named persons, including Anant, and 12 unidentified persons were listed as accused in the FIR.
Anant had yesterday lodged an FIR against second wife of sitting MP Sanjay Singh, Amita Singh, and 25 others, including her personal secretary Ramraj Mishra, for assaulting him and his driver when he had come to his ancestral house at Amethi police station.
17:33 'Violence, divisiveness and hatred have no place in India':
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has said that he is deeply saddened to hear about the clashes in Saharanpur in which two people have died and 19 others have been injured.
"I am deeply saddened to hear of clashes in Saharanpur. Violence, divisiveness and hatred have no place in our country. This politics of hatred must end. I appeal to every one to remain calm and refrain from fanning communal passions," Gandhi said in a statement today.
16:43 SGPC row: Centre's directive must be obeyed: Haryana guv:
As controversy raged over Haryana's move to create a separate Gurdwara Management Committee, Governor-designate Kaptan Singh Solanki today said the Centre's directive against it "must be obeyed".
Solanki said though his opinion was personal, he would look into all aspects before taking a decision on the Centre's directive to annul the Act passed by the state Assembly, to which the former Governor has already accorded sanction.
"Under the circumstances, if the central government sayssomething, I think it is my personal opinion that it must be obeyed," Solanki said.
He said that although he cannot say anything off-hand on what he will do once he takes over as the new Governor, he"will look into all aspects".
"If the matter comes before me, I will go through all the facts as per the Constitution. I will ensure that there will be no political interference in this matter," he said.
16:19 Congress slams AG over Leader of Opposition issue:
The Congress today hit back at Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi for opining that the party had no claim to the post of the Leader of Opposition in Lok vSabha and alleged that his view on the matter was aimed at"pleasing the political masters".
"The AG's opinion is not worth the paper on which it is written. It is unfortunate that the AG has given an opinion toplease his political masters. The AG is just providing an apology for the blatantly partisan approach of a confrontational government.
"I do not know to which law the AG has referred with regard to the LoP. The AG is expected to have a better understanding of law and statutes not to give such an opinion,which belittles his office," Congress spokesperson AnandSharma told reporters here. Dealing a blow to Congress's bid to secure the LoP's post,the AG has opined that the party has no case for claiming thesame. There is no precedence to backs its case since the daysof the first Lok Sabha, the AG has said. Rohatgi conveyed his views to Lok Sabha Speaker SumitraMahajan after she sought his opinion in the matter, sourcessaid.
15:43 Sushma chairs Nepal joint commission meet:
Seeking to take bilateral ties to a "new level", India and Nepal today held the first meeting of the joint commission after a gap of 23 years during which both sides decided to enhance cooperation in diverse areas including defence, security, trade and investment, water resources and border issues.
The joint commission meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Nepalese counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey which largely agreed to further "reinvigorate" the relationship by stepping up engagement in new areas.
The meeting decided on setting up an Eminent Persons Group to identify new areas of cooperation and suggest measures to help both the countries seize all possible opportunities. Both the countries have agreed to the terms of reference for setting up of the group, government sources said.
15:39 Punjab, Haryana govt face-off: Akal Takht steps in :
The Akal Takht has asked sparring leaders to call off rallies in Haryana and Punjab.
The Punjab and Haryana government are at loggerheads over the new Gurudwara Committee Act.
The new Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki had hinted that he may review the legality of the SGPC Act passed by the state government.
The Shiromani Akali Dal had planned a show of strength against the Haryana government at the rally to be held tomorrow.
Akali Dal sources said that 2 to 3 lakh people would join the protests. Sources say that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal can lead the agitation only if he quits. Badal has threatened to quit at a rally on July 27 if the Haryana SGPC Act is not withdrawn, CNN-IBN
A separate rally in support of the Haryana government was planned on Monday.
The Akal Takht is one of the five seats of power in the Sikh religion. It is located in the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
15:38 Why Sushma was kept out of the media cell :
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been kept out of the media cell. Here's why. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not very happy with Sushma's stance in Rajya Sabha over the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.
Sushma had said that the government refused to take sides over the conflict when Modi was in Brazil for the BRICS summit.
BJP insiders complain that she always looking angry and lost in Parliament.
15:30 The rise of Ravi Shankar Prasad :
Ravi Shankar Prasad may have lost the external affairs portfolio to Sushma Swaraj. But since then his graph is on the rise in the Modi government.
He hold three important portfolios -- law, telecom and IT. He is the member of the the powerful Cabinet committee on political affairs. And now, he has been made a key member of the media committee headed by Arun Jaitley.
15:25 No extension for Justice Katju as Press Council chairman :
Justice Markandey Katju paid a courtesy call to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javdekar recently. Sources say he is keen to continue as the chairman of the Press Council of India.
But the Prime Minister's Office has categorically said that Katju will not be given an extension. He is less than three months away from the end of his Press Council term. He was appointed to the post on October 5, 2011 for a three-year term.
15:21 Will MJ Akbar get Rajya Sabha seat from MP?:
Four names are under consideration for the Rajya Sabha seat from Madhya Pradesh vacated by Kaptan Singh Solanki, who has been appointed as the governor of Haryana.
The names in contention are that of former leading journalist and now BJP spokesperson M J Akbar, Dr Subramanian Swamy, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha.
14:51 2 legal luminaries likely to be made governors :
Just in: Two legal luminaries -- former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee and former Former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam -- may be made governors.
BJP chief Amit Shah had an hour long meeting with the two, after which he briefed PM Narendra Modi.Image: Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee
14:40 BJP's two-pronged approach in Budget session :
The BJP effectively handled the Budget session. It took up a soft approach
while conducting business in the Rajya Sabha, where it lacks majority, to get along with the Congress.
In Lok Sabha, it depended more on the AIADMK, BJD and TMC to neutralise the Congress. Its two-pronged approach clearly worked in its favour. But in the winter session of Parliament, the BJP's approach will be different.
14:33 Modi cabinet rejig: Gadkari likely to get a new portfolio: Just in:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is upset with many of the top BJP functionaries. After the BJP defeat in the Uttarakhand assembly bypoll, the PM wants to focus on the party's organisational aspects.
At a dinner meet hosted by PM for the RSS at his Race Course residence, the Sang leaders reportedly gave a feedback on each minister Speculation is rife in the top BJP circles that Nitin Gadkari will be appointed as the new home minister. He will be forceful in dealing with pending cases pertaining to Sadhvi Pragya, an accused in the Malegaon blast.
The RSS also likes Gadkari's approach. Currently, he is in-charge of road transport, highways and shipping.
Sources say that three junior ministers will also be shifted. Dharmendra Pradhan may be shifted from petroleum to agriculture. Six Union ministers are being closely watched by the Prime Minister's Office and they will be suitably shifted in a cabinet reshuffle, which is expected by November.
13:58 PM pays tribute to 'indomitable courage' of Kargil martyrs:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tributes to Kargil martyrs on the occasion of 'Vijay Diwas', a day commemorated as India's victory over Pakistan in the 1999 conflict.
"We remember the indomitable courage & sacrifice of our Armed Forces on Kargil Vijay Diwas. The nation salutes these brave martyrs," Modi said on Twitter.
13:20 We are fighting for self-respect of our party MLAs: BJP :
Moradabad district magistrate meets Uttar Pradesh BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayee and receives complaint against the senior superintendent of police.
BJP leaders were protesting outside the DM's residence.
"We are not fighting for the loudspeaker issue because that has already
gone to the high court. We are fighting for the self respect of our
party MLAs, the way they were treated. We haven't come to do politics.
We want an FIR to be lodged against SSP Dharamvir Yadav, Assistant
Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar, Circle Officer Rahul and
their co-officials and we will continue to protest till then," said
''The way police is hunting for BJP MLAs in western UP, it's like as if we are some criminals, said BJP leader Suresh Rana.
Image: Uttar Pradesh BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayee
12:32 Jaya requests Centre to enhance Haj quota to Tamil Nadu:
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today requested the Centre to enhance the Haj quota for Tamil Nadu this year as the state has received a huge number of applications from pilgrims and many were left disappointed.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said the Tamil Nadu State Hajj Committee has received 13,159 applications from pilgrims for Hajj 2014. The Hajj committee of India, Mumbai, based on the Muslim population, had allotteda quota of only 2,672 seats to the state, she said.
As per the guidelines for Hajj 2014, 1,180 out of the 2,672 seats have been utilized for reserved category pilgrims and the remaining under the general category. "Subsequently, only 100 more seats have been allotted bythe Hajj Committee of India, leaving a large number of applicants disappointed", she said in her letter.
11:19 We are going to to calm the situation in Moradabad: Congress :
The Congress march Delhi to Moradabad has been stalled by the police long the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. Heavy security been deployed.
The Congress has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of instigating communal tension in Moradabad. "We are going to to calm the situation," said
Madhusudan Mistry. Image: Police stop Congress leaders from going to Moradabad. Photograph: ANI/Twitter
Earlier, 13 Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders were detained after they tried to re-install a loudspeaker at a temple.
At the epicentre of the trouble in Moradabad is a temple in Muslim dominated Akbarpur village belonging to the Jatav community. Trouble started last month after a section of villagers protested against installation of a loudspeaker in the temple.
The loudspeakers were removed by the local administration earlier this month following the protests.
10:45 Ceasefire violation by Pakistan:
As India remembers its martyrs on the 15th anniversary of the Kargil War, Pakistan opened fire in the Pallanwala area of Ankhoor sector in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the second ceasefire violation in the last 24 hours.
Yesterday, the Pakistan army violated the bilateral ceasefire in the Poonch district of Jammu.
A defence spokesman in a statement said, "Pakistan troops violated ceasefire on evening July 25 and continued to fire on own posts in Mendhar sector. The enemy posts used small arms against own posts from 4.50 p.m to 5.30 p.m."
10:18 Curfew imposed in UP's Saharanpur:
Curfew has been imposed in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh after violent clashes between two groups over a land dispute.
One policeman and six people have been injured in the clashes, according to television reports.
More details awaited
09:59 15 years after Kargil: Jaitley prays tribute to martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti:
Defence Min Arun Jaitley, Army Chief Bikram Singh, Navy Chief Robin Dhowan and Air Force Chief Arup Raha pay tribute to martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate on the 15th anniversary of the Kargil War.
Addressing the media, Jaitley said, "The government will soon finalise venue for construction of a National War Memorial."
09:29 Israel, Hamas accept 12-hour window in Gaza : BBC
reports: Israel and Hamas have said they have accepted a 12-hour humanitarian window in Gaza.
The truce is due to begin at 08.00 local time. Efforts to negotiate a seven-day ceasefire are still ongoing.
Earlier, United States Secretary of State John Kerry said he was still confident of a longer ceasefire, despite media reports that Israel had rejected one proposal.
More than 800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 38 Israelis have died since the conflict started on July 8.
00:54 US 'concerned' over Russian weapons moving into Ukraine:
The US today expressed concern over the transfer of highly-sophisticated Russian weapons to Ukrainian separatists, after the Pentagon claimed that Moscow appears to be set to move more rockets across the border into Ukraine.
"We are very concerned about the transfer of weapons and materiel from the Russian side of the border into Ukraine and into the hands of Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
"That has fuelled the violence and conflict that we have seen in Ukraine. Unfortunately, it has also had tragic consequences for citizens from countries around the world after the downing of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner," he said.
Earnest said when the US announced a new set of sanctions against Russia last week, the Obama Administration noted specifically that these sanctions were aimed at Russia's continuing efforts to provide arms to the separatists.