20:50 Mild quake hits Pakistan:
A mild earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale rattled parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northwest Pakistan today. According to the MeT office, the earthquake's epicentre was located in Koh Hindu Kush in Afghanistan.
It said that tremors were felt in Peshawar, Swat and Chitral. There are no immediate reports about any damage caused by the quake.
20:03 Delhi Cong reposes 'full confidence' in Rahul, Sonia:
Amid criticism of Rahul Gandhi in the wake of party's electoral debacle, Delhi Congress today thanked him and party president Sonia Gandhi for the "effective" election campaign and expressed "full confidence" in their leadership. A resolution to this effect was passed at a meeting of current and former MLAs.
The meeting was presided over by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Arvinder Singh Lovely. "The meeting thanked Soniaji and Rahulji for their vigorous campaigning and expressed full confidence in their leadership," DPCC chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said. Sharma said the meeting also decided not to support the Aam Aadmi Party to form the government again.
"We have decided not to support AAP to form the government again. Arvind Kejriwal had deserted the people of Delhi and the party felt he should not be given another chance to run the city," said Sharma.
20:01 Inviting SAARC leaders 'right decision at right time': Modi:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described his first major foreign policy initiative of inviting SAARC leaders for his swearing-in as a "right decision at the right time" and said a message has gone out to to the world which is still talking about it.
Visiting the BJP headquarters for the first time after becoming the Prime Minister, he noted that people had lot of expectations from his government and it is the duty of his dispensation to keep pace with their aspirations.
He said the democracy of the country needs to be strengthened as a result of which even the world will give India its due respect and status. In this context, he referred to his initiative of inviting leaders of SAARC countries for the swearing-in of his Council of Ministers on May 26.
"The entire world got a message and they are still talking about it, what happened, how it happened. It shows how effective a right decision taken at the right time can be," the Prime Minister told a gathering of party cadres in the presence of party President and Home Minister Rajnath Singh and some other leaders.
19:19 Winston Churchill's daughter dies at 91:
Lady Mary Soames, the last surviving child of former UK Prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, has died at the age of 91, her family said today. Soames died peacefully at her home yesterday evening surrounded by her family, after a short illness.
She was the youngest of the five children of Britain's wartime Prime Minister and his wife Clementine. She is survived by her five children from her marriage to Baron Christopher Soames, who died in 1987. Her son Nicholas Soames, a Conservative party MP, said, "She was a truly remarkable and extraordinary woman, who led a very distinguished life. She was not just a wonderful mother to whom we were all devoted, but the head and heart of our family after our father died, and will be greatly missed".
Lady Soames was 17 during the outbreak of World War II and at the age of 18 she joined up for the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women's army.
18:25 Operation Blue Star: 30 years later:
Mark Tully writes for TOI
: On the morning of June 6, 1984 one of the most extraordinary events in the history of Independent India occurred. India is a nation which rightly takes pride in its ancient multi-religious culture secularism, yet at about 7.30 that morning Major General Kuldip Singh Brar ordered Vijayanta tanks to open fire with 105mm squash head shells on the Akal Takht, the shrine in the Golden Temple complex which symbolizes the temporal power of Sikhism.
The General gave the order with great reluctance.
Read the full article here
18:22 Three dead, 11 injured in building collapse in north Delhi:
At least three people were killed and 11 injured when an under-construction multi-storey building collapsed this afternoon in Sadar Bazar area in north Delhi, police said.
According to Delhi Fire Service officials, a call was received by them at around 12:55 PM, after which five fire tenders were rushed to the spot. "Two people were killed and 11 were injured when an under-construction multi-storey building collapsed in Sadar Bazar's Gali Barna area," Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sindhu Pillai said.
While one dead body was pulled out of the rubble, another person died while being rushed to a hospital, he said. Police and fire officials were still carrying out rescue operations at the site, and they said more people are feared trapped in the debris. As it was an under-construction building, most of the victims are labourers, they said.
18:11 UPA spent Rs 187 cr on Bharat Nirman publicity in 2013-14:
The UPA-II government had spent nearly Rs 187 crore to publicise schemes under the 'Bharat Nirman
' programme in the election year 2013-14. According to an RTI response by the Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity, the Manmohan Singh-led government spent Rs 186.98 crore in the election year 2013-14.
Giving details of Bharat Nirman campaign of UPA-2, DAVP said in 2013-14, the election year, Rs 186.98 crore were spent whereas in 2012-13, the figure was 100.95 crore, 2011-12 it was Rs 86 crore and in 2010-11 it was Rs 47 crore. However, the details of NDA government's spending on 'India Shining
' campaign were not available, according to DAVP, the nodal agency of government spending on advertisements.
The DAVP said that it does not have records pertaining to expenses incurred on 'India Shining' campaign run in the election year in 2003-04 during the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
17:36 Piyush Goyal on power supply position of Uttar Pradesh: Reasons for power shortage:
The peak demand of Uttar Pradesh is of the order of 12,700 MW out of which around 10,700 MW is met leaving a shortfall of around of 2,000 MW at present.
Paricha plant of 500 MW capacity which went on forced outage yesterday has been restored and is generating on full load. Now another private sector plant Anpara-C of 600 MW is out because of non-procurement of imported coal by the generating company.
Read the full statement here
17:19 Storm lashes Himachal; Rohtang Pass closed:
Severe storm accompanied by rains and sleet today lashed parts of Himachal Pradesh, including state capital Shimla, disrupting the normal life while Rohtang Pass was closed due to fresh snowfall in tribal areas. Some state transport buses which left from Keylong this morning for Manali had to return midway as Manali-Rohtang highway was closed due to heavy snow at Rohtang and adjoining areas, an official said.
Shimla town and adjoining areas experienced heavy downpour accompanied by hailstorm throwing the normal life out of gear. The heavy rains lasted about three hours in the morning, forcing the tourists to stay indoors. However, the storm subsided by noon but day temperature dropped significantly after the region experienced the hottest day yesterday.
According to MeT office, Paonta Sahib received 20 mm of rains while Chamba and Baldwara recorded 16 mm and 12 mm of rains till the morning, followed by Kalatop 9 mm, Dharamshala and Sainj 7 mm, Keylong 5 mm and Bilaspur 4 mm.
The sky remained heavily overcast and intermittent showers continued in lower and mid hills, it said.
14:50 TRS chief KCR to be sworn-in as first CM of Telangana tomorrow:
In a historic event marking culmination of the long-drawn-out process of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao will assume the office as first Chief Minister of Telangana which becomes 29th state of the country tomorrow. The swearing-in ceremony would take place at 8.15 am at Raj Bhavan here.
The President's rule which is in place in united Andhra Pradesh will be revoked partially tomorrow to facilitate the swearing-in of new government under KCR. TRS secured majority in recent Legislative Assembly elections by winning 63 of the 119 seats in Telangana region.
Prior to KCR's coronation, Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan would take oath as the Governor of Telangana. Narasimhan, a former Chief of Intelligence Bureau, would function as the Governor of Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh.
14:09 US plane makes emergency landing after dog poops thrice:
In a bizarre incident, a Philadelphia-bound US flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a dog defecated thrice in the centre aisle making the smelly ordeal unbearable for passengers on board.
The US Airways flight 598 was delayed for about two hours in Los Angeles and when the plane finally took off for Philadelphia, the passengers settled in for what they hoped would be a routine flight, but were woken up from their sound sleep to a horrible smell emanating from the "big dog" poop last week.
"About an hour into the flight, I started smelling this terrible smell. I look up the aisle way and there's a dog pooping right in the middle of the aisle. It's a big dog, 3' to 4' tall or long, and he was just going," passenger Steve McCall told KCTV5
13:37 Mayawati slams SP govt, again demands imposition of Prez rule:
Coming down hard on the AkhileshYadav government for the Badaun gang rape case, BSP supremo Mayawati today said transferring and suspending officers will not help and the SP government needs to tighten the noose around its own party men.
Reiterating her demand for imposition of President's rulein the state, she said, "If the state government is unable to control the situation then in the interest of the people it should relinquish power. Otherwise we again request the Governor to recommend President rule," she said.
Mayawati said that Centre should also take an initiative in this direction, otherwise the people of the state would not forgive BJP along with the SP. The BSP chief was talking to reporters before leaving for Badaun to meet the family members of two cousin Dalit girls,who were gang-raped and later hanged.
"Only transferring and suspending officers will not improve the situation. They have to tighten the noose around their own party people," she said.
While referring to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's statement on capital punishment in rape cases, the BSP supremo alleged, "It is the result of extending wrong support to saverape accused that his own party men are committing such incidents in which the police is also involved."
12:38 Paswan to meet family members of Badaun rape victims:
Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan will visit Badaun district in UP tomorrow and meet family members of the two girls who were gang-raped and murdered.
Paswan, who is the chief of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP, is visiting the village of the victims along with his son Chirag Paswan, who is also an MP and chairman of the party's Parliamentary Board.
Yesterday, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had visited the family members of the victims. The visit of Consumer Affairs Minister Paswan, a Dalit leader, is the first by any central minister to the village of the victims.
12:26 PMO India Facebook page gets over million 'likes' in four days:
In just about four days of its launch, the official Facebook page of the Prime Minister's Office has attracted over 1.1 million 'likes'. The cover photo on the Facebook page of PMO India shows 63-yead-old Narendra Modi at work.
He is an avid user of the social media. In the account, the PMO has posted several pictures including those of the prominent visitors greeting the new prime minister.
Apart from the pictures, the prime minister's message on the occasion of 'World No Tobacco day' is in the page. It has got thousands of 'likes', besides hundreds of comments and suggestions.
12:22 Preet Bharara talks Khobragade case at Harvard Law School:
The Devyani Khobragade case came upfor a discussion at Harvard Law School with India-born US prosecutor Preet Bharara telling the graduating class that the"intense" criticism and accusation hurled at him for charging the Indian diplomat with visa fraud had upset him.
Bharara was invited to address students and faculty at the prestigious law school on its 2014 Class Day ceremony last week
The top US attorney in Manhattan spoke about the criticism he faces from all quarters as well as from various governments because of his work. He added that he has even "been banned from Russia".
Raising the Khobragade case, Bharara said he got the most flak for prosecuting the former Indian deputy counsul general even though the case was initiated and investigated by the US state department and seasoned law enforcements officials.
"You may have heard about the case we brought last year in which the state department arrested a mid-level Indian female diplomat Devyani Khobragade for visa fraud in connection with lies about what she would ultimately pay her domestic worker (also an Indian)."
12:19 Lankan navy arrests 29 fishermen from Rameswaram:
Sri Lankan Naval personnel arrested 29 fishermen from here while they were fishing near Katchatheevu and allegedly damaged fishing nets, a fisheries department official today said.
They also seized six mechanised boats, M Gopinath, Rameswaram Fisheries Assistant Director said. The fishermen and the boats have been taken to Talaimannar. They were part of a group of fishermen, who set out in 727 boats from here last night and while they were fishing near Katchatheevu, the Lankan Navy personnel came in four boats and arrested the 29 fishermen.
11:31 Jaya orders setting up of 360 more Amma canteens:
A day after a delegation from Egypt praised "Amma Canteens" and expressed desire to replicate it in their country, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today ordered setting up of 360 more such canteens across Tamil Nadu and announced that these would start functioning soon.
"I have ordered 360 new Amma Canteens in TN to ensure that the utility of Amma Unavagam
(canteen), a bedrock of support for the poor, should reach people in other urban centres as well," Jayalalithaa said in a statement here. The popular canteens were launched by Jayalalithaa last year to provide quality food at subsidised price to the people, especially the poor.
Chennai's 200 wards already have one Amma canteen each. Now each ward will get one more canteen.
10:27 US has ironclad commitment to bring PoW home: Obama:
President Barack Obama has said that the US has ironclad commitment to bring its prisoners of war home, as his administration released five detainees from Guantanamo Bay detention centre in exchange of an American soldier in Taliban captive for nearly five years.
"We are committed to winding down the war in Afghanistan, and we are committed to closing Gitmo. But we also made an ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home," Obama said yesterday, hours after the release of Sgt Bowe Bergdahl.
"It's a profound obligation within our military, and today, at least in this instance, it's a promise we've been able to keep," he said. Bergdahl was in Taliban custody for nearly five years and his release followed years of negotiations, with Qatar acting as intermediary.
10:26 Prez rule in T'gana to be revoked tomorrow; to continue in AP:
President's rule imposed in united Andhra Pradesh will be revoked partially tomorrow to facilitate swearing-in of a government in the newly-created Telangana headed by TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao.
However, the central rule will continue in the residual Andhra Pradesh till TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu takes charge as Chief Minister a week later. A notification is expected to be issued tomorrow morning revoking President's rule in Telangana to facilitate Rao in taking charge as the first Chief Minister of the country's 29th state.
The notification will clarify that the President's rule will continue in residuary Andhra Pradesh till Naidu takes oath as chief minister possibly on June 8, official sources said. President's rule was imposed in Andhra Pradesh on March 1 after N Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned as chief minister following Parliament's nod for bifurcation of the state to create separate Telangana.
00:38 Sachin, SRK among 100 most 'obsessed-over people' on the web:
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood heartthrob Shahrukh Khan are among the 100 most "obsessed-over people" on the web, according to a list compiled by Time magazine.
There inclusion in the list proves the huge following they have in the country and across the world. Both the celebrities have millions of fans in their social media pages.
While Tendulkar retired from all forms of cricket in the year 2013, he continued his journey in sports after buying the football team Kochi ISL in the Indian Super League Football Team.
King Khan who is nearing 50 is busy with his latest film 'Happy New Year' with Deepika Padukone. The film is expected to release in the month of October.
The list is topped by former US President George Bush who has a score of 65.6 points. His successor President Barack Obama comes in at the second spot with 45.3 points.
Tendulkar is ranked 68th of the list and has 23.98 points. Khan, however, comes in at the penultimate rank of 99 with a low score of 22.07.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is one rank above Khan with 22.08 points. The list also includes singer Madonna on the number three spot followed by Beyonce (4), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (11), Russian President Vladimir Putin (27), Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic (61), Pope Francis (70), Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher (77) and talk show host Oprah Winfrey (95).
00:27 AI Boeing Dreamliner returns after taking off:
An Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane which took off from New Delhi for Frankfurt carrying 200 passengers an hour behind schedule, returned after being airborne for about three hours, an airline spokesman said.
The flight (AI 121) left IGI airport at around 1.45 pm after the delay in its departure was caused by wait for connecting passengers who arrived from different parts of the country, he said.
The spokesperson said the plane returned after the pilot calculated that if they go ahead with the journey, night curfew would be imposed at Frankfurt Airport and they would not be able to land.
Secondly, the flight duty time limitation of a pilot would have come into force as the flight was delayed. So the pilot decided to come back to Delhi, the spokesperson said.
The passengers were deboarded and given accommodation and the flight will now leave for Frankfurt on Sunday morning, according to the spokesperson.
00:26 Lok Sabha TV CEO Rajiv Mishra's fired:
Lok Sabha TV Chief Executive Rajiv Mishra has lost his job, with outgoing Speaker Meira Kumar terminating his services with effect from Saturday.
Mishra, who joined as the CEO of the LSTV on December 16, 2011, was given an extension with effect from December 15, 2013, until further orders.
"...In continuation of this Secretariat Notification no. GN-6787 dated 17th December, 2013, the Speaker has limited the tenure of Shri Rajiv Mishra as Chief Executive of LSTV till May 31, 2014," says a notification issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat.
Mishra, however, cried foul over the decision which came just days ahead of her exit.
When contacted, he told PTI that he was not given prior notice and he came to know about his exit after his colleagues informed him about the notification on Friday night.
According to Lok Sabha Secretariat sources there is no impropriety involved in the matter.
They said that Mishra's contract was only till December 31, 2013 and the Speaker had extended his contract until further orders.
Since the Speaker's tenure is itself coming to an end on June 4, the Speaker had "limited" the contract of Mishra till May 31, 2014.
00:22 Abolishing GoMs a step towards good governance: FICCI:
The new government's move to scrap all 30 GoMs and EGoMs set up by previous regime is a step towards "good governance", industry body Ficci said.
"FICCI welcomes yet another decisive step towards sound governance, in the doing away with the practice of 'Group of Ministers' and EGOMs," Ficci President Sidharth Birla said.
The industry body has frequently and over the past many months had been suggesting such a step and it is an important element in government's enabling agenda, he said.
An important element in its enabling agenda for the government is that the Cabinet be in firm control of decision making, with full accountability, he said.
"Besides speeding up decisions and fact tracking key projects to boost growth, the resulting systemic robustness will enhance the confidence of all stakeholders in our economy," Birla added.
Doing away with the practice of the preceding UPA government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today abolished all the 30 GoMs and EGoMs and told ministries and departments to take decisions on pending matters.
00:21 Power restored in almost all areas in capital: BSES:
Power has been restored in almost all areas in Delhi which was hit by a massive duststorm on Friday evening, a discom spokesperson has said.
Normal life was thrown out of gear on Friday as the storm uprooted several trees and snapped power lines, plunging many parts of the city into darkness.
"The thunderstorm had caused large scale disruption of power in large parts of the national capital. Due to the continuous and combined effort of O&M teams of Delhi Transco Limited, Generation and Distribution companies, power was restored in almost all the areas," the spokesperson of major power distributor BSES said.
"Due to extensive damage to a supply line which routes electricity to South West Delhi, load shedding of around 5-6 hours is likely to take place for the next 2-3 days in certain areas of West Delhi like Palam, Dwarka, Tilak Nagar, Rajouri Garden, Uttam Nagar, Vikaspuri and Janakpuri," he said.
However, a major 220kV transmission line from Bamnauli to Papankallan I Grid, which supplies a major portion of the incoming power to South-West Delhi, has been affected due to extensive damage to its four towers, he said.