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LIVE! Varun Gandhi faces protest in his constituency

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June 13, 2014


23:04  Varun Gandhi faces protest in his constituency:  

BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who was on his first visit to his constituency Sultanpur after winning Lok Sabha polls, had to face protest by a section of lawyers after he reportedly came late at a function and tried to leave in haste.        

 

A welcome function was organised by the bar association for Varun, however, he reached late and instantly took over the microphone saying he had little time therefore he should be allowed to address the gathering.        

 

Some lawyers got agitated over it and started shouting anti-Varun slogans asking him to "leave".        

 

Following the protest by a section of the lawyers Varun had to return without giving the speech.  

22:16  UAV fails to find missing students, hi-tech search tomorrow:  An unmanned aerial vehicle was pressed into service today to trace 17 missing engineering students from Hyderabad but without any success and rescuers will now deploy for the first time a multibeam echsounder in Beas river whose level will be also lowered to minimum.

"A special search operation will be launched tomorrow for tracing the missing students by lowering the water level to the minimum. 450 out of 600 jawans engaged in rescue operations will conduct special search operations in a 3-km stretch towards Pandoh Dam," Rural Development Minister Anil Sharma said.

The UAV was used for the first time today to trace the missing students, but did not succeed in its mission.
22:15  Heat wave claims 87 lives in AP this season:  Heat wave in Andhra Pradesh has claimed as many as 87 lives during the current summer season so far, a senior official said today.

Of the total case, 27 were reported during the past 24 hours across the state, predominantly from North coastal districts -- Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Vissakhapatnam and East Godavari, Additional Commissioner Disaster management M Jagannadham said. "So far, 87 deaths have been reported due to heat wave in 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh since April this year. We have received reports that the heat wave may continue for next three days," Jagannadham told PTI.

Tuni in East Godavari district was hottest in the state today with maximum temperature recorded at 45 degrees Celsius, nine degrees above normal.
21:30  From CNN: An official has said that the United States plans to move the aircraft carrier George H W Bush into the Persian Gulf in coming hours to provide President Barack Obama with options for possible airstrikes against militants in Iraq.
21:14  Killers of Indian-origin businessman jailed for 70 years in UK:  Six men were jailed today for a total of 70 years by a British court for causing the death of an Indian-origin businessman by pushing him under a lorry during a robbery.

Shammi Atwal was killed last October when the men raided his cash and carry warehouse and then pushed him under a lorry as he chased after them. The six men were found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob following a trial in May and sentenced at the Old Bailey court in London.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard ruled that the men '" five of whom are Lithuanian nationals and one British -- would each serve half their sentence in jail, and would be tagged for the rest of their respective terms.

Farhan Sheikh and Reiniks Kivers were handed 13-year prison sentences for manslaughter, with a nine-year sentence for conspiracy to rob to run concurrently.
21:13  Haryana chief minister unlikely to be removed: Sources:   Anita Katya reports from New Delhi: The Congress leadership is unlikely to remove Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda although his detractors have intensified their demand for his dismissal after the party's poor electoral performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls.  

The Congress was able to win only one seat in Haryana these polls. Ever since the declaration of the election results, Hooda's political rivals such as former Union minister Kumari Selja and former All India Congress Committee general secretary Birender Singh have been pressing the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi that the chief minister should be removed with an eye on the coming assembly polls which are due later this year.

A reliable Congress source told rediff.com that a change of leadership was not feasible or practical. A new chief minister will not be able to make any impact on the ground at this late stage as assembly polls are barely four months away, he said.

Senior party also pointed out that they had a learnt a lesson in the recent Lok Sabha elections when the Congress appointed Ashok Tanwar as the new state unit chief on poll-eve. Tanwar did not have sufficient time to organise the state unit. Moreover, he also got busy with his own election.   Instead of a leadership change, the  Congress leadership is making efforts to end the factionalism in Haryana Congress.

It is in the process of  accommodating different groups in the  campaign and election committees which are to be set up soon so that they  can sink their differences and work unitedly for the elections. The Congress had recently dissolved the state executive committee as well as the district and blocks panels to enable the party leadership to restructure these bodies before the state polls.

At the same time, Rahul Gandhi called Hooda, Tanwar, Selja and Birender Singh for a meeting on Thursday where he heard out everybody's viewpoint and asked them to sort their differences in  a follow-up meeting with AICC general secretary incharge of Haryana Shakeel Ahmed.   
19:38  Election Commission announces AP Rajya Sabha bypoll on July 3:  The Election Commission announced here today that the bypoll to the Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh to fill a vacancy caused by the death of N Janardhana Reddy would be held on July 3.

The term of Reddy, who passed away on May 9, was scheduled to end on June 21, 2016. Chief Electoral Officer of Andhra Pradesh Bhanwar Lal said that after the bifurcation of the undivided Andhra Pradesh, the seat has been allocated to Andhra Pradesh (new) as per a notification issued by the Rajya Sabha secretariat. Notification would be issued on June 16 and the last date for filing nominations is June 23.

Scrutiny will be on June 24 and last date for withdrawals is June 26. Counting would be taken up at 5 PM on July 3, he said.
19:07  Petrol, diesel prices may be hiked to fund fuel upgrade:  Petrol and diesel prices will be hiked by 75 paise a litre each if the government accepts an expert panel report that recommends nationwide fuel standards be upgraded to eliminate cancer-causing particle emissions by 2020. 

The Saumitra Chaudhuri Committee on Auto Fuel Vision & Policy 2025 estimated that upgrading refineries to produce Euro-V equivalent petrol and diesel will need an investment of Rs 80,000 crore. This cost can be met by the 75 paise levy on petrol and diesel, it said.
19:06  President condoles loss of lives in Bhilai Steel Plant:  President Pranab Mukherjee today condoled the loss of lives due to gas leakage at Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh. 

"The President has called upon the authorities concerned to engage in speedy relief and render all assistance to the kin of the victims, besides providing treatment to those affected by the incident," a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement said.
18:45  Goa govt cancels Brazil junket of the 6 state legislators:   The Goa government has cancelled the Brazil junket of the six state legislators who are under attack over their proposed government-funded trip to Brazil to watch the football World Cup. 

The 6 Goa legislators had decided to pick up the tab for the visit themselves although opposition the Congress said it would only believe them if an official notification confirmed their decision.
18:24  IT exemption likely to be raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh:  TV reports say the Finance Ministry has decided to raise the income-tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2 lakh.
18:04  Maha govt to take call on Maratha quota next week:  With an eye on upcoming Assembly elections after the drubbing in Lok Sabha polls, Maharashtra's Congress-NCP government will take a decision next week on the Rane committee's recommendation for 20 per cent quota for Marathas in government jobs and educational institutions. 

"We will make an announcement after June 20," Industry Minister Narayan Rane, who heads the special committee to study the socio-economic conditions of the Maratha community, told the Legislative Council today while replying to a discussion on the issue.
18:02  Congress seeks Meghwal's resignation over rape allegation:  All India Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza Friday demanded the resignation of union minister Nihalchand Meghwal for being allegedly involved in a rape case.

"We demand the resignation of Nihalchand Meghwal as he might influence trial in the rape case he is involved in, if allowed to continue as union minister," Oza told media persons here.

She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's failure to take action against his minister was shocking, given his repeated concern for matters relating to safety and dignity of women.
17:45  Li's visit to Britain to end China-UK diplomatic freeze:  Ending a diplomatic freeze over Tibet-related issues, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will visit Britain next week during which a number of bilateral deals related to nuclear energy and finance are likely to be signed. Li, who departs Beijing on Monday, will be the first Chinese premier to visit London since his predecessor Wen Jiabao's trip in 2011.
17:17  BJP demands 'white paper' on Uttarakhand tragedy from govt:  Claiming that human skeletal remains are "still lying" under the rubble in Kedarnath valley even a year after the calamity struck the hill state, opposition BJP today asked the Harish Rawat government to come up with a "white paper" on the tragedy. 

In the white paper, the opposition has asked from the government, the details of the conditions prevailing in the state when the disaster struck there and the conditions at present.
17:11  Mandi tragedy: 8 bodies found, more personnel to join search:  The search operation to trace the 17 persons still missing following the tragedy in the Beas river involving a group of engineering students from Hyderabad resumed on its fifth day on Friday with more personnel set to join the efforts.

"Fifteen more divers from Hyderabad will join the operation later in the day," said Telangana Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, who has been camping here following the mishap on Sunday evening.
16:54  Iraq bolsters defences as militants move nearer Baghdad:   The Iraqi government bolstered Baghdad's defences today as jihadists pushed towards the capital and President Barack Obama said he was exploring all options to save Iraq's security forces from collapse. 

Washington said US companies were evacuating hundreds of staff from a major air base north of Baghdad as the militants battled security forces just 80 kilometres from city limits.
16:45  Maha govt to seek AG's opinion on Campa Cola society issue:  Maharashtra government will seek legal opinion from Attorney General of India on how it can intervene into the issue of Campa Cola society residents who are making efforts to save themselves from being evicted. The Supreme Court in its judgement had earlier said that the residents should vacate their homes by May 31 and quashed their plea for a date extension.
16:06  JD-U comes out in support of Congress for LOP post:  The Janata Dal-United today announced its support to the Congress for the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha even as the treasury side has kept suspense over the issue.   

"In a similar situation in Bihar, the then Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of our party had given the status of Leader of Opposition to Adbul Bari Siddiqui of the Rashtriya Janata Dal though his party did not have the numbers to claim it," party general secretary K C Tyagi said.   

The JD-U, which has only two members in the Lok Sabha,is of the view that the main opposition party needed to be given the Leader of Opposition status to be on the panel to consider key appointments like the central vigilance commissioner, head of the National Human Rights Commission and the Lokpal.   

"At the Centre, the requirement is all the more. There are legal and constitutional requirements, which have to be fulfilled. That is why we are demanding that a leader of the Congress should be given the Leader of Opposition status in Lok Sabha," Tyagi said.
15:58  Army chief briefs PM on security situation:   Army Chief General Bikram Singh today briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the security situation and challenges.

This was the army chief's first substantial meeting with the PM and it came on a day when there were ceasefire violations by the Pakistan army along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, who was also present in the meeting, is to visit the state tomorrow to review the security situation.
15:52  Kerala college principal head for 'defaming' PM, granted bail:   The principal of a government polytechnic college has been arrested for defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi by featuring his photo in the college magazine under a list of "negative faces"  with Adolf Hitler,George W Bush, Osama bin Laden and a few others.   

The principal M N Krishnan Kutty, who was among the seven persons booked on June 10, was not arrested on Wednesday as he was ill, police said. Kutty was arrested last night and later granted bail, they said.   

The six persons arrested on June 11 included four students, lecturer and staff Editor Gopi and magazine designer Rajeev.
15:49  Sexsex logs biggest singe-day plunge in 4 months :  The Sensex today tanked 348 points to end at 25,228.17. It has logged the biggest single-day drop in over four months
15:44  '30 Rock' star Tracy Morgan shows signs of improvement :  '30 Rock' star Tracy Morgan, who was injured following a multi-vehicle acident, has shown signs of improvement.

The 45-year-old actor's condition remains critical but stable, reported E! News.

"While Tracy remains in critical, but stable, condition, he continues to show signs of improvement. His medical team remains optimistic that his recovery is progressing. Megan (Morgan's partner) remains by his side and is relaying the countless good wishes and prayers that his family, friends and fans have been sending their way." Morgan's representative said.
15:37  Yashwant Sinha suffers minor head injuries in jail:  Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has been injured in Hazaribagh jail in Rachi, Jharkhand. He has sustained minor head injuries, reports Times NOW.

Sinha was jailed after allegedly assaulting the General Manager of JSEB's Hazaribagh Branch Dhanesh Jha and locking the gate of his office in protest against the electricity crisis in Hazaribagh and neighbouring Ramgarh district.

He has been in judicial custody since June 3 and has refused to furnish a bail bond.
15:26  18-year old attacked in Bihar:  In a brutal attack, six men poured acid into the eyes and then chopped off fingers of an 18-year-old in Bihar's Samastipur after an altercation. 

The youth has lost his vision and is battling for life.

More details are awaited.    
15:08  Punjab CM wants new committee to probe anti-Sikh riots :   Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has demanded a fresh probe in the 1984 Sikh riots. He says a fresh committee should be formed to investigate the riots.  
15:01  Modi aide Amit Shah to lead Gujarat's cricketing body:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aide Amit Shah has been elected as president of the Gujarat Cricket Association today in annual general meeting in Ahmedabad.

Shah succeeds Narendra Modi as GCA president. Modi had submitted his resignation from the post of the president after becoming PM.
13:53  200 cr trees to be planted along 1 lakh km highways: Gadkari:   The government plans to plant 200 crore trees along the entire 1 lakh km National Highways network across the country to employ jobless youth.

"The length of National Highways in the country is one lakh kilometre. I have asked officials to come out with a plan to plant 200 crore trees along these stretches which in turn would create jobs for the unemployed on the one hand and protect the environment on the other," Road Transport, Highways, Shipping and Rural Development Minister Nitin Jairam Gadkari said in New Delhi.

A similar scheme could be implemented under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act) along the village and district roads and state highways. That has the potential to employ 30 lakh youth, he said while inaugurating a conference on "Regeneration of Rivers".
13:37  Modi to sail on aircraft carrier Vikramaditya tomorrow:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to sail on country's largest warship and aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya off the coast of Goa in the Arabian Sea tomorrow, his first visit after assuming office last month.

"The prime minister would be embarking on the 'carrier at sea' by helicopter and is likely to witness a host of exercises by the frontline warships and aircraft of the navy," a defence ministry spokesperson said. This is the prime minister's first visit outside Delhi after taking over on May 26.
13:35  Modi to meet officials tomorrow to sort out SEZ woes:  Seeking to revive the beleaguered Special Economic Zones, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting of the officials of commerce and finance ministries tomorrow to sort out the taxation and other problems hampering the implementation of the scheme.

The meeting, according to sources, will be attended by Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher and Revenue Secretary Rajiv Takru.

"Issues such as impact of imposition of minimum alternate tax and dividend distribution tax on SEZs; issues of conflict between revenue and commerce department will come up for discussion in the meeting," a source told PTI. Besides other things, the issues concerning inter- ministerial differences, especially between the finance and the commerce ministries over tax sops and loss of revenue are also likely to come for scrutiny at the meeting.
13:10  PM Modi condemns Karachi attack in letter to Sharif:  In a reply to Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif's letter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was looking forward to a violence free atmosphere. "I look forward to work closely with you."

Modi also condemned the attack at the Karachi airport on Sunday night that left 28 people including 10 terrorists.

Setting aside speculation in Pakistan that he wasn't entirely pleased with his India visit, Sharif wrote to Modi earlier this week saying, about their May 27 meeting, "I must say that I have returned much satisfied with our meaningful exchange of thoughts on matters of bilateral and regional interest."

His letter was delivered to Modi's office by the Pakistan high commission.
   
12:57  Flooding in parts of Mumbai after high tide:  Mumbai witnesses high tide yet again. There is flooding in parts of Worli.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has asked people to stay away from the coasts. The high tide at 1.03 pm was 4.24 metres. 

On Thursday, coastal roads stretching from Mahim and Dadar up to Worli were flooded with water after a burgeoning high tide choked the drainage system.

Photos of Mumbai flooding here  
12:28  Govt is ready to tackle drought: Agriculture minister:  A sub-normal monsoon has given rise to the possibility of drought in parts of the country, but the government is ready to tackle it, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said ahead of a meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the impact of poor rainfall, reports NDTV.

"We have prepared a Cabinet note to help farmers with compensations such as subsidised diesel and cheaper loans," he said.

Read the full report here
12:24  UP shame continues: Another minor gangraped :  It is Uttar Pradesh yet again. A minor girl has been allegedly gangraped in Meerut. One person has been arrested, while two others including the main accused are still on the run, NDTV reports.
12:15  Delhi power crisis: Congress protests outside BJP HQ:  Congress workers are protesting outside the BJP headquarters in New Delhi over the ongoing power crisis. Today is the third day of the protests.

Agitators are seen shouting slogans and climbing on to police barricades on 11 Ashoka Road. The Congress says it will continue to protest against the government over the power situation in the capital.

Delhi has been facing up to six hours of power cuts after a dust storm damaged transmission cables.        
11:34  Omar on ceasefire violation: Is it a coincidence that defence minister is visiting? :   Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned the timing of the ceasefire violation, a day ahead of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley's first visit to the state since assuming office.

"Is it just a coincidence that the defence minister is visiting J&K, for his 1st visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?" Omar wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter.

Omar said that the ceasefire violations in the Rajouri and Poonch areas were significant as some of shells had landed in civilian areas.

"Significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri and Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas. Some livestock loss," he further tweeted.
11:29  Today's  firing comes a day after an IED blast in the Tarkundi forward area along the LoC in Poonch in which one jawan was killed and three others injured.
11:25  Small arms, mortars and RPG is being used in the exchange which started this morning. There was no casualty reported.     
11:21  Goa MLAs to pay for their trip to Brazil :   All six Goa MLAs and ministers will go on a trip to Brazil at their own expense, says fisheries minister Avertano Furtado.

The BJP government in Goa stoked a controversy by sanctioning a Rs 90 lakh junket for six MLAs, including the sports minister, to Brazil, where the FIFA World Cup began on Thursday night.

It has been pegged as a "study tour." But the delegation did not include any experts in the field of sports.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had defended the decision to send MLAs on the junket.

The Congress has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.   
10:40  UP BJP leader murder: 3 docs held for sheltering accused:  Three doctors, including the owner of a private hospital, have been arrested for allegedly sheltering the accused in the murder of local BJP leader Omveer Singh in Muzaffarnagar, police said.   

According to Circle Officer Mahesh Mishra, the trio ofdoctors -- Adip Kotpal, owner of the private hospital, itsmanager Kirshan Kumar and one Ramkumar -- were yesterday arrested in the district's Mirapur town.   

The three doctors have been taken into custody for sheltering accused Monu after admitting him at their private hospital for treatment without informing police.
10:31  LTC scam: Case against Rajya Sabha MPs for cheating:  The CBI has filed an FIR against 3 Rajya Sabha MPs in the scam related to leave travel allowance for cheating and forgery.

Three sitting and three former Rajya Sabha MPs have been booked under sections 420 and 13 (1)D.

The sitting MPs are D Bandopadhyay of the Trinamool Congress, Brijesh Pathak of the Bahujan Samaj Patry and Lal Ming Liana of the Meghalaya People's Front.

The former MPs are Bharatiya Janata Party's JPN Singh, Renu Bala of the Biju Janata Dal, Mehmood A Madni of the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

All the MPs arranged fake tickets and boarding passes and got full fare reimbursed. Most of them violated the rules at least three to four times, reports CNN-IBN.

 
10:02  Sensex up 111 pts in early trade on positive economic data:   The benchmark BSE Sensex extended gains for the second straight day by adding nearly 111 points in early trade today on sustained capital inflows after the country reported positive economic data yesterday.

The 30-share barometer rose 110.69 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 25,686.90 with stocks of realty, capital goods, power, PSU, metal and oil & gas sectors leading the gains. The index had jumped 102.32 points in the previous session.
09:35  Ceasefire violation by Pak after 2 IED blasts :  CNN-IBN reports: The ceasefire violation comes after 2 IED blasts in the BG sector along the LoC last night. The firing has stopped now. 
09:03  The gun battle along the India, Pakistan border has been on from 7.30 am. There have no reports of casualties yet.
08:57  2 top Twitter executives resign :  One of top Twitter executives, Ali Rowghani, resigned as chief operating officer yesterday amid a dispute with Chief Executive Dick Costolo.The sudden resignation of Rowghani comes at a particularly thorny time in the company's young history as a public company.

Twitter's stock has fallen about 42 pc this year amid mounting concerns the company's user base is stalling after years of strong growth, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

Also hours after Rowghani's departure, another veteran executive announced on Twitter her own plans to leave the company. Chloe Sladden, head of North American media, was in charge of aligning the social-media company with television.
08:49  Pak forces open fire on LoC:  The Paksitani forces opened fired along the Line of Control in the Keri sector of Rajouri in jammu and Kashmir. Firing was also reported from the Balkot area of Poonch.

The Indian army has also retaliated to the firing.

More details are awaited.  
08:40  Obama as unpopular as George W Bush: Poll:  US President Barack Obama's popularity rating hit a new low with a majority of Americans adjudging him as unpopular as his predecessor George W Bush, a latest opinion poll has said.

"Obama is now as unpopular as Bush. Fifty-one per cent have an unfavourable view of Bush; 51 per cent feel the same way about Obama," said the CNN/ORC International poll.

"Obama's favourable rating is now at 47 per cent -- a new low for him, and virtually identical to Bush's 46 per cent favourable rating, a significant improvement over his 2009 numbers," it said.

"This marks the first time in a CNN poll that a majority of Americans have an unfavourable view of Obama," said CNN Polling director Keating Holland.
08:38  US has no intention of sending troops to Iraq:  BBC reports: United States President Barack Obama says his government is looking at "all options", including military action, to help Iraq fight Islamist militants.

But the White House also insisted it had no intention of sending ground troops.

The remarks came after the cities of Mosul and Tikrit fell to Sunni Islamist insurgents during a lightning advance.
03:37  Uncertainty over Iraq pushes oil price to three-month high:  

Escalating violence in Iraq sent the price of oil to a three-month high as traders bet that advances made by insurgents could disrupt supplies from one of the world's largest oil exporters. Brent crude futures rose 2% to $112.12 a barrel, the highest price since early March. The initially calm response to Sunni militants' overruning of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, on Tuesday turned to alarm as Isis, the al-Qaida splinter group, announced its intention to take Baghdad.

 

The prospect of rising oil prices because of the turmoil in Iraq prompted concerns about wider price rises that could force central banks to increase interest rates to curb inflation. That move in turn could put the brakes on economic recovery in the US and the UK.

 

Read more on Guardian

00:59  ISIL fighters vow to march on Iraq's capital :  

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have vowed to march on Baghdad, as Iraq's parliament failed to agree the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency.

 

"We will march toward Baghdad because we have an account to settle there," said the armed group's spokesman on Thursday in an audio recording posted on the internet.

 

The statement could not be independently verified. In a sign of ISIL's confidence, he even boasted that its fighters would take the southern Shia cities of Karbala and Najaf, which hold two of the holiest shrines for Shia Muslims, following the fall of cities in the Sunni north.

 

Its boasts come as Iraq's parliament failed to reach a quorum on Thursday to vote on a nationwide state of emergency. Most of those boycotting parliament were from the country's Sunni and Kurdish factions, who oppose giving extraordinary powers to the Shia prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

 

Read more on Al Jazeera

00:51   Will World Cup redeem people's faith in football?:  

In Brazil, they use the expression "futbol arte" to describe the type of soccer which made the country's world champion team of 1970 so easy on the eye. But no longer -- football has changed, and Brazil has changed too.

 

When it won the World Cup in 1994, the national team's style of play was dubbed "futebol d fora" -- a tougher, more pragmatic approach. And, after a year of violent protests, rubber bullets and tear gas, the romantic ideal of Brazil often portrayed in glossy travel magazines seems hard to imagine.

 

Thursday marks the start of an opportunity for Brazil to redefine itself after a difficult 12 months preparing for arguably the world's largest and most popular event.

 

Read more of James Masters's article on CNN

00:46  Major among 2 army men injured in mine blast in Poonch:  

A Major was among two armymen who were injured tonight in a mine blast along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.        

 

One jawan accidentally stepped on a mine in Shamla belt of Bhimbher Gali forward area of Poonch district resulting in the blast this evening, defence spokesman said tonight.        

 

The jawan sustained injury in his leg while the officer suffered minor splinter injuries, he said adding the duo have been shifted to hospital where they are stated to be out of danger.        

 

The injured armymen have been identified as Major (first name not immediately available) Bhatia of Engineers and Naik Sukhdev Singh of 7-Sikh regiment, reports said.  

00:44  Colourful ceremony opens Brazil World Cup:  

The 2014 Fifa World Cup officially got under way on Thursday with a colourful opening ceremony before hosts Brazil kicked off against Croatia.

 

A cast of 660 dancers paid tribute to the country's nature, people and football with a show around a "living" ball on the Arena de Sao Paulo pitch. The final act saw a performance of official World Cup song "We Are One" by Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull.

 

Read more on BBC

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