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June 17, 2014


23:34  Nigeria vigilantes kill 8 'militants' for attacking village:  Nigerian vigilantes said on today they had killed eight suspected Boko Haram militants who attacked a village near Chibok, where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in April. 

Adamsi Tar said the suspected militants had attacked a village about 15 kilometres from Chibok in volatile northeastern Nigeria, burning several homes and looting food.
22:31  Rebels keep JD-U on tenterhooks ahead of RS bypoll in Bihar:  

The ruling JD-U in Bihar appeared to be on tenterhooks tonight ahead of June 19 bypoll to two Rajya Sabha seats amid a claim that 33 rebel MLAs skipped the legislature party meeting in Patna this evening, even as RJD, which holds the key to outcome, deferred its decision till Wednesday.    

 

Keeping its stand a closely guarded secret, JD(U)'s erstwhile ally BJP too said its legislature party would meet twice on Wednesday to chart out its strategy for the bypoll.    Trouble stared at JD(U) with a dissident leader claiming that 33 MLAs skipped the legislature party meeting in Patna this evening.    

 

Party chief Sharad Yadav tried to play down absence of  large number of MLAs and expressed confidence that the party would win in bypoll for the two RS seats.    

 

Asked how many MLAs skipped the meeting, Yadav said "I have not counted the number."     State minister Vijay Chaudhary told reporters that except for a handful of rebels, many MLAs who could not make it to the meeting had informed the party before hand about it, citing personal reasons.    

 

Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, leader of the dissident group who was among those absent at the meeting at the Chief Minister's residence claimed that 33 MLAs did not attend.   

 

He also claimed that many who attended the meeting would side with them during voting during the Rajya Sabha bypoll, which has turned into a trial of strength. Another dissident leader also claimed that 32 party MLAs did not attend.  

22:26  Is Al Qaeda winning regional battle?:  

A terrorism analyst says al-Assad's brutality in Syria has revitalized Al Qaeda while the Iraqi PM has marginalized the Sunni minority -- actions that are boosting the ISIS.

 

Read the full analysis on CNN

21:18  US seize Benghazi raid 'ringleader' in Libya:  A suspect in the September 2012 raid on a US diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead has been captured, the Pentagon has said, BBC reports.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah was taken into custody in a secret raid in Libya on 15 June.He is now being held in a secure location outside Libya, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed.

A US ambassador and three others were killed in the attack.
21:11  Govt monitoring Iraq situation as concern mounts for Indians:  Amid mounting concerns over safety of Indians stranded in Iraq, India today explored the possibility of ground-level cooperation with Iraqi authorities to assist its citizens in violence-hit areas in the Gulf nation and set up a control room here to provide information to their families.

Following a direction from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, a "crisis management meeting" reviewed all aspects of the assistance that can be provided to the Indian nationals stuck in the country. Around 46 nurses are stranded in Tikrit, besides nearly 40 other Indians in Mosul. Insurgent outfits have seized the two cities.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said Swaraj was herself "monitoring and reviewing" the situation on a regular basis.
21:00  Shahabuddin, son among four booked in murder case:  RJD strongman Md Shahabuddin andhis son were among four persons booked today in the murder case of a man in Siwan district, a police officer said.

Acting on a complaint of Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chandababu, an FIR was lodged at Town police station against Shahabuddin, his son Osama Shahabuddin and two unidentified persons in the murder of the complainant's son Rajiv Raushan last night, the Superintendent of Police Vivek Kumar said.

The FIR against Shahabuddin and others have been lodged under sections 302 (Murder) and 120B/34 (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, the SP said, adding that raids were on to nab the RJD strongman's son and two other accused persons.

Last night, Raushan, 29, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at an overbridge near DAV public school crossing under the Town police station area while he was riding a motorcycle, the SP said.
20:38  Cabinet to take up scrapping of EGoMs and GoMs tomorrow:  The Union Cabinet will consider tomorrow the scrapping of 30 EGoMs and GoMs set up by the previous UPA government with an intent of giving a formal approval to a decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.

Dismantling the legacy of UPA rule, Modi had on May 31 abolished all the 30 Empowered Group of Ministers and Group of Ministers and told ministries and departments concerned to take decisions on pending matters. The winding up of the ministrial panels is part of the agenda of the Union Cabinet tomorrow, sources said.

Announcing the decision to scrap nine EGoMs and 21 GoMs, the PMO had said this would expedite the process of decision-making and "usher in greater accountability in the system.

"The ministries and departments will now process the issues pending before EGoMs and GoMs and take appropriate decisions at the level of ministries and departments itself, said the statement.
20:25  SIT formed to probe traffic constable's death:  The Delhi police have constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the murder of Constable Mana Ram who was allegedly mowed down by a 26-year-old man after an argument.

"An SIT consisting of one Inspector each from crime branch, Traffic Unit and Moti Nagar police station under supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Rajouri Garden) Eish Singhal has been formed to probe the case," a Delhi Police statement said today.

Mana Ram was allegedly run over by one Raman Kant on Saturday. 26-year-old Raman Kant, who was at the wheels of the Maruti Ritz car and accompanied by his two minor friends, was stopped at the Zakhira flyover by 24-year-old Mana Ram.

The constable asked them to take the diverted route. However, an argument ensued between the two following which Raman Kant reversed his car and ran over Mana Ram dragging him for around 150 metres.

The constable was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead.
20:22  Prominent Shia cleric asks PM to support Iraq against ISIL:   Responding to latest developments in Iraq, prominent Shia Cleric Maulana Agha Roohi Abqati today said India should support the Iraqi government in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants.

In a statement issued here, the cleric appealed to all to stand with the people of Iraq and to raise their voices against the growing danger of terrorism.

"India is always against terrorism so I appeal to the prime minister and the foreign minister that they should criticise the ISIL and terrorism in Iraq... Indian government should support the Iraqi government," the cleric said.
19:44  Delhi constable's family to receive Rs 1 crore:  Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung announced Rs 1 crore financial assistance to the family of traffic constable Mana Ram, who was run over by a car. Ram was killed on Saturday night when an irate driver, who was asked to take a detour, ran him over.The car driver, Raman Kant, was later arrested and charged with murder
19:20  Not present during Preity-Ness altercation: IPL COO:  Speaking to CNN-IBN, IPL Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman said that he was not present during the alleged altercation between Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia. Earlier, the star had said that other officials, including Raman, were present when Ness allegedly abused her. 
19:04  Iraq's biggest oil refinery shuts down:  Iraq's biggest oil refinery, Baiji, has been shut down and its foreign staff evacuated, refinery officials said, adding that local staff remain in place and the military is still in control of the facility. ISIS jihadists have advanced into the oil refinery town of Baiji and surrounded the refinery.
18:36  UK to reopen embassy in Iran amid unrest in Iraq:  And while on the UK, Britain today said it is ready to reopen its embassy in Iran as "the circumstances are right", in a sign of increasing Western engagement with Tehran amid a jihadist upsurge in neighbouring Iraq.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has told the British Parliament that the UK is ready to reopen its embassy in Tehran that was closed two and a half years ago.

Full diplomatic relations between the UK and Iran were suspended after attacks on the British Embassy in the Iranian capital in 2011.
18:32  UK turns down petition for Diwali, Eid holidays:  The UK government has rejected the idea of declaring Diwali and Eid as national holidays saying that adding more public holidays will affect the country's economy.

An online petition calling for a day off for these festivals celebrated by Britain's Hindu and Muslim communities attracted 121,843 signatures and was passed on to the House of Commons Backbench Business Committee responsible for scheduling debates on e-petitions that crossed 100,000.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has now provided its decision on the issue, ruling out any further public or bank holidays, as they are known in the UK.

"Whilst we appreciate a new national holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy remains considerable and any changes to the current arrangements would not take place without a full consultation,' the statement said.

"We are very aware of the importance of these festivals which are widely celebrated in the UK. The government is committed to bringing people together in strong, united communities. We encourage and support people to have shared aspirations, values and experiences,' the statement added.
18:22  West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets the state's governor MK Narayanan. Narayanan is believed to have resigned this morning.
18:07  No more tears? Govt re-imposes minimum export price on onions to check prices :  Concerned over rising onion rates, the government on Tuesday imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 300 per tonne on onions to curb overseas sales and check retail prices.

Onion prices have risen to about Rs 25-30 per kg in Delhi from Rs 15-20 per kg a fortnight ago.

The MEP, which is the rate below which no exports are allowed, has been re-introduced barely three months after the previous government in March had abolished it.

Export of all onion varieties will be subject to MEP of USD 300 per tonne, commerce ministry said in a notification.

Also, the deadlock over the dispute between the onion wholesale traders and labourers, who have been demanding that their remuneration be hiked, has ended.
18:02  Can a new government sack governors appointed by the previous govt?:  As governors continue to deny they have resigned, except for UP governor BL Joshi, who put in his papers today, home minister Rajnath Singh says, "If I were in their place, I would have resigned."

While on governor's here is an interesting judgment in the BL Singhal vs the Union of India case. Singhal, the writ petitioner had filed a public interest litigation in the wake of the removal of the Governors of the States of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Goa in 2004 when the UPA government came to power.

The judgement says and we quote: 

"A Governor cannot be removed on the ground that he is out of sync with the policies and ideologies of the Union Government or the party in power at the Centre.

"Nor can he be removed on the ground that the Union Government has lost confidence in him.

"It follows therefore that change in government at Centre is not a ground for removal of Governors holding office to make way for others favoured by the new government
. (iv) As there is no need to assign reasons, any removal as a consequence of withdrawal of the pleasure will be assumed to be valid and will be open to only a limited judicial review.

"If the aggrieved person is able to demonstrate prima facie that his removal was either arbitrary, malafide, capricious or whimsical, the court will call upon the Union Government to disclose to the court, the material upon which the President had taken the decision to withdraw the pleasure. If the Union Government does not disclose any reason, or if the reasons disclosed are found to be irrelevant, arbitrary, whimsical, or malafide, the court will interfere. However, the court will not interfere merely on the ground that a different view is possible or that the material or reasons are insufficient."
17:38  LIVE! Yashwant Sinha gets Advani's vote for Jharkand CM:  BJP veteran L K Advani today backed party leader Yashwant Sinha saying he is the 'right person' to be the Chief Minister and suggested that he should leave jail after securing bail to lead the 'historic agitation' against power crisis in Jharkhand.

"What I feel is that when he is getting support and respect from all BJP stalwarts time has come Sinha should respect the feeling of BJP leaders, not only from Jharkhand, but also in the country and come out of jail," Advani said after paying a two-hour visit to Sinha in prison.

Sinha was also the 'right person' to be chief minister after the Assembly elections later this year, he said.

Advani said Sinha should thereafter lead the ongoing agitation against power crisis and 'corruption' in the GM's office in the Hazaribagh area of the electricity board.

"Yashwant Sinha has launched a historic agitation in support of small villages ... I appreciate the stand taken by him for fulfilling the cause of poor villagers and he deserves all praise and support. "Prior to this agitation probably no other BJP leader in the state had ever launched such a vital movement in Jharkhand," Advani said.
17:31  Mumbai: BMW litterbugs arrested :   Yes! The Bandra police this afternoon arrested Ronit Kanuga and Armaan Chaudhary, both 25, for assaulting architect Vistasp Kharas on Carter Road in Bandra, suburban Mumbai, on Saturday. The duo have been charged with Sections 323, 325, 504 and 34 of the IPC. Kharas identified them as the ones who assaulted him after he asked them to pick up the empty Coke can they had thrown out of the car at the Axis Bank signal on Saturday. 
17:04  Cricketers halt match to catch thief, game reduced to 30 overs:  Now that is a stunning catch! A cricket match in Britain was brought to a halt after both teams abandoned the pitch to chase down and catch a thief who stole a dozen iPhones from the pavilion.

The suspect sneaked into the changing rooms to steal 12 iPhones from the jacket pockets of players during a 50-over match at Church and Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club in Accrington, Lancashire.

The suspect was first spotted by the Church team's wicket keeper. He alerted an off-duty police officer who was waiting for his turn to bat, and he rounded up his teammates to give chase, The Times reported. The players pursued the suspect across fields and into a wood.

Joined by members of the home team, they used GPS technology on another phone to continue the pursuit. Police dog handlers were called in and, helped by the cricketers, they arrested a man and recovered the phones.
17:03  Ness abused a cricketer's son during Preity incident: Police:  The Marine Drive police, probing the Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia case, are considering whether or not to make the underage son of a "legendary cricketer" a witness in the case. They are also in possession of a second CCTV clip that they said shows the actor and the industrialist in conversation. Read more
16:56  Modi thanks guardian deities, kings for Bhutan visit success:  Happy over his successful Bhutan visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked the "blessings of our guardian deities, leadership of our Kings, good fortune of our people" for it.

The tweet-happy PM writes: "Visit a success: All thanks to the blessings of our Guardian Deities; leadership of our Kings; good fortune of our People."

Modi, who chose Bhutan as his first foreign destination since taking over last month, received a rousing welcome in that country with the Monarchy and the government going out of the way to display their special gestures.
16:37  LIVE! Cops summon Kings XI COO as eyewitness in Preity-Ness case :  Just in: The Mumbai police has summoned the COO of IPL team King's XI Punjab King's to give his statement as an eyewitness in the Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia case. The Marine Drive police are also examining more footage from the CCTV at Garware Pavilion at Wankhede stadium to verify the allegations made by the actor and co-owner of that Wadia had abused her and grabbed her arm.

Zinta, 39, had filed the police complaint on Thursday night at Marine Drive police station alleging that she was molested by Wadia, 44, inside the Wankhede stadium on May 30. On that day, an IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings was played in the stadium.

The actress and the businessman had broken their five-year-long relationship sometime back. Zinta left for the US immediately after filing the complaint.
16:28  AAP demands Rs 1 cr compensation for road-rage cop :  Aam Aadmi Party National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal writes to Lt. Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung for a Rs 1 crore compensation for Delhi police constable Manna Ram. The constable was run over by a car when he tried to stop it from entering the No Entry Zone near Zakheera over-bridge in New Delhi.

When Kejriwal was Delhi CM, he had announced a Rs 1 crore compensation for the wife of a Delhi Police constable killed while on duty. The cop had been beaten to death by bootleggers in Delhi.
16:14  JB Patnaik, Governor of Assam: I have not resigned, who has created this news? Do you only meet the President when you have to resign?
16:03  Toilets at home will not stop rapes, but can reduce risks :  Must read: Across India, millions of women and girls either wake up well before dawn or wait until late at night to use the open fields that function as their toilet. Here you go... 
15:58  Guvs' removal start of saffronisation, dangerous trend: SP:  The Samajwadi Party today slammed the reported move by BJP government to replace some of the Governors appointed during the UPA rule, saying it was start of "saffronisation" of the country which was "dangerous" for democracy.

"The Centre was trying saffronise the country by appointing RSS and BJP men as Governors in states. This is dangerous for democracy," SP National General Secretary Naresh Agarwal said.

The country is not the property of any party. All the parties have right to put forth their views, he said, and alleged that it was a conspiracy against non-BJP governments in states.

"The way in which resignations are sought from Governors, pressurising them, is not only start of saffronisation of the country but is also part of a conspiracy against governments of other parties in the states," he said.
15:54  Mother, daughter attacked with rods, robbed on Mumbai-Pune Expressway:   Just in: Highway robbers attack a mother and daughter on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The women were beaten with iron rods and dragged out of the car by their hair. While both are out of danger, the robbers have not yet been nabbed. The robbers escaped with valuables worth Rs 1.25 lakh. An FIR has been registered in the case.  Details awaited.
15:46  Jessica murder case:Manu Sharma gets parole to appear in exams:  Siddharth Vashisht alias Manu Sharma, undergoing life term for killing model Jessica Lall in 1999, has been granted parole for 15 days by the Delhi High Court so that he can appear for his post-graduation exams.

A vacation bench of Justice Sunita Gupta granted parole to 36-year-old Sharma on the condition that he shall furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety, for the like amount, who shall be a family member.

The court also directed that Sharma will not leave the National Capital Territory of Delhi for the duration of the parole, which shall be effective from the date of his release.

The other terms and conditions of the parole includes keeping away from the area around the residence of the deceased and her family members, the court said in its order which was made available today after it was reserved yesterday.

Sharma's exams are scheduled to commence from June 19 and will end on June 24. He is pursuing the course from Indian Institute of Human Rights here which is recognised by the United Nations.
15:43  UK's first football match-fixing case: Two guilty:  Two businessmen have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery in the first criminal case in the UK related to match-fixing in football. Chann Sankaran and Krishna Ganeshan, both from Singapore, were convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery at Birmingham Crown Court.Jurors cleared footballer Hakeem Adelakun of the same charge.
15:35   Campa Cola demolition to be filmed:   The demolition of illegal flats in Campa Cola compound beginning June 20 will be filmed and used as proof against the residents if they offer resistance, the Bombay Municipal Corporation said today.

"We will be video-recording the entire demolition process, which we will carry out from June 20, so that it can be used as proof against residents in the Supreme Court if they stop us from performing our duties," Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, said.

At the first stage of eviction, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) will cut off electricity, water and gas supplies to the illegally built flats. Internal walls of the flats would be pulled down in the second phase before finally demolishing the balconies.

Adtani said the demolition process was slated to start today but was defererred on humanitarian grounds following the death of two residents. "We had planned to start the demolition drive from June 17, but we have now given the residents 3 more days to vacate the flats after the death of two residents. We will now start the demolition from June 20," he said.

The families of the deceased residents would be given extra time so that they can complete the last rituals, he said. Campa Cola's first resident, Vinod Kothari (82), died on June 15 after a heart attack while 83-year old Chakravarti Chawla, a refugee from Pakistan, who had been hospitalised after suffering from kidney failure, expired on June 8.

Meanwhile, residents of Campa Cola said MCGM should extend their 'humanitarian gesture' to other residents as well. "It is heartening to know that the MCGM has some humanity left in them. We sincerely hope that this humanitarian gesture gets extended to other residents as well. We, as citizens, expect the MCGM to take a humane approach to this issue," Ankit Garg, a resident said.
15:04  Sheila, Kamla, Alva next?:  UPA-appointed governors who have six months or less for the tenure to expire are likely to stay while those who have more days in office have been asked to quit by the Centre. Sheila Dikshit (Kerala), Margaret Alva (Rajasthan) and Kamla Beniwal (Gujarat), have been asked to put in their papers. As we told you earlier, Alva is set to speak to President Pranab Mukhejree over the issue. She had also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. 
14:52  LIVE! Assam, Karnataka, West Bengal, UP governors quit :   Assam and Karnataka governors have quit as well, taking the head count to four.  Karnataka governor Hansraj Bharadwaj and Assam governor Janaki Ballan Patnaik were to meet President Pranab Mukhejree today for advise. All Congress governors have been asked to quit and those who do not will be transferred. A few hours ago, UP governor BL Joshi and West Bengal governor ML Narayanan resigned.

The government also wants the governors of Kerala, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh to resign.

Pic: That's the Raj Bhawan or the governor's residence in Kolkata. West Bengal governor MK Narayan resigned this afternoon. The historic residence was built in 1803. 
14:28  Won't react to rumours: Sheila Dikshit:   And Kerala governor Sheila Dikshit's response that she will be one of five governors who will resign: I won't react to rumours. Dikshit, a former three-time Chief Minister of Delhi, was made Kerala governor in March. When and not if she resigns as governor, she may be shifted to a smaller state. 
14:19  All South Indians are Madrasis, say Gujarat textbooks :  Gujarat schools left red-faced as textbooks claim Japan 'launched a nuclear attack on US'. Read
14:10  UK: Will see what can be done to lift mango ban:  British High Commissioner James Bevan meets Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. He said the UK had imposed a ban on Indian mangoes due to concerns of pesticides coming in, will see what we can do to lift the ban.

The European Union's "temporary ban", on Indian mangoes, came into force on May 1 and was to remain effective until December 2015 after authorities in Brussels found consignments infested with fruit flies that they feared could damage European salad crops.

Pic: British High Commissioner James Bevan meets Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal
13:57  Three governors including Margaret Alva to meet Pranab today:  In the wake of two resignations, three other governors will be meeting President Pranab Mukherjee for suggestions over their continuance. 
Karnataka governor, Hansraj Bharadwaj, Assam governor Janaki Ballan Patnaik and Rajasthan governor Margret Alva will make their way to the Rashtrapati Bhavan today. Their meeting assumes significance after West Bengal governor MK Narayanan and UP governor BL Joshi submitted their resignations this morning. The BJP government is keen to have their own nominees in Raj Bhavans, and Narayanan and Joshi were UPA appointees. 
13:50  While on MK Narayanan, here's an interesting read from the Daily Mail. Read
13:45  LIVE! Two down, three to go: West Bengal governor MK Narayanan quits:   Just in: After BL Joshi, West Bengal governor MK Narayanan resigns. Two down, three more to go -- Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. 
13:38  'Joshi has done the right thing':  First reactions from the BJP on BL Joshi's resignation as the UP governor: "With a new central government, it's an expected process, so BL Joshi-ji(UP Governor) by resigning has done the right thing," says Laxmikant Bajpai of the BJP.
13:26  If you haven't read Kiran Nigarkar, here's why you should. Read
13:21  Congress spokesperson Digvijaya Singh has time on his hands now that the party is in the opposition. His thoughts on the Germany Portugal match yesterday on Twitter. "Germany Portugal was a damp squib. The young German Team looks good. Ronaldo was off colour. Hope he starts rolling now." 
13:19  Anil Wadhwa Secy (East ) in MEA meets Ambassador Ahmed Derwari of Iraq in South Block, tweets MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
13:09  LIVE! UPA-appointed UP governor BL Joshi resigns:   And so it's begun. BL Joshi resigns as Uttar Pradesh governor. The papers will be sent to the MHA. This comes Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government reportedly wants governors appointed by its predecessor to resign. Governors of Kerala, Punjab, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh are likely to step down as well.
12:55  Amitabh Bachchan rang the bell at the Bombay Stock Exchange and held the horns of the bull for the promotion of Yudh, a fiction TV show.
12:53  LIVE! Insider trader Rajat Gupta begins 2-year jail term today:  India-born former Goldman Sachs Director Rajat Gupta will today report to a prison in Massachusetts to begin his two-year sentence for insider trading, after having fought an over three-year long legal battle with all his might to clear his name.

65-year-old Gupta, once regarded as among the most powerful and influential in corporate America, will serve his jail term at a minimum security satellite camp of the Federal Medical Center-Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts.

Incidentally Gupta's camp, which currently has 132 inmates, is next to the medical centre where his one-time friend and business associate hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam is serving his 11-year prison sentence for running a massive insider trading scheme.

Gupta was convicted in 2012 after a jury trial of passing confidential information about Goldman Sachs to Rajaratnam minutes after he learned about them at the board meetings.

The IIT-Delhi and Harvard alumnus is expected to arrive at the prison facility before noon after which he will undergo routine medical tests, an information officer at the prison told PTI over phone.

The medical tests will take a day to be completed, following which Gupta will be lodged in the satellite camp.

According to initial information available on the facility's website, Gupta has been described as a 65-year-old "Asian, male." According to the camp's rules, Gupta will be able to receive family and friends on Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays between 8:30 am to 3:00 pm while on Fridays between 2:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
12:50  How Chennai showed it indeed has a heart:  When it's more common to read reports of people losing their lives because of their inability to reach the hospital on time because of VIP traffic restrictions, here is a heart-warming story of traffic coming to a halt in Chennai to save the life of an ordinary patient. Read more
12:30  Did the UPA government not share with Parliament the list of black money holders in Swiss bank accounts - in fact, an internal note from the finance ministry to the PMO is said to have hinted at this. The question then arises, what will the PMO do next? Bring in a privilege motion against the UPA in the Budget session?

12:29  We are watching inflation: Rajan:   Rajan also says that he is watching inflation and hopefully, appropriate food
management will bring down prices. "We are watching developments in Iraq; with sufficient reserves and low CAD, India is in a better position to meet external sector challenges. Despite general deterioration in probity of public
institutions, RBI has maintained a reputation for integrity,"he says.
12:29  LIVE! Jaitley: Inflation due to hoarding after fears of weak monsoon:   India's wholesale price inflation hit a five-month high in May, underscoring challenges facing the new government after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned at the weekend that he will administer "bitter medicine" to revive the ailing economy.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley blames inflation on hoarding. Fears of weak monsoon has led to hoarding and therefore price rise, he says.

RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has said that the next few quarters will be engaged in combating inflation. He also said that if the government wants to manage its own debt there was no reason for the RBI to stand in the way. He said the RBI was in a better position since last year to handle debt.

Modi has made controlling inflation a priority since taking office last month, but prospects of weak summer monsoon rains and turmoil in Iraq have increased the risk of rising food and fuel prices. In May, wholesale prices rose a faster-than-expected 6.01 per cent as a 19 per cent increase in potato prices during the month pushed up food inflation to 9.50 per cent from 8.64 per cent in April.
12:11  Modi to visit states after Budget session:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to make thanksgiving visits to state capitals soon after the Budget session of Parliament is over, say in the first week of August.

Modi does not want to sit quietly in Delhi but is keen to energise the party cadres with a drill of frequent activities.

The first state Modi plans to visit is Bihar. Did you say, naturally?
12:10  Pressure group within BJP?:  Yashwant Sinha wants to be projected as the BJP's chief ministerial candidate for Jharkhand, which is why he is not seeking bail after being arrested for protesting against the present government there.

If Sinha's wish were to come true, it could pose a real political challenge not only for BJP president Rajnath Singh but also his successors, apart from being a real test for Modi.

The reason being, a quiet regrouping is now taking place within the BJP, on the lines of the earlier 'minus 160 group' formed against Modi during the election campaign.
12:04  Transfer tales from North Block:  Secretary Rajiv Takru's abrupt transfer from revenue to north-eastern affairs has set tongues wagging in the corridors of power.

The buzz is particularly strong that the transfer came because he was perceived by the new government as being close to Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi's political secretary.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too wasn't particularly happy about Takru, given the latter's stint in Gujarat, it is said.

But the real reason for Takru's transfer, say sources, was that the government did not want him presiding over the special investigation team set up to unearth black money. The secretary himself told the Hindustan Times following his transfer that he now has "a sense of relief since I will be able to focus on development of the north-east".

A well-known astrologer, it's strange that Takru failed to predict his own transfer, says a wag in North Block. 
11:59  A year later, no lessons learnt:  Santosh Naudiyal stood on the verandah of a building in Rudraprayag last December while he narrated his story. On October 1, 1994, the night of the Rampur Tiraha massacre, Santosh and his friends boarded a bus to New Delhi to participate in a dharna to demand for a separate State of Uttarakhand.

"We fought for it and today we have it,' he told me, pointing towards the Rudraprayag collectorate that stood shakily on sinking ground. The June 16-17 deluge last year -- one of the worst calamities the State has witnessed '" resulted in flash floods and landslides.

The situation was exacerbated by a defunct disaster management system, the result of the apathy of consecutive governments that have ruled the State. This was not the Uttarakhand that Santosh and his friends had desired.  Read more
11:55  Exclusive interview with MoS Home Kiren Rijiju :  "We're not pursuing an expansionist foreign policy; we're not going to have an aggressive policy. But that does stop us from developing our own area; by not developing or strengthening our area along the Indo-China border, we are indirectly conceding these areas to the other side (China)."

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju speaks of his plans in this first of a two-part exclusive interview to Sheela Bhatt and Claude Arpi. Read the interview on Rediff.com.
11:52  Amitabh Bachchan tweets: 'Rung the Bell' at the Bombay Stock Exchange and held the horns of the 'Bull.. promotion for YUDH..thank you BSE for this honour!
11:50  The top 5 list under Modi doesnt go beyond two:  The grapevine is buzzing with talk about who is close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Who are the top five among the Union ministers, junior ministers and the bureaucrats?

Nothing unusual about this, since such an exercise is routinely undertaken by the business-industry-bureaucratic circles as well as the legal fraternity since, goes the wisdom, it then becomes easy to know who to tap for access to the very top.

But, sources say, such an exercise has met with a stonewall in the new administration, with insiders saying that the list does not go beyond one or two persons, forget the top five. Reason being, everything is so Modi-centric.
11:44  Reaching out to Bhutan:  Thimphu has been as out of the ordinary a choice of destination for the first bilateral visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as was his invitation to the heads of SAARC countries to his swearing-in. The common theme though is India's neighbourhood, and the strategic overtones in the Prime Minister's Bhutan visit were hard to miss. Read
11:39  Zinta, Ness exploring the possibility of a settlement? :  Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia are exploring the possibility of a settlement, a top lawyer has said.

Efforts are on to withdraw Preity's complaint, on the basis of which police filed an FIR against the Bombay Dyeing scion on the charge of outraging the modesty of the actress and co-owner of Kings XI Punjab.

Mumbai police had filed an FIR against Ness after Preity complained that he had "grabbed her by the hand' and abused her in full public view during an IPL match at the Wankhede stadium on May 30.  Read
11:38  PM's office questions ministers' choices for private secretaries:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office has put on hold the appointments of private secretaries to ministers including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani.

Sources say the PM's Office is debating whether to retain staff that have worked for ministers in the previous Congress-led regime, and will clear these appointments only after scrutiny.

The decision is likely to impact at least eight ministers. Read more
11:12  Carpe diem, Mr Modi:  As the euphoria of a fantastic electoral victory dies down, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start looking at various issues of governance and security. This must include a serious look at Kashmir, where a lack of understanding and of coordination between the Centre and the state, combined with wayward policies, has shaped the situation to the advantage of the separatists.  Read more
11:02  LIVE! SC agrees to hear Tejpal's bail plea on June 27 instead of July 7:  Just in: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Tarun Tejpal's bail plea on June 27 instead of July 7.

The SC had granted an interim bail for three weeks to the senior journalist on May 19 to attend his mother's funeral and perform her last rites. Tejpal is in a Goa jail since November 30, 2013.

Tejpal, 50, has been chargesheeted for allegedly raping, sexually harassing and outraging the modesty of a junior colleague during an event held at a hotel in Goa in November last year.
10:56  Rajat Gupta tells US court USD 14 mn civil penalty too high:  India-born former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta, scheduled to begin his two-year prison sentence today, told a US court that he should not be required to pay a heavy USD 13.9 million in civil penalties since he already has to pay over USD 11 million in criminal fines.

Gupta's lawyer Seth Waxman argued his case during a hearing before a three-judge panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. Gupta, 65, was not present for the hearing, during which Waxman argued that his client personally did not make any money from the trades done by Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajratnam and "nor had any expectation of making any money."

Waxman said that Gupta should not be permanently barred from serving as a director on a board of a public company or taking up the role of investment advisor.
10:52  In touch with Indian nurses trapped in Iraq: Govt:  The government today said it was in touch with the Indian nurses stranded in violence-hit Tikrit town in Iraq and assured every possible help to Indian citizens in the trouble-torn country.

Following a request by the Indian government, a team of International Red Crescent contacted around 46 nurses in Tikrit and reported back to the Indian authorities about their well being, sources said.

The Indian Mission is also in touch with the Iraqi government and the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to ensure the safety of all Indians stranded in the violence- affected areas of that country, they said.

Asked whether the government was considering evacuating the nurses from Tikrit, they said the roads are not suitable for any movement at present.

The government had on Sunday asked Indians residing in Iraq to consider leaving the country in view of the "precarious" security situation. In an advisory, the government had also asked people not to travel to Iraq.
10:28  How Modi can address the drift and alienation in Kashmir:  
As the euphoria of a fantastic electoral victory dies down, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start looking at various issues of governance and security. 

This must include a serious look at Kashmir, where a lack of understanding and of coordination between the Centre and the state, combined with wayward policies, has shaped the situation to the advantage of the separatists. 

The large army presence provides the adhesive that has been so essential in the absence of serious initiatives to address the alienation. 

What are the issues that need to be flagged?

Click HERE to read
10:13  Sensex down 51 points in early trade on global cues, weak rupee:  
Extending losses for the third straight session, the benchmark BSE Sensex fell over 51 points in early trade today on sustained selling by funds, tracking mixed Asian cues and weakening rupee amidst tension in Iraq that led to rise in global crude prices. 

The 30-share index, which had lost 385.73 points in the previous two sessions, fell by another 51.25 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 25,139.23 in early trade with FMCG, realty, power, banking, oil and gas, capital goods and PSU sector stocks leading the fall. 

The broader Nifty of the National Stock Exchange too moved down by 4.95 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 7,528.60.

Brokers said the sentiment was mostly affected by rising global crude prices on escalating tension in Iraq and concerns about inflation which surged to five-month highs in May.

Rising prices of essential food items like vegetables, fruits and cereals, pushed up inflation to five-month high of 6.01 per cent in May.
10:12  Rupee plunges 34 paise Vs dollar in early trade:  
The rupee today fell by 34 paise to trade at a fresh six-week low of 60.50 against the US dollar in early trade due to sustained demand for the American currency from oil importers amidst rising crude prices that may further push inflation.

The price rise of essential food items like vegetables, fruits and cereals, pushed up inflation to five-month high of 6.01 per cent in May. 

Dealers said besides dollar's gains against other currencies overseas, continued demand for the US currency from oil importers, to meet their requirements after global crude prices soared to nine-month highs on tension in Iraq, mainly weighed on the domestic currency. 

A lower opening in the domestic equity markets also put pressure on the rupee, they said. 

The rupee had slipped below 60-mark and closed sharply down by 39 paise at a six-week low of 60.16 against the dollar in yesterday's trade.
09:33  Modi govt mulling changing Governors of 5 states:  
Zee News reports: The Narendra Modi-led NDA government is contemplating to replace Governors appointed by the previous Congress-led UPA government, reports said on Tuesday. 

Reports say that the newly-formed government is mulling changing the Governors in Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal.
 
At present, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, BL Joshi, Ram Naresh Yadav, MK Narayanan and Shivraj Patil are Governors of Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Punjab respectively. 

The Prime Ministers Office has reportedly sought details of the tenures of at least eight Governors who are due to retire by the year-end.

Read more HERE
08:49  Advani to meet jailed Yashwant Sinha today:  
Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani will on Tuesday meet former union minister Yashwant Sinha, whose judicial custody was extended on Monday till June 28. 

Sinha was arrested on June 02 for leading a demonstration at the state Electricity Board office in Hazaribagh town and was sent to 14 days' judicial custody next day after he refused to furnish the bail bond. 

A local court on Monday extended the judicial remand of the senior Jharkhand BJP leader till June 28 as he did not move for bail in connection with the alleged assault of a senior government official earlier this month.

It appears that Sinha has not accepted BJP president and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singhs recent appeal through party leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudi and Shahnawaz Hussain urging him to come out of the jail and participate in the state units next phase of agitation, which began on Monday. 

Sinhas son and newly-elected Hazaribagh MP Jayant is staging a sit-in near the collectorate as part of the partys protest against deteriorating law and order situation and power crisis. 
08:47  India aim to complete series win against Bangladesh:  
A confident Indian cricket team would look to keep the momentum going in its favour as it gears up to complete an expected series victory against minnows Bangladesh in the second of the three-match ODI series in Mirpur on Tuesday.

Having won the rain-truncated lung-opener fairly comfortably, Suresh Raina's boys are eyeing an unassailable 2-0 lead against Bangladesh which will help them get the much required confidence before the England ODI series comes calling.

A series against Bangladesh is a thankless one as one doesn`t get credit for a win but faces a lot of backlash if there is a freak defeat.

The 'Men In Blue' will have to guard against complacency as they go for the kill in the second game of the series.

The most assuring aspect of India's victory in the first ODI has been the form of the newly-formed opening pair of Robin Uthappa and Ajinkya Rahane. Both played contrasting but equally important knocks in the final context of the match.
08:45  UN evacuates staff from Baghdad:  
As tensions rose due to the advance of Sunni insurgents, the UN said it had evacuated nearly 60 staff members from Baghdad to neighbouring Jordan, reportedly.

"Underscoring the menace posed by the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the United Nations said it had moved nearly 60 staffers from Baghdad to neighbouring Jordan with the intention of relocating them to northern Iraq," the report said. 

The US had said Sunday that some staff members of the US embassy in Baghdad would be temporarily moved to the US consulates general in other Iraqi cities of Basra and Erbil, or to Jordan's capital city of Amman. 

The US embassy in Baghdad is the largest embassy in the world and employs around 5,000 people.
08:43  Jordan's Prince Zeid to be next UN rights chief:  
Prince Zeid al Hussein of Jordan, a veteran diplomat and campaigner for international justice, will become the first UN human rights chief from the Muslim and Arab worlds following his unanimous election by the UN General Assembly.

The 193-member world body burst into applause yesterday when assembly President John Ashe banged his gavel signifying approval by consensus of the prince's nomination to the UN's top human rights job by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 

Zeid, who is currently Jordan's UN ambassador, praised current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay of South Africa "for her courageous endeavors" and pledged "to build on her noteworthy achievements." 

His four-year term in the post which was created by the General Assembly in 1993, will begin on Sept 1
04:09  Jordan's Prince Zeid to be next UN rights chief:  Prince Zeid al Hussein of Jordan, a veteran diplomat and campaigner for international justice, will become the first UN human rights chief from the Muslim and Arab worlds following his unanimous election by the UN General Assembly. 

The 193-member world body burst into applause yesterday when assembly President John Ashe banged his gavel signifying approval by consensus of the prince's nomination to the UN's top human rights job by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
03:13  Pentagon moves USS Mesa Verde nearer Iraq. What can it do?:  With Islamist militants bearing down on Baghdad, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered yet another ship to the Persian Gulf Monday. The USS Mesa Verde will join a US aircraft carrier strike group and give President Obama "additional options to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq, should he chose to use them,' Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Monday.

Read more
03:10  Who are the major players in the Iraq crisis?:  As Iraq edges toward civil war, here's a look at major players and groups in the crisis.

Insurgents

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a Sunni jihadist group that has its roots in the al-Qaeda-linked insurgents that formed the backbone of the resistance against U.S. forces in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. It has since expanded operations into Syria, where it is fighting the regime of Bashar Assad, and has broken formal ties with al-Qaeda. It embraces a radical form of Islam and consists of battle-hardened fighters.

Read more
02:09  100 days after MH370, Malaysia vows to keep searching:  Malaysia's government pledged today it "will not rest" until missing flight MH370 is found but relatives said on the 100th day since the plane's disappearance that they wanted answers, not more promises. 

The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew, shocking the world and shattering families of those aboard, who still have no idea what happened to their loved ones.
01:20  Tech giants seek to halt overseas snooping by US:  Microsoft Corp and four other large American technology companies are using a Manhattan court case to draw a line in the cloud, saying the US government has no right to seize computer data stored outside the country. 

US companies that host services over the Internet and sell remote data storage, a concept broadly known as "cloud computing", say they stand to lose billions of dollars in business if emails and other files they house overseas are seen vulnerable to US snooping.
01:15  White House: US won't coordinate military actions with Iran:  The US won't take coordinated military action with Iran as part of a broader effort to stem escalating violence in Iraq, the White House said on Monday.

"Any conversation with the Iranian regime will not include military coordination," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters travelling with President Barack Obama on Air Force One. 

"We're not interested in any effort to coordinate military activity with Iran."The Pentagon also said Monday it had no intention of coordinating a military response to the crisis in Iraq with Iran or its military forces, a position that appeared to vary from earlier comments by Secretary of State John Kerry.
01:13  Militants reportedly seize northern Iraqi town:  Residents and local Iraqi officials say Sunni militants have seized the northern city of Tal Afar, the latest capture in a surge of fighting that has resulted in international condemnation and calls for unity in Iraq. 

The seizure early Monday comes after a week in which militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized Mosul and Tikrit and threatened to advance on Baghdad.
00:24  SBI branch manager abducted in Meghalaya:  

Suspected militants abducted a branch manager of the State Bank of India today in Meghalaya's South West Garo Hills district, police said. The bank official, Arvind Kumar, was on his way from Guwahati when his vehicle was stopped by three armed persons at Rangatari near the Garobadha bridge around 9 am.        

 

A group of three heavily armed gunmen abducted Kumar, an SBI branch manager in Ampati, but let off his driver unharmed, an operandi usually adopted by the militants operating in the area, they said.        

 

The driver reported the matter to the bank authorities who later informed the police.        

 

While no one has claimed responsibility for the abduction, police believes it is the handiwork of any of the militant outfits including the outlawed GNLA and its break-away faction '" the A'chik Songna An'pachakgipa Kotok group.        

 

A man hunt has been launched to rescue the abducted bank official.  

00:22  Bengal: 45 taken ill after consuming poisonous food:  

At least 45 persons, including several children, were taken ill after consuming poisonous food served after a religious function in West Bengal's Midnapore (West) district today.        

 

Official sources said the incident happened at Sakhajora where a religious function was held Sunday night.        

 

On Monday, food which was being left over were served to the persons after which they fell ill.

00:14  Meet Al Qaeda's heirs:  

Osama bin Laden is dead. So is much of the influence his organization built with the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Al-Qaeda, however, lives on through a collection of like-minded Islamist militias holding territory and threatening to redraw the map in the Middle East and North Africa. Inspired by bin Laden's jihad and hardened by battle, they have capitalized on the security and political vacuum left by the toppling of autocrats in the 2011 Arab Spring.  

 

The new face of Qaeda came into focus with the march of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. The group emerged from the sectarian battles spawned by the American invasion of 2003, then honed its combat skills in the three-year Syrian civil war. It aims to create a new state that spans both countries.

 

Read Bloomberg's quick take to know more

00:12  Spicejet flight undergoes anti-sabotage check in Chandigarh:  

A Spicejet flight from Srinagar to Bangalore was today subjected to an anti-sabotage check after an unidentified man, who was to travel to Delhi, deplaned in Chandigarh.  

 

Chandigarh Airport Director M S Duhan told PTI that the Spicejet flight 509 from Srinagar to Bangalore via Chandigarh and Delhi was held up at the local airport following a sabotage scare as one of the passengers who had boarded the flight in Srinagar and was to have deplaned in Delhi disembarked in Chandigarh.  

 

"The entire exercise of anti-sabotage check took place for some 45 minutes," he said, adding, that the luggage of the passengers on-board were checked.

 

Duhan said he did not know the identity of the person who left the airport after alighting from the plane. Attempts to reach the airline authorities to get the identity of the passenger proved futile. The plane later landed at Delhi airport safely, Duhan said.

00:10  US open to talks with Iran over Iraq crisis: Kerry:  

The US is open to any "constructive" discussions with Iran over the deteriorating security in Iraq, Secretary of State John Kerry said, with the Pentagon asserting there are no plans to consult Tehran on any military action in the war-torn country.        

 

"We're open to discussions if there's something constructive that can be contributed by Iran if Iran is prepared to do something that is going to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and the ability of the government to reform'," Kerry told Yahoo News in an interview.        

 

Soon thereafter the Pentagon said there are no plans of military co-operation with Iran on the issue of Iraq.        

 

"We have seen the comments made by Secretary Kerry. There are discussions going on with Iran surrounding P5+1 and it's possible that on the sidelines of those discussions there could be discussions surrounding situations in Iraq. But there is absolutely no intention and no plan to co-ordinate military activities between the United States and Iran," Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby, told reporters.        

 

There are no plans to have consultations with Iran about military activities in Iraq, Kirby reiterated.   "We encourage Iran like all neighbours to play a constructive role, to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq, while Iraq is going through this difficult time," Kirby said.        

 

In his interview to Yahoo news, Kerry said one has to see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before the United States start making any pronouncements.  

00:08  Top headlines at this hour:  

Won't allow Pak to become terror sanctuary: Sharif

SP leader on rape victim: 'Can't even forcibly drag a calf'

Beas tragedy: As hope dashes, parents leave for Hyderabad

Rajnath reviews law and order situation at Delhi police HQ

Govt strikes down 3 ministers' choice of private secretaries

Cops call Zinta to record her statement by weekend

Actress Khushboo quits DMK over being 'sidelined'

Battered Tarun Gogoi meets Sonia

Bad days have begun for countrymen: Congress

41 IPS officers transferred in UP, SSP appointed in Firozabad

Jessica murder case: HC reserves verdict on Manu's parole plea

Bhutanese make an exception for Modi, clap after address

Will Modi sing ole ole? Brazil invites PM Modi to watch FIFA finals

PHOTOS: Modi in the land of happiness

Wikipedia expose: Sanjay Jha tenders apology to Subramanaian Swamy

Three killed, 100 injured in communal clashes in Sri Lanka

Not perturbed by growing India, Bhutan ties: China

 

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