23:35 US facing gaps in Iraq as it hunts for militants:
The CIA and other spy agencies are scrambling to close intelligence gaps as they seek ways to support possible military or covert action against the leaders of the al-Qaeda-inspired militant group that has seized parts of Iraq and threatens Baghdad's government.
22:29 Clinton: 'Unanswered questions' remain on Benghazi:
Hillary Rodham Clinton says some unanswered questions remain about the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, even as US authorities have captured their first suspect in the case.
Clinton, speaking in separate interviews with CNN and Fox News, said yesterday she was still seeking information on the attacks that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans and has led to numerous investigations.
22:00 "It was a brief on the margins; it was separate from the discussions and the negotiations that are ongoing. They discussed the need to support inclusively in Iraq and the need to refrain from pressing a sectarian agenda,' State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said about the discussion with Iran on the Iraq issue.
21:59 Earlier in the day, the United States ha discussed with Iran the need to refrain from pressing a "sectarian agenda' in Iraq as the two rivals met on the sidelines of talks on Tehran's nuclear programme in Vienna.
21:37 From the BBC: "We have a request from the Iraqi government for air power," confirmed top US military commander General Martin Dempsey.
21:34 Launch air strikes against militants: Iraq asks US:
According to BBC, Iraq has formally asked the United States to launch air strikes against the jihadist ISIS militants who have taken control in several key cities.
Another news alert on the Al Arabiya
news channel quoted Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebarias saying,"We request the United States to launch air strikes against militants."
21:15 'War on terror should have hit sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan':
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said the US-led "war on terror" after 9/11 should not have been fought in his country but in "sanctuaries beyond our borders", a clear indication to Pakistan which has been repeatedly accused of harbouring the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Karzai said that he was convinced that previous US President George W Bush's "war on terror" in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 should not have been fought in Afghan villages and homes. In an apparent reference to Pakistan, he said it should have been prosecuted in "sanctuaries beyond our borders."
"I believe that the war on terror was not fought with honesty and not fought genuinely," the 56-year-old Afghan leader said. "The consequences are being felt across the region," Karzai told the BBC
20:40 Budget session of Parliament likely from July 7:
The budget session of Parliament is likely to be convened from July 7 and may go on till July 31. The union cabinet today discussed the dates of the first Budget session of the Narendra Modi government.
During the first week of the session, the pre-budget economic survey, the railway budget and the general budget are expected to be presented in Parliament, sources said.
Both the budgets have to be cleared before July-end as the votes-on account taken before Lok Sabha elections will expire by July-end.
"We discussed about when should be the Budget session held ...we have discussed the dates. But there is a modality of finalisation of the dates. Once those modalities are complete, we'll convey you," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
20:31 Riots panel denied me access to intelligence records: Sanjeev Bhatt:
Suspended IPS officer SanjeevBhatt today said that Justice Nanavati commission, which is probing the 2002 Gujarat riots, denied him permission to inspect the riot-related intelligence records.
A division bench of Gujarat High Court on June 16 had ordered the commission to allow Bhatt to inspect the records,irrespective of whether they are classified.
But Bhatt today said he was still denied access to these records, while special Prosecutor for the state government. Devang Vyas said the commission was going to file a review petition before the high court against division bench's order.
20:11 Sena workers feel Uddhav should be CM: Joshi:
Shiv Sena workers feel that Uddhav Thackeray should become the next chief minister of Maharashtra, senior party leader Manohar Joshi said in Mumbai today.
"It is the desire of party workers and even my own wish that Uddhavji becomes the Chief Minister," Joshi, a former occupant of the post during the Sena-BJP government in the 1990s, told PTI in Mumbai, on the sidelines of the two-day meeting of state Shiv Sena functionaries, which got underway in suburban Bandra.
However, the former Lok Sabha Speaker, added a word of caution for "overzealous" Shiv Sainiks. "It is too early to speak about who will occupy the post. Shiv Sena workers should start full preparations to get more number of seats (than ally BJP) in the assembly elections, which are four months away," he said.
20:02 Modi chooses Dr Singh's PMO director as his PA:
A Correspondent reports: Rajeev Topno, the talented officer of Dr Manmohan Singh's PMO, has been retained and promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He will be personal assistant to PM Modi. Topno belongs to '96 batch of Gujarat cadre and is a tribal from Jharkhand. Has a fairly good experience of functioning of the previous PMO.
19:18 Beas tragedy: One more body of a student recovered:
One more body of a student was recovered from Beas river today eleven days after 25 persons, including 24 students from a Hyderabad engineering college, were swept away in the river.
The deceased has been identified as P Venkata Durga Tarun, Mandi SP, R S Negi said.
Nine bodies have been recovered so far and fifteen students, including three girls and co-tour leader Prahlad, are still missing.
The swollen body floating in the river was spotted by rescue team members, who fished it out of the river.
19:16 People who expose corruption can get security: Govt:
Whistleblowers who fear threat to life or harassment can seek security from the government. The Department of Personnel and Training has authorised Chief Vigilance Officers, who act as distant arm of Central Vigilance Commission, to take a decision on providing security to whistleblowers.
"If CVOs in the ministries or department, either on the application of the complainant or on the basis of the information gathered, are of the opinion that either the complainant or the witnesses need protection, they shall take up the matter with the Central Vigilance Commission for issuing appropriate directions to the authorities concerned," DOPT said in an order.
DoPT has issued a detailed procedure for handling of complaints under Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers Resolution to be followed by the Chief Vigilance Officers of central government ministries and departments.
18:52 Delhi LG Najeeb Jung asks NAFED to purchase onions:
Amid rising onion prices, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Wednesday instructed the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) to purchase onion on behalf of Delhi government to build stocks.
The Managing Director of NAFED assured Jung that they have the infrastructure to store, transport and preserve onions, the L-G House officials said. NAFED can store up to 300-400 tonnes of onions and can increase its capacity further, they said.
18:42 Rakesh Maria says the police is probing details of five phone calls and one message through the anti-extortion cell of the Crime branch.
18:40 LIVE! Preity contacted us, she's coming back to assist probe: Mumbai police :
"Preity Zinta contacted us, she's coming back to assist in investigation, will record her supplementary statement," says Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria. Zinta is in the US for a month.
In a new twist to Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia episode, the Wadia group has filed a police complaint claiming they received threatening calls and a text message from an underworld don warning that their "business will be in trouble" if the actress was harassed.Read more
18:34 Nitin Gokhale tweets: Indians in various locations in Iraq: 41 in Mosul.46 nurses in Tikrit,12 Nurses in Diyala,12 others in Samara,5 in Anbar,8 in Baiji
18:08 No mercy for Nithari serial killer Surender Koli, 4 others: Rajnath:
In other news: The government today recommended the rejection of five mercy petitions including that of Surendra Koli sent to the gallows for the infamous serial killing of children in Nithari in Noida and of two sisters sentenced to death for murdering several children.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh signed five files recommending to President Pranab Mukherjee that the mercy petitions of Renukabai and Seema (Maharashtra), Koli (Uttar Pradesh), Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik (Mahasrashtra), Jagdish (Madhya Pradesh) and Holiram Bordoloi (Assam) should be rejected.
The death sentence of 42-year-old Surendra Koli, who brutally killed and later axed children in Nithari locality of Noida in UP, was confirmed by the Supreme Court in February 2011.
17:47 Congress leader Raj Babbar slams the BJP over the Iraq crisis. "Entire nation keeping a watch, no steps taken to ensure security of Indian nationals, why this carelessness?" he huffs.
17:41 Iran promises to defend Shiite holy sites in Iraq:
Iran says it will defend Shiite Muslim holy sites in neighboring Iraq from "killers and terrorists", President Hassan Rouhani declared in an emphatic speech before large crowds on Wednesday.
17:11 Lalu joins hands with Nitish:
Meanwhile, RJD chief Lalu Yadav has joined hands with JD-U's Nitish Kumar. Lalu had called an emergency meeting of 21 party MLAs on Tuesday. The RJD will be on supporting two JD-U candidates in the Rajya Sabha bypolls due on June 19.
17:02 Meet the world's most dangerous terrorist:
And if you haven't read it yet, do so now: Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa profiles Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the feared leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -- the man responsible for the anarchy in Iraq. Here you go.
16:54 Gertrude of Arabia -- the woman who invented Iraq:
And while on Iraq, here's a must read: The story of the British intelligence agent who rigged an election, installed a king loyal to the British, drew new borders -- and gave us today's ungovernable country. Read
16:52 'No plans to shut embassy in Iraq, India is not a fair weather friend':
Huge, huge test for the less than a month old Narendra Modi government. The MEA says the government will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring the release and the safe return of the 40 abducted construction workers. MEA spokes Syed Akbaruddin says India is not a fair weather friend and has no plans to shut its embassy in Iraq.
16:43 Inddia monitoring situation every hour: MEA :
Syed Akbaruddin says External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been monitoring and reviewing the situation on a regular basis.
Yesterday, Akbaruddin said, "We shall be monitoring the situation on an hourly basis. In accordance with her instructions, the Indian Embassy in Baghdad is providing us updated reports on their contacts with the Indian nationals in the affected areas."
The Indian mission in Baghdad has been in touch with the Iraqi government and the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq to ensure the safety of all Indians stranded in the violence-affected areas.
16:37 'Several nurses in Tikrit want to stay back':
MEA spokes Syed Akbaruddin, says India is willing to work with every individual or organisation who wishes to assist with this difficult situation. He refused to divulge operational details about who India was talking with in terms of hostage negotiation. The 40 abducted Indians are construction workers from Punjab.
Akbaruddin said the government was in touch with the 46 Indian nurses holed up in Tikrit, and several had said they would prefer to stay back in Iraq.
16:30 Indian envoy to Iraq has a tough task ahead:
India is sending Suresh K Reddy, a 1991 batch IFS officer, for Iraq tonight, to handle the emergency arising out of the radical Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria's onslaught on three cities of Iraq. Read:
The tough task that lies ahead of him.
16:28 A relative calm in Baghdad was shattered by a string of bombings that left 17 people dead, while the bodies of 18 soldiers and police were found near the city of Samarra, shot in the head and chest, today. More than a week after insurgents launched their lightning assault, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki dismissed several senior officers, including the commander for the northern province of Nineveh.
16:27 The MEA says humanitarian organisations like the Red Crescent have no idea where the abducted workers are.
Akbaruddin says most of the workers were from northern India. Their families held prayers at gurudwaras for their safe return early this morning.
16:22 No ransom demand yet for 40 Indian abducted workers in Iraq:
MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin confirms that while the 40 Indian workers were abducted from Mosul, there have been no demands for a ransom. The abducted Indians were being evacuated when they were abducted by militants. They were working in the Tariq Noor Al Huda construction company.
16:20 LIVE! MEA: 40 Indian workers in Iraq HAVE been abducted :
MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin briefing on the Iraq crisis. He says there are around 100 Indians in areas where communication is tenuous, the areas are believed to be sensitive.
Akbaruddin says the MEA has received 60 phone calls from families of people who are in the region. Airports in Bagdad are open. Areas which are facing uncertainty are not where the majority of Indians are. India will not shut down its embassy in Iraq. He said India has contingency plans for evacuating Indians and every single Indian who wants to be evacuated will be helped.
He also confirmed that 40 Indian workers in Mosul have in fact been kidnapped.
The MEA has conctacted Red Cresecent who has contacted the Indians stuck in Tirkit and Mosul. Of the 46 nurses in Iraq, several want to stay back.
16:03 Sushma's marathon 4-hour meet with Russia dy PM :
Our sources in Delhi tell us that External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's meeting with Russian deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin went on for four long hours! Details awaited on what they discussed but has been reported that Moscow's decision to sell Mi-35 attack helicopters to Pakistan will be questioned. The meeting which began around noon, has now ended.
15:59 LIVE! Schumacher can nod, keep eyes open for long periods:
Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was conscious and had his eyes open during his top-secret transfer from a French hospital to a facility in Switzerland, Swiss newspaper Blick reported.
Schumacher is able to nod and is keeping his eyes open for "long periods," it has been claimed.
Schumacher was moved on Monday after emerging from a coma following his devastating ski accident in December.
The paper said he had his eyes open for most of the journey by private ambulance, which was conducted like a secret service operation. Schumacher did not speak, but he communicated by nodding his head during the 200-kilometre journey, the paper said.
The ambulance company was not told the identity of its world-famous passenger in advance, and staff had to give up their mobile phones when they came into contact with him. The paper said Schumacher had lost a lot of weight during his 170 days in hospital in the French city of Grenoble.
15:50 Turning to Iran:
The rapid advance across Iraq by Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL), the Syria-based extreme Sunni militia, to the point where its forces are only 60 km from Baghdad, has caused a serious humanitarian crisis and reopened several questions that are central to the future of West Asia. Read
15:40 Delhi AAP MLAs say BJP wants to buy them :
Aam Aadmi Party MLAs have alleged that they have been contacted by the BJP and asked to break away from the party and help the BJP form the government in Delhi.
Five AAP MLAs said that they had been promised financial incentives for breaking away from the party.
However, BJP leader Naresh Gaur said that his party is not into horse trading in Delhi, and further added that if they wanted they could have done so six months ago.
15:30 Rawat to remain hospitalised for some more time:
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who was admitted to AIIMS in Delhi on June 13 after sustaining a neck injury during a rough chopper ride, is likely to remain hospitalised for some more time as he is still under observation.
15:24 Year after tragedy, 44 skeletal remains found in Kedar valley:
A year after a massive deluge hit Uttarakhand causing extensive damage to areas close to Kedarnath, authorities have so far recovered 44 skeletal remains of the victims from the valley since March this year.
DIG G S Martolia who heads a Task Force constituted recently to carry out intensive combing operation in the area today said 44 skeletal remains have been found till date from different areas in the Kedar valley and cremated.
However, for the past 24 hours despite an intense search operation in the valley no fresh skeletal remains have been found, he said.
"We conducted a combing operation in the higher reaches at Gomkara located at about 10,500 ft above Gaurikund on way to Kedarnath and through the ridges along Toshi road near Trijuginarayan till late last evening but no bodies were found," he said.
These areas are in focus at present as there were reports that there are bodies still lying in the surrounding forests, the DIG said.
Today also the operation continues in these areas but no fresh skeletal remains have been recovered so far, he said. However, the combing operation by the 22-member STF will continue till the valley is cleared of bodies, he said.
14:52 Sensex falls 1.5 percent as Iraq conflict pushes oil prices higher:
The BSE Sensex and Nifty fell more than 1.5 percent today, heading towards their biggest single-day fall since late January, on concerns about the impact of higher oil prices on inflation and the government's finances. The rupee slid 0.6 percent against the U.S. dollar and bonds also weakened. Read
14:46 Army jawans minor daughter sexually assaulted in train:
A vendor was detained at a railway station in Bareilly for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl on board Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani, police said today.
The 8-year-old girl had boarded the train along with her father, who is an Army jawan.
About 1 am near the Ballia station when all passengers were asleep, the vendor, Ranjeet (22) took her near the toilet and assualted her, they said. Meanwhile, a passenger reached the spot and Ranjeet escaped, police said. In the morning, the girl identified Ranjeet when he entered the coach following which he was nabbed by the passengers, who informed the railway control room.
The vendor was taken into custody by police when the train reached Bareilly station. The girl's father reported his complaint at Moradabad railway station, police said.
14:42 LIVE! Homi Bhabha's bungalow sold for Rs 372 crore:
The Malabar Hill bungalow in which Homi J Bhabha, the father of India's nuclear programme, once lived has been sold in an auction for Rs. 372 crore.
The buyer's identity has been kept under wraps. The proposal to sell the bungalow had generated a lot of angry reactions.
Eminent scientist C N R Rao, who was conferred the country's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, in February, had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, urging him to intervene into the matter and stop the bungalow's sale.-- NDTV
14:32 Iraq's crude oil supplies safe -- so far :
World oil producers have cautiously watched the unfolding chaos in Iraq, which currently exports around 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, but have thus far stressed that the country's vast crude supplies are safe -- for now.
14:26 Blood of Pope John Paul II goes on tour:
A vial containing the blood of Pope John Paul II -- now St. John Paul II -- is going on tour, starting with a visit to Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross this weekend.
14:13 Australia sign Muttiah Muralitharan as spin consultant:
Australia have hired leading Test wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan as a spin bowling consultant as the team prepares for October's Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.The world's top-ranked Test side boasts one of the world's strongest pace attacks but has struggled to unearth a world class spinner since the 2007 retirement of Shane Warne.
14:09 India loses race for Interpol Secretary General's post:
India has lost the race for the post of Interpol Secretary General with its Executive Committee appointing Germany's Juergen Stock as the successor to incumbent Ronald K Noble of the United States.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, who was the first Indian to be shortlisted for the post of Secretary General, had appeared in the interview along with a candidate each from France, Germany, Italy, Jordan and the United Kingdom yesterday evening at Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France.
13:53 Sitting for hours increases risk of certain cancers:
Are you reading this sitting at your desk? Get up.
Being a couch potato can raise your risk of developing cancer! Physical inactivity has been linked with increased risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, and according to a new study a sedentary lifestyle can also raise the chances of developing certain cancers.
When the highest levels of sedentary behaviour were compared to the lowest, the researchers found a statistically significantly higher risk for three types of cancer - colon, endometrial, and lung.
13:48 LIVE! Rail budget on July 9, general budget on July 11? :
Just in: The railway budget is likely to be announced on July 9 and the general budget on July 11. The railway ministry is considering to propose a hike in passenger fares in the Rail Budget 2014-15 slated to be presented by Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda. The budget session of Parliament is likely to be be held from July 7 to July 25.
13:40 Bipasha speaks out on 'Humshakals' promotions controversy:
Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu, who has been in the news for skipping the promotions of her upcoming movie 'Humshakals', has opened up about the controversy saying she was disturbed after seeing the "end result of the film".
The 35-year-old 'Raaz' actress says since she was not happy with the way the Sajid Khan-directed film turned out, she decided it was best for her to stay away from the promotions as well.
"This is to put an end to all the discussions around my absence for 'Humshakals' promotions. I take full responsibility of getting into a film only on the basis of trust. But after dubbing for my character in the film, as I had professionally committed to do so I'm extremely disturbed by the end result of the same," Bipasha posted on Twitter.
"In these circumstances I didn't know how to promote a film with all honesty and that's why I thought it was better to stay away," she added.
13:29 Dharmesh Thakkar @news_houndz says: Army jawan 6 yr daughter sexually abused on Dibrugarh New Delhi Rajdhani express by pantry car attendant and manager.
13:14 Iraq oil refinery attack: Staff flees, security personnel killed :
Update from Iraq: A senior manager of the state-owned North Oil Company in Baiji, Iraq, said militants attacked parts of the refinery complex, leading to heavy clashes. A refinery employee said there had been casualties among security force personnel and that staff had fled.
Officials told AFP yesterday that the refinery had been shut down and many employees evacuated, because major towns seized by the militants, including second city Mosul, were no longer being supplied with refined products.
13:05 Nihal Chand tells reporter: Did you make me a minister?:
Union Minister Nihal chand, accused of rape, wags a finger at a reporter who asks him questions: "Did you make me a minister?"
Mahila Congress workers are now protesting outside the BJP HQ in Delhi against the minister demanding his resignation.
13:02 Meenakshi Lekhi as Delhi CM?:
A banner in Delhi in support of BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi as the next CM. Delhi is being governed by Lt governor Najeeb Jung after the AAP government stepped down in February this year after 49 days of rule. Supporters of the BJP MLA from Janakpuri, Jagdish Mukhi, have started a Facebook page called Jagdish Mukhi for CM. A storm is brewing in the BJP with many Delhi leaders allegedly threatening to "not cooperate" and even "lose deliberately" if former top cop Kiran Bedi was named the party's next chief ministerial nominee. Bedi had said she was ready to be Delhi CM.
12:55 Another ceasefire violation by Pakistan:
Just in: There has been another ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir today today; retaliatory firing from BSF jawans.
Pakistan troops on Friday, June 13, violated the ceasefire by targeting Indian
posts along the LoC in Poonch sector of J&K with heavy firing and
mortar shelling, drawing retaliation by Indian forces.
12:49 The governors issue: Congress, please calm down:
"The possible removal of Governors, appointed by the previous government, is in the news. Congress party spokespersons are questioning the propriety of such a decision by the Union government." -- Here's what BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli has to say. Read
What governors? What issue? Read
the report on Rediff.com.
on Rediff.com: 'Iraq violence could spill over into other countries'.
12:30 Iraq on the boil: Militants attack oil refinery with mortars:
Sunni militants have attacked Iraq's Baiji oil refinery with mortars and machine gun fire, security sources say. The BBC reports that government forces in Iraq have used their limited air power to hit Islamist-led militants advancing from the north towards the capital Baghdad.
They are fighting to push back ISIS and its allies in Diyala and Salahuddin provinces, after the militants overran the second city, Mosul, last week.
Fighting is reported in the western city of Ramadi.
Iraq's biggest oil refinery, Baiji, is reportedly under attack by mortars after being shut down on Tuesday.
India-Russia begin discussions in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Dy Prime Minister Rogozin.
11:55 Achche din will come after five years: Moily:
Congress leaders on to the BJP's key phrase during the Lok Sabha polls: Now, Veerappa Moily says: Narendra Modi said 'acche din aanewale hain' maybe they will come after 5 years.
11:52 Nusli Wadia's complaint has been filed with the anti-extortion cell.
11:49 Nusli Wadia receives threat calls from underworld :
Just in: Ness Wadia's father, Nusli Wadia has filed a complaint with the NM Joshi police station in Mumbai saying he has been receiving threats from the underworld. Wadia is the chairman and majority owner of Bombay Dyeing, and has holdings in real estate across Mumbai.
As per reports, Wadia has claimed that the caller (reportedly Ravi Pujari's gang) threatened to harm the Wadia Group's interests. However, it is still not clear if the threat call was in any way related to the Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia issue.
Preity had lodged a complaint against Ness last week alleging that her former boyfriend had humiliated her in public during an Indian Premier League match on May 30 at the Wankhede stadium in South Mumbai. The match was between Chennai Super Kings and Kings X1 Punjab. She has charged him for harassment and humiliation among other things.The Police had summoned Preity to record her statement and investigations were on.
11:43 MS Aiyar: Achche din kahan? Achche raat bhi nahin, bijli nahi hai:
The ever-acerbic Mani Shankar Aiyar says: "Acche din kahan? Acchi raat bhi nahi aayin, koi so nahin pa raha, bijli nahi hai. Yeh zero tolerance hai? Jhoot bolte hain, inhe (BJP) kauva khana padega (they will have to eat crow)." Delhi has been crippled by power cuts with five to six hour outages every day.
Aiyar is yet to eat his share of crow after his now infamous comment on Narendra Modi at the AICC session in January: "There is no way he can be Prime Minister in the 21st century... but if
he wants to come and distribute tea here we can make some room for him."
11:28 10,000 Indians in Iraq, here's what India has been doing to help them:
Here's what India has been doing to help its citizens stranded in Iraq.
The Indian Mission in Baghdad was stated to be 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.
The Indian Embassy has already set up a a 24-hour helpline to offer assistance to Indian nationals there.
Over 10,000 Indians are estimated to be currently living in Iraq. 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.
11:25 Family of Delhi cop killed in road rage gets Rs 1 cr compensation:
Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung has sanctioned Rs 1 crore to the family of a police constable who was run over by a car while on duty in the capital.
Earlier, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal wrote a letter to Jung, requesting Rs 1 crore as compensation to the family.
Constable Manna Ram was run over by a car Saturday evening when he tried to stop it from entering a "no entry zone" in west Delhi. Jung said the government will explore the possibility of extending all help to the family and a job, subject to fulfilling certain requirements.
The government had earlier announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to his family.
10:58 Families pray of Indians abducted in Iraq:
Some of the families of the Indians abducted by suspected ISIS rebels in Iraq pray at a gurudwara. Forty Indian workers were untraceable in Mosul town of strife-torn Iraq even as the government today decided to send former envoy to Iraq Suresh Reddy to strengthen the Indian Mission in Baghdad. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin however would not confirm whether the 40 were abducted. He said, "We cannot confirm it. However, they are uncontactable."
10:51 Jay Panda of the BJD says of the Nihal Chand case: It's a very serious allegation, no one is above the law. The case should be expedited quickly.
10:50 Cong should probe Mehgwal rape case, says BJP leader :
This is called passing the buck.
BJP leader Sidharth Nath Singh, says Nihal Chand Meghwal's case came up during Ashok Gehlot's Congress government and since they framed a closure report in the case, the Congress should instead ask Gehlot about it.
Meghwal (43) is a four-time MP from Ganganagar constituency is currently serving as Union minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers. He is the only minister elected from Rajasthan. The Congress and the BJD has demanded that the minister be sacked for his alleged involved in a rape case.
10:43 World Cup stadium stairs wobble under fan weight:
A video of a staircase most people use to get to and from Rio's famed Maracana stadium shows the structure built atop scaffolding wobbling under the weight of fans who attended the World Cup game between Argentina and Bosnia over the weekend.
Fans of various nationalities said Tuesday that they were scared it might come crashing down. The footage shot by a Brazilian photographer showed people packed on the staircase of wooden steps as it swayed, grabbing hand rails to support themselves as they headed via their only exit to a concrete ramp leading to a subway station after the game.
"When people walk on it the wood moves, so with thousands of people walking up there, there could be an accident," said Jorge Martinez, a Mexican systems engineer who used the stairs to leave Sunday night's game.
The Rio de Janeiro state government issued a statement saying the staircase was inspected following complaints, reinforced and then re-inspected again Tuesday to ensure fan safety.
10:31 Jailed BJP leader Yaswant Sinta gets bail :
Senior BJP leader Yaswant Sinha granted bail after spending two weeks in jail.
He was held in connection with a case of alleged assault on a government official during a BJP-sponsored demonstration in Ranchi on June 2.
Sinha had refused to pay bail, claiming he will not come out of jail till the electricity situation improves in Jharkhand.
09:56 66 feared drowned as boat sinks off Malaysia:
A wooden boat carrying 97 people from Indonesia has sunk off the western coast of Malaysia and 66 of the passengers are missing, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has said.
"This was an illegal boat and all the passengers were Indonesian," said Muhammad Zuri, a Malaysian maritime agency official.
Zuri said 31 passengers had been rescued, according to The Guardian
The passengers included women and children and were suspected of trying to reach Malaysia illegally, the report says.
09:36 Rupee plunges 29 paise Vs dollar in early trade:
The rupee today fell by 29 paise to 60.32 against the US dollar in early trade on the Interbank Foreign Exchange market due to appreciation of the American currency against other rivals overseas.
Besides, increased demand from importers also put pressure on the domestic unit. Dealers attributed this fall to dollar's gains against other currencies overseas on reports of US inflation rising in May at its fastest pace in more than a year-and-a-half.
09:21 From lofty board room to lowly cell: Rajat Gupta begins prison term:
Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs Director and a one-time poster boy of Indians in the US, has begun his two-year jail term for insider trading while losing his appeal against paying nearly $14 million in civil penalties and ban on serving as a public company officer.
India-born Gupta, 65, will now have to pay $13.9 million as penalty in the US Securities and Exchange Commission's parallel insider trading case against him, in addition to the $5 million fine in the criminal case and $6.2 million restitution to Goldman Sachs.
A three-judge bench of the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit yesterday denied Gupta's plea to overturn the decision of the district court that had imposed a permanent injunction prohibiting the former McKinsey head from serving as an officer or director of a public company, associating with brokers, dealers or investment advisors, and further violating securities law.
08:45 Unable to contact Indian workers in Mosul: MEA :
At least 40 Indian workers are stranded in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which is captured by ISIS militants. There are reports of a possible abduction of these Indian nationals.The workers were kidnapped when they were being evacuated from the area ravaged by the war between the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad and Sunni jihadis, reports the Times of India.
However, the Ministry of External Affairs has said that though they have been unable to establist contact with them, there is no input to suggest its an abduction. "The embassy is in touch with Indians spread across Iraq," the MEA said.
03:58 Captured key Benghazi suspect will face US criminal courts:
US special forces working with the FBI captured a key suspect in the deadly 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
Libyan militia leader Ahmed Abu Khatallah was captured over the weekend near Benghazi, US officials said. His is the first arrest and detention by the United States in connection with the Benghazi attack.
Abu Khatallah will be brought to U.S. soil to face charges "in the coming days," said Edward Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council.
03:55 Explosion hits Nigeria World Cup TV venue:
An explosion has hit northern Nigeria's Yobe state at a venue televising a World Cup football match, residents and security officials say.
The blast hit Damaturu town at about 20:00 local time (19:00 GMT), reports said.There were reports of casualties being brought into hospitals, but it is not clear if there were any deaths.
03:54 Apple settles on damages in digital book case:
Apple has reached a settlement on the damages owed in a case that concluded the company illegally conspired with publishers to drive up the prices of digital books.
Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed in a document filed late Monday. Those details will emerge in a filing due by July 16.
03:53 Putin, Ukraine president discuss possible ceasefire: Kremlin:
President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko discussed a possible ceasefire, the Kremlin has said, after a second member of a Russian television crew was confirmed to have died in the east of the ex-Soviet state.
"The issue of possible ceasefire in the area of a military operation in Ukraine's southeast has been touched upon," the Kremlin said yesterday, after the talks.
03:42 Obama, Congressional leaders meeting over Iraq:
President Barack Obama is meeting with congressional leaders on June 18 at the White House to discuss this situation in Iraq, said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky).
Obama will meet with McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada), Speaker of the House John Boehner (Republican-Ohio), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California). The party leaders will then report back to their members about the administration's plan for Iraq.
02:47 UN rights chief calls time on caste-based sex attacks:
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay today urged India to ensure that perpetrators of caste-based sexual attacks do not escape justice. "Women from stigmatised castes suffer the double assault of caste-based and gender-based discrimination," Pillay said on the sidelines of a session of the UN Human Rights Council.
"And all too often abuses of their rights are committed with complete impunity," she said. "Such impunity must end," said Pillay, a South African with Indian roots.
01:54 40 Indians kidnapped in Iraq's Mosul:
Around 40 Indians working on projects near the Iraqi city of Mosul were kidnapped by suspected ISIS militants when they were being evacuated from the area ravaged by the war between the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad and Sunni jihadis.
01:52 Kenya's president: Massacres aren't Al Shabab but political opponents:
President Uhuru Kenyatta today told surprised Kenyans that the grisly murders of 60 people in recent days '" some while watching the World Cup '" were not carried out by the terror group Al Shabab, but by local "networks" organized by his political opponents.
Al Shabab claimed credit for a massacre on Sunday of 49 people in the coastal town of Mpeketoni, and for killing at least 10 people on Monday in a small town nearby.
Those incidents, in an area hit recently by Al Shabab, bore the hallmarks of the Somalia-based, self-described Islamist group, with masked attackers shouting "Alahu Akbar' and executing civilians who failed to recite Koranic verses.
01:47 From lofty board room to lowly cell: Gupta begins prison term:
Rajat Gupta, a one-time poster boy of Indians in America and former Goldman Sachs Director, today began his two-year prison sentence after fighting a protracted legal battle to clear his name in one of the biggest insider trading schemes in US history.
01:47 Activists say car bomb in eastern Syria kills 7:
A car bomb exploded in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq on today, killing at least seven people, including a local rebel commander, opposition activists said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blast struck near the offices of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and another group, Ahrar al-Sham, in the village of Shmeitiyeh in Deir el-Zour province.
00:28 Will ISIS plan a 9/11-style terror plot against the US?:
Republicans are sounding the warning that the next 9/11-like terror plot could emerge from the regions of Iraq and Syria that are currently dominated by an extremist group bearing down on Baghdad.
As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - which has already captured the cities of Tikrit and Mosul and is threatening to take the capital city as well - grows in strength and numbers, will it pose an immediate threat to the United States homeland as well?
00:26 Captured Benghazi suspect being transported to US: Obama:
The United States said on Tuesday it had captured a suspected ringleader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a raid that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador and ignited a political firestorm in Washington.
President Barack Obama said in a statement he had authorized the operation in Libya on Sunday in which special forces, along with law enforcement personnel, captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah on the outskirts of Benghazi.
00:24 Crime against women: UP CM asks cops to take prompt action:
In the wake of increasing incidents of crime against women in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today directed police to take stern action in such cases in "minimum response time".
"Police should take effective action in cases of crime against women in minimum response time," an official statement quoting the chief minister said.
00:23 School principal shot at, escapes unhurt in Outer Delhi:
The principal of a public school was allegedly shot at by two unidentified armed assailants inside the premises of the school in Narela of outer Delhi. However, 48-year-old Ram Pal Tyagi, Principal of Daffodil Public school in Narela, escaped unhurt as the assailants missed their target, police said today.