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LIVE! Iraq crisis: Centre trying its best, Sushma tells Raje

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June 22, 2014

21:15  Centre trying its best, Sushma tells Raje:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today assured Rajsthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje that the Centre is trying its best to safely bring back the Indians stranded in strife-torn Iraq.

Swaraj talked to Raje on telephone in response to her letter sent yesterday, an official release said here today. With the help of the Iraqi Embassy, India has stepped up its efforts to bring back the Indians safely, Swaraj told Raje.

Indians are stuck in Basra city and adjoining places, and attempts are being made to rescue them, Swaraj said. She said some companies there had taken away passports of Indian workers.

Yesterday, Raje had written a letter to Swaraj, seeking her intervention for safe and speedy release of Indian nationals held hostage in Iraq. In her letter, Raje had expressed concern for the security of the Indian workers in the gulf nation, including those hailing from Rajasthan.
20:49  Antony panel analyses reasons for Cong defeat in 3 states:   A high-powered panel of Congress led by party veteran A K Antony today took stock of factors leading to its crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. While Congress is participating in an alliance government in Jharkhand headed by JMM leader Hemant Soren, it is in the opposition in other two states for more than a decade.

In the meeting, the Antony panel asked each participant the reasons for the party's poor show and elicited views as to how it can stage a comeback. All the Lok Sabha candidates, PCC chiefs and senior leaders of the three states took part in the exercise.

B K Hari Prasad, the party's general secretary in-charge of these states, said it was a stock-taking exercise. "We have discussed in detail as to what went wrong and how to revive the party," he said.
19:45  Experiments of Indian student from UAE to be fired into space:  An 11-year-old Indian student is the lone participant from the UAE who has got her two experiments approved for launch into space under a programme for budding young scientists.

Two experiments of Prerna Pai, a seventh grader at Sharjah's Delhi Private School, are among the 100 selected experiments that will be fired into space under the Cubes In Space Programme on June 26, Gulf News reported. The Cubes in Space Programme was launched in May and had invited students from around the world in the age group of 11-14 to devise experimental payloads for space.

"I had to think a lot when I learnt about this contest and sent them many proposals. My science teacher has always encouraged me to think out of the box and that inspired me.
18:57  Suspected Honour killing: girl's father, 2 siblings held:  In connection with an alleged honour killing of a girl in Odisha's Ganjam district, her father and two minor brothers were arrested today, the police said.

Surya Dalai and his two sons were arrested on charge of strangulating to death his 19-year-old daughter at Badapankala village under Polasara police station on Friday night as they were not happy with the girl's relation with some youths.

After committing the crime, the three had hanged her body in a tree on the backyard of their house to give a suicide angle to the incident, the police said. Dalai's wife, who was present in the house when the incident unfolded, had protested her husband's act.
18:31  War-like cache of arms, explosives seized in Jammu:  In a major breakthrough, Army busteda militant hideout today and seized a war-like cache of armsand explosives, including 60 kgs of RDX and 104 explosivedevices, in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Troops of Rastriya Rifles, on a specific information,launched a massive search operation in Keshwan forest belt ofKishtwar district, Ministry of Defence spokesperson M Mehtasaid here today.

"This is the biggest recovery made by the troops thisyear in Jammu region and perhaps the largest one in the pastfew years in Kishtwar," he said.

A big haul of arms, ammunition and explosives, including60 kgs of RDX, one kg of Russian Marking explosive, 2 kgs ofunidentified explosives, one AK series rifle, one plain rifle,three 12-bore rifles, two pistols were recovered from thehideout, he said.
17:51  'Stay neutral in Sino-US rivalry to resolve border issue':  India should remain neutral in the China-US rivalry in order to develop a political understanding with Beijing to resolve contentious issues like the border dispute, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said today.

"In my opinion border cannot be discussed with China in meaningful way unless you have a political understanding with it. That is the nature of China," Swamy, who is here to participate in the World Peace Conference organised by China's Tsinghua University, told PTI.

"They had a political understanding with Russia, they settled what was considered as irreconcilable," he said. "Border is not a problem if you have a political understanding with China regarding our standing in the dispute between the two," he said.

China says it has settled border disputes with 12 of its 14 neighbours except with India and Bhutan. Swamy said India remained neutral during China's dispute with Russia.
17:04  Beas tragedy: Three more bodies recovered:  Three more bodies were recovered from Beas river today fourteen days after 25 persons, including 24 engineering students from Hyderabad, were swept away in the river on June 8, taking the number of those found to 16.

Rescuers recovered the bodies which surfaced in Pandoh Dam, and the three were identified as Bairinene Ritwik, C H Parmeshwar and Muppidi Kiran Kumar, Mandi Superintendent of Police, R S Negi said.

With this, 16 bodies have been recovered and nine more persons, including three girls and a co-tour Prahlad, are to be found. Massive search operations, aided by advanced technology, were launched to locate 24 BTech students of VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, and a tour leader, who were washed away in Beas river on June 8 after sudden release of water from the reservoir of the Larji hydro-power project near Thalot.
16:16  Another Tamil asylum-seeker sets himself alight in Australia:   A 40-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil asylum-seeker in Australia has set himself on fire fearing deportation, the third such incident in the country battling exodus of refugees trying to sneak in illegally.

The incident happened on Friday night in Melbourne when the man, who does not want to be identified, splashed petrol on his legs and set himself alight, according to a statement by the Tamil Refugee Council. He was saved by his housemates, fellow asylum seekers, and was later admitted to an area hospital, reported.

"We are very lucky on this occasion that the man's housemates were aware of what he was planning to do otherwise we may have had another death on our hands," council spokesperson Sri Samy said.
16:02  UGC has ordered DU and all its colleges to conduct admission only under 3-year under-graduate programme and not under FYUP for coming session.
15:08  Swiss govt prepares list of Indians with suspected black money:  In a major boost to India's fight against black money, Switzerland has prepared a list of Indians suspected to have stashed un-taxed wealth in Swiss banks and the details are being shared with Indian government.

The names of these Indian individuals and entities have come under scanner of the Swiss authorities during an ongoing exercise to identify real beneficiary owners of funds held in various banks operating in Switzerland, a senior Swiss government official said.

"These individuals and entities are suspected to have held un-taxed money in Swiss banks through structures like trusts, domiciliary companies and other legal entities based out of countries other than India," the official told PTI.

He refused to divulge the identity of these persons and entities, as also the quantum of funds held by them in Swiss banks, citing confidentiality clause of the bilateral information exchange treaty between two countries.
13:43  Preity returns from US, police may record statement tomorrow:  Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, who has accused her ex-boyfriend and industrialist Ness Wadia of abuse and molestation, returned to Mumbai today from the United States and police are likely to record her statement in the next two days.

The 39-year-old actress, who had left India soon after filing an FIR against Wadia on June 12, arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here this afternoon and refused to speak to the waiting mediapersons. Police said they are likely to record her statement in connection with the case either tomorrow or on Tuesday.

As she was not in India, police could not record her statement in the case. "Since she has arrived here, her statement would be recorded either tomorrow or day after," said an official privy to the investigation.

Preity had filed a police complaint on June 12 night alleging she was molested by Wadia, 44, at Wankhede stadium on May 30 when an IPL match was played between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings, a charge the industrialist has denied as "false and baseless".
13:35  Adani brothers discharged in cheating case by Maha court:  In a major relief to Gautam and Rajesh Adani, a local court has discharged the industrialists in a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy related to purchase and sale of shares.

The Serious Fraud Investigating Office had, in 2012, filed a charge sheet against twelve accused including the Adani brothers, Adani Exports Limited and Adani Agro Private Limited. According to SFIO, Adani Agro allegedly provided funds and shares to Ketan Parekh entities for running illegal activities in the capital.

The agency also alleged that the promoters off-loaded their share holding when share price was at peak and started purchasing it when the prices went down, to maintain their share holding in the company and earn profit.
13:05  'MH370 pilot /chief suspect' in case of foul play':  The captain of Flight MH370 has been identified as the prime suspect by a Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of the plane after checks cleared all other people on board, a media report said today.

The criminal inquiry does not rule out the possibility the Boeing 777-200 plane was lost due to mechanical failure or terrorism, but the police view is that if it was the result of human action, the captain was the most likely perpetrator, The Sunday Times reported. Malaysia's special branch focused the inquiry on Captain Zaharie Shah, 53, after intelligence checks failed to substantiate any suspicions about the other people on board the jet, the report said.

The Beijing-bound Flight MH370 - carrying 239 people, including five Indians, mysteriously vanished on March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The disappearance of the plane is one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. Detectives conducted more than 170 interviews.

They found that Zaharie, an outgoing, married man with a penchant for gadgetry and postings on social media, appeared to have made no social or work commitments for the future, the report said. This stood in contrast to the plans of his co-pilot, Fariq Hamid, and the rest of the crew.
12:10  Indo-US N-deal: Govt agrees to allow greater access to IAEA:  Signalling the continuity of policy, the new government has ratified the Additional Protocol, a commitment given under Indo-US nuclear deal by the previous dispensation to grant greater ease to International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor India's civilian atomic programme.

The Additional Protocol was ratified last week and this has been conveyed to the Vienna-based IAEA, the global watchdog of nuclear activities, sources told PTI.

The IAEA had in March 2009 approved an additional protocol to India's safeguards agreement consequent to a pact reached with the agency the previous year to place its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

That agreement had paved the way for the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group to grant India-specific waiver for it to have commercial relations with other countries in the civilian atomic field.
11:55  The previous UPA government's controversial move to order a probe into the 'snoopgate' affair may get a quiet burial with the home ministry expected to move the union cabinet soon to abandon the plan.

A note will be presented before the union cabinet to scrap the December 26, 2013, order to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the charges of surveillance of a young woman in 2009 in Gujarat, official sources said.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju has already indicated that the "politically-motivated" decision to set up the inquiry commission will be reviewed by the NDA government.

The  BJP had strongly opposed the controversial move by the then Manmohan Singh government and demanded that the probe be stopped as a parallel inquiry had been ordered into the matter by Gujarat government.

The UPA government's decision to set up the inquiry triggered a political row as the 'Snoopgate' affair was alleged to have involved Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat chief minister.
10:47  Question paper leak in Ghaziabad leads to cancellation:  Just In: The Uttar Pradesh Combined Premedical Test (UPCPMT) has been cancelled after a question paper leak in Ghaziabad.
00:07  Egypt sentences Muslim Brotherhood leader and 182 followers to death:  

An Egyptian court has confirmed death sentences against the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and at least 182 of his supporters.


The court's decision came two months after it referred the case against the Brotherhood's "general guide", Mohamed Badie, and hundreds of others to the state's highest religious authority, the grand mufti, the first step towards imposing a death sentence.


They were charged over violence that erupted in the southern Egyptian town of Minya in July, in the aftermath of the army coup that ousted then president, Mohamed Morsi, a senior Brotherhood member.


One senior police officer was killed in the violence. Lawyers say the ruling can be overturned on appeal. It was not immediately clear how many sentences had been confirmed, with the lawyers giving estimates ranging from 182 to 197. In either case, it would be largest mass death sentence to be confirmed in Egypt in recent memory.


Read more on The Guardian

00:05  Ukraine crisis: Fighting rages on despite declared truce:  

Pro-Russian separatists have carried out several attacks on Ukrainian troops despite a unilateral ceasefire declared by Kiev, Ukrainian officials say. They say at least six border guards had been injured in shelling in the east.


The rebels earlier dismissed the week-long truce called by President Petro Poroshenko, the first step of his peace plan announced on Friday.


On Saturday, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he backed the plan - if it included talks with the rebels. Mr Putin also said Ukraine must make compromises with the rebels.


Read more on BBC

00:05  Why the West should ignore Iraq's plea:  

All other arguments aside, Charlie Cooper says Western military intervention would play right into the hands of the terrorists wreaking havoc in Iraq.


Read the full article on CNN

00:03  Top headlines at this hour:  

Gogoi may not be as lucky as Hooda, Chavan

Uddhav to urge PM to roll back 'shocking' rail fare hike

Digvijaya's dig at Modi: Slamming govt and running it different things

Minor sisters abducted, gang-raped in Jind

Hundreds of Indians stranded in Najaf; 39 abducted workers 'unharmed'

Exclusive! NCP may merge with Cong; Pawar can be named Maha CM candidate

Campa Cola residents deny entry to civic officials for second day

Advani deserves to be President of India: Gadkari

UPA governors wanted to quit, but Congress refused


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