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LIVE! Rebels down Ukraine army helicopter; 9 killed

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June 24, 2014


22:41  Rebels down Ukraine army helicopter; 9 killed:  

The Ukrainian military says one of its helicopters has been shot down by pro-Russian rebels in the east, killing all nine people on board. It says the Mi-8 helicopter, used for transporting military cargo, was hit by a rocket shortly after take-off outside the rebel-held city of Sloviansk.

 

It comes a day after the rebels vowed to observe a ceasefire until Friday, in response to a government peace plan. But Russia's president warned that the week-long truce was not enough. Vladimir Putin said it should be extended to try to hold "substantive talks" between the Ukrainian government and the separatists.

 

Read more on BBC

22:12  Beas tragedy: Search to continue, HP govt tells HC:  The Himachal Pradesh Government today informed the state High Court that till the evening of June 22, seventeen bodies had been recovered out of the 25 persons who were washed away in Beas river on June 8.

In the status report submitted to the Court, the Chief Secretary said that it has been decided to continue with the search operation till the remaining bodies are traced.

The division bench of the Court comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan posted the matter for hearing tomorrow.

Twenty four students of VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, and a tour operator were washed away in Beas river near Thalot on June 8 after discharge of water from Largi Hydel Power Project.
21:54  Mumbai police records Preity's statement:   The Mumbai police today recorded the statement of Bollywood actress Preity Zinta in connection with the molestation case she has registered against her former boyfriend and industrialist Ness Wadia.

The actress accompanied by her lawyer reached the Wankhede Stadium in south Mumbai at about 6.40 pm, where tight security arrangements were made by the police to handle the media and the crowd of onlookers.

The Marine Drive police recorded her statement, for more than one and half hours, with regard to the case while crime branch recorded her statement in connection with the threat calls received by Wadia's secretaries, allegedly from gangster Ravi Pujari.

Image: Priety Zinta arrives at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Photograph: Sahil Salvi
21:31  BJP creating drought hype to cover up price rise: Azam Khan:   The BJP is creating hype of a drought-like situation in the country to cover up the increase in costs of essential commodities and rail fare or any other price rise in the future, Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohammad Azam Khan said today.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, while opposing BJP member Satish Mahana's adjournment notice on the likelihood of a weak monsoon during the zero hour of the state assembly, said, "A possibility of minor drought-like situation has been expressed, but the Central government and its ministers are trying to grill it in the minds of the people."

"This is being done to justify the rail and freight fare hike, besides any future move to hike the price of petroleum and other goods," Khan said.
21:17  CBI starts polygraph tests on 5 accused in Badaun rape case:  CBI today commenced the process of conducting lie-detector tests of the five accused in the sensational rape and murder of two teenaged girls here. CBI team has taken the permission of the local court for subjecting the accused to polygraph test as it wanted to verify the statements given by them.

The two girls, who were cousins aged 14 and 15, went missing from their house on the night of May 27 and their bodies were found hanging from a mango tree in the village in Ushait area on May 28.

The postmortem report of the two girls confirmed that they were raped before murder. Five accused-- three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav and constables Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav--have been arrested in the case that has sparked nation-wide outrage.

A Central Forensic Science Laboratory team is carrying out the polygraph test here on the accused. The exercise is likely to be spread over three days.
20:36  UGC directs DU to admit students under 3-yr-programme:  The University Grants Commission has issued fresh directive to the Delhi University asking it to issue letters to colleges for admitting students under three-year programmes.   57 out of 64 colleges under Delhi University have informed they will be implementing three-year undergraduate programme, says UGC  
20:31  Partial rollback in Railway fare hike:  Hike in rail fares not to apply to second class suburban trains for travel up to 80 km, says Railways. The second class monthly passes will be costlier by only 14.2 per cent over the current rates.  
20:04  Partial rollback on Railway fare hike?:  
Journalist SachinKalbag sent out this tweet:  

@SachinKalbag: BREAKING: Partial rollback. Railways cap 2nd class season ticket hike at 14.2%. No increase in 2nd class fare.
19:49  Putin withdraws request to use force in Ukraine:  Russian President Vladimir Putin asked parliament today to cancel a resolution sanctioning the use of military force in Ukraine, a move his Ukrainian counterpart heralded as a "practical step" toward bringing peace to a region roiled by a separatist insurgency.
19:31  Mumbaikars queue up at railway stations for season tickets:   A day before the government's hiked rail fares comes into effect, Mumbaikars lined up at railway ticket counters to renew and get new season tickets issued at the old rates.  

 The hike '" 14.2% in all classes of passenger fares and 6.5% in freight charges '" is effective June 25 and will also apply to tickets purchased in advance for journeys commencing on or after that date. 

The difference in fare for such advance tickets will be collected by ticket examiners during the journey. Coming ahead of the full railway budget next month, the announcement was greeted with loud protests by leaders across the political spectrum, with some warning it would fuel inflation.

Here are some photos from Kandivali station. Photographs by Hemant Shivsharan
19:31  Egypt president refuses pardon for journalists:  Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi today said he will not interfere in court rulings, rebuffing calls from the US and other Western governments that he pardon or commute the sentences of three Al-Jazeera journalists handed heavy prison terms a day earlier. 

The verdict of seven years in prison against the journalists brought a landslide of international condemnation.
19:29  Serpentine queues were seen at several stations in Mumbai
19:08   Preity Zinta is now at Wankhede stadium. Her statement will be recorded over two days. 
19:06  Heads up: Rail ministry plans relief for Mumbai suburban train travellers. Stay with us for details. 
18:56  And so, Preity Zinta reaches Wankhede stadium.
18:54  AAP workers protesting the government's whopper of a price hike at Andheri station in Mumbai. 
18:53  17 more Indians evacuated from Iraq:  Confirmatory tweet from MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin: 17 Indians rescued in Iraq from Conflict Zone were brought to Baghdad and now are heading home.

India has evacuated 17 more of its nationals from the conflict zone of Iraq with the help of local authorities taking the total number of those rescued so far to 34 and also advised its citizens to leave on voluntary basis by commercial means in view of the "fragile" security situation.

The External Affairs Ministry, which issued a fresh travel advisory today asking Indians to remain indoors if they are in conflict-prone areas, said,

"The safety of Indians in Iraq remains the matter of importance for the country." "We have, with the help of local authorities, evacuated 17 more Indian nationals from the conflict zone of Iraq and they are now in Baghdad," the spokesperson in the MEA said.
18:28  LIVE! Preity Zinta on her way to Wankhede stadium to record statement:  Bollywood actor Preity Zinta is on her way to the Wankhede stadium where her statement will be recorded by the police. Zinta has accused her ex-boyfriend industrialist Ness Wadia of outraging her modesty and verbal abuse.

The Mumbai police will reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the spat between the two as it would give us a better understanding of the case.

Investigators also want to find out from the 39-year-old co-owner of Kings XI Punjab which was the exact spot where the alleged incident took place at the South Mumbai stadium and who all were around at the time.
18:20  While on railway fare price hikes, here's an interesting read on the history of Indian railways. The first passenger train set off on 16 April 1853 from Mumbai to Thane, 34 kilometres away. Read
18:03  Swamy on rail price hike: Did BJP look at alternative means to raise funds?:   BJP senior leader Subramanian Swamy criticises his government. This is what he said on the rail price hike: "Govt has a valid argument but question is whether they looked at alternative measures to raise funds."

The Narendra Modi government has come under pressure from its own MPs to reduce the hike in the suburban rail fare in Mumbai with 10 BJP and Shiv Sena MPs meeting Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda today to press for a roll back.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said Gowda assured them of a "positive" decision on their demand and added an announcement to this effect could be made in a few days.

The recent hike in rail fares has led to a steep increase in the prices of monthly passes for Mumbai local trains. They sees the heaviest rush among all suburban rail networks and are a lifeline of Maharashtra capital and India's commercial hub.
17:58  Indias Killer Roads Explained:  Less than a month after Gopinath Munde was appointed India's new rural development minister, he died in a car accident on his way to the airport in New Delhi when another car jumped a traffic light and hit the passenger side of the car where Munde was seated. Read
17:54  News breaks at this hour:

-- HRD ministry has not received the Delhi university vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh's resignation.

--  Mumbai court rejects bail plea of FTIL founder Jignesh Shah in the NSEL scam case.
17:46  Why Delhi University's four year undergraduate programme should not be implemented with irresponsible haste. Read
17:39  Health minister off to US on 1st official tour:  Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today left for the USA on a five-day visit during which he will hold talks with his American counterpart and others to explore the scope for collaboration on telehealth and preventive healthcare.
17:26  MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin says 64 Indian fishermen held in captivity in Sri Lanka, pursuing this matter through normal diplomatic channels. 
17:24  UK PM David Cameron to make "profound apology" after his ex-media chief Andy Coulson's guilty verdict in hacking trial.
17:00  MEA: Few Indians in zone of conflict:  MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin's media briefing today:

Akbaruddin says the situation of Indian nationals in Iraq remains an issue of importance for the government. "In the zone of conflict, there are limited number of Indian nationals. They remain in captivity but are not harmed and safe. We are issuing an advisory telling all Indian nationals they can use commercial flights if they wish to leave, we will provide assistance. Our helpline Nos in Baghdad are working 24-7 for all kinds of assistance to Indian nationals. We have decided to set up our offices in Najaf, Karbala and Basra to provide assistance," he says.
16:51  Ex-News International chief Rebekah Brooks cleared of hacking charges:  Ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all charges in the phone-hacking trial.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was found guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiring to hack phones.

The jury found Mrs Brooks not guilty of conspiracy to hack voicemails, two counts of conspiracy to pay public officials and two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

She and Mr Coulson both denied all charges against them. -- BBC
16:48  Ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks cleared of all charges in the hacking trial at a high court in London.
16:47  Noida to get new metro connect :   Uttar Pradesh government will soon sign an agreement with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for a metro rail project in Noida.

"An agreement will be made between Noida and DMRC for a metro rail project between Kalindi Kunj and Botanical garden. The CEO Noida has been authorised to sign it," a spokesman said.

The decision in this regard was taken today at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. However, no date for the signing of the agreement has not been finalised yet.
16:24   FYUP rollback decision will boomerang on NDA: Congress:   Terming the UGC directive on the rollback of the four-year undergraduate programme as a decision taken in "haste", Congress today said the step was going to "boomerang" on the BJP-led NDA government.

"That is something is non-application of mind and its going to boomerang," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said when asked about the decision on reverting to three-year undergraduate courses from the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) implemented last year. The roll back of the contentious FYUP was part of the Delhi BJP manifesto.
16:17  The core team of Delhi varsity VC, Dinesh Singh, who has just resigned, is also likely to quit.
16:04  HRD ministry summons DU pro VC:  The process of selecting the person who will replace the Dinesh Singh as the next vice chancellor of Delhi university will begin soon. HRD ministry is considering filing a complaint against Singh saying the did not follow due procedure. The HRD ministry has summoned the Pro VC for talks about the future course of action that is to be taken.
15:49  Arrest warrant against Dhoni for posing as Lord Vishnu:   A court in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant against Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.

A local court in Anantapur issued the arrest warrant as Dhoni did not appear in the court despite three summons served in the past.

It directed police to present Dhoni in the court July 16. The case relates to a picture on the cover of a magazine. Business Today in its April 2013 edition had carried the picture.

Dhoni was portrayed as Hindu god Vishnu with a sub title "God of Big Deals" and holding products of several companies including a shoe in his hand.
15:43  Egypt President wont interfere in Al Jazeera court verdicts:  Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said Tuesday he will not interfere in court rulings, a day after three Al-Jazeera journalists were sentenced to seven years in prison in a verdict that prompted an international outcry.

The ruling, on terrorism-related charges, stunned their families and brought a landslide of condemnation and calls for el-Sissi to intervene.

According to Egypt's constitution, the president has the right to issue a pardon or commute the sentences. US, Australian and other officials have urged el-Sissi to use this right to immediately release the journalists.
15:29  Following PM Modis directive, home ministry destroys 1.5 lakh files:  On the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union home ministry is on a cleanliness drive and, in less than a month, has destroyed nearly 1.5 lakh files that had gathered dust for years.

While going through the steel almirahs of North Block, officials also found some interesting files which gave an insight to some historic moments.

One of these files was about the presidential sanction given to pay India's first governor general Lord Mountbatten a princely sum of Rs 64,000 as TA/DA allowance for moving back to his country.  Read
15:20  Dr Inder Kapahi, National Democratic Teachers Foundation (NDTF) on DU VC says the resignation is not enough, we want an inquiry into his term.
15:18  Delhi University Teachers Association president Nandita Narain says the VC was forced to resign.
The pro-VC faction says that VC Dinesh Singh was forced resign as the HRD ministry and UGC worked against him.
15:12  Delhi university VC resigns over raging 4-year course row :   Just in: Delhi university vice chancellor Dinesh Singh has resigned over the four-year under-graduate course row. Admissions to the Delhi University were to start today, but colleges have held their cut-off list.

The UGC has ordered colleges to stop admitting students under the four-year programme, which was introduced despite strong opposition from teachers and student bodies.

The university's Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh, was yet to respond to the directive to end the four-year system, this morning. Singh's defiance may provoke the UGC to take legal action to remove him and his resignation is being seen as a preemptive measure.

Also read: Students left in lurch as UGC, Delhi university spar over FYUP
15:05  Achche din aa gaye: LPG price may go up by Rs 5 per cylinder:  The oil ministry may hike the prices of LPG by Rs 5 per cylinder, kerosine by Re 1. This comes after the crippling hike in rail fares. 
14:48  Meet the Campa Cola homeless: CEO to diamond merchant, MD to Editor:  As the BMC begins phase-1 of its demolition plan for the allegedly illegal flats in the Campa Cola Compound, Worli, The Indian Express takes a closer look at 10 of the 89 illegal flat owners affected by the turn of events. Read
14:45  Independence from the govt :  Although meant to function as watchdogs, human rights institutions in India are treated as subordinate departments with scant regard for their autonomy or statutory character. Read
14:43   Jaya petitions PM on fresh arrest of TN fishermen:   As the arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy continued unabated with 11 more being detained in the latest mid-sea action, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today again sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal intervention in securing the release of all fishermen jailed in the island.
14:39  Air India's revenue to go up after tie-up with Star Alliance :  Air India is expecting a two-three per cent gain in revenue due to wider commercial partnerships and integration of its frequent flyer programme with 26 member airlines of the Star Alliance. 

On Monday board members of Star Alliance met  in London to vote on Air India's induction into the group.

A formal announcement on Air India's induction into the alliance is expected at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Star Alliance is the largest of three global airline alliances and includes Lufthansa, Swiss, United, Singapore Airlines  as it members. Air India's membership into the  Star Alliance was put on hold in 2011 and was initiated afresh last December. Read
14:02  LIVE! Badaun gang rape/murder: Fathers of victims to undergo lie-detector tests:  Badaun rape and murder: The CBI will conduct a lie-detector test on the fathers of the two cousins who were gang-raped and murdered. CBI sources clarified that the move should not be seen as doubting the claims made by the families of the victims but in order to develop a flawless case the agency needs to test the veracity of their statements.

The sources added that the statements given by the family members have some inconsistencies which need to be clarified before proceeding in the case.

They said the agency has decided to subject four persons to lie detector test which include fathers of the two teenager cousins and two more family members.
13:54  Read: India and Pakistan, the opportunity cost of conflict. 
13:36  Wimbledon's 'inside story': No colourful knickers, players told :  Women's colourful knickers and men's black ones should be a thing of the past at Wimbledon as organisers of the tournament that began on Monday have advised players that guidelines requiring all-white tennis clothing will be strictly enforced.  Read
13:34  My aunts were concerned I wouldn't be able to marry if I got dark: Sania Mirza :  "In India, where being fair and therefore lovely is de rigueur, getting dark and therefore dirty on a sun-baked tennis court is frowned upon by some. On the sub-continent, for girls to be lighter skinned is supposed to be great," Sania Mirza, India's most successful female tennis player, tells the BBC. Read
13:30  Eight people have been convicted, death sentence for 1, life imprisonment till death for others in the 2002 Patna encounter case.

Three students --  Vikash Ranjan, Prashant Singh and Himanshu Shekhar -- were killed in a fake encounter at a market near Ashiyana Nagar locality under Shastri Nagar police station area in Patna on December 28, 2002.

The six found guilty of attempt to murder were shopkeepers of Sammelan Market who had brutally beaten up the three students following a scuffle between them and a telephone booth operator over paying a STD bill.

The six were Kamlesh Kumar Gautam, Raju Ranjan, Soni Rajak, Kumod Kumar, Rakesh Kumar Mishra and Anil.
13:19  The Jihadi Menace Gets Real:  ISIS is bigger, badder, richer, and better organized than any jihadi threat the United States has faced thus far. Its rise represents a foreign policy disaster of the first order. Read
13:10  So, which country is the biggest contributor to ISIS?:  A startling number of Australian citizens and residents have left the country to join jihadist factions in the ongoing crises in the Middle East, prompting the Australian government to launch a statewide effort to crack down on "home-grown terrorism" fostered within its borders. Read
12:44  Health minister questions stress on condoms in AIDS fight:  Union health minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has said that he would like to see a change in the way that the government promotes awareness of AIDS and H.I.V., with more emphasis on "promoting the integrity of the sexual relationship between husband and wife,' which he said was "part of our culture."  Read
12:42   Australia pushes for pardon of Al Jazeera reporter:  Australia today urged Egypt's new leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to issue a presidential pardon for Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste to prove to the world Cairo is on a path to democracy.

Australian Greste and his Al Jazeera colleague, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, were both sentenced to seven years in Jail by a Cairo court yesterday for aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and "spreading false news".

Their producer Baher Mohamed received two sentences -- one for seven years and another for three years. They were among 20 defendants in a trial that has triggered global outrage and fears of growing media restrictions in Egypt.

"There's no doubt that the proceedings in the first place were politically motivated," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told ABC national radio today.
12:23  KBC will start in August: Amitabh Bachchan:  Amitabh Bachchan has revealed that the eighth season of 'Kaun Bangea Crorepati' will start in August. The 71-year-old actor took to Facebook to share the news with his fans.

"Yeh hai KBC ka naya aakaar .. the new face of KBC starting in August .. now been on since 2000, with a break in between and one season done by Shah Rukh Khan," Bachchan wrote.

Bachchan has already shot for the promos for the eighth season of the show.

"The promos for the next KBC were on shoot today and they went well... lets see how it all shapes up as the dates draw near," he wrote on his blog on June 22.
12:20  Kapil Sibal to pay Rs 16 lakh rent per month for house in Lutyens' Delhi:  Former law and telecom minister Kapil Sibal, who recently lost his seat in the lower House of Parliament, will shortly move to a luxurious residence in leafy Lutyens' Delhi, paying a princely rent of Rs 16 lakh a month. Read
12:16  Uddhav's son criticises rail fare hike :  The BJP's key ally, Shiv Sena, has criticised the Modi government over its decision to hike rail fares. Now, Sena chief, Uddhav Thackeray's son, Aaditya, who heads the party's youth wing, tweets: "A minimal hike is understandable, but current hike has put immense strain on the commuters. Inflation n hikes is what NDA sought to control." 
12:09  No decision yet on sending forces to Iraq: Defence minister :  Defence minister Arun Jaitley meets navy top brass. At the press conference after the meeting, Jaitley says there is no decision yet on whether India will send its forces to Iraq to evacuate Indians. He says the government will focus on increasing defence expenditure. The navy will be probing accidents involving naval personnel.

Jaitley also holds the finance portfolio. The Modi government will present the union budget on July 10.
11:56  How Modi's government is already looking like the UPA:  By hurtling from one controversy to another and responding with unconvincing spin-doctoring, the new regime appears startlingly like the old. Read more
11:53  Grim water situation, Mumbai lakes reach rock bottom:  With the monsoon delayed and humidity levels rising, lakes supplying water to Mumbai have reached the lowest drawable limits. The civic body is now seriously thinking about experimenting cloud seeding to check the yield. Read more
11:51  'Strict decisions have to be made for the good of the poor':  "You cannot judge a government within a month. Give us five years' time. At times, strict economic decisions have to be made for the good of the poor in the long run."

Dharmendra Pradhan, one of the Modi government's stars, speaks exclusively to Rediff.com. Read
11:49  Britain took more out of India than it put in:  Large parts of India's economy were destroyed by British technology in the 1800s, and by deals that favoured British shareholders. Today, it's China that holds that kind of power. Read
11:42  Delhi University suspends admissions, students stranded::   Lakhs of students are currently stranded because Delhi University has put its admissions process on hold. Admissions were meant to start today, but a massive controversy over the university's four-year undergraduate programme has left faculty and students utterly confused about what happens next.  Read more
11:38  BJP ally Shiv Sena says the party may have to pay a price for the rail fare hike in the upcoming polls in Maharashtra.

At Palam railway station, Congress party workers protest the rail fare hike.
11:32  Why NDA may roll back fare hike decision for Mumbai local trains. Read
11:23  Rail minister assured us that feelings of Mumbaikars will be considered, says BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, on the rail fare hike. Somaiya is an MP from Mumbai north east.  
11:22  New house for Arvind Kejriwal entangled in legal dispute:  And while on AAP, read this:

AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal may not be able to move into the bungalow in Civil Lines after all.

Though Naren Bhiku Ram Jain, the son of a former Congress MP, had last Friday said he was ready to lease out his 4B, Flagstaff Road property to the AAP leader, things took a turn on Monday with his brother Virender Jain speaking out against the move.

Virender said he would take Naren to court for offering the four-bedroom house on rent to Kejriwal.  Read more
11:18  AAP leader Mayank Gandhi on the rail fare hike: Why 2nd class pass increased so much? The main burden should be on rich not poor. This is corporate type govt.
11:16  Nalin Kohli, BJP leader on the rail fare hike: It was a difficult decision, but it was the correct decision.
11:09  No relief for Mumbaikars after meeting with rail mantri ends :  10 MPs of the BJP and its oldest ally Shiv Sena had taken their protests to Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda. The members, who are from Mumbai and Thane, want the hike to be withdrawn, especially in local train fares. Fares of local trains in Mumbai, used by some 75 lakh commuters every day, will double after the 14.4 per cent increase announced on Friday.
11:06  LIVE! NO rollback on local train fare hike for Mumbaikars: Rail minister:  Alright, bad news for Mumbaikars. There will be no relief in the over 100 per cent hike on railway passes. The meeting between NDA MPs and rail minister Sadananda Gowda is over and while Gowda said the demand of Mumbaikars to reduce the fare hike will be considered, there will be no immediate roll back.

So, while you pay over double for your pass now, the circumstances of your travel remain the same -- fans and lights that don't work, dirty trains, cockroach, bug-infested trains, signal failure after a few drops of rain, deaths after people fall of due to overcrowding. And of course, almost always behind time. Enjoy!
11:01  Monet's water lilies fetches record USD 54 million:  An iconic painting of water lilies by French artist Claude Monet sold for 31.72 million pounds (USD 54 million) at a Sotheby's auction in London, the second highest price paid for his work worldwide.

"Nympheas (Water Lilies)", which is among most celebrated paintings of turn of the century went to an anonymous bidder in last evening's sale, a statement by auctioneers said.

The Impressionist and Modern Art sale raked in total sales of 122 million pounds (USD 207,875,707) driven by bidding from Asia and Russia and sold 91.3 per cent by lots.

Monet, considered the founder of Impressionistic style of painting, executed the work at the famous lily pond in his garden in Givency. The water reflects the skies' shifting hues and the lilies themselves are elegant touches of paint.
10:56  Individuals and institutions:  Even before Narendra Modi's personality added a new dimension to the question, many have viewed the BJP's attitude towards institutions of parliamentary democracy with suspicion. Here's why
10:48  Govt rethink on suburban railway fare, hike may be in phases:  Faced with all-round protests, the Modi government is considering recalibrating suburban railway fares in Mumbai and elsewhere in order to stagger the burden of last week's massive hike over phases instead of heaping all of it on the commuter in one go.

On a day when the Shiv Sena slammed the unprecedented fare increase in Mumbai, top government sources indicated that they planned to work out whether a reduction of subsidy on suburban fares -- the reason for the crippling jump -- could be spread over a period of time. Read more
10:47  Judge who ordered Saddam's death executed by ISIS:  Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters have reportedly captured and executed the judge who sentenced Saddam Hussein to death, a Facebook post attributed to Ibrahim al-Douri, who was a top aide of the fallen Iraqi leader, said. A Jordanian MP made a similar claim on his Facebook page. The Iraqi government hasn't confirmed the killing, but issued no denial.
10:45  Sensex up 155 points in early trade:   The benchmark BSE Sensex today recovered nearly 155 points in early trade on emergence of buying by funds and retail investors amidst fall in global crude oil prices.
09:42  NDA leaders meet Rail Minister:  National Democratic Alliance leaders meet Rail Minister in Mumbai to demand a roll back in fares. The meet comes after the NDA's ally in the state, Shiv Sena, in its mouthpiece slammed the rail hike saying the it was like running over people with a train. 
09:22  Delhi University teachers go on a hunger strike:  Some Delhi University teachers who are in favour of the controversial four-year undergraduate program have gone on a hunger strike to protest the University Grants Commission's directive to scrap the program and admit students under the three-year programme. 
09:11  Preity likely to record statement this evening at home:  According to sources, Preity Zinta is to give her statement to the police this evening in the Ness Wadia spat. She said she would prefer to record her statement at home. Cops and her lawyers are discussing the situation and a decision will be made soon following which her statement will be taken. Zinta had filed a complaint against her former boyfriend Ness Wadia
08:35  Second high-level meet on gas prices:  The Principal Secretary, Oil Minister and the Finance Minister are to meet for a second day to discuss gas prices, according to CNN-IBN. The oil ministry is working on revising the rates of gas and the high-level meeting will be held to discuss the rates. Gas prices are expected to rise in a day or two. 
08:22  Iraqi Ambassador contradicts MEA:  Even as Indians continue to be stranded in violence-hit Iraq, the Iraqi Ambassador, Ahmad Tahseen, has said his government does not know if the 39 missing Indians in Mosul have been abducted. "We cannot say if they are captured. We know they are alive but not sure which locations in Mosul are they in," Tahseen said to CNN-IBN. His statement is a complete contradiction of the Ministry of External Affairs who had said that 40 Indians had been captured in Mosul. 
08:15  Delhi University admissions deferred:  As the spat between Delhi University and the University Grants Commission continued over the  four-year undergraduate program, 36 colleges, including Shri Ram College of Commerce, have deferred admissions. The conflict has affected students. The Delhi University Principals Association has said that the admissions process will not start from Tuesday.
08:07  17-year-old girl raped, murdered in Tamil Nadu:  A 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped and murdered in Tamil Nadu's Karur district. The incident occurred on Monday night. 

More details are awaited. 
07:49  CPI-M leader arrested for raping constable:  A Communist Party of India (Marxist) local leader was arrested for allegedly raping a woman constable repeatedly at her quarter in police line in Midnapore town of West Midnapore district.  "Local CPI-M leader Azizur Rahaman, a resident of Tildangra village in Garbeta police station, was arrested on the basis of the FIR lodged by the woman constable," said Superintendent of Police Bharati Ghosh. 
07:38  Probe into Schumacher's stolen medical reports:  Michael Schumacher's medical files have been stolen and offered for sale to the media. The stricken Formula One legend, who sustained life-threatening injuries in a skiing accident six months ago, was moved from Grenoble to University Hospital Lausanne in France last week after it was announced he was no longer in a coma. His medical files have reportedly been offered for around 50,000 (Rs 41 lakh) and contained details of surgical procedure
03:20  Major quake strikes off New Zealand's Kermadec Islands: USGS:  

Wellington, Jun 23 (AFP) 

A major 7.2-magnitude quake struck off New Zealand's Kermadec Islands early today, the US Geological Survey said, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no widespread tsunami threat. 

The earthquake struck at 7:19 am (1919 GMT today) and occurred 73 kilometres southeast of Raoul Island, USGS said. The epicentre was at a depth of 30 kilometres. 
01:11  Yahoo releases Aviate homescreen for Android:  
Yahoo has launched a new smartphone UI experience called Aviate, which is available for Android phones (English speaking only). 

The idea is that the company can dip their toes in the mobile OS waters without going all-in on anything, as Yahoo works to strengthen its mobile portfolio.

In an official release, Yahoo said:

"Yahoo Aviate simplifies everything about your phone. It starts with a clean, new layout and apps automatically organized for you. But its not just about making your phone simpler -- Aviate also makes your phone smarter by offering intelligent information throughout your day. Whether you are on the go, at work, at a restaurant or just relaxing at home, Aviate automatically shows you apps and information that are useful to you based on what youre up to."
01:09  Click HERE to read Bharti Mukherjee's short story to mark the 29th anniversary of the Kanishka disaster
01:08  Wadia case: Police may record Preity's statement today:  
The statement of Bollywood actor Preity Zinta, who has accused her ex-boyfriend industrialist Ness Wadia of outraging her modesty, is likely to be recorded on Tuesday inside Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

"We may record the statement of the actress at Wankhede Stadium where the incident took place. We will reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the spat between the two as it would give us a better understanding of the case," said a police officer privy to the investigation. 

Investigators also want to find out from the 39-year-old co-owner of Kings XI Punjab which was the exact spot where the alleged incident took place at the South Mumbai stadium and who all were around at the time. 

In her written complaint to police, Zinta had claimed, "I left for my seat, but he (Ness) came up to me at my seat and started screaming and abusing me in front of everyone." 

Zinta's statement will form the basis of further probe in the case, the officer said. "We want to know where she was sitting and who were these 'everyone' she was referring to," he added.

"We will decide on the next course of action once Zinta's statement is recorded," the officer said.
01:06  Court releases memo justifying drone strike on US cleric:  
A New York court has released an edited version of a US government memo legally justifying a drone attack that targeted and killed an American in Yemen in 2011. 

Radical US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was targeted and killed in the drone attack in September of that year. Dual Pakistani-US citizen Samir Khan died in the same attack. 

Awlaki's teenage son, Abdul Rahman, was killed in a separate US drone strike in Yemen in October 2011. None of the three US citizens were ever charged with a crime. 

The New York Times and two of its journalists filed a lawsuit demanding the government make public secret papers justifying drone attacks against suspected terrorists, including American citizens.

The American Civil Liberties Union supported the Freedom of Information Act case. 

The released July 16, 2010 legal memo from the US Department of Justice justified Awlaki's targeting on the grounds that he was an enemy leader whose capture in Yemen would have been "infeasible." 
01:05  Top headlines at this hour::  Students left in lurch as UGC, Delhi university spar over FYUP

MHA goes for cleanliness drive; junks nearly 1.5 lakh files

Hit-and-run: Unsure if Salman was drunk, says bar manager

The rise of ISIS: Why India should worry

India to play Test, ODI series in Australia ahead of 2015 World Cup 

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