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March 12, 2014

23:59  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  Kailash Joshi asks Advani to fight LS polls from Bhopal
Kejriwal seeks more time to vacate official residence 
V K Singh meets Anna, says no politics behind it
BJP may announce candidates for over 150 LS seats on Thursday
Nitish compares 'backward' Bihar to 'developed' Gujarat
Book leaders indulging in hate speeches: SC tells police
PHOTOS: 2 dead, 20 injured as New York building explodes
22:53  Several alerts on Naxal movement preceded Sukma ambush: Sources:  Preliminary probe into yesterday's Naxal ambush in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district has indicated involvement of its Darbha unit leader Surendra, sources in the Chhattisgarh police said on Wednesday night.

In a brazen daytime attack, 16 people including 11 CRPF personnel, four state police and one civilian were gunned down by Naxals in Jeerum Nallah area of Sukma district of Bastar.

The investigators had also learnt that Ramanna, a member of the central committee of the Naxals, was present in Bastar in the last few days. On March 5, the police got a tip-off that Surendra and another leader Jagdish, the 'commander' of Dantewada platoon no. 26 of the Naxals, were "rehearsing" for a big attack with about 50 cadres, sources told PTI.
22:20  AAP declares two more candidates to contest polls from Gujarat:  Claiming an end to caste and community based vote-bank politics, Aam Aadmi Party's Gujarat unit declared the names of two more candidates today for Lok Sabha elections from Sabarkantha and Banaskantha seats.

"In the history of Gujarat politics, the AAP has fielded a Dalit candidate -- Natavar Solanki -- from Sabarkantha which has Brahmin majority population. From Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat, we have decided to field a Brahmin candidate Sanjay Raval," an AAP press release.

"At a time when no political party dares to give tickets without considering the caste factor, AAP has taken a revolutionary step by fielding two candidates who do not belong to castes having a major vote bank," it said.
21:47  Not arrogant but proud to be a Bihari: Nitish takes on Modi:  Contesting allegations by BJP leader Narendra Modi that his arrogance was higher than Mount Everest, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said he was from a "poor family" and only had self-respect.

"Himalaya and Mt Everest are compared to good things but the comparison this time was done with arrogance. There is no scale to measure arrogance. Who is calling whom arrogant? We are proud to be Indian and Bihari but do not have arrogance," Kumar told a press conference in Patna.

"Other people have arrogance and their arrogance is dripping from every inch of his body," Kumar said two days after Narendra Modi attacked him at a rally in Purnea.
21:06  1 killed, 16 injured in New York building explosion:  One person has been killed and 16 injured in the building collapse in New York. Firefighter, police and the bomb squad are on the scene of the collapse in Manhattan's East Harlem.

An energy company Consolidated Edison spokesman Bob McGee said the utility received a call of a gas leak at 9:13 am, CNN reported.
20:55  EC turns down pleas to change poll dates:  Election Commission of India today rejected request of "some" political parties to change the dates of first two phase of polls in Assam due to festivals, saying it cannot have this "luxury" while conducting such a huge national exercise.

The full Commission, which came to Assam in its first visit to any state after announcing the Lok Sabha poll dates, also directed the police to seize all licenced and illegal arms to have a free and fair elections in the state.
20:08  Building collapses in New York, people feared trapped:  A building in New York City's East Harlem area collapsed today following an explosion with reports of people trapped in the rubble. The building collapsed this morning and authorities said they were responding to reports of people trapped in the rubble, according to fire officials. 

Witnesses reported hearing what sounded like an explosion before the building collapsed. Flames and smoke could be seen billowing from the street, and video from the scene showed broken windows in neighbouring buildings, the New York Times reported.
20:06   A loud explosion and roaring fire on Park Ave. at East. 116th St. caused a building collapse and at least 11 minor injuries, according to the Fire Department, New York Daily News reported. 

Metro North commuter rail service, which runs along the site of the blast on Park Avenue, was suspended, officials said.

Clouds of dark smoke could be seen for a three-block radius as hundreds of rescue officials descended on the scene, CNN reported
19:55  Explosion, building collapse in Manhattan:   Firefighters have just arrived at the scene of a possible building collapse at East 116th St. and Park Ave, reports

The massive explosion and fire was reported at Manhattan's East Harlem. 

A Fire Department spokesman said the first call about the possible collapse at 9:31 a.m. at 1646 Park Ave.   

Images from the scene show a roaring fire and smoke billowing high above Harlem. Metro-North service was suspended in both directions. 

19:38  China blocking Philippines' vessels a provocative move: US:  Concerned by reports that China has blocked two vessels of the Philippines in the South China Sea, the US today described it as a provocative move that raised tensions. 

"We are troubled by reports that China's Coast Guard blocked efforts by two Filipino vessels to re-supply the Philippines' outpost at Second Thomas Shoal. This is a provocative move that raises tensions," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
19:37  No plan to ground Dreamliners, but may seek compensation from Boeing: AI:  Air India has no plans to ground its newly-acquired Dreamliner aircraft despite technical glitches, but the airline may seek compensation from manufacturer Boeing for not keeping its word on fuel efficiency. 

Air India has set up a committee comprising its officials and those from the Civil Aviation Ministry and Boeing to collect and analyse fuel consumption data over a period of 18 months.
19:11  I am also facing an exam like you: Modi tells students:  "I am also facing an exam like you. But like me you should also not worry." With Lok Sabha polls round the corner, this pre-recorded message of BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi giving his best wishes on the eve of Class 10 and 12 State Board exams in calls today to several students and parents on their mobiles has taken them by surprise.

The state BJP unit has turned the message to help beat the exam blues apparently into a campaign tool for the Gujarat Chief Minister.
19:03  Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha: Former Hockey captain and Rajya Sabha MP Dilip Tirkey to contest from Sundargarh on BJD ticket. 
18:54  Chief of Air staff Arup Raha at Port Blair as Malaysia seeks help for MH370:  By sheer coincidence, Chief of Air Staff ACM Arup Raha is in Port Blair, tweets Nitin Gokhale.

Search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people on board was on Wednesday extended to the Andaman Sea and India's help sought as international efforts to trace the aircraft that went missing five days ago yielded no breakthrough.

As the massive 12-nation exercise involving 42 ships and 39 aircraft entered the fifth day, Malaysian civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said its planes were now also searching in the southern part of the Andaman Sea.
18:42  Black flag protestors greet Kejriwal at Govandi:  Arvind Kejriwal has now left for the Ramabai Colony in Ghatkopar from Govandi. A group of protestors raising anti-AAP slogans and waving black flags were detained at Govandi earlier.

Kejriwal's aam admi train ride from Andheri to Churchgate this afternoon caused immense chaos to commuters. Reacting on the damage to metal detectors and other property, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said,
"There is law in Maharashtra which says that cost of damage done to public property shall be recovered from those who are responsible. We will assess whether the damage done today is accidental or purposely done and take action accordingly."

"Wherever law has been flouted action will be taken. Political parties should think while organising such march(es). In a city like Mumbai, it causes immense discomfort to commuters, Patil said.
18:25  BJP poll panel to discuss Modis seat tomorrow:  BJP's election committee meet on Thursday could be a heated affair as the party is expected to discuss the candidates for the remaining seats for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Among the names to be discussed will be Narendra Modi and whether he will contest from UP or Gujarat, or both states. If Modi is fielded from Varanasi, senior party member MM Joshi could be given the ticket from Kanpur. Read
18:14  Anna Hazare is expected to attend a presser explaining his absence at the Ramlila Maidan for the TMC rally today. 
18:10  Ramlila rally a social meeting, says Mamata :  On the absence of Anna Hazare, at the TMC rally at Ramlila Maidan today, Mamata Banerjee later told reporters, "It was not a political meeting. It was a social meeting. He was invited. I made the commitment to come here and I came."

She further said that she came to the rally to keep her promise, but she did not have any idea why Hazare did not come to the rally.

"It was his rally. I had come here at his request. I do not know why he did not come. I have no idea," she said.

Dodging questions on Hazare's absence, she said," I have respect for Annaji. He is a a senior person. I respect his desire." On the poor turnout at the Ramlila ground, she said, "People in this ground are brought from outside. We could also have done the same. But, this is election time."
18:03  Not bitter about Anna Hazare's no-show at rally, says Mamata :  Mamata Banerjee's first election rally with Anna Hazare in Delhi ended up as an embarrassing solo act for the West Bengal Chief Minister, with the Gandhian activist giving it a miss.

His aides cited health reasons, but Mamata said "she had no idea" why he didn't show up."It is not our rally, but on Anna's word, I dropped everything and came here. I had work but I still came, as I had promised," the Trinamool Congress leader said at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan, visibly upset at the activist's absence at what was meant to be her pitch to the nation ahead of next month's general election.

At the sprawling venue, which was awash with posters of Anna and Mamata, the absence of one of only two star speakers was glaring. Sources say Anna changed his mind after his aides reported a poor gathering. -- NDTV
17:47  Why Dalit radicals don't want Arundhati Roy to write about Ambedkar. Read
17:45  Kapil Sibal is being asked to stand from Amritsar, as the 'wave' makes a win difficult from Chandni Chowk seat, reports Headlines Today. 
17:01  This is the fifth list of AAP candidates. Take a look 
17:01  Vaihayasi Pande Daniel who is following Arvind Kejriwal around Mumbai writes: Kejriwal's message is simple. I have travelled all across this land, I see no Modi leher. Gussa ka leher hai. No shortage of money in this country, but shortage of neeyat. It' s on you to bring change."
16:42  Polio vaccination proof mandatory for Pakistani nationals to enter India after March 15:   India has announced that proof of vaccination against polio would be mandatory after March 15 for everyone entering India from Pakistan to safeguard the country's polio-free status. Travellers from Pakistan will have to carry vaccination certificate, which would be later returned to them along with their visa.
16:42  Journalist Anita Pratap, Swami Vivekanand in AAP's 5th list :   Former IPS officer Suresh Khopade to take on NCP chief Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule from Baramati (Maharashtra) on AAP ticket. Senior journalist Anita Pratap is AAP candidate from Ernakulam.

16:28  If you're in Mumbai, heads up. Traffline sends this update: Traffic on Lalbaug and Byculla flyovers towards CST. 
16:25  Akhilesh mugs his lines :  UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has been rehearsing his one-liners ahead of the poll campaign trail. Here's one: "Cycle can take sudden U-turn in heavy traffic, but not an elephants." The SP symbol is the cycle, and Mayawati's BSP rides the elephant.

And another one: "Distributed lap top so that school students go tip top"
16:11  Reliance says Aam Aadmi Party allegations 'factully incorrect':  Reliance Industries has refuted allegations by the Aam Aadmi Party that former oil ministers Mani Shankar Aiyar and S Jaipal Reddy were removed because they did not favour the company, saying the "malafide propaganda" was "factually incorrect."

Terming as "malafide propaganda" AAP's allegation that Aiyar had to go because he opposed RIL's move to raise KG-D6 capital expenditure 2.5 times, the company said Aiyar left the oil ministry in January 2006 while the revised USD 8.8 billion field development plan was submitted in October 2006.
16:07  Smile! An AAP supporter takes a selfie with Kejriwal during his road show in Mumbai today.

For more on what Mumbai thinks of Kejriwal in the city, go here.
15:50  The Supreme Court refuses to review its verdict commuting the death sentence of condemned prisoners to life on ground of delay in deciding
mercy plea. The SC has dismissed the Centre's plea against its verdict granting life to 15 condemned prisoners.
15:46  LIVE! Candidate crisis in Cong: Senior Cong leaders refuse to contest :  The Congress seems to be facing a crisis of candidates. Early reports say Sachin Pilot, Jayanthi Natarajan, P Chidambaram , Manish Tiwari are not keen to contest the polls. It seems Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has asked senior leaders to contest, but most of them are reluctant and some have categorically refused.

Chidambaram wants his son Karthi to contest from Sivaganga constiutency in Tamil Nadu. Sachin Pilot's seat is being considered for Azharuddin.
15:31  Lalu calls former man Frida Ramkripal Yadav 'Bhasmasur':  An exasperated RJD President Lalu Prasad today dubbed his former close aide Ramkripal Yadav as demon 'Bhasmasura' for joining BJP after 'setting fire to ideology'.

"I created him (Ramkripal), but he has proved to be 'Bhasmasura'. Lord Shiva was happy and granted a boon to Bhasmasura. But he became a cause of concern for all and nature ensured that he burned. God is removing all such elements from my party," Lalu said today.

He also called Yadav his erstwhile man Friday and Secretary General of RJD, an 'opportunist' for whom Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi overnight became a 'bhai' (brother).

"He has forgone all his beliefs and burnt ideology to join communal forces. Secular people, minority communities and all others have recognised how he has sold his principles," Lalu alleged. The RJD supremo said he was not responsible for Ramkripal Yadav leaving the party.
15:26   Actress Gul Panag has formally joined AAP. She will apply for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha ticket tomorrow.
15:06  "Anna 'sleeping' in Maharashtra sadan while Mamata addresses 'joint' rally at Ramlila!" tweets Rajdeep Sardesai.
15:03  Why the youth connect with Narendra Modi :  The fact that Modi has not only been able to reach out but galvanise and engage productively with his young supporters is a many ways a game changer for old style Indian incestuous politics. May 16 could well prove that the road to Delhi is not via Lucknow or Patna but via 'the youth', says Siddharth Mazumdar. Read
14:59  Former Congress MP Tejaswini joins BJP. She had defeated H D Deve Gowda in 2004 on the Congress ticket.
14:59  "Cute of Kejriwal to exit the airport and take the afternoon train from Andheri. Bro take the 8am Virar local if you really want to be Aam," tweets Mihir Fadnavis. 
14:58  Remember what happened 21 years ago in Mumbai?:  This day, 21 years ago, a perfectly planned conspiracy killed 257 people and injured over 700 in what came to be known as the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. 
A piece from our beloved contributor, the late B Raman, remembering that terrible day. Read
14:37  No ticket for Kalmadi, Bansal gets clean chit in rail scam:  The good news is that Congress has decided not to give a Lok Sabha ticket to controversial MP Suresh Kalmadi, who was jailed for the Commonwealth scam.

On the other hand, the Congress gives former railway minister Pawan Bansal a clean chit in the railway recruitment scam.
14:33  "We didn't get people from outside because it's a working day," says Mamata. "Many from UP, Bihar, Kolkata came by trains last night to be present here," she said. Mamata takes on the Gujarat model saying "their leaders have communal face."  
14:28  Mamata Banerjee says the TMC won't make promises it cannot keep like other parties. Anna is yet to arrive at the rally, but Mamata says this is his rally, not her's.
14:24  The TMC rally at Ramlila Maidan will be the first at the venue, where Mamata Banerjee is expected to unveil what is being called her "national agenda." Mamata expects TMC to be the third largest in the new Lok Sabha, after Congress and the BJP.

The TMC rally has begun at the Ramlila Maidan.
14:17  LIVE! Unwell Anna may not attend TMC rally at Ramlila Maidan today:  Just in: Mamata Banerjee may be a quite naturally miffed. Anti corruption icon Anna Hazare has announced that he has unwell and may not be able to attend TMC's rally at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi today.  TMC will not announce names of Lok Sabha candidates during their rally today.
14:13  The Bangladesh dates for the IPL are as yet tentative.
14:02  IPL dates announced :   Just in: BCCI will send an official statement soon, but the first half of IPL will be held in UAE and Bangladesh.

Dates we have so far are:
UAE: April 16 to April 30
INDIA: May 13 to June 1
14:02  Malaysia asks India to join search for missing plane:   Aviation authorities in Kuala Lumpur have asked India to help locate the missing Malaysian airliner that is now believed to have strayed towards the Malacca Strait, and a military search mission is expected to be launched as early as Wednesday.  Read
13:48  Tavleen Singh tweets: Please Arvind Kejriwal stop this charade of taking public transport. You are making life difficult for the real Aam aadmi.
13:44  Mumbaikars not amused at the chaos and near-stampede at Churchgate and say that AAP and Kejriwal should not have done this. 
13:40  Praveen Swami's piece on the Maoist attack at Dantewada. Maoists hope spectacular violence will breathe life into dying movement. Read
13:37   Kejriwal's road show to begin at 3 pm from August Kranti Maidan, following which he will be in suburban Mankhurd at 5 pm. 

Pic: Kejriwal at Churchgate station/Sahil Salvi
13:33  'Small encouraging signs in Schumacher's condition' :  Just in: Michael Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm reports there are "small encouraging signs" in his condition. "We are and remain confident that Michael will pull through and will wake up," his agent and spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said in a written statement. "There sometimes are small, encouraging signs, but we also know that this is the time to be very patient," she added. -- Reuters.
13:09  LIVE! Chaos at Churchgate: AAP supporters damage metal detectors :   So, Arvind Kejriwal and AAP supporters have reached Churchgate station in Mumbai. Early reports say AAP supporters have damaged metal detectors at Churchgate station. Earlier in the day, a special local train was arranged from Andheri to Churchgate. The compartment where Kerjiwal and his supporters had boarded had only media personnel.

The government has provided Z security to Kejriwal after specific IM threats, while the RPF has taken responsibility for his security, while he was on board the train.

Mumbai police has deputed 150 cops and three ACPs for Kejriwal.

So, what do you think of Kejri's aam admi adventures in Mumbai? Tell us
12:41  Rae Bareli drama cancelled: Shazia won't battle Sonia :  AAP leader Shazia Ilmi today sought to quell speculation that she would be pitted against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the Lok Sabha polls, saying she "never agreed" to contest from Rae Bareli.

"I am not contesting from Rae Bareli. I never agreed to nor do I now... I've been denying this for the last two months," Ilmi wrote on Twitter.

There was buzz in the party that Ilmi will be fielded against Gandhi from Rae Bareli after another AAP leader Kumar Vishwas was fielded against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi from Amethi.
12:32  Misa: Ram Kripal like an uncle, know his strengths and weaknesses:  Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughter, Misa Bharti, on Ram Kripal Yadav joining the BJP, said that she he was like an uncle to her and knows both his strengths and his weaknesses. Last week, Misa Bharati had rushed to Delhi to mollify Ramkripal Yadav, who was the RJD's former general secretary, but Yadav had refused to meet her.
12:23  LIVE! Lalu put family above party: Ram Kripal Yadav on joining BJP:   Meanwhile, in Delhi, former RJD leader Ramkripal Yadav is being formally welcomed into the BJP. Yadav had quit the RJD after he was denied a Lok Sabha ticket. Yadav says Modi has given the country a new direction. "I will work as a grassroots worker," he says and adds that Lalu put family above party a reference to Lalu's daughter Misa Bharti getting a ticket from Patliputra.

He said he would work to make Narendra Modi PM. At the investiture were Sushil Kumar Modi and Rajnath Singh.
12:20  China has launched the largest water-pipeline project in history. Read
12:09  Ramesh Srivats tweets: Arvind Kejriwal is taking local train from Andheri, uh? Hope he doesn't think Churchgate is the name of some scam.
12:07  Small States, big problems:  Even a cursory look at how Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have fared will tell us how the mere formation of a smaller State is no guarantee for better lives for those groups for whom these States have been created. Read
12:01  A diplomat ahead of his times :  'His negotiations with Idi Amin and his men for compensation for the Indians, who left Uganda, were particularly tough. Apparently, Amin warned him that the body of the British negotiator, who came earlier, was found in a roadside gutter...'

'As Jagat Mehta''s special assistant during the last two years of his tenure as foreign secretary, I saw for myself how his conviction, courage and patriotism enabled him to fight against heavy odds,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. Read
11:50  Armed forces as a vote bank:  As the clamour for a viable system to enable soldiers to vote grows, veteran soldiers have also shed their compunctions and now participate vigorously in electoral processes. Read
11:49  The changing colours of racism :  Chinky. Dhandewaali. (whore) Momo. These are the kind of slurs she hears every day in Delhi. Some days, a local goon would ask with a lascivious smile: "Rate kya hai?(What is the rate?)'

When that happens, she simply looks away and hurries past. On reaching home at night, she thanks her lucky stars that she has got through another day with body and limb intact. Read

Before going out the next morning, she mutters a prayer, apprehending what the city might have in store for her. Racial slurs, she has learnt to handle. When she first arrived there from her home in Manipur, they would reduce her to tears.
11:47  Kim Kardashian involved in car crash, left uninjured:  

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian was involved in a minor car crash while she was driving along Sunset Boulevard.        

The 'Keeping Up with Kardashians' star's USD 100,000 Mercedes G Wagon got a mere scratch while the other vehicle, a Nissan Sentra, took a bigger damage on the front grill, reported TMZ online.        


The 33-year-old TV star was making a left turn at an intersection while the other driver was going in the opposite direction with his right turn signal on, an eyewitness said. The other driver went straight instead, causing the two cars to collide.        

They reportedly drove to the Beverly Hills Hotel where they exchanged information. Neither Kim nor the other driver, a male, was ticketed by authorities.

11:46  Tata manager shot at in Feb. rerun:   A young Tata Steel executive was shot at and grievously injured in an elite neighbourhood of Jamshedpur last night, barely a fortnight after an assistant manager of a group company was gunned down in eerily similar fashion. Read
11:38  If star campaigners drop names, math will change:  If Mamata Banerjee shares the dais with the actor-candidate and says "Dev khub bhalo chhele' oke vote debe', the Ghatal contestant's managers will have to reach for the calculator.

If Brinda Karat holds a rally with Subhashini Ali, the Left Front's Barrackpore nominee, and a supporter holds up the candidate's picture, it will tell on Subhashini's poll expense limit.

But if Sonia Gandhi simply stands near Mohammad Kaif on a Phulpur stage and does not utter his name, the cricketer's poll expenses meter may not tick.

From this general election, star campaigners' expenses will be considered as that of the candidates if it is established that votes were canvassed not just for a party but also for individual contestants. Till now, expenditure incurred by star campaigners --  a select group nominated by each party '" was counted as that of the organisation. Read
11:36  Early retirement fig-leaf on navy exit:  The Centre today decided to treat former navy chief D.K. Joshi's resignation as "voluntary retirement'. The government says the move will ensure him full pension benefits but it also effectively alters the official record of his severance from service. "If we were to treat it as a resignation, he would not be entitled to any benefits,' a defence ministry source claimed. Read
11:34  The Supreme Court will hear Sahara's plea at 2 pm today.  
11:30  Minhaz Merchant: Kejri in Mumbai. Will he drive up unannounced at Prithviraj Chavan's house? Could ask about 3,700 farmer suicides in Maha
11:24  In Mumbai, Arvind Kejriwal's 'aam aadmi' travel by auto, local train:  After his Metro ride in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal is all set to take a local train in Mumbai today to kick start his three-day Maharashtra tour.

After landing at the airport, the 45-year-old took an auto-rickshaw to go to Andheri station which is barely 5 kms from the domestic terminal.

The road show to the station will pass through AAP candidate Mayank Gandhi's constituency who is pitted against sitting MP from the Congress Gurudas Kamath. Read more
10:55  SC agrees to hear Subroto Roy's plea for release:  

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Sahara Group's plea for release of Subrata Roy.    


Roy and other two directors of Sahara Group have contended that their detention ordered by SC is illegal.

10:26  Fire breaks out at Shalimar Paints factory in Howrah:  

A major fire broke out at a factory of Shalimar Paints Limited in Howrah early this morning, sources said.      


The fire was noticed at about 4.07 am and it spread rapidly. Nobody was injured in the incident and 31 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flame, fire brigade sources said.        


Several officials of the fire brigade department have reached there and the fire is under control, officials said.

10:21  18-year-old girl molested, stripped in Mumbai:  

CNN IBN: An 18-year-old girl was allegedly molested, stripped in Kandivali, a Western Mumbai suburb.  


The four accused men have been arrested, police said, adding that two of them are minors.

09:29  Mystery flight may have gone hundreds of miles off course:  

It was 1:30 a.m. when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 lost all communications, including important transponder signals that send data on altitude, direction and speed. Still, it showed up on radar for about 1 hour, 10 minutes longer -- until it vanished, having apparently moved away from its intended destination, hundreds of miles off course.


Those details -- told to CNN by a senior Malaysian air force official, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media -- seemingly shed more light on what happened to the aircraft that mysteriously went missing early Saturday. But if these assertions are true -- and other reports, citing a different Malaysian official, cast doubt on them -- many big questions remain. Why were the communications lost?


Why was the Boeing 777 going the direction it was? And where did it end up? "Something happened to that airplane, that was obviously out of the norm, that caused it to depart from its normal flight path," said Mark Weiss, a former 777 pilot now with the Washington-based Spectrum Group consulting firm. "... It's difficult not to speculate."


Read more on CNN

08:47  Malaysia Airlines MH370: Plane 'changed course':  

Military radar suggests the missing Malaysia Airlines plane turned west, away from its planned route, before vanishing, Malaysia's air force says.


Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing on Saturday, after taking off with 239 people on board. The international search for any wreckage has been widened. Earlier, it emerged two men travelling on stolen passports on board the plane were Iranians with no apparent links to terrorist groups, officials said.


The international police organisation Interpol's Tehran bureau has said the two Iranians had no criminal records and had left Iran legally. One of the men is believed to have been migrating to Germany.

Read more on BBC

08:43  US: Indian woman gets 20 years in jail for setting husband afire:  

A 27-year-old Indian-origin woman, convicted of arson leading to her husband's death two years ago, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a court in the US state of Texas.        


After long deliberations, a Travis County jury handed down the sentence to Shriya Patel yesterday afternoon, which was accepted by District Judge David Crain.        


Shirya (27) who faced the death sentence for allegedly killing her husband, Bimal, by pouring gasoline over him and setting him on fire, was, on March 10, found not guilty of capital murder by the jury.        


However, she was yesterday found guilty of first-degree felony arson and given a prison sentence of 20 years. She has served two years of incarceration thus far and will likely be eligible for parole in three years. Upon release from prison, she will face deportation.        


In the courtroom yesterday, she stared straight ahead as the verdict was read. Although her family was not in the courtroom, but local South Asian community members, who supported her for last two weeks of trial were there for her.        


More than a dozen friends of Bimal Patel, who also have sat through the proceedings, were absent. But after the jury's decision was read, a victim services counsellor read a direct statement to Shriya Patel from a close friend of Bimal Patel's who took the stand last week.        


Bimal's friends testified that Shriya loved another man and wanted to make him jealous. But Shriya's attorneys argued Bimal wanted to kill himself and forced her to help.

08:38  Two farmers commit suicide in MP due to crop damage:  

Two farmers have committed suicide in Damoh district of madhya Pradesh after they incurred severe loss to their crops by the unseasonal rain. So far, six farmers have tried to end their life in the district after the loss.


Till now, crops worth 13,000 crores have been destroyed in Madhya Pradesh due to the unseasonal rains. In Maharashtra, 8 lakh hectares of crops have been hit in the Marathwada region alone by hailstorms and similar conditions are likely to prevail in the state over the next 2 days as well.


12 people have been killed and crops spread over one lakh hectares damaged in Andhra Pradesh as well. Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka have also seen considerable crop damage.


Read more on CNN IBN

01:24  1933 of 2014 ? : Time to break New Grounds in Confronting Communal Fascism:  This will be published in the coming issue of 'Critique' a magazine published by  'New Socialist Initiative's Delhi University team:

The Jew as well as the Christian, the Hindu no less than the Muslim 'fundamentalist' plies an ideology of superior difference. Each confronts an inferior and threatening Other.

Each engages in the politics of exclusion. Hence each poses a menace to the minority communities within its boundary'For the Muslim militants the Other are the Jews, occasionally Christians and, in South Asia, the Hindus, Christians, and Ahmedis.

Read the full article here
00:45  There has been and will be cost to Moscow's military action: US:  The US today warned Russia that "there has been and will be cost to" Moscow's military action in the Crimea province of Ukraine and asked it to bring back its troops to bases.

"We've made clear, there have been and there will be costs to Russia's action," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.

"We have a flexible tool in the executive order that the president signed that will allow us to calibrate the cost depending on the decisions that Russia makes, depending on whether or not Russia decides to avail itself of an opportunity here to pursue its concerns in Ukraine in a peaceful, diplomatic way," he said.

Carney said the US has provided stepped-up assistance to the countries in the region.
00:35  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  

Modi calls Uddhav, says Sena a trusted ally of BJP

Germany confers Order of Merit on three Indians

Shazia Ilmi says 'never agreed' to contest against Sonia

Now, Congress netas want to play 'musical chairs'! 

Rahul to counter Modi's 'chai pe charcha' with Google Hangouts

Ex-Navy chief's resignation treated as voluntary retirement

Assam: Gaurav Gogoi's eligibility questioned

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