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March 20, 2014


22:15  P Chidambaram not to contest LS election:  Finance Minister P Chidambaram will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election. His son Karti Chidambaram will contest from Shivaganaga in Tamil Nadu.
21:47  No sign of mystery objects as Australia suspends search for the day:  A day that began with high hopes ended with uncertainty late Thursday in Australia as darkness put an end to the search for two objects captured on satellite and described as possible debris from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Aircraft from Australia, New Zealand and the United States will resume the search Friday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

Read more
21:20  Obama imposes new sanctions, warns Russia against further escalation:  President Obama on Thursday announced new economic sanctions against Russian government officials, influential individuals and a Russian bank, threatening to come back with tougher penalties if Moscow does not deescalate the crisis in Ukraine.

"Further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community,' Obama said in remarks on the South Lawn of the White House. The U.S. is concerned that "Russia has positioned its military" in a threatening way, he added.

Read more
21:18  AP police, Army, IAF continue to fight Tirumala blaze:  Two days after a wildfire broke out in Tirumala forest ranges, the Andhra Pradesh police and fire brigade personnel, ably assisted by the Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF), are battling the blaze amid fears that winds could intensify the inferno. 

Two IAF choppers joined the fire fighting operation today, in the interiors of the Tirumala forest ranges in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
21:04  Musharraf's treason trial resumes:  A special court, constituted to try Pakistan's former military dictator Pervez Musharraf for high treason, today resumed hearing in the high profile case. 

The three-member court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, heard the arguments by defence counsel Anwar Mansoor over the appointment of government prosecutor.
21:04  Russia TV accuses Navalny of CIA contacts:  A pro-Kremlin channel accused Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny of taking money from abroad and having contacts with the CIA, in a sensationalist report based on bugged conversations aimed at smearing his reputation as a clean-cut corruption fighter. 

The report was broadcast by the NTV channel, owned by state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, yesterday, one day after President Vladimir Putin had warned over a "fifth column" in Russia after its taking of Crimea.
21:03  Shatrughan thanks BJP for honouring his wish:  Actor-politician and known Advani loyalist, Shatrughan Sinha today thanked the BJP for honouring his wish to contest the poll from his native Patna Saheb instead of Delhi, and said now onwards, his only aim was to make "action hero" Narendra Modi Prime Minister. 

"I was asked about fighting Lok Sabha election from Delhi but I told the leadership that native Patna Saheb is my first, second and last choice," Sinha told reporters at BJP office here on reaching from the national capital.
20:00  AAP's Yogendra Yadav declares assets of Rs 3 crore:   Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader and Gurgaon candidate Yogendra Yadav today declared his assets to the tune of about Rs 3 crore, which includes farm land, commercial booth and sizable amount of bank deposits and Provident Funds.

Filing his nomination papers as APP nominee from Gurgaon today, 50-year-old Yadav, who hails from Saharanwas village in Rewari district, declared he has movable and immovable assets worth about Rs 3 crore in his and his wife Madhulika's names.

While Yadav has movable and immovable assets worth Rs 81.43 lakh and Rs 1.32 crore respectively, his wife has movable assets of Rs 43.43 lakh and immovable assets of Rs 40 lakh
19:44  William Dalrymple (@DalrympleWill) tweets on Khushwant Singh: So sad to hear the news about Khuswant Singh -- but what a life he lived! And what a generous man he was. Delhi will never see his like again.
19:43  Nilekani, wife's declared assets worth Rs 7,700 crore:   Making his wealth public a day before stepping into the fray, Infosys co-founder and Congress candidate from Bangalore South, Nandan Nilekani has declared that he and his wife Rohini Nilekani have assets worth Rs 7,700 crore.            

"I started out with 200 rupees in my pocket, when I graduated from IIT; ...we founded Infosys with Rs 10,000," Nilekani's media team, quoting him, said.

"Today, because of the success of a company built from scratch, Nandan and Rohini have assets of Rs 7,700 crore," a release issued by the media team said.

His formidable opponent and five-time Lok Sabha member from Bangalore South, Ananth Kumar of BJP has declared himself poorer than his wife Tejaswani.

In an affidavit filed yesterday, Kumar has declared his total assets stands at Rs 51.12 lakh, while Tejaswani owns assets worth of Rs 3.86 crore. Total assets owned by the family is Rs 4.4 crore.
19:18  Advani relents, will contest from Gandhinagar:   After keeping every guessing for more than 24 hours, BHP patriarch LK Advani finally agreed to contest the election from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

BJP President Rajnath Singh had earlier said that it was up to Advani to choose the seat he wants to contest Lok Sabha polls from.


18:31  LIVE! Could win 100 seats if only Anna was with us, sighs AAP:   Noting they were "missing" anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh today said that had he been associated with the party it would have achieved its target easily.

"The party is missing Hazare... Had he been with us, we would have easily achieved our target," Singh, a core committee member of AAP, said Sultanpur, UP.

Claiming that AAP would win 100 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, Singh said the party has so far declared candidates for 287 seats and will contest in all seats in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh.
18:18  BSP to go it alone in LS polls: Mayawati:  The BSP will field candidates in all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and will not go with "communal" BJP and its allies for government formation, Mayawati said today.

Releasing BSP's list of all candidates in the state in one installment "unlike political opponents", she said her party is contesting the elections with full preparation to "emerge as the balance of power at the Centre".

On the BJP with whose support she had formed the government in UP thrice, Mayawati said that she has already gone with the saffron party in the state and would not do it again as there had been no change in its ideology.
18:15  MPs who preferred to keep silent during 15th Lok Sabha:  Ten well-known MPs who remained tight-lipped in the five years of their terms. Read
17:53  LIVE! BJP lets Advani pick his LS seat, will contest from Bhopal:  Putting the onus on LK Advani, BJP President Rajnath Singh said today that it was up to the patriarch to choose the seat he wants to contest Lok Sabha polls from.

"We have got a proposal from Madhya Pradesh for Advani to contest from Bhopal. It is his choice," Rajnath Singh said.

"It is for Advani to choose his Lok Sabha seat whether it is Gandhinagar or Bhopal," he added.

He also rubbished the opinion that Advani was being sidelined in BJP.
17:24  Mumbai train derailment: Long-distance train services affected :  Rediff.com's Rajorshi Sanyal tells us that the railways have been diligent with announcing the derailment, at least at Thane station. Long-distance train services have been halted for now, as are local trains heading to Asangaon, Titwala and Kasara.  
17:09  LIVE! 1 dead, 12 injured as suburban train derails in Mumbai :  Update on the Mumbai train derailment: One person is believed to be dead with at least 12 passengers injured when a suburban train derailed between Titwala and Ambivali stations on the Central Railway.


Four coaches of the fast local derailed minutes after it left Titwala railway station at 2:27 pm. Titwala is around 65 km from Mumbai CST.

The injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals, while railway officials are at the spot to oversee rescue operation.

Long-distance passengers trains have been delayed and the derailment has also affected traffic on the suburban routes.

Officials say that passengers must have suffered secondary injuries as the train was not very crowded and people might have hit themselves against the metal parts inside the train when the coaches went off track.
16:57  MH370: Norwegian ship reaches site, poor weather hampers rescue ops:   Just in: Norwegian ship is the first to arrive in the area of southern Indian Ocean in search for missing Malaysian plane. But poor weather -- cloud cover and rain -- have hampered rescue ops.
16:27  Markets give Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella an early vote of confidence:  In other news:  Microsoft shares are down slightly today, but touched their highest levels since 2000 this week. The stock is up since Satya Nadella took the reins at the lumbering tech giant. Speculation that the company will soon begin selling its Office software on Apples iPad tablets has given the stock is latest leg up.
16:25  LIVE! Three injured as suburban train derails in Mumbai :   Update on the Mumbai train derailment: At least three passengers have been injured. A few coaches on a central line local derailed a few hours ago.
16:07  Chat with Jeffrey Archer :  Jeffrey Archer. The man who sold over 270 million books. And he's not done yet.

You can be an unabashed fan and tell him how much you loved Kane and Abel or the Prodigal Daughter or his other books.

Lord Archer will take questions from you about his latest bestseller, Be Careful What You Wish For -- the fourth in the five-part Clifton Chronicles series. Chat with him right here.
15:56  Rediff.com's Onkar Singh says journalist, author, politician Arun Shourie and Rajya Sabha MP from Congress MS Gill are at the Lodhi crematorium. If you've just joined us, Khushwant Singh, passed away this morning. He was 99.
15:43  Khushwant Singh on how to live and die :   Khushwant Singh on death and dying: "Death is rarely spoken about in our homes. I wonder why. Especially when each one of us knows that death has to come, has to strike. It's inevitable. This line from Yas Yagana Changezi says it best: Khuda mein shak ho to ho, maut mein nahin koi shak (You may or may not doubt the existence of God, you can't doubt the certainty of death). And one must prepare oneself to face it."

Read  the extract on Outlook.

Pic: A page from Khushwant Singh's column for HT on turning 98, 'Desire to die'.
15:42  Khushwant Singh's death leaves a vaccuum difficult to fill: Pranab:  Condoling Khushwant Singh's death, President Pranab Mukherjee described him as a "fearless intellectual" who had sharp insight and unique wit, as well as sense of humour.

In a condolence message sent to his son Rahul, the President said he was deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of Singh.

Terming him as a prolific writer who made his mark in literature as well as journalism, the President said, "Singh will be remembered for his sharp insight and unique wit, as well as sense of humour."

His writings delighted generations of readers and he was conferred several awards and national honours including the Padma Vibhushan, country's second-highest civilian award, in 2007, the condolence message said.

The President said Khushwant Singh's "contribution to the nation as a Member of Parliament was also noteworthy. A fearless intellectual and exceptional man, his sad demise leaves a vacuum difficult to fill."
15:38  Train derails in Mumbai :  A local train on Mumbai's suburban rail network has derailed. The accident occurred between Titwala and Ambivali stations. Nobody was injured in the incident. 
15:15   A rare, smiling picture of Dr Manmohan Singh, Gursharan Kaur and Khushwant Singh at the release of his book, 'The Illustrated History of Sikhs' in 2006. 
15:15  LIVE! Shinde rubbishes terror threats, refuses security to BJP netas:  Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has refused additional security to BJP leaders saying the government has no information regarding a terror threat.

The opposition party today demanded that the Home Ministry ensure "foolproof' protection for them.

Citing media reports which have quoted intelligence sources as saying that the lives of top BJP leaders were under threat, party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said that a delegation of party leaders will meet Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to press their demand for security.

"Based on Intelligence Bureau sources, a section of media has been reporting that the BJP leaders' lives are under threat. "BJP is very concerned and worried,' she said, adding that, "there is a threat to all BJP leaders."
14:44  'F*** All Editors':  The hard truth about Indian journalism: proprietors matter, editors don't, wrote Khushwant Singh for the Outlook magazine in this 2008 piece. Read 
14:40   And speaking of the BJP, this picture was tweeted by  Nistula Hebbar, who writes: "Woh bhi din the:1990s".

Pictured: Narendra Modi (2nd from left), (from left) Suresh Mehta, Shankarsinh Vaghela, Keshubhai Patel and L K Advani.
14:34   BJP announces 2nd list for Arunachal assembly poll:  BJP has announced its second list of candidates, including that for the prestigious Itanagar constituency, for the April 9 assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh. The list of 17 candidates was cleared by BJP Central Election Committee, chaired by party's national president Rajnath Singh at New Delhi yesterday.
14:32  Also on Twitter: Mohandas Menon: Today in 1994 at Hamilton: Sachin Tendulkar at 20 yrs 330 days became the youngest batsman to reach 2000 Test runs (prev: Sobers: 22y-177d)
14:30  LS polls a battle of thoughts: Rahul Gandhi:   Rahul Gandhi today termed the Lok Sabha elections as a "battle of thoughts", saying while the Congress stood for empowering the people, the opposition represented only the rich in the country.

In a meeting with ex-servicemen, the Congress Vice President said he would make whole-hearted attempts to fulfil the demands of the veterans including representation for the armed forces in the central pay commission.

"The election is a battle of thoughts in India. On one hand, there is Congress which feels that power should be in each and every hand and that is how the country can be powerful.

"On the other side, the opposition thinks that the country can be run by only powerful and rich and they have no place for the poor in their ideas," Gandhi said, without naming the BJP.
14:24  2G: Fresh summons against Karuna's wife Dayalu Ammal:  In other news: The Enforcement Directorate has issued fresh summons against DMK chief M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal in the 2G money laundering case.
14:15  I have always been a bit of a lecher: Khushwant:   I have always been a bit of a lecher, Khushwant Singh tells Rediff.com at the launch of his latest book, Khushwantnama. Read
14:11  Khushwant Singh on his last day at the Illustrated Weekly. Read
14:09  Khushwant Singh's 11 secrets of a long, happy life: Read
14:06  'The man who gets things done':  "Fourteen years ago, I published an essay in The Hindu Sunday Magazine on Khushwant Singh's admiration for the personality and methods of Sanjay Gandhi.

"The essay seems worth recalling now, for at least three reasons.

"One is that Khushwant himself has just entered his 100th year, which I hope he will complete.

"Another is that some editors (and proprietors) are currently extolling another brash, bullying politician who they salute'"as Khushwant saluted Sanjay'"as 'The Man Who Gets Things Done'.

"A third is that if that politician becomes our next Prime Minister, Sanjay Gandhi's wife, and possibly also Sanjay's son, will be Ministers in his Cabinet."

Ramachandra Guha's piece on Khushwant Singh for the Outlook magazine, last month. Read
13:58  At the 2010 launch of Khushwant Singh's 'last' book:  The chilly winter Delhi evening was dominated by two unique individuals. And could there have been a greater contrast between these two personalities?

He, the 'dirty old man,' touching an unbelievable grand age of 97 ("If I make a century I will be lucky"), in a wheelchair and a black ski hat, his glass of Scotch beside him.

She, a sober, dignified lady, elegant in pearls and a beautiful blue silk sari, her manner modest and gracious.

Rediff.com's Vaihayasi Pande Daniel at Khushwant Singh's 2010 book launch -- The Sunset Club. Read
13:51  Khushwant Singh dies of heart attack, cremation at 4 pm today :  His greatest contribution was as a columnist and as a writer and was by far the most popular columnist in this country, says his son Rahul Singh, who is also a journalist.

Rahul Singh said his father had died of a heart attack and had been suffering from breathing problems over the last few days. He will be cremated at the Lodhi crematorium at 4 pm today.
13:46  The Khushwant Singh "pre-obituary' from 1983. Read
13:45   Author Amitav Ghosh tweets: Khushwant Singh speaking at the release of my first book in Delhi, 1986. I will always be grateful for his generosity.

Columnist, journalist Tavleen Singh: Khushwant Singh RIP. You will be remembered for long by writers like me who may not have been writers without your support.
13:41   Dileep Padgaonkar, former editor Times of India: He was interesting because was always paradoxical.

As a journalist Khushwant Singh edited the now defunct Illustrated Weekly of India and later the Hindustan Times. His weekly column 'With Malice Towards One and All' was very popular and was syndicated in many dailies.
13:39  "I'm 85 and overworked": Khushwant Singh's postcard to journalist Shiv Aroor in 1998 saying he couldn't write for 'The Stephanian' magazine.
13:27  On Twitter:  Harsha Bhogle: So Khushwant singh goes,like we all must. what a life led! a 100 would have been excellent but he gave us 99 & we must be thankful for that.

MJ Akbar: His ability to remember poetry was astounding... His love for Urdu, his passion for the language was extraordinary.

Sachin Kalbag: The man who taught us the importance of lucid writing is no more. A great innings, Khushwant Singh. Well played, Sir!
13:21   Khushwant Singh's cremation will be held at 4 pm today. 
13:19  The man who returned his Padma Bhushan:  Born on February 2, 1915, in Hadali, now in Pakistan's Punjab, he was the founder-editor of Yojana and editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India, the National Herald and the Hindustan Times.

His books include, "Train to Pakistan", "I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale" and "Delhi". At 95, he wrote the novel "The Sunset Club". His non-fiction works include the classic two-volume "A History of the Sikhs", a number of translations and works on Sikh religion and culture, Delhi, nature, current affairs and Urdu poetry. His autobiography, "Truth, Love and a Little Malice", was published by Penguin Books in 2002.

Singh was a Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1986 and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974 but returned it in 1984, in protest against the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar by the Indian Army.

In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.
13:17  Khushwant Singh's last book was Khushwantnama:  Khushwant Singh's last book was released on the occasion of his 98th birthday, in which he writes about his life, lessons it has taught him, politics, the future of India and what religion means to him. The veteran writer-columnist presented the first copy of Khushwantnama: The Lessons of My Life' to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur.
13:14  Two Men in Winter: A Confluence of Contrasts:  This is SankarshanThakur's column for the Telegraph, Kolkata, on Khushwant Singh's 99th birthday. Read
13:11  'Indira was uncomfortable with educated people':   Read our 2004 interview with the great Khushwant Singh. Few journalists interacted with Indira Gandhi the way Khushwant Singh, doyen of Indian journalism, did. As editor of the now defunct The Illustrated Weekly of India and later The Hindustan Times, he was witness to some of the most historic moments in Indira Gandhi's 16-year-long rule. Read the interview here.
13:11  LIVE! Novelist and journalist Khushwant Singh passes away at 99 :   Novelist and journalist Khushwant Singh passes away at 99. 
13:02  Overconfidence could harm BJP in LS polls, warns Pawar:  The Narendra Modi-led BJP could suffer in the Lok Sabha polls due to "overconfidence" as its campaign is going on the lines of its 2004 "India shining" slogan, NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today.

Pawar, a prominent leader in the Congress-led UPA, said that he does not feel that the BJP will come near the magic mark despite the high-profile campaign. He suggested that the Congress needed to be more pro-active at a time when Modi-led BJP is striving hard to reach out to the masses.
12:52  Catching up with the rest of the nation:  Gaps between Muslims and the national average on most human development outcomes are narrowing, reflecting their improving condition. Read the opinion piece on the Hindu.
12:48  US judge reserves ruling on 1984 anti-sikh riots:  A US judge has reserved the ruling on a lawsuit filed by a Sikh rights group against Congress party in the anti-Sikh riots. The case is being heard in New York.

In a hearing at a Manhattan federal court yesterday, Indian-American attorney Ravi Batra, appearing before US Federal Judge Robert Sweet, argued that the lawsuit filed by Sikhs for Justice should be dismissed since the events of 1984 are the internal affairs of India and "no other country can interfere in the internal affairs of another."
12:41  LIVE! Jaswant's ultimatum to BJP: Barmer ticket or I contest as Independent:  BJP senior leader Jaswant Singh, who is an MP from Darjeeling, wants to contest from Barmer in Rajashtan. Singh, who has been a defence minister and the external affairs minister in the NDA government, has given an ultimatum to the party that either he be allowed to contest from Barmer, or he will run as an Independent.

Rajasthan Chief Minster Vasundhara Raje Scindia is seeking a ticket for Colonel Sona Ram from Barmer. Jaswant Singh, who has been contesting from the Darjeeling seat, had said that he will not contest from the Darjeeling seat anymore but from his native town Barmer.
12:28  Kejriwal is walking the path to destruction:  Why are so many people so reluctant to give up on Arvind Kejriwal? The simple answer is 'Narendra Modi', or rather the fear of Narendra Modi, says T V R Shenoy. Read
12:25  The Central Election Committee of the Congress is likely to meet today and come out with another list of candidates. Stay with us.

Meanwhile, no decision yet, on whether the party will take up Digvijaya Singh's offer and allow him to contest against Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

And yes, Rahul Gandhi is in Himachal Pradesh addressing former war veterans.
12:12  The timeline warriors :  How three major political players in India are using social media and whether it could prove to be a game-changer. Read
12:09  MH370: Indias wake-up call:  Fighting terrorism involves imagining and preparing for the unimaginable. India has a dangerously poor record of doing either, writes Praveen Swami on the missing MH370. Read
11:53  LIVE! Shakti Mills gang rapes: Police to press for life imprisonment :  ATS Chief Himanshu Roy that the police will press for the maximum punishment in the case, which is a life sentence. 
11:51  RR Patil: Verdict will deter such crimes :  Maharashtra home minister RR Patil on the Shakti Mills verdict, says that the government has taken several measures to ensure safety of women in the state and the verdict will send a strong signal to criminals and will help deter such crimes in future. 
11:44  The quantum of punishment in the Shakti Mills gang rape cases will be announced tomorrow. 
11:38  No reason to believe Pak leadership knew presence of Osama: US:  There is no reason to believe that anyone in the highest ranks of the Pakistan government knew about the location of slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, the White House has said.

A day after a major American daily claimed that the top ISI leadership knew about the presence of bin Laden inside the country, the White House maintained its earlier stance.

"As US officials have said, we have no reason to believe that anyone in the highest levels of the government knew about the location of bin Laden. That continues to be true," White House National Security Council said. 
11:33  In the gang rape of the telephone operator at Shakti Mills, the statements of 56 witnesses were included in the 362-page chargesheet as well as the statement of the victim, which is recorded under the provisions of section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code by a magistrate, besides the statements of her male friend and her mother.

The accused -- Mohammed Ashfaq Sheikh, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari and Vijay Jadhav, have been found guilty on the charges of gang rape, unnatural sex, criminal conspiracy, common intention and criminal intimidation besides other sections.
11:24  LIVE! Shakti Mills gang rape cases: All accused found guilty, sentencing today:  All the accused in the Shakti Mills gang rape cases have been found guilty. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced later today.
11:22  US vessel Poseidon at the search site:   An Australian aircraft is now at the scene, and a United States Poseidon aircraft is also attending the operation. Two other aircraft, including one from New Zealand, are flying to the location, and a navy vessel is also en-route. Australia has received a number of offers of assistance from other nations to assist in the search operation, reports the Guardian.
11:16  Shakti Mills gang rape verdicts today:  The sessions court in Mumbai is likely to pronounce the verdicts in the cases related to two gang-rapes that took place at the Shakti Mill premises in Mumbai last year, leading to a countrywide outrage.

"The court is likely to pronounce the verdicts today," said the special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

The first case pertains to the gang rape of a 22-year-old magazine photo journalist who had gone to the Shakti Mills compound in Central Mumbai with a male colleague on an assignment on August 22, 2013.

Five men, (including a juvenile, whose case was separated) are accused of raping her there after assaulting her colleague.

The accused in this case, namely, Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari and Siraj Rehman (and the minor boy), are charged with rape, conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex and offences under the Information Technology Act.

The other case is of an 18-year-old telephone operator who was allegedly gang-raped by five persons (including three of the accused in the first case) on the same premises on July 31 last year.

The accused in this case are Mohammed Ashfaq Sheikh, Mohamed Kasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, Vijay Jadhav and a minor. The minor's case was separated.
11:12  PMK-BJP tie-up in Tamil Nadu:  Back in India, the PMK has agreed to join the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu. The BJP will go with the DMDK, MDMK, IJK and KDMK in the state. 
11:05  79-foot 'debris' may be tail section of MH370:  David Gallo, who co-led the search for Air France Flight 447 which crashed in 2009, tells CNN that the 79-foot object in the Indian Ocean is "maybe it's the tail section".

The announcement raises hopes of finding parts of the plane after a huge search that is now in its 13th day.

Previous reports of debris found in the sea have not turned out to be related to the passenger jet, which vanished over Southeast Asia earlier this month.

Australian search teams have been at the forefront of the hunt for the missing plane in the remote southern Indian Ocean.
11:00  US Navy P-8 spotter reports "significant radar returns" coming from site where possible MH370 objects spotted.
10:50  LIVE! Malaysia, Australia scramble ships, choppers to 'debris' of missing MH370:  MH370 search: Malaysian Navy has sent six ships and three helicopters to the southern part of the Indian Ocean, about 2,500km south-west of Perth on Australia's west coast. Three aircraft have been tasked to go to the area later. The Australian maritime authority has said the two objects are indistinct on the satellite images and may not be related to the missing plane. are bobbing up and down. Australia has also scrambled choppers to the area.
10:45  BJP warms up to Alagiri, who roots for Narendra Modi as PM:  No permanent enemies in politics.

In its drive to make more friends in Tamil Nadu for next month's national election, the BJP is reaching out to DMK leader M Karunanidhi's estranged older son MK Alagiri, who has come out in support of Narendra Modi.

Last night, Alagiri reportedly said he would welcome Modi as Prime Minister, and there is a "Modi wave" across the country.

Karunanidhi, the 89-year-old head of the DMK, suspended his older son in January and has now banned party workers from associating with him. Read more
10:25  Flight 370 search: Largest object sighted is 24 m in lenght :   Update from possible debris of Missing Malaysian plane 370: "The largest object sighted is 24 metres in length. The debris are of reasonable size and are bobbing up and down in the Indian Ocean," said Australia's Maritime Minister John Young, a spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

He said the objects were located in the southern Indian Ocean about 2,500km south-west of Perth on Australia's west coast.

"Weather conditions are moderate but poor visibility has been reported, which will hamper air and satellite efforts. What we're looking for is confirmation that it does belong to the aircraft or does not," he added.

When asked whether specific items such as plane windows were visible he replied: "The imagery is not that precise."

   
10:12  Flight 370 search: Objects may be difficult to locate, says Australia:  Australian Maritime gives an update on the possible debris in the Indian Ocean that belong the missing Malaysian jet. "We are expecting high resolution images in the coming days. These objects may be difficult to locate and may not be related to the search. The image is in the vicinity of the search area but is not distinct."

Ships and aircraft are searching for the missing plane.     
09:37  Flight 370 search: Australia says possible objects in Indian Ocean:   The latest from search operation on missing Malaysian jet MH 370. The debris are found near the southern Indian Ocean. The United States search ship is on its way to the search site.

"New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean," Australian PM Tony Abbott said in the the Australian House of Representatives in Canberra. "The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search."
09:13  2 objects of missing Malaysian jet may have been found: Aus PM :   Australian PM Tony Abbottt today said that two objects related to the missing Malaysian plane may have been found.

Abbott told Parliament in Canberra today that a Royal Australian Airforce Orion has been diverted to the area to attempt to locate the objects. The Orion is expected to arrive in the area this afternoon.

Abbott has also called Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak.

It has been 13 days since the flight with 239 on board went missing.
08:53  Advani refuses to accept BJP nomination from Gandhinagar: Sources:  BJP's Prime Ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi has reached party veteran L K Advani's residence this morning.

The BJP yesterday decided to filed Advani from Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Advani, reportedly wanted to contest from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh this time.

Insiders say that Advani refused to accept the nomination from Gandhinagar. 
08:43  DGCA sends showcause notice to SpiceJet for mid-air Holi celebrations:  Mid-air Holi celebrations aboard eight flights have cost no-frill carrier SpiceJet heavily, with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation issuing a showcause notice to the airline and suspending two of its pilots.

Sources said that on Monday, the cabin crew of SpiceJet performed a small dance sequence on a song as part of Holi celebrations, with some passengers also joining in.

The videos of these events were taken and uploaded on video-sharing website YouTube and other social media.

In one video, a pilot is seen coming out of the cockpit and taking photographs of the celebrations at the front of the aisle. Official sources said the act constituted violation of all safety norms and two pilots were suspended.
03:31  'Business woes may have triggered proud L'Wren Scott' apparent suicide':  

The ex-wife of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood said the precarious finances of L'Wren Scott's fashion business may have played a role in the late designer's apparent suicide.

 

"I think it might have been, for her, a question of losing face," 59-year-old Wood told CNN in an exclusive interview. "She was such a proud woman that, I think, to face that, well maybe that was the trigger."

 

Wood admitted she was "surprised as much as everyone else" to learn of the death of Scott, the longtime partner of her ex-husband Ronnie's band mate Mick Jagger.

 

Read more on CNN

02:03  Putin orders road and rail bridge to Crimea:  

Russia will build a rail and road bridge from Crimea to southern Russia, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, confirming the long-planned project would go ahead after Russia seized the peninsula. "Here we need a bridge to take both cars and trains," Putin said at a meeting with his ministers, cited on the Kremlin website.

 

The bridge would allow Russia to deliver people and cargoes directly to Crimea without going through mainland Ukraine. Currently there is only a basic car and pedestrian ferry service across the 4.5 kilometre (2.8 mile) wide Kerch strait.

 

Read more on Global Post

02:01  Mumbai: Verdict in Shakti Mills gang-rape cases likely today:  

NDTV: A sessions court in Mumbai is likely to deliver its verdict in the cases related to two gang-rapes in the defunct Shakti Mills premises in the heart of Mumbai last year.A 23-year-old photojournalist was gang-raped at the dilapidated and deserted compound while she was on an assignment to shoot the defunct mill on August 22.

 

The five accused - Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, Siraj Rehman and a minor - are behind bars after being arrested by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch within 72 hours of the crime. Soon after, a telephone operator came forward revealing that three of the accused had also gang-raped her on July 31. A 362-page charge sheet against four accused was filed on October 8.

 

The accused were unemployed youngsters, living at a nearby slum. The accused in the photo-journalist's gang-rape have been charged with offences such as rape, conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex and charges under Information Technology Act.

01:00  Vivek Murthy, the NRA and the politics of fear:  

The National Rifle Administration knows the power of fear. After all, its entire business model is based on it. When the organization's chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, goes before an audience and proclaims, "We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all,' he's not trying to give a reasoned assessment of contemporary challenges.

 

(In the real world, crime has been steadily declining for two decades.) LaPierre is trying to make his audience as afraid as possible, because fear is great for his business.

 

Read more on Washington Post

00:59  Ukraine 'preparing withdrawal of troops from Crimea':  

Ukraine is drawing up plans to withdraw its soldiers and their families from Crimea, the security and defence chief in Kiev says.

 

Andriy Parubiy said they wanted to move them "quickly and efficiently" to mainland Ukraine. Earlier, pro-Russian forces seized two naval bases - including Ukraine navy's headquarters - in Crimea. It comes a day after Crimean leaders signed a treaty with Moscow absorbing the peninsula into Russia.

 

A referendum in Crimea on Sunday, approving its split from Ukraine, came nearly a month after Kiev's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was replaced by Western-leaning interim authorities.

 

Read more on BBC

00:43  Top headlines this hour:  

Race on in Tamil Nadu Cong to bag 'star seats'

L K Advani will contest from Gandhinagar says BJP

Will resentment of senior leaders dent BJP's prospects?

China wants its warships in Indian waters to search for plane

US rejects dropping nomination of Murthy as surgeon general

IN GRAPHICS: The search for missing Flight MH370

Narendra Modi is most searched CM on Google

Ishrat fake encounter case: CBI opposes Vanzara's bail plea

China says no trace of missing plane found in its territory

30 pc criminals in second and third lists of Cong and BJP

Who deleted files from missing jet pilot's flight simulator?

Former ISI chief Shuja Pasha knew of Osama's hideout: NYT

Cong rules out supporting Kejriwal against Modi in Varanasi

About 5 lakh votes cast and guess who Rediff readers want as PM?

INTERACTIVE MAP: The real rape capital of India

EC to keep tabs on poll ads in social media, issues guidelines

RSS moves court against Rahul over Gandhi assassination remark

 

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