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LIVE! Turkey bans Twitter -- and Twitter explodes

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March 21, 2014

22:12  Putin shrugs off US sanctions but holds off on reprisals:  President Vladimir Putin today made light of the latest US sanctions against his aides over the Ukraine crisis, saying Moscow would hold off on reciprocal punitive measures. 

"You know, both in the first case -- the American sanctions -- and in the second case -- the introduction of a visa regime with Ukraine -- I think we should for now hold off on reciprocal steps," Putin told a meeting of his Security Council.
22:11  Pak court orders to frame case against doctor who helped CIA:  A Pakistani court has directed authorities to prepare a case against jailed doctor Shakil Afridi, who helped the CIA track down al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, for alleged involvement in anti-state activities. 

The direction has been issued in a detailed verdict by Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) Commissioner on the appeal of Afridi against his conviction for involvement in anti-state activities by supporting the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Islam.
22:10  Panel to identify the new capital for Seemandhra:  Centre will soon appoint a panel to identify the new capital for Seemandhra. "It will be a five-member committee, multi-disciplinary committee, which will have experts and administrators who will look at alternatives and make appropriate recommendations for the location of the new capital," Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said after a meeting of GoM on Telangana.
22:10  Panel to identify the new capital for Seemandhra:  Centre will soon appoint a panel to identify the new capital for Seemandhra. "It will be a five-member committee, multi-disciplinary committee, which will have experts and administrators who will look at alternatives and make appropriate recommendations for the location of the new capital," Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said after a meeting of GoM on Telangana.
21:22  Turkey bans Twitter -- and Twitter explodes:  This was the last thing Erdogan said Thursday before the lights went out on Twitter near midnight. "We now have a court order,' declared Erdogan, who's ensnared in a scandal inflamed by social media over recordings that purportedly reveal corruption in his administration. 

"We'll eradicate Twitter. I don't care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.'There's no arguing: it has been witnessed.

Read more
21:14  Obama stuck with two dogs with Michelle away in China:  A lonely Barack Obama has said he feels abandoned after wife Michelle and daughters have left for a China visit, leaving him "stuck with two dogs". During a funny 10-minute interview on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show aired yesterday, the US President, however, hoped his family will have a wonderful time in the communist nation.

 "The house is abandoned. I'm stuck with two dogs and I'm expected to walk them and do what you do when you walk dogs," Obama said. "But I think they're going to have a wonderful time."
21:12  Chidambaram left economy in a 'shambles', alleges Jaya:  AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today charged Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram with leaving the country's economy in a "shambles" and bringing it to the "brink of destruction". 

Launching a sharp attack against Chidambaram at his hometurf, Jayalalithaa declined to accept his victory from Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency in 2009, questioning him why he was not ready for a recounting in the controversial poll where he defeated AIADMK candidate.
20:20  Missing plane not shot down: Top Malaysian defence official:   A top Malaysian defence official today sought to assure distraught relatives of Chinese passengers on board the missing plane that the jet has not been shot down by his air force.

Air operations commander of the Royal Air Force Lt Gen Ackbal bin Haji Abdul Samad, part of the high-level Malaysian delegation that came here to interact with the relatives of the Chinese passengers, faced tough questions when he met them here.

Asked if it was possible that the plane was shot down by the Malaysian air force, Samad said it was "highly not possible", state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

While the military radar had captured signs of the jet when it turned back and flew over Malaysia, no measures were taken against the plane as it was believed to be a "friendly" aircraft.
20:16  Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to contest from Amritsar against BJP's Arun Jaitley.
20:10  6.5 quake jolts Andaman and Nicobar islands; no Tsunami threat:  The Andaman and Nicobar islands were jolted by an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale this evening but chances of Tsunami are ruled out, the government said.

"An earthquake measuring 6.5 on richter scale occurred some 70 kms east of Indira Point at 7.11 pm today.

"We do not see any threat of a Tsunami warning due to this. However, we have issued a general warning and have kept our system on high alert," said Shailesh Nayak, MoES Secretary. The Andaman Sea and southern part of Indian Ocean is prone to earthquakes, MoES officals said.
19:41  Data from seized simulator sent to international experts:  Data recovered from a flight simulator seized from the home of the pilot of a missing Malaysian plane has been sent to international investigators for verification.

"As far as the simulator is concerned, we have forwarded the information to international parties to verify, and very shortly I believe the Inspector-General of Police will be able to give information of the current situation," Defence and Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, the pilot of the plane, came under after Prime Minister Najib Razak said the change in plane's direction was consistent with a "deliberate action" by someone on board. Investigators raided Zaharie's house and seized the simulator from his house.

They then dismantled and reassembled it to analyse its data.
19:30  Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in new Sony movie:  Oscar winner Christian Bale is director David Fincher's choice to play Steve Jobs in the untitled movie that Aaron Sorkin has written for Sony, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
19:30  Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in new Sony movie:  Oscar winner Christian Bale is director David Fincher's choice to play Steve Jobs in the untitled movie that Aaron Sorkin has written for Sony, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
19:17  Sena Lok Sabha candidate Gholap sentenced to 3 years in prison:  In a major setback to former Maharashtra social welfare minister Babanrao Gholap, the special Anti-Corruption Bureau court in Mumbai sentenced him and his wife, to three years' imprisonment, in a disproportionate assets case.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on them. Presently an MLA from a constituency in Nashik, Gholap was social welfare minister in the BJP-Shiv Sena led Maharashtra government in 1995 and had resigned in 1999 due to allegations of corruption.

He was recently declared as the Shiv Sena's candidate from the Shirdi Lok Sabha constituency. Gholap's conviction assumes significance, since he has been legally barred from contesting elections.
18:40  Giraffe bids tender farewell to dying zoo keeper :  Take a break from the polls and read this story: The touching moment a giraffe bid a sad farewell to a dying worker who had spent his entire adult life cleaning the animal's enclosure at a Dutch zoo. Read
18:36  Jaitley vs Amarinder in Amritsar :  So, it will be Arun Jaitley vs former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in Amritsar.

Sources said that Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa, who is considered not to be on best of terms with Singh, has also told the party leadership that the former Punjab CM would be a formidable candidate to take on Jaitley.

BJP had on Saturday announced the candidature of Jaitley from the seat replacing its sitting MP Navjot Singh Sidhu.Sidhu, who was offered other seats, had refused, saying he would not contest the Lok Sabha polls at all if not fielded from Amritsar.
18:15  LIVE! Becoming PM is Sheikh Chilli's khayali pulao: Digvijaya:   Voters are wise & can see how ruthless & ambitious Modi is to become PM. He will kill Advani, Sushma, Jaswant now & simple people if he wins. Becoming PM of India is Sheikh-chilli's Khayaali Pulao as far as Modi is concerned. People see his games, fake propaganda and WILL defeat him, tweets Digvijaya Singh.
18:02  Manish Tewari gets cold feet :  In a series of flip-flops, Manish Tewari Information and Broadcasting minister and the sitting MP from Ludhiana, is reported to be having second thoughts about contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections once again, well-placed Congress sources told

The roadshow planned by his supporters in Ludhiana on Saturday was suddenly postponed after Tewari got cold feet about entering the electoral fray although he had agreed to it two days ago.

He is learnt to have  conveyed his decision to the Congress leadership on Thursday night. However, senior party leaders are still persuading him to fight it out.

Fearing defeat in his constituency, Tewari had wanted to contest from Chandigarh, but the party decided to renominate sitting MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Tewari has now agreed to enter the electoral fray after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told all reluctant leaders that they would have to contest the elections from their old constituency. But he appears to have chickened out again. 

-- Anita Katyal  
17:29  LIVE! Denied ticket scam-tainted Kalmadi may contest anyway:  CWG scam tainted Congress politician Suresh Kalmadi, who was denied a ticket, has said he will decided whether to run for the national election. The Congress has not succumbed to his pressure to let his wife run instead of him.

He told NDTV today that he is meeting with his supporters to decide whether to contest the parliamentary election from his home town, but refused to comment on whether he will run as an independent or join another party.

"I am open to contesting the election," he said, adding, "I have done so much work for Pune."
17:14  No Indian killed in Kabul hotel attack: India:   India today said none of its nationals was killed in a Taliban attack on a heavily fortified luxury hotel in Afghanistan's capital. Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi had said that four foreigners -- one each from New Zealand, Canada, Pakistan and India -- were killed in the attack on Serena Hotel which is used by UN staff and foreign diplomats. But in New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs officials said no Indian was killed in the attack.
17:08  Russian President Vladimir Putin signs law completing procedure to absorb Crimea into Russia, says Reuters 
16:58   Nilekani files nomination from South Bangalore:  Infosys co-founder and Congress candidate Nandan Nilekani today filed his nominations for the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency, where he is locked in a tough battle against five-time MP BJP's Ananth Kumar.

"Everywhere I went, the refrain was - we want change now," said billionaire Nilekani, who had his political baptism only recently after overseeing implementation of "Aadhar" scheme as Chief of Unique Identification Authority of India.
16:42  Caste politics ensures Jaswant denied Barmer seat :   Singh, 75, wanted to contest the election from Barmer and had reportedly told the BJP top brass that it would be his last election from the constituency where he was born. He had also said that if he was denied the seat, he would contest as an independent candidate.

Col (Retd.) Sona Ram Choudhary who will now contest from Barmer, had defected to the BJP from the Congress earlier this week.

In fact, Jaswant Singh's son, Manavendra, had defeated Choudhary in the 2004 elections.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is believed to have weighed in on the decision to field the former army man, on the premise that Choudhary was a Jat and would be a big draw in Barmer.

16:40  More painless if the BJP simply issued a circular asking its oldies to bugger off, tweets Shiv Aroor. 
16:38  Bhojpuri star vs Shatrughan in Patna Sahib:  Congress has fielded a Bhojpuri film superstar Kunal Singh against the BJP's sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha from the Patna Sahib constituency in Patna. Singh, who is from Maner near Patna, is popular in the Bhojpuri film industry. "It is not going to be a battle between two stars, but a battle between secular and communal ideologies," Singh said.

16:15  LIVE! Jaswant doesn't get Barmer seat, Col Sona Ram to contest:   BJP senior leader Jaswant Singh has been denied the Barmer seat. The party has declared the seat and has decided Col Sona Ram Chaudhury will contest. The central election committee of the party on Monday put the decision on Barmer on "hold" amid indications that a strong section of the leadership could be tilting towards Colonel (retd) Sona Ram, the local Jat strongman who crossed over to the party days ago.
15:55  LIVE! Kejriwal expels two AAP members for offering tickets for cash:   AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal today expelled two party members for allegedly offering tickets to contest next month's national election in exchange for bribes.

"We are removing Aruna Singh and one more person from the party. They asked for money from some people and promised them tickets. The transaction didn't take place, but talks happened," Kejriwal said today.

The leaders were punished on a complaint by an aspirant, Rajesh, who wanted to contest the Lok Sabha polls on an AAP ticket from Misrikh in Uttar Pradesh.

He reportedly recorded his conversation with Singh and brought it to the notice of Kejriwal's party.

"If any credible allegations surface against any candidate, we will cancel their tickets immediately," Kejriwal said. -- NDTV
15:39  Mumbai police files complaint against website for 'offensive' articles about top cop Rakesh Maria's role in terror probe. Read
15:37  Modi 'ambassador of development', not 'symbol of fear', says BJP's Muslim face:  Stating that Narendra Modi was an "ambassador of development" and not a "symbol of fear", BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has hit out at "vested interests" for claiming that the party had not done justice to the Muslim community in handing out tickets for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The minority community needs all-round progress through social and political empowerment, Naqvi said as he assured that once it came to power at the Centre, BJP would "compensate for the alleged losses with enough and judicious interest". "Muslims need development in multiplied quantum to enter the election arena," he said.
15:31  Chhattisgarh tests a green toilet for its poor:  For just 8 cents a day, the slum dwellers on the outskirts of Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh State, are able to indulge in what is a luxury to half of India's population: a working toilet. Read
15:20  The Delhi High Court asks the Election Commission to give details relating to the registration of the Aam Aadmi Party with it.
14:54  Shatrughan turns his back on mentor Advani:  Yesterday, Shatrughan Sinha, a known Advani loyalist, 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 said.

Sinha, a disciple of veteran BJP leader L K Advani and who has in the past triggered controversy by opposing Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate, said he would like all old controversies to die down.

"Now onwards my only aim like mythical Arjuna who focused only on the eyes of moving fish is to make action hero (Narendra Modi) Prime Minister of the country," he said.
14:50  BJP workers opposing Shatrughan Sinha beaten up in Bihar:   Clashes break out yet again in Patna as BJP's Shatrughan Sinha files his nomination papers from Patna Sahib.

BJP workers opposing the Lok Sabha candidature of sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha from the Patna Sahib seat, were beaten up by another group of party workers on Thursday, police said.

Supporters and opponents of the actor-turned-politician clashed in front of the state BJP office on Bir Chand Patel Marg in Bihar. 
14:28   This is the Guardian's obit on Khushwant Singh. Read

And this is what the New York Times obit says: Read
14:08  Kirron, Gul file nomination papers from Chandigarh:   Kirron Kher, the BJP candidate from Chandigarh, files her nomination papers. The picture was tweeted by her husband, actor, Anupam Kher.

Kirron filed her papers with the returning officer in Chandigarh followed by AAP candidate Gul Panag.

Kirron was accompanied by Anupam Kher, local BJP President Sanjay Tandon two times ex-MP Satya Pal Jain.

Putting up a brave face despite meeting initial resistance from certain sections of the local BJP against her candidature, Kirron said that there were no differences within the party.
14:04  Beware irrational exuberance before India's vote:  Even if the opposition wins, it is far from clear that the country's economy will return to high growth, writes Sadanand Dhume. Read
13:53  Chidambaram move shows Cong has lost will to fight polls: BJP:  More poll news: Taking potshots at the Congress, rival BJP today claimed that the decision of Finance Minister P Chidambaram to opt out of the Lok Sabha poll race indicated the state of affairs in the party as it was "running away from the contest".

"The (person) who served as the finance minister for seven out of 10 years is not even contesting. He is running away from the contest. He is not willing to face the voting public to give answers as to what his achievements were," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said today. Chidambaram's decision to not contest was a symbolic one and an important development which reflects the current mindset within Congress, she claimed.
13:41  Why Sri Sri went viral yesterday:   Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's comment yesterday that went viral: "Dekho Lakshmi kamal pe baith ke aati hai toh hame abhi Lakshmi lana hai. Jhadu ke upar toh Lakshmi nahi aa sakti sirf Kamal pe hi aa sakti hai. Lakshmi aane se pehle uska aasan toh taiyaar kare. Haath ke upar Kamal hona chahiye; haath ke niche nahi."

Sri Sri on Tuesday reminded followers of the intrinsic relationship between wealth and the lotus in Hindu mythology, an obvious reference to the election symbol of the BJP. Sri Sri urged his followers to usher in "change' to save the country, which he said was on a "ventilator'. Read more
13:34  Buta Singh gets SP ticket from Jalore:  Former Home Minister and one-time senior Congress leader Buta Singh will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on a Samajwadi Party ticket from the Jalore constituency in Rajasthan. SP national General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said that Singh would be the party's authorised candidate for Jalore.

Singh, who also served as the Union Agriculture Minister in the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet at the Centre between 1984 and 1986, was elected to Lok Sabha eight times between 1962 and 2004. He was Home Minister between 1986 and 1989.
13:28  The caste bogey in election analysis:  With five to six castes of roughly equal size in every constituency, but nearly always two major contenders, most people are compelled to vote outside their caste even if that really hurts. Read
13:23  Thank you, Mr Khushwant Singh, for changing my life:  "It was because of Khushwant Singh that I made my first journey into the wonders of the Urdu language. He promoted Urdu like no other English writer in India has ever done. Rest in Peace, Dear Sir," writes Syed Firdaus Ashraf. Read
13:11  LIVE! Sentencing in journo's gang rape adjourned to March 24 :  The four convicts, given the life term, were those who had raped the telephone operator. The sentencing in the photo journalist's gang rape has been adjourned to March 24. 
13:00  LIVE! Four of five rapists get life sentence in Shakti Mills case :   So, four of the five persons convicted for the gang rapes of a photojournalist and a telephone operator that took place at Shakti Mills, have got a life term.  

 The court found Vijay Jadhav, 19, Mohammad Qasim Shaikh, 21 and Mohammad Ansari, 28 guilty for both the gang-rape cases.

In addition to the trio, the court found Siraj Khan guilty in the photojournalist gang-rape case on August 22, and Mohammad Ashfaque Shaikh, 26, guilty of the telephone operator gang-rape case at the same compound on July 31 last year.

Two minors, one in each case, are being tried under the juvenile justice act separately.
12:52  LIVE! Four rapists gets life sentence in Shakti Mills case :  This has just come in: Four convicts in the Shakti Mills gang rape case get life sentence. The judge while handing out the sentence says the offence of rape is brutal and violates the right to life.

12:50  LIVE! One rapist gets life in Shakti Mills case, others to be sentenced shortly :  Just in: One convict in the Shakti Mills gang rape has been given the life sentence. The sentencing of the other four convicts in a bit. This convict raped the journalist as well as the telephone operator.
12:45  What a tamasha!:  Nothing was sacred for the writer who never aged. Indrajit Hazra writes on Khushwant Singh. Read
12:43  'The main opposition to AAP is Modi':  Yogendra Yadav speaks of his decision to contest the Lok Sabha election, the AAP's expectations and the reasons for the party's high-pitched attacks on Narendra Modi. Read
12:41  The context is the US, but could very well be India. Slate's story on how difficult it is for candidates to reach voters when they don't watch TV and are too busy tweeting to care. Read
12:32  Shakti Mills gang rape: Sentencing of rapists today:  A Mumbai sessions court will pronounce the quantum of sentence in both the Shakti Mills gang-rape cases today. Yesterday, the court convicted five persons for the gang-rape of the photojournalist and a telephone operator that took place at Shakti Mills located in central Mumbai last year.

The court found Vijay Jadhav, 19, Mohammad Qasim Shaikh, 21 and Mohammad Ansari, 28 guilty for both the gang-rape cases.

In addition to the trio, the court found Siraj Khan guilty in the photojournalist gang-rape case on August 22, and Mohammad Ashfaque Shaikh, 26, guilty of the telephone operator gang-rape case at the same compound on July 31 last year.

Two minors, one in each case, are being tried under the juvenile justice act separately.
12:24  US court asks Sonia Gandhi to provide passport copy by Apr 7:  A US court has ordered Congress President Sonia Gandhi to provide a copy of her passport as documentary evidence by April 7 to determine if she was in America in September last year when a Sikh rights group claims it had served summons on her in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) claims that Gandhi was served summons in September last year when she had allegedly visited Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York for a medical check-up.

The group has challenged in court Gandhi's claim that she was not present in New York in September last year and so was not served with summons or complaint in the human rights violation lawsuit filed against her by the Sikh rights group.
11:57  Double whammy for Cong:   Poll updates at this hour:

Congress leader Satpal Maharaj, a former Union minister, quits the party to join the BJP, even as the Congress tries to retain him. He has declared he will not be contesting the polls.

Anand Sharma has refused to contest from Hamirpur.
11:47  Khushwant Singh goes just as he had wished:  Here lies one who spared neither man nor God
Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod
Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun
Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun.

-- Khushwant Singh's epitaph to himself

"The first and only time I ever met him, shortly after he turned 99 this February, he intoned to me in whispers his diminishing lust for life. Oh I so dislike no longer being my own master, I so dislike my dependence on other people. Even to go to the loo I must wait to catch someones eye and they have to help me its the thing I have begun to most dislike, its my health Ive most begun to miss, that I am no longer my own master.

Read Sankarshan Thakur's paean to Khushwant Singh.  
11:35  'My father walked with kings yet had the common touch':  Who said what on the demise of Khushwant Singh yesterday.

This is his son, Rahul Singh, in the Times of India.

"He went the way he always wanted to go: Peacefully without suffering and with his mental faculties all intact. In fact, as was his habit every morning, he was doing his usual newspaper crossword puzzle, when he felt tired and lay down on his bed. He did not get up again."

11:30  LIVE! Now Aditya Thackeray denies fielding Sena candidate against Modi:  Minutes after reports claimed that the Shiv Sena will field candidates in Varanasi and Lucknow, the BJP's oldest ally has quickly denied the "rumours".

Earlier reports had quoted Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut as telling a news agency that his party will announce Lok Sabha candidates on 20 seats in Uttar Pradesh, including Varanasi and Lucknow.

Notably, Varanasi is the most-talked about seat this election since BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is contesting from there. BJP president Rajnath Singh is contesting from Lucknow.

Shiv Sena's youth leader Aaditya Thackeray, however, took to microblogging website Twitter to quash the rumours.

This is what he tweeted: "Contrary to media twisted quotes, obv Shiv Sena isn't putting up candidates against Our PM candidate narendra modi ji n BJP's RajnathSingh ji".  -- Zee News
11:16  LIVE! Shiv Sena to field candidate against Modi in Varanasi :  Updates at this hour:

BJP leaders have not given up. Senior BJP leaders will meet the home minister to ask for better security.

The Shiv Sena will field a candidate from Varanasi. Will this mean the alliance with the BJP is shaky?
10:53  Why we are yet to get the analysis of 'plane debris' :  Delays in identifying satellite images that may show debris of a missing Malaysian plane in the southern Indian Ocean were due to the vast amounts of data that needed to be analysed, Australian authorities and the U.S. company that collected the images said.

Australia rushed four international aircraft to an area about 2,500 km (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth on Thursday after analysis of satellite images identified two large objects that may have come from the Malaysia Airlines. -- Reuters
09:17  India turns down China's request to look for missing jet in its waters:  After objections raised by the defence forces, India rejected China's request for permission to allow its four warships to enter Indian maritime zone to search for the missing Malaysian airliner.

China, whose 150 nationals are on board the aircraft, had on Wednesday sent a formal request to India to allow their warships including a salvage vessel and two frigates to enter Indian waters in the Andaman Sea to locate the plane.

The request was politely declined and the Chinese navy was told that Indian Navy and the air force were already scanning the area and there was no need for anybody else to search the area, sources told PTI.
08:59  Russia still has opportunity to deescalate Ukrainian crisis: US:   Russia still has the opportunity to deescalate the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the White House has said while reiterating the allegations that it is Moscow which has violated international norms.

The White House remarks came soon after United States President Barack Obama slapped new sanctions against the Russian government, bank and individuals.

"Pursuing sanctions, especially those that would come potentially with the authorities created in the executive order, is not our preferred choice, because in addition to the damage those sanctions might inflict on the Russian economy, there could be an impact on the global economy," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
08:38  Search resumes for possible plane debris :  A search is resuming in the southern Indian Ocean for objects that could be debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, reports BBC.

Bad weather and rough seas have been hampering the operation. Five planes will search a vast area south-west of Perth, Australia.

Meanwhile, Australian PM Tony Abbott has called China's Xi Jinping to update him on the situation.
During the phone call, Xi thanked Abbott for Australia's help in the search, and said: "As long as there is a glimmer of hope, we need to give 100 pc of our efforts," Xinhua news agency reports.
02:23  Pro-Russia forces enter Ukraine naval base :  

Crimean "self-defence" forces overtake Sevastopol base without violence and raise Russian flags at the gates.


Read more on Al Jazeera

01:09  Indian journalist bags digital activism award beating Snowden:  

Indian journalist and founder of CGnet Swara, a mobile news service, has won the 2014 Freedom of Expression Award, beating the US whistleblower Edward Snowden. The award, organised by the UK-based Index on Censorship, was conferred on Shubhranshu Choudhary for the service that allows tribals in remote parts of India to receive and share news in the local language.


More than 100 citizen journalists trained by Choudhary produce audio news reports that are hosted on a website, giving them a global reach. Index on Censorship - an international organisation that promotes freedom of expression and challenging censorship - gave the awards on Thursday at the Barbican Centre, London.


Read more on Al Jazeera

01:04  Sanctions on Russia: Would World Cup boycott hit harder?:  

European leaders are meeting in Brussels Thursday to discuss further sanctions against Russia. So far the EU has imposed financial and visa restrictions against 21 carefully selected Russian and Ukrainian officials -- but avoided anyone from President Vladimir Putin's inner circle and stayed clear of any large-scale economic sanctions.


The EU and U.S. have condemned Russian annexation of Crimea as illegal and stepped up their rhetoric towards the Kremlin, but whether they are willing to put more economic pressure on Russia is unclear. The leaders of Europe's biggest economies are likely to be cautious.


Read more on CNN

00:15  Darkness halts Malaysia jet search:  

An international air search in the Indian Ocean for possible debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has ended for the day, officials have said. Australia, New Zealand and the US said bad weather had hampered their efforts in the area 2,500km (1,550 miles) south-west of Perth.


Four planes were trying to check whether two objects seen on satellite images were debris from flight MH370. The Kuala Lumpur-Beijing plane with 239 people on board disappeared on 8 March. It first lost contact with air traffic controllers and then disappeared from radar.


Read more on BBC

00:13  Top headlines at this hour:  

Chidambaram opts out of LS race; son given Sivaganga ticket

Union minister Manish Tewari to contest from Ludhiana

CBI conducts nationwide search against 'fake' docs

Modi is an autocrat and dictator in his party: AAP

AAP's Yogendra Yadav declares assets of Rs 3 crore

Assam govt seeks public opinion on rhino dehorning

14 Indians jailed for clashing with people in Singapore

Nilekani, wife's declared assets worth Rs 7,700 crore

1 killed, 3 injured as local train derails in Mumbai

'Only Khushwant could say: There's no condom for a pen. And prove it'

Advani agrees to contest from Gandhinagar

Noted author and journalist Khushwant Singh dies at 99

Mumbai gang-rape cases: ALL accused found guilty

We've not hidden anything about MH 370, says Malaysian consul

Rahul targets RSS, Narendra Modi again

INTERACTIVE MAP: Constituencies with MOST murders


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