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LIVE! Vatican defrocks 848 priests in 10 years for abuse

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May 06, 2014


China corruption campaign: On Zhou Yongkang's trail:  
A question all of China is asking but I didn't expect an elderly man to stop by the pond in Zhou's home village and press me for answers.

Until recently one of China's most powerful politicians, Zhou Yongkang has simply disappeared, presumed victim of the Orwellian security apparatus he once controlled.

In this picture-postcard scene complete with ducks on the pond and hens on the green, the whitewashed family compound was giving nothing away to the trickle of scandal-hunters loitering at the gate.

And in faraway Beijing, Zhou's name has not been mentioned in the official media for seven months.

Read more HERE

G7 energy summit backs Ukraine over Russian pressure:  
Energy ministers from the G7 group of leading world economies today agreed to help Ukraine after Russia threatened to halt gas supplies over unpaid bills in a move that could create havoc in Europe. 

"We remain united in our determination to provide various types of assistance that Ukraine needs to strengthen its energy security," the ministers said in a joint statement after the energy meeting in Rome. 

"We are extremely concerned by the energy security implications of developments in Ukraine, as a consequence of Russia's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," they said. 

"Energy should not be used as a means of political coercion nor as a threat to security," said the ministers of the G7, which groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. 

The meeting was preparation for a G7 summit in June which had been scheduled to be held in Russia but was moved to Brussels as part of diplomatic and economic sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.
Vatican defrocks 848 priests in 10 years for abuse:  The Vatican has released comprehensive statistics for the first time on how it has disciplined priests accused of raping and molesting children: It says 848 priests have been defrocked and another 2,572 given lesser sanctions over the past decade. 

The Vatican's UN ambassador to Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, today revealed the figures during a second day of grilling by a UN committee monitoring implementation of the UN treaty against torture.
Egypt bans Mubarak party officials from elections:  An Egyptian court has banned officials from the country's former ruling party under ousted President Hosni Mubarak from running in elections. The ban comes as Egypt prepares for presidential elections later this month. 

Former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi who removed Islamist president and Mubarak's successor, Mohammed Morsi is poised to win that vote.
MH370: Aus, Malaysian, Chinese officials to meet on next steps:  Australian, Malaysian and Chinese officials will meet here tomorrow to chart out plans for the next stage of the hunt for the final resting place of the crashed Malaysian jet, two months after the plane vanished mysteriously with 239 people on board. 

One group will analyse the data and information collected so far. Another will look at the resources needed to find the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines plane.
Fighting in Eastern Ukraine kills 34:  Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday that the situation along the country's border with Russia grew more unstable in the last week, with local pro-Russian residents attacking border guards or trying to intimidate them into changing allegiances.

The Ukrainian government has pressed forward with a military offensive in the east to quell a pro-Russian insurgency, but Kiev is increasingly losing its grip in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, which both border Russia.

Aggression by pro-Russian residents has become more frequent since the start of the month, State Border Guard Service spokesman Oleg Slobodyan said, with two attempts to attack border guards and take their guns on Monday. "Groups of local citizens threaten the border guards, saying that they must switch over to the side of the separatists," he said.
Monica Lewinsky: Affair with Bill Clinton was 'consensual':  Monica Lewinsky is back.Breaking years of silence,  the former White House intern at the center of the scandal that led to President Bill Clinton's impeachment writes in Vanity Fair that her affair was "consensual."

Lewinsky, now 40 and with a master's degree in social psychology, writes that it's "time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress' '" a reference to the now-infamous piece of stained clothing she didn't dry-clean after an encounter with Clinton.
Foreign Secretary on 3-day visit to Tajikistan from tomorrow:  Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh will embark on a three-day visit beginning tomorrow to hydrocarbon-rich Tajikistan during which both sides will hold talks on bilateral, regional and international issues. 

Singh, who will lead a delegation, will hold consultations with Tajik Deputy Foreign Minister Nizomiddin Zohidov apart from calling on other Tajik dignitaries.
Can't impose mother tongue in primary schools, rules SC:  The Supreme court today ruled that the government cannot impose mother tongue on linguistic minority for imparting primary education as it affects the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. 

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha said the state has no power under Article 350A of the Constitution to compel the linguistic minorities to choose their mother tongue as the only medium of instruction.
Army jawan shoots himself to death:  An army jawan today committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle at Pantha Chowk in the city, police said. 

Naik Sujeet Kumar shot himself with his service rifle inside an army camp at Pandrehthen near Pantha Chowk, they said.
CBI can prosecute senior bureaucrats without govt sanction: SC:   Scrapping the protection given to senior bureaucrats in corruption cases, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the Central Bureau of Investigation can probe and prosecute them without Centre's sanction, saying that corrupt public servants, whether high or low, are birds of the same feather and must be treated equally.

Quashing Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act which makes it mandatory for the agency to get prior approval of the Centre to probe against an officer of joint secretary-rank or above, the court held that provision hampers impartial probe and protects crime-doers.

The investigating agency has frequently faced problems in proceeding against senior bureaucrats in the absence of government sanction.
Desperate Modi is resorting to cheap tactics: Mayawati:  Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati today attacked BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi of twisting comments  to play the backward caste card. "A desperate Modi is resorting to cheap tactics," she said.

Mocking Modi, she dared him to reveal the caste he belongs to. "The way Modi behaves it does not seem that he is from the backward class. What has the BJP done for the backward class," she asked.

Priyanka Gandhi's 'low-level politics' barb targeting Narendra Modi sparked bitter exchanges on Tuesday between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in which he played the caste card while her party accused him of deliberately misinterpreting facts and called him a "spin master"

She also said that she was surprised the Congress has not take Modi head on.   
Snoopgate: Thankful for your surveillance, woman tells SC :  In a move that could come as a relief to the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, a young woman has told the Supreme Court that she is "thankful" that the Gujarat police was assigned to tail her, and urged the judges to block investigations to determine whether the surveillance was legal, NDTV reports.

The father of the woman who was being snooped upon, has approached the Supreme Court seeking restraint on the inquiry into the case by the Centre and the Gujarat government.

In November 2013, the so-called "snoopgate" scandal broke when two websites, Cobrapost.com and Gulail.com, obtained audio recordings of telephone conversations in which Narendra Modi's right-hand man Amit Shah directed the illegal surveillance of a young woman in late 2009, at Modi's request.
Cong should apologise for Priyanka's "neech rajniti" barb:  Hitting out at Priyanka Gandhi for her "neech rajniti" remarks against Narendra Modi, the BJP today said Congress should seek an apology for this from the whole country.

Denying the counter charge of Congress that it was a ploy by BJP to use the caste card, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "Well, this is the word which she had used and particularly in the social context of India, the use of this word has to be avoided."

"When this word is used in relation to either the persona or the views of a person belonging to a backward community, you are giving rise to apprehensions and therefore if you claim to be a vocational participant in politics, then be sure of the vocabulary you use," he said.
LIVE! Salman hit-and-run case: Key witness says he has been threatened:  The key witness in the Salman Khan hit-and-run case says he has been threatened and has now filed an application in court saying he feared for his life.

Two witnesses today identified Bollywood actor Salman Khan in connection with the 2002 hit-and-run-case. According to reports, the actor was seen by the two getting off his car on the night of the incident in Mumbai.
Kejriwal seeks time from HC for replying to defamation plea of MP:  Former Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today sought time from the Delhi High Court for replying to a plea of a Haryana Congress MP seeking damages of Rs 1 crore from the AAP leader on the grounds that he has been allegedly defamed.

"The written statement be filed within four weeks. Put up the matter before the Joint Registrar on September 19 for completion of pleadings and admisison/denial of documents," Justice A K Pathak said.

At the start of the hearing, Kejriwal's lawyer sought some more time for filing the written statement in response to the law suit filed by Avtar Singh Bhadana, a Congress MP from Faridabad Lok Sabha seat in Haryana.
Quotable quotes right now:

"Fair elections can't take place here (Amethi) unless Central forces are deployed here and poll booths are videographed." -- Somnath Bharti, AAP

"Modi has no right say he will oust Bangladeshis from WB, who is he? He is nobody. I dare you to touch them (Bangladeshis)." -- Mamata Banerjee, WB CM.


For Indias women, a device that allows you to stand and pee :  India is infamous for its lack of clean, public toilets -- a shortcoming that can make things particularly difficult for women. Now, a New Delhi-based company has developed the PeeBuddy. It's a device that offers women a way to urinate while standing up. Read
The Runaway Messiah:  Arvind Kejriwal is the most dangerous of all political animals, writes author and occasional columnist Aatish Taseer. Read
Restaurants in Varanasi pay tribute to their candidate, Narendra Modi, with this 'Modi Sarkar' roti. 
India's investment cycle will be broken for years no matter who wins the election:  Indias national election results wont be announced until May 16, but the countrys financial markets already appear to have picked the winner: the opposition BJP.

The BJPs recently released manifesto is one of grand ambition, with goals such as about building 100 new cities, world-class ports, a network of bullet trains, and providing universal access to low-cost housing by 2022. Read
LIVE! Snoopgate: Woman's father approaches SC for quashing probe:   Just in: The father of the woman who was being snooped upon, has approached the Supreme Court seeking restraint on the inquiry into the case by the Centre and the Gujarat government.

In November 2013, the so-called "snoopgate" scandal broke when two websites, Cobrapost.com and Gulail.com, obtained audio recordings of telephone conversations in which Narendra Modi's right-hand man Amit Shah directed the illegal surveillance of a young woman in late 2009, at Modi's request.

The surveillance included tapping her phone, tailing her family, and even monitoring her movements outside the state boundaries.

The BJP admitted that Modi had used the state government machinery to monitor the young woman, claiming the surveillance, although without her knowledge, was at the request of her father (which would still be illegal). A judicial panel has now been set up to probe the affair.
Arvind Kejriwal says that the BJP is preparing to rig elections in UP. 
FIR against AAP members in Amethi for clash with police :   Just in: An FIR has been issued against AAP leaders Somnath Bharti, Pankaj Shukla and 40 other members of the party for clashing against the police in Amethi last night. In effect, an FIR was filed under section 188 &126 of RP act in Amethi for violation of Model Code of Conduct.

AAP's Amethi candidate Kumar Vishwas said that the district administration citing the Election Commission rules has asked his wife, children and members of his extended family to move out of the constituency by 11 pm as they were not its "registered voters".

Vishwas tweets: I never objected 144... the issue is not about rules, but about selective treatment. Why all rules apply to a single person/ party only?

The Election Commission rules said that while the rules suggested that the district administration was within its right to ask all those who were not registered voters to leave the boundaries of a constituency in the interest of "free and fair voting", it was eventually left to their discretion to take a call on the eviction of such elements.
2G scam: BJP wants CBI to question PM:  The BJP today demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh be questioned by the CBI in the 2G spectrum case after former Telecom Minister A Raja told a court that every decision was allegedly taken with the PM's "concurrence".

Describing Raja's deposition in the court as "shocking", BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "Now CBI must interrogate the PM on 2G issues as the matter is in court and the probe will not be completed if PM is not interrogated. Now it is clear that PM is also involved in the scam."
DGCA issues new regulations on medical fitness of cabin crew :  The Director General Civil Aviation has issued, for the first time, Civil Aviation Requirements for the medical examination of the cabin crew. The CAR prescribes the requirement of body mass index and rules for disposal of high BMI cases in terms of overweight and obese cabin crew.  

The aviation regulator body has issued Civil Aviation Requirements Section 7, cabin crew medical standards, series-C part 2, prescribing requirements for initial and renewal medical examination equivalent to Class 2 medical examination.

These requirements have been issued under the provisions of Rule 38B of Aircrafts Rule 1937 which state that cabin crew must remain medically fit to discharge duties in inflight operations including aircraft emergency as specified in the Operations Manual. 

Taking into consideration the ageing process and requirement of agility to perform cabin safety duty efficiently, frequency of medical examinations for the cabin crew has been prescribed as under:
(i) Once every four years till the age of 40 years
(ii) Once every two years till the age of 50 years
(iii) Yearly above 50 years of age.
Based on the medical report, the cabin crew shall be categorised as fit, temporary unfit and permanent unfit. 
LIVE! Drunk Salman got out from driver's side of car: Eyewitness in hit-and-run:  "Actor Salman Khan was so drunk that he fell down, then got up and ran away from where his car ran over a group of people in Mumbai in 2002," testified a survivor in court today.

One person died and four were injured in the accident. Khan, 47, was present for the hearing in a Mumbai court today.

A second witness said that he saw Khan getting out from the driver's side of the Toyota Land Cruiser; the actor's lawyers have argued for nearly a decade that he was not at the wheel.

It was past 2 am when Khan's car drove onto a payment in suburban Bandra and ran over a group of people sleeping on the road.

In December, a Mumbai court ordered a fresh trial for Khan, who is accused now of culpable homicide in the hit-and-run case and faces upto 10 years in prison if convicted.

He originally faced lesser charges of rash and negligent driving. In 1998, Khan spent a few days in prison for killing blackbuck deer, an endangered species, in Rajasthan.-- NDTV
LIVE! Tejpal case: Robert de Niro replies to police questionnaire:  The Goa Crime Branch has received a response from Hollywood actor Robert de Niro in connection with the rape case against Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal.

"Robert de Niro has replied to the questionnaire forwarded to him by the Crime Branch through his attorney," Deputy Inspector General of Police O P Mishra said today.

The actor's attorneys Harvey & Hackett based at New York in the reply sent recently have confirmed the presence of the woman (who has accused the Tehelka editor of rape) and Tejpal for the ThinkFest event, Mishra said, refusing to divulge the details of the reply.

The crime branch, which had filed a charge sheet against Tejpal in the case, had sent a formal questionnaire to the Hollywood actor in January this year.

The police charge sheet mentions that the woman was sexually assaulted twice in the lift of a starred-hotel by Tejpal, when they had gone to drop the actor and his daughter to their room in the hotel where the event was being held.

The crime branch charge-sheeted Tejpal before a fast track court in February this year, accusing him of raping, sexually harassing and outraging modesty of the woman.

Sources said that on March 6, 2014, the crime branch had moved an application at the fast track court in Panaji under section 173(8) of the CrPC, seeking time to include the response of a "witness outside the country" in the supplementary charge sheet. Tejpal is currently lodged in Sada sub jail in Goa and has applied for bail before the Supreme Court.
BJP: Smriti will create history in Amethi, we will get clear majority:  BJP releases its Vision Document for Varanasi with the message that the party will get a clear majority in Amethi. Smriti will create history in Amethi, says Arun Jaitley.
Who is Narendra Modis choice for Gujarat CM?:  Happily for the community that has stayed faithful to the BJP, it will likely be a Patel in charge of Gujarat. Read
Casualties of Kashmir's Unrest Live in the Dark. Read
LIVE! Rahul: For 25 years Cong has not had govt in UP, for 25 years what did you get?:  Rahul Gandhi addressing a rally in Mirzapur, says, "For 25 years the Congress has not had a government in UP, but what did you get in last 25 years?

"Everyone needs growth, but the BJP limits growth to only a few people," he says.  
He (Modi) talked of Ram Rajya not Ram Mandir. Surprising,even if someone talks of Mahatma Gandhi or good-governance,controversy erupts, tweets senior journalist, columnist and now BJP party member, MJ Akbar.
The way Muslims do not vote:  Muslims don't vote in a bloc. Parties will need to approach the community armed with more than vote bloc guesswork. Read
Also read: Why India will soon outpace China.
Muzaffarnagar riots: 11 gan grape accused's property attached:  Properties of 11 absconding gang-rape accused have been attached by police on the intervention of court in connection with five gang-rape cases at Phugana village of the Muzaffarnagar district, police said today.

The properties of remaining absconding nine accused of gangrape cases, would be soon attached.

The Special Investigation Team has found involvement of 22 accused in five gang-rape cases.

Two of the accused were arrested by the police, while 20 have been absconding so far. The local court has directed for attachment of properties of absconding 20 gang-rape accused in different cases.
Two Gandhis, five 'Rams' in poll fray in Amethi:   He may not be the biggest challenger in Amethi, but there is another Gandhi in the fray against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for the Amethi Lok Sabha seat where the likes of BJP's Smriti Irani and AAP's Kumar Vishwas are trying hard to gain electoral supremacy.

There are a total of 34 candidates, including a transgender, in the fray in this constituency that will go to polls tomorrow.

The 51-year-old Gopal Swaroop Gandhi, who is fighting on a Kisan Majdoor Berojgar Sangh ticket, has no links with the famous family with which he shares his surname.

A native of Auraiya, Gopal Swaroop claims that the neglect of people here by Congress would pave the way for his victory.

Rahul (43), who defeated his nearest BSP rival by a margin of 3.7 lakh votes in 2009, this time also has to contend with five 'Rams' and one 'Bhagwan'.

Although the contest is largely going to be a triangular one between Rahul, Irani and Vishwas, these other candidates nonetheless feel that their chances of winning are bright.
LIVE! Cong: Neechi rajneeti does not mean low caste, Modi twisting words:  'Neech Rajneeti' means low-level politics, not 'low-caste', as usual Modi is twisting words to suit him," says Congress spokesperson Rajiv Shukla, on Narendra Modi's speech in Domariyaganj, UP. Modi said he cannot deny that he was born in a low caste and asked if it was a "crime to be born in low caste? I didn't use harsh or shallow words against the Gandhis."

After Modi's speech in Amethi yesterday, Priyanka reacted with a statement saying, "Inhone Amethi ki dharti pe mere shaheed pitaa ka apmaan kiya hai, Amethi ki janta is harkat ko kabhi maaf nahi karegi. Inki neech rajniti ka jawaab mere booth ke karyakartaa denge...Amethi ke ek ek booth se jawaab aayega..."(They have insulted my martyred father on the soil of Amethi. People of Amethi will never forgive them for this act. Workers in Amethi will reply to their low-level politics. There will be reply from each of the booths).
What development? For whom?:  Development is as much a process of providing services as of removing obstacles and giving freedom from all sorts of discrimination. Read
Lessons from Assams carnage:  The killing of over 30 people, most of them Muslim women and children, across Assam's Bodoland Territorial Area District is s a deadly reminder of systematic efforts towards ethnic cleansing that is under way in that area. Read
Daughter, friends kill man, remove pacemaker :   A 23-year-old woman, irked by her father's repeated assaults allegedly killed him with the help of her two friends and took out the pacemaker from his chest with a broken piece of glass to ensure that he was dead, police said today while adding that all three have been arrested.
Tatra case: CBI records statements of Antony, T K A Nair:  The CBI has recorded statements of Defence Minister AK Antony and Prime Minister's Advisor TKA Nair in a case in which former Army chief Gen V K Singh alleged that a retired senior Army official had offered him a bribe to clear purchase of Tatra trucks from a PSU.

CBI, which has been probing the case for nearly two years now, decided to record the statements of Antony and Nair so that a final decision on whether to close the case or file a charge sheet is taken at the earliest.
Country has moved beyond caste and communal politics: Modi:  Modi in Domariyaganj: The country has moved beyond caste and communal politics. Youth want development. They attacked me and called me a tea seller. But I have only sold tea, not sold the nation: There should only be one mantra now - 'Bhai ko bhai se joroh and vikaas ki rajneeti karo. Hindu Musalaman ladenge to kuch milega kya? Dono ki ek hi pareshani hai, gareebi. Dono ko gareebi se milkar ladna hoga. Delhi needs a government that listens to the poor and lives for the poor. I haven't asked who's government you want... I am asking what kind of a government do you want in Delhi?
Uttar Pradesh set to vote tomorrow for 15 LS seats:  Polling for the 15 seats in the crucial fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, to decide fate of 243 candidates, including two scions of Nehru-Gandhi family, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and BJP National Secretary Varun Gandhi will be held tomorrow.

This phase is also crucial for Congress as of 15 seats spread over 17 districts, seven were won by the party in 2009 polls while five seats went to BSP and SP had won three.

The BJP which could not open account in these 15 seats, this time is confident of turning the tide in its favour.

The campaigning was marked by mighty show by both Congress and BJP, with Rahul's sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra coming to the fore for her brother in Amethi, even as BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi entered the Congress scion's turf to counter the family effect.

Seats where polling would be held on May 7, include Amethi, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Faizabad, Gonda, Bahraich, Shravasti, Phoolpur, Ambedkarnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Bhadohi, Kaushambi, Allahabad and Kaisarganj.

More than 2.5 crore electorate, including 1.37 crore male and 1.14 crore female are expected to exercise their franchise in the this phase.
Modi: Can't deny I was born in a low caste, but is it a crime?:  Narendra Modi is addressing a rally in Domariyaganj, UP, says, "I cannot deny that I was born in a low caste. But is it a crime to be born in low caste? I didn't use harsh or shallow words against the Gandhis."
'Amethi's untold story':  The BJP video slamming Rahul Gandhi's Amethi. Watch
Kiran Bedi tweets: "Mr Modi is emerging as post independence Sardar Patel. Both from Gujarat.Will he achieve in next 60 months what was lost in last 60 years"
LIVE! SC unshackles CBI, grants power to probe graft without govt nod :  In a historic verdict, the Supreme Court today ruled that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will not need permission from the government to conduct an inquiry in corruption cases against senior bureaucrats.

A constitutional bench of the apex court upheld the primacy of Article 14 of the Constitution - equality before law to bring senior bureaucrats Jt Secretary and above at par with the other citizens.

The SC says that the status of top bureaucrats is of no relevance in the offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Protection of prior approval for probing graft charges against officers at level of joint secretary and above has propensity of shielding corrupt, the SC says.

SC lawyer and AAP member Prashant Bhushan says it's a historic decision.

Andhra votes tomorrow for 25 Lok Sabha, 175 Assembly seats:  People of Andhra Pradesh will be deciding their own fate vis--vis the new state when they vote to elect 25 members of Lok Sabha and 175 of the Assembly tomorrow.

Over 3.67 crore voters get to exercise their franchise to choose their representatives from among 333 candidates in fray for Lok Sabha and 2241 for Assembly.

The elections are critical for the state, which gets formally truncated on June 2, as much as for the main political parties that are engaged in a no-holds-barred fight to clinch power with the promise of re-writing the fortunes of everyone.
Vishwas gives an undertaking that his volunteers will leave Amethi. 
The Supreme Court upholds the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act and says that the Act will not apply to aided or unaided minority institutions.
Eight bombs found in Bihar ahead of polls:  Eight bombs allegedly planted by Maoists in Muzaffarpur and Vaishali constituencies of Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar were recovered by security forces in the early hours of Tuesday.

A district police official in Muzaffarpur said that the bombs were recovered from the Hathauri area, while four other bombs were found near Hussaina village in Vaishali. Both the areas go to polls on May 7 and 12 respectively.  
AAP's Kumar Vishwas cries 'selective treatment' as cops ask family to leave Amethi :  AAP's Amethi candidate Kumar Vishwas says that the district administration citing the Election Commission rules has asked the AAP candidate's wife, children and members of his extended family to move out of the constituency by 11 pm as they were not its "registered voters".

Vishwas tweets: I never objected 144... the issue is not about rules, but about selective treatment. Why all rules apply to a single person/ party only?

The Election Commission rules said that while the rules suggested that the district administration was within its right to ask all those who were not registered voters to leave the boundaries of a constituency in the interest of "free and fair voting", it was eventually left to their discretion to take a call on the eviction of such elements.
SC to hear AAP plea against imposition of President rule on July 4:  The Supreme Court today posted for July 4, the hearing on a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party challenging imposition of President's rule in Delhi after it was informed that the Lieutenant Governor has decided to deal with the matter after the conclusion of Lok Sabha polls.

A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha was requested by senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for AAP, to keep the matter for hearing in first week of July as LG has informed that he will deal with the issue after May 16.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, an AAP leader, also made the same request and said nobody is coming forward to claim for formation of government.
The Supreme Court blasts Sahara for playing mind games to nudge judges to opt out for hearing the petition on the release of Subrata Roy. The SC junks Sahara's defence that it had already redeemed investors; says no authenticated records were ever produced. In a hearing that has gone on for over 100 hours spanning over 80 days, the Sahara case prods the SC to recommend steps for legislature to save judicial time.
LIVE! Sahara chief Subrata Roy stays in jail: SC rejects bail plea:  So, Sahara chief Subrata Roy stays in jail. The Supreme Court today delivered its verdict on Sahara chief's bail petition challenging its decision to send him to jail for not complying with its order to deposit around Rs. 20,000 crore of investors' money with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India. The SC has asked Subrata Roy to submit a fresh proposal for bail.

The top court had earlier imposed a condition that Roy will be freed on bail only if he pays Rs. 10,000 crore out of which Rs. 5,000 crore has to be in bank guarantee and rest Rs. 5,000 crore in cash.Roy and the other two directors of the Group have been in in jail for two months for not abiding by the apex court's order for depositing Rs. 20,000 crore of investors' money with SEBI.
Petrol bomb hurled at polling station in Baramulla :  A petrol bomb was today hurled by unidentified persons at a government school, where a polling station has been set up in Rafiabad area of Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency of Kashmir ahead of tomorrow's polls.

"A petrol bomb was hurled at the Government Girls School at Watergam in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district, causing some damage to the building," a police spokesman said.

He said there were no casualties reported in the incident that took place in the early hours of the day.

A polling station is located some distance away from where the petrol bomb landed, he said. Polling for Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency is scheduled to take place tomorrow. -- Mukhtar Ahmad and PTI
Lalit Modi elected as the Rajasthan Cricket Association chief.
Being targeted because of my caste, says Modi:  The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday tweeted that he was being targeted because he comes from a backward class.

"Because I come from a backward class, they refer to my politics as low-level politics," he tweeted. "It is because of the sacrifice of the the backward classes that India progressed," he wrote.

In retort, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh tweeted," Modi has shown his true colours."
World to have 3 billion Internet users by year end: UN:  The world will have nearly three billion Internet users by the end of 2014, with two-thirds of them from the developing world, and mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost seven billion by the year end, new figures released by the UN said.

The report by the UN's International Telecommunications Union said 44 per cent of the world's households will have internet access by end of 2014. Close to one-third (31 per cent) of households in developing countries will be connected to the Internet, compared with 78 per cent in developed countries.

The analysis shows that household Internet access is approaching saturation levels in developed countries. Mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost 7 billion by end-2014, and 3.6 billion of these will be in the Asia-Pacific region.

The increase is mostly due to growth in the developing world where mobile-cellular subscriptions will account for 78 per cent of the world's total.
India's growth rate will pick up soon: RBI Governor Rajan:  Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has expressed optimism on India's growth rate going beyond the 5 per cent mark soon. "The economy has been growing at a flat rate of 5 per cent and hopefully we will see it picking up in the near future," he told PTI on the sidelines of a special talk at Oxford University yesterday.

Rajan also reiterated his view on the growth rate being inextricably linked with curbing inflation. "I have always stressed that stimulating growth and controlling inflation are not opposed to each other. Inflation is what is standing in the way of India's growth," he added.

Rajan was addressing student members of the Oxford Union Society on his way to Switzerland, where he has meetings planned with the Bank for International Settlements on May 11 and 12.
Fourth phase West Bengal Lok Sabha poll tomorrow:  Security has been stepped up for the penultimate fourth phase Lok Sabha poll in West Bengal tomorrow as four of the six seats going to the poll fall in Jangalmahal where the Maoists ruled till recently.

The Left Front is under pressure to retain the six seats, Bankura, Jhargram, Purulia, Medinipur, Bishnupur and Asansol, it had won in the 2009 Lok Sabha election, though with a reduced margin.

Of the six, the CPI-M had won four and Forward Bloc and CPI shared one seat each in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Former actresses Moonmoon Sen and Sandhya Roy and singer Babul Supriyo are expected to give a tough fight in three of the six seats.

In the 2011 Assembly election, the Trinamool Congress had made deep inroads in the assembly segments falling under these six seats covering the districts of West Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura and Bardhaman.
Congress always plays the emotional card: BJP:  CNNIBN reports: The BJP has hit back at Congress campaigner Priyanka Gandhi for her criticism of BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The BJP has now said that the Gandhis always play the emotional card whenever Amethi's poor development record is raised.

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Kumar Vishwas clashes with cops in Amethi, alleges harassment:  Aam Aadmi Party's Amethi candidate Kumar Vishwas clashed with the local police claiming harassment on Monday night. Vishwas alleged that the police landed up at his house and asked his supporters, who are not voters of Amethi to leave the city or face arrest.

"The police are in my house and they are saying all those without an Amethi voter card will be arrested. The DM has asked them to arrest my wife as well since she does not have the card," Vishwas claimed.

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Jaitley defends Amit Shah's 'terrorist' remarks:  A day after Gujararat Chief Minister and the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah called Azamgarh a 'base of terrorists', the Congress, senior party leader Arun Jaitley spoke out and said that shah was merely stating the facts.

Shah's controversial comment made on Sunday also led to members of rival parties accusing Modi and Shah of carrying out a 'communal campaign.'

"Such a statement violating the model code of conduct could vitiate law and order in Azamgarh and eastern UP. Gujarat can also be termed as a base of communalism and crime. I demand that the EC ban Shah in Uttar Pradesh,' said BSP chief Mayawati.

The former UP chief minister added that if persons of Azamgarh had done anything wrong, be it Hindu or Muslim, it does not mean that all people of the area are terrorists.
How Social media is changing face of Indian general elections:  The three American social media giants '" Facebook, Twitter and Google '" have emerged as a major player in the ongoing general elections in India, with political parties and candidates competing with each other in breaking the news, spreading their message through these outlets in addition to those via the traditional media.

While the impact of these social media on the elections could be known only after May 16 when the results are declared or could be a matter of another academic research, all the three major players have seen substantial increase in their India traffic and usage. For instance Facebook has now 100 million users in India '" its largest outside the US, while that of Twitter has more than doubled since January this year. After the 7th round of polling, there were 49 million Indian elections-related conversations on Twitter -- more than double the 20 million Indian elections-related conversations on Twitter for all of 2013.

In 2009, Sashi Tharoor was the only Indian politician to have a Twitter account and had 6,000 followers. Five years later there is hardly any major political leader who does not have an account on the micro-blogging site.
Govt drops move to name judge to head Snoopgate probe:  Hindustantimes reports: A day after two key UPA constituents publicly disapproved a Snoopgate inquiry in its "dying hours", the government Monday shoved the probe into the deep freeze at the instance of the Congress leadership.

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SC to deliver verdict today on Subrata Roy's plea:  
The Supreme Court will on Tuesday deliver its verdict on Sahara Chief Subrata Roy's petition challenging its decision to send him to jail for not complying with its order to deposit around Rs. 20,000 crore of investors money with SEBI.

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, which had reserved its order on April 21, will pronounce the judgement.

It may also consider Sahara's proposal for paying Rs 10,000 crore for getting bail to its chief Subrata Roy and two directors who are in Tihar jail in judicial custody since March 4.

The apex court had earlier imposed a condition that Roy will be freed on bail only if he pays Rs 10,000 crore out of which Rs 5,000 crore has to be in bank guarantee and rest Rs 5,000 crore in cash.

Roy and the other two directors of the Group have been in in jail for two months for not abiding by the apex court's order for depositing Rs 20,000 crore of investors money with SEBI.
1,000 flee, 1 dead, as Oklahoma wildfire spreads:  
Firefighters facing another hot and windy forecast today worked to battle a large wildfire in Oklahoma that destroyed at least six homes and left one person dead after a controlled burn spread out of control.

The fire department said about 1,000 people yesterday evacuated their homes in the Guthrie about 56 kilometres north of Oklahoma City. Guthrie Fire Department Chief Eric Harlow said a 56-year-old man who did not leave was found dead in his home last night. 

The wildfire broke out yesterday afternoon and by 9 pm had burned up to 15 square kilometres of land as well as several homes, Harlow said. The fire was still burning today and threatening about 150 additional homes; Harlow said the blaze was about 75 per cent contained. 

Temperatures later today were expected to hit 38 Celsius, with winds gusting from the south at 33 mph. 

Tomorrow's winds were expected to be higher still, enhancing the risk of the fire spreading further.

The Guthrie Fire Department said six homes were destroyed but that the number of damaged or destroyed homes would likely rise. Fire department crews assessed the fire and damage by helicopter.
Pistorius neighbour says shooting accidental:  
Using witness accounts of a panicked nighttime phone call from Oscar Pistorius begging for help and his desperate pleas for Reeva Steenkamp to stay alive, the defense at his murder trial tried to reinforce its case today that the double-amputee Olympian fatally shot his girlfriend in a tragic error of judgment. 

Johan Stander and his daughter Carice Viljoen, neighbours and friends of Pistorius, testified that they were at the runner's villa soon after the shooting on Feb. 14, 2013 and that Pistorius was praying, trying to help Steenkamp breathe and urging her to live. 

Viljoen testified that Pistorius was saying to Steenkamp as she lay on the floor with multiple gunshot wounds: "Stay with me, my love, stay with me." 

The world-famous disabled runner had shot four times through a toilet cubicle door with his 9 mm pistol minutes earlier, hitting Steenkamp in the hip, arm and head. He claims he thought she was a dangerous intruder in the cubicle in his darkened bathroom. 

Prosecutors maintain Pistorius, 27, is lying about the perceived trespasser, and his story is designed to cover up that he killed the 29-year-old model intentionally in the midst of a heated argument. The first amputee to run at the Olympics in 2012, Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of a premeditated murder charge. 

The testimonies from the neighbours began the seventh week of proceedings in the globally televised trial, which resumed after a two-week recess 
Suspect in custody after US college shooting:  
Officials say a suspect is in custody after a person was shot at Paine College in Georgia, US

The shooting today prompted a lockdown at Paine and several nearby campuses, including Georgia Regents University.

Georgia Regents University says on its official Facebook page that a suspect is in custody.

The condition of the person shot at Paine was not immediately clear. The shooting came a day after another shooting on Paine's campus, though it was not known if the two incidents are related.
2 dead as Canadian aircraft crashes in Andes:  
Authorities today said they have located a Canadian-registered aircraft that crashed high in the Andes in northeast Colombia. 

Two people aboard, both Canadians, were killed.

Rescue workers struggled over the weekend to reach the twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo because of poor visibility at the remote, high-altitude site about 225 kilometres where it crashed on Saturday.

It's not clear what led to the accident involving the plane, whose registry matches one belonging to Regina, Saskatchewan-based Oracle Geoscience International, which provides aerial survey services to the mining industry. 

Col Carlos Silva, director of the Air Force command and control center, said the plane was seen from the air upside down on the ground.
22 migrants die, others missing, after boat capsizes in Greek waters:  At least 22 people -- including families trapped in a flooded cabin -- drowned when a yacht and a dinghy crammed with migrants trying to slip into Greece capsized Monday in the eastern Aegean Sea, authorities said.

Rescue teams led a search for up to seven more people missing, in what was one of the deadliest migrant boat accidents in Greek waters in recent years and the third fatal one this year. Many on board were from war-torn or unstable countries in the Middle East and Africa.

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