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LIVE! Rajinikanth's Kochadaiyaan postponed, will release on May 23

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May 07, 2014

22:22  France offers Nigeria 'special team' in hunt for girls:  France today offered Nigeria a "special team" to look for more than 200 girls kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in an incident that has triggered global shock and condemnation. 

The extremists seized a first batch of schoolgirls in Nigeria's restive northeast three weeks ago, saying they were holding them as "slaves" and threatening to sell them, and have since kidnapped other girls in the area.
21:37  Rajinikanth's Kochadaiyaan postponed, will release on May 23:  Tamil superstar Rajinikanth's long-delayed and long-awaited Kochadaiiyaan will be late again. The film, scheduled to release worldwide in Tamil and other languages on May 9, will now release on May 24. 

A press release states that the delay is to allow the release of the film in multiple languages and in both 2D and 3D.This is the latest in a series of delays for the film, with the release date in the last two months being shifted from April 11 to May 1 and finally to May 9.

The animated period piece, in which Rajinikanth plays a triple role, co-stars Deepika Padukone and is directed by the superstar's daughter Soundarya R Ashwin.
20:09  Thai PM's party calls verdict 'virtual coup', 'conspiracy':   Thailand's ruling party today termed as "virtual coup" and "conspiracy" a court's decision to dismiss premier Yingluck Shinawatra from office, saying it is aimed at removing the party from power. 

The 46-year-old beleaguered premier and her nine cabinet ministers were today dismissed from office by a Constitutional Court that found her guilty of abuse of power.
19:41  White House locked down after car trails Obama's daughters:  In a major security scare, the White House was temporarily locked down today after an unauthorised car followed an official motorcade carrying the daughters of US President Barack Obama. 

The sprawling complex briefly went into lockdown after the private car got onto a closed section of Pennsylvania Avenue behind a secure motorcade.
19:24  Jignesh Shah arrested in NSEL scam:  The Financial Technologies and Multi-Multi Commodities Exchange (MCX) promoter Jignesh Shah was arrested today by the EoW of Mumbai Police for his alleged involvement in the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) scam. 

"We have arrested Jignesh Shah for his involvement in the NSEL scam," EoW sources told PTI here. 

Shah came under scanner last year, when his group company NSEL faced a payment crisis and nearly 18,000 investors allegedly lost millions in late July.
19:08  Three US navy planes crushed in Japan snow: report:  At least three US Navy P-3 Orion surveillance planes were crushed "beyond repair" when unusually heavy snowfall swept across Japan in February, a US military daily reported today. 

The planes were inside a contractor's hangar near the US Navy air facility in Atsugi, west of Tokyo, the Pacific Stars and Stripes said in its online edition, citing a US Naval spokeswoman.
19:00  Ajmal Kasab whom I taught is alive: Pak school teacher:  A teacher, who allegedly taught the 2008 Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab, today told a Pakistani court that the Ajmal he knew is alive and was not the one hanged in India. 

"I taught Ajmal but he was not the one hanged in India in connection with the Mumbai attacks," said the teacher of a primary school Faridkot, Deplapur, Okara district of Punjab province, some 120 kilometres from Lahore.
18:46  Just in: Financial Technologies promoter Jignesh Shah arrested in Rs 5,600-crore NSEL scam, says the Mumbai police.
18:40  LIVE! Low-cost airline AirAsia gets DGCA nod :  AirAsia India, the proposed low-cost carrier of the tripartite joint venture between AirAsia Berhad, Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace owned by Arun Bhatia, is all set to take off after it got a nod from the DGCA. The DGCA has completed the aircraft inspections and conducted 'proving flights' of AirAsia India's Airbus A320. This was the last remaining inspection before the DGCA could grant an air operator's permit to AirAsia India.
18:34  Congress, TMC, Left's only agenda is to stop me: Modi:  Claiming that Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Left have a "behind the scene" understanding, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said that their only agenda was to "stop Modi".

"You may think that Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Left are fighting separately. But try to understand the game played by them behind the scene. All three of them are saying the same thing - stop Modi", he told an election meeting in Krishnanagar, West Bengal.

Continuing to target TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, he said, "In Didi's speech there is nothing but only the call to stop Modi. I am afraid that Didi is not taken sick".

Referring to the Saradha chit fund scam and the primary teachers recruitment fiasco in the state, Modi said, "Bengal has turned into a scam Bengal. There is scam after scam".
18:00  Mamata 'didi' gets angry, doesn't want good days for WB: Modi:   Narendra Modi today took a dig at "didi" Mamata Banerjee, saying she was getting angry at him too frequently and questioned whether she would not like "good days" to come for West Bengal.

He also had a poser for her, asking why the crime against women was one of the highest in West Bengal despite the presence of the "tigress", apparently returning the jibe over her 'real tiger' comment.

"These days, didi gets angry very frequently. Didi, so much anger is not good. You may fall sick," the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said addressing a rally here.

Modi, who has been involved in face-offs with Banerjee lately, went on to add that the West Bengal Chief Minister was worried that BJP would get seats in her state. "If BJP wins in Bengal, what is wrong? Will the winners not be from Bengal...If good days come, will it not be good for Bengal," he said.
18:00  Mumbai Indians captain fined Rs 24 lakh, Kohli gets 12 lakh penalty :   In the Pepsi IPL match in Mumbai last evening, the following sanctions were levied by Match Referee Andy Pycroft for code of behaviour offences committed during the game:
-- Kieron Pollard of Mumbai Indians and Mitchell Starc of Royal Challengers Bangalore were both fined after an incident in the first innings.
-- Mr Starc  admitted to the level 2 offence (Article 2.2.11) of conduct contrary to the spirit of the game and accepted the sanction of a fine of 50% of his match fee.
-- Mr Pollard admitted to the level 2 offence (Article 2.2.7) of throwing his bat at or near a player and accepted the sanction of a fine of 75% of his match fee.
-- Rohit Sharma of Mumbai Indians and Virat Kohli of Royal Challengers Bangalore were both fined after their team maintained a slow over rate. As this was Mr Sharma's second slow over rate offence of the season, he was fined Rs. 24 lakh. Each of the other 10 members of the Mumbai Indians team was fined the lesser of Rs. 6 lakh or 25% of his match fee. Since it was Mr Kohli's first slow over rate offence of the season, he was fined Rs. 12 lakh.
-- Varun Aaron of Royal Challengers Bangalore was reprimanded after he violated article 2.1.1 of the Code of Conduct for a breach of paragraph 4.2 of the IPL Clothing Regulations.
17:46  LIVE! Cong's Rashid Alvi tells Modi: Take care of your mother :  "Distressed" by Narendra Modi's mother travelling in an auto rickshaw and living in a small room, a Congress leader today wrote to the BJP PM candidate volunteering to look after her as Modi had not provided her a "comfortable" life despite his "wealth" and success.

"I fail to understand how you could not provide a comfortable life for your mother who spent her entire life trying to ensure a brighter future for you."

"Your mother is like my mother. I have immense respect for her. I may not be as resourceful as you are, but I would request you to allow me to provide her all the necessary comforts of life according to my capacity," Rashid Alvi said in a letter to Modi.

Alvi lamented that Modi has been telling in his campaign all along that his mother raised him single handedly in the most difficult conditions. "You mentioned how she had to work in the neighbouring households to ensure that she could look after you properly."
17:34  MH370 fallout leads to decision on tracking aircraft :   Exactly two months after a Malaysia Airlines' aircraft (MH 370) went missing, India has made it mandatory for all its planes to be tracked from departure to arrival.

The directorate general of civil aviation's (DGCA) new rule is applicable to both for passenger and cargo aircraft "in view of the difficulties faced in search and rescue operations after an aircraft goes missing or meets with an accident". Read
17:20  J-K turnout till 3pm :  J-K turnout till 3pm
Baramulla: 21.82
Kupwara: 53.57
Bandipora: 27.30
Kargil: 57
17:18  Anyone who isn't a voter can't stay in Amethi,so directed Preeti Sahay to leave and she followed direction, says Jagatraj Tripathi, DM Amethi.

Sahay is Priyanka Gandhi's secretary.
17:06  Modi gets permission to hold both rallies in Varanasi:  Just in: The Times of India reports that Narendra Modi has been given permission to hold two rallies in Varanasi -- the first one at Rohania and the second at Boniabagh.
16:57  Union ministers set to leave Lutyens bungalows :  At least 15-20 union ministers have written to the Directorate of Estates about surrendering their official bungalows. These include many ministers who have contested, but are not sure of winning and some, who did not contest at all. They have asked their personal assistants to begin the process of surrendering their official bungalows. Ministers like Sriprakash Jaiswal, AK Antony, P Chidambaram, Pallam Raju,  Dinshah Patel, Girija Vyas are said to be looking for smaller accommodation.

Speaker Meira Kumar has packed her baggages from 20 Akbar Road in New Delhi.  This is the designated Official bungalow of Speaker of Lok Sabha,  Meira Kumar began to transport the baggages -to a private apartment in South Delhi.
16:47  Sonia quits as NAC chief :  UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has demitted the office of the National Advisory Council. The position of Sonia Gandhi, as chairman, was
co-terminus with the exit of UPA2. She conveyed her exit to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, informally, on Tuesday when the full bench of the NAC said farewell when they called on him at 7, Racecourse Road. 
16:41  LIVE! Amit Shah may be Gujarat CM:  This is what the buzz in Gujarat is: Amit Shah will be the obvious choice to succeed Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat. Congratulatory calls and messages have begun pouring in at Varanasi where Shah is camping, as the Modi's Chief poll officer. 
16:27  'Rahul is a merchant of lies' :  Dubbing Rahul Gandhi as "asatya ka saudagar" (merchant of lies), BJP today said his "untruths" about Gujarat land acquisition policy have been exposed by the report sponsored by his own government that has "praised" the state's model.

"If you permit to borrow something Congress has trademark for themselves, today you (Rahul Gandhi) have become "asatya ke saudagar" (merchant of lies)," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said in an apparent reference to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's infamous "maut ka saudagar" (merchant of death) barb against Narendra Modi.

Referring to the report prepared on behalf of Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP) which has praised the Gujarat land acquisition model as "exemplary", she said "In every rally, the Congress vice president spoke about the toffee model that one gets a toffee in one rupee but in Gujarat you will get land in one rupee.

"Where is Rahul Gandhi now? Where is he today? His own government today said that land acquisition policy in Gujarat is exemplary and it is the best practice. From the dais you went about telling the whole world something which did not get corroborated by your own government.
15:56  Auntie and the September 26 riddle:  The unseen presence of Mrs Kaul in Vajpayee's life. Read
15:47  LIVE! EC bans Modi's maha aarti in Varanasi tomorrow, Jaitley to go on fast:   The election commission has banned Narendra Modi from holding a maha aarti at Varanasi tomorrow.   

The BJP will ask for an impeachment motion against the three election commissioners for their order disallowing Narendra Modi to perform the maha aarti on Thursday.

This comes in the wake of news that Modi has also been denied permission for one of his rallies tomorrow in Varanasi. Modi is contesting his first parliamentary election from the constituency. His party has reacted sharply, and has asked the Election Commission to sack the officer responsible.

The BJP's Amritsar candiate, Arun Jaitley, is likely hold a dharna in front of District Magistrate Office and then go on an indefinite fast if the Election Commission does not withdraw its order.

The BJP feels that the Election Commission is over stepping its authority. The  Election Commission is also likely to hold a presser at 6 pm today in Varanasi.
15:22  In search of a home away from home:  Spurious history and a hostile public allow political parties in many countries turn near stateless people into scapegoats at the time of elections. Read
15:14  LIVE! Rahul entering poll booth in Amethi is violation of code of conduct: AAP :  This is what the Election Commission says on the Code of Conduct.

"On the day of the poll, no person who has been assessed to be having a
security threat and therefore given official security shall enter the vicinity
of a polling station premise (within 100 meters) with his security personnel.
Further, on the day of the poll no such person shall move around in a
constituency with his security personnel. If the person provided with
official security happens to be a voter also, then he or she shall restrict his
/ her movement - accompanied by security personnel, to voting only."

The picture tweeted by AAP shows Rahul Gandhi enter a poll booth in Amethi. The AAP has also filed a complaint with the EC saying Rahul was travelling around his constituency in a convoy.

15:05  The Hindutva redux in UP:  It is action replay in UP, with caste and religion displacing progress and prosperity as primary campaign points. Read
15:02  In Sultanpur, UP, BJP candidate Varun Gandhi gets into a verbal spat with a security officer. "Main pratyashi hoon in logon ka, in logon ko kaam karne dijiye aap apna kaam kariye," he says. (I am the representative of these people, do your own work.)
14:39  BJP says Modi denied permission for rally in Varanasi:  Narendra Modi has been denied permission for one of the two rallies in Varanasi city tomorrow, the BJP said today terming the move as "unprecedented" and "unheard of".

Modi was supposed to hold two rallies in the constituency tomorrow but permission for one of the rallies is yet to be given, the party said.

Flaying the district administration, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "I don't know who is interfering but the returning officer of this constituency is a threat to free and fair election".
14:35  George Fernandes's legacy still lives on in Muzaffarpur :  In 1977, residents were captivated by just the image of Fernandes behind bars. Fernandes was arrested on the charge of smuggling dynamite -- in what came to be known as the Baroda dynamite case -- to blow up government establishments in protest against the imposition of Emergency. Such was the impact that Fernandes won by over 3 lakh votes even though he was an outsider. The victory left the opposition dumbstruck. Read more
14:31  Finger on tweezer:   Skin-deep or not, the beauty parlours of Belpahari in West Bengal's Jungle Mahal tell a tale different from its troubled past. Read
14:26  Dr. Kumar Vishvas tweets: "Aisa kuchh nahi hai. TU rumor faila raha hai" - Amethi SDM to my election manager on complaint of bogus voting. Language, Sir!
14:22  Modi plays caste card to counter Priyanka:  BJP's prime ministerial candidate on Tuesday played the backward caste card while launching a counter attack on Priyanka Gandhi who had accused him of indulging in degenerative politics.

In a series of Tweets on his official Tweeter account Modi said, "Because I belong to backward community they (Congress) consider my politics 'neech rajneethi' (denigrative politics)."

He further said that some people (Congress) do not realise that it is because of the hard work and sacrifice of people of backward community, that India has reached this heights.

"People of backward community have an import role in nation's progress,' Modi added.

Pic: The cartoon on the Hindu today
14:17  Where everyone is a minority:  Under the simmering canopy of the Kashmir dispute lumbers the realm of the forgotten Kashmiri. In a vale so tiny -- it is 130-odd kilometres long and 40 kilometres at its widest '" that realm is never far to seek but it seldom attracts notice. Read more
14:12  Gogoi visits violence hit districts, 5 more bodies recovered:   Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today visited violence-hit Baksa and Kokrajhar districts and assured the people that his government would provide them security as five more bodies were recovered taking the toll to 41. Official sources said Gogoi visited the victims in some of the relief camps, including Balapara.
14:08  Where everyone is a minority:  Bodoland's demography is one reason why trouble will fester rather than abate: it has nothing to do with illegal migration. It has everything to do with the fact of how a minority of the population controls the lives and destinies of the others. Read
14:02  Priyanka's secretary asked to leave Amethi after Smriti complains:   Priyanka Gandhi's secretary has been reportedly asked to leave Amethi after BJP candidate Smriti Irani complained against her presence in a polling booth. There were reports of an altercation between the secretary, Priti Sahay, and Irani, who tweeted, "Smt Vadra's secretary Priti Sahay at Thouri not a local still vocal in opposing my presence at the booth."

Irani has also alleged in a series of tweets that a local Congress leader had intimidated a BJP polling agent in a booth in Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress number 2 Rahul Gandhi.
13:45  CBI clean chit for Amit Shah in Ishrat case :   In a major relief for Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's close confidant Amit Shah, the CBI has given a clean chit to him in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, say sources. The CBI says no evidence found against Shah.

The CBI filed two charge sheets in the fake encounter case naming seven Gujarat police officials and four Intelligence Bureau officials, including the then State IB chief Rajinder Kumar, as the accused. The names of Amit Shah and Kaushik did not figure in the charge sheet.
13:37  15 per cent voting in seven LS seats in Bihar till 10 am:  Around 15 per cent voting was registered till 10 am in seven Lok Sabha seats of Bihar including high profile Hajipur and Saran constituencies in the fifth phase of elections in the state today.

Till 10 am, Sheohar registered 15 per cent voting, Sitamarhi recorded 13 per cent, Muzaffarpur 18 per cent, Maharajganj 16 per cent, Saran 16 per cent, Hajipur (SC, reserved) 16.15 per cent and Ujiyarpur 12.5 per cent respectively, an Election Office statement said.

There were reports of a snag in EVMs at some places whereas in some booths of Sitamarhi, voters were boycotting the polls complaining of lack of development in their area.
13:25  BJP leader files case against Priyanka for 'neechi rajniti' comment:  BJP leader Surajnandan Kushwaha on Wednesday filed a case against Priyanka Gandhi for her remarks on BJPs prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his neech rajniti" (low-level politics).

Kushwaha, who is state BJP general secretary said that he has filed a case in the Patna civil court here against Priyanka Gandhi for insulting and hurting the sentiments of lower castes.

Priyanka Gandhi on last attacked on Monday accused that Modi had insulted her "martyred" father Rajiv Gandhi, and that the Congress booth workers in Amethi would give a befitting reply to his "low-level politics".
Kushwaha has filed case in the Patna civil court. He said he has demanded court for action against Priyanka Gandhi.  -- MI Khan
12:50  Eaten at Saravana Bhavan? Do, before you die:  In a break from poll news and as an appetiser before you break for lunch, read this:

Saravana Bhavan doesn't look like a house of secrets. Its dining room at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 26th Street is clean and bright and often attracts a line out front. It doesn't advertise because it doesn't need to; the fact that it's one of the world's largest chains of vegetarian restaurants '" 33 in India, another 47 in a dozen other countries '" is considered too obvious to its core clientele of Indian expatriates and tourists to be worth trumpeting. Read
12:46  Record 20,000 troops turn Varanasi into garrison town:  Nearly 20,000 central paramilitary forces and state armed personnel will be deployed across the high-profile constituency of Varanasi for the May 12 poll -- possibly the heaviest force deployment in a non-extremism-hit constituency, according to Election Commission sources.

BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi is pitted against Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and Congress's Ajay Rai in the temple town. -- TOI
12:38  LIVE! EC officer in Amethi: Booth capturing not possible, observers in every booth :  Umesh Sinha an officer from the Election Commission tweets: Have officers and observers at every booth. Not possible that booth capturing is being done, still complaints will be looked into.

This is what AAP's Somnath Bharti tweets: Friends, plz help us by calling Election Observer Sri Ramakrishan at 09443389505 and 09415017197 for each capturing and rigging instance. Booth no 195 booth capturing reported. Booth no 42 polling officer kept our polling agent away saying candidature of AAP candidate cancelled. 
12:34  LIVE! AAP: Extensive booth capturing in Amethi :  Meanwhile, more reports of booth capturing in Amethi.
AAP's Somnath Bharti tweets: Booth no 42 poling officer kept our poling agent away saying candidature of AAP cand canceled. We are constantly complaining to EC by email, SMS and phone as well reporting on twitter to AAP's well wishers informed.
12:30  And then there were none:  "The sight of this "ruin waiting to happen" had saddened me then. In course of a week-long trip, I spent hours sitting on the porch of that home, remembering."

Read Prem Panicker's blog on the house where he was born.
12:18  Thailand court ousts PM Yingluck Shinawatra:  Meanwhile, a Thai court has ruled that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra must step down over abuse of power charges.The Constitutional Court ruled that Yingluck acted illegally when she transferred her national security chief.

The ruling comes after months of political deadlock in the country.Anti-government protesters have been trying to oust Ms Yingluck since November 2013, blockading parts of Bangkok. -- BBC.
11:58  Hindutva redux in Uttar Pradesh :  It is action replay in UP, with caste and religion displacing progress and prosperity as primary campaign points. Read
11:57  Priyankas political future seen to hinge on Amethi result :  Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told Congress workers in Amethi last evening that she was leaving with a "heavy heart' for the first time in many years. Read
11:55  Rahul rebuts Modi on 'Neech Rajniti' row:  Rahul Gandhi today hit back after Narendra Modi described his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's comment on "Neech Rajniti (low-level politics) as a caste slur at him.

"Neech karm hote hain, neech soch hoti hain, neech jaati nahin hoti (A person is judged by his deeds and thinking, not by his caste)" Mr Gandhi said as he visited Amethi on polling day, betraying signs of nervousness for the Congress in one of its safest seats after Modi's visit in the final hours of campaigning.

The Congress vice president hadn't visited the constituency during voting in the 2009 election.-- NDTV
11:42  LIVE! Rahul objects to lotus symbol in polling booth in Amethi :  The fate of 1,737 candidates, including Rahul Gandhi (Amethi), his cousin Varun (Sultanpur), Union minister Beni Prasad Verma (Gonda), cricketer-turned-politician Md Kaif (Phulpur-all in UP), Ram Vilas Paswan (Hajipur), Rabri Devi and Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Saran-all in Bihar) is in the hands of 18.47 crore voters who are eligible to cast their franchise.

Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, is going around polling booths in Amethi and has objected to a picture of a lotus at a polling booth.
11:24   AAP alleges that Rahul Gandhi is going around Amethi in a large convoy as the the constituency goes to the polls. AAP has filed a complaint against Rahul Gandhi.
11:06  AAP: Cops canvassing for Congress in Tiloi, Amethi:   Amethi and Sultanpur go to vote today. Aam Aadmi Party tweets that "the UP Police is doing canvassing for INC India on booth no 204 of Narainpur Tiloi in Amethi."
11:02  Mullaperiyar dam row: SC gives relief to Tamil Nadu:  

The Supreme Court has quashes the law passed by Kerala assembly on Mullaperiyar dam.   The water level can be raised to 142 m in the Kerala-based dam, says the apex court in relief for Tamil Nadu.  


 The apex court has also appointed a three-member committee to supervise the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam.

10:12  Assam violence: 3 more bodies found, toll reaches 35:  Assam violence: Three more bodies found in Baksa, and number of dead in targeted killings since last week goes up to 35, NDTV reports.
09:11  Baramulla: Jawan injured in grenade attack on poll booth:  One CRPF jawan has been injured in a grenade attack on a polling station at Baramullah, Jammu and Kashmir.   Reports of massive stone pelting are coming in from Sopore.
02:34  Monica Lewinsky breaks silence on Clinton affair:  
Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke her silence on Tuesday about her illicit 1990s affair with president Bill Clinton, saying she wants to reclaim the narrative of events that brought her global humiliation. 

Lewinsky, now 40, was in her early twenties when she became the infamous blue dress and beret-wearing muse who engaged in sexual relations with the president and then endured a colossal backlash that nearly drove her to suicide. 

After years of being turned away by potential employers and ridiculed online, she decided to write her version of events in this month's Vanity Fair magazine. 

"It's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress," Lewinsky wrote, in excerpts posted on the magazine's website. 

"I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I've decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past." 

Read more HERE
02:18  BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten quits after heart surgery:  
Chris Patten, whose tenure as head of the BBC's governing body was dominated by the fallout from a string of paedophilia scandals at the broadcaster, resigned today after undergoing major heart surgery. 

Patten, a former Conservative politician and the last British governor of Hong Kong before the handover to China in 1997, said he had been admitted to hospital in late April after suffering serious chest pains. 

The BBC, the world's largest public broadcaster, said that the 69-year-old Patten would be "standing down with immediate effect on health grounds following major heart surgery".

He took the post as chairman of the BBC Trust in April 2012. 

Patten, who is also chancellor of the prestigious Oxford University, said he underwent a combination of bypass surgery and angioplasty and had suffered no permanent damage to his heart 
02:18  National climate assessment is not to scare people: US:  
The White House today said the purpose of the national climate assessment, which portrays a grim picture, is not to scare people to get the necessary policy changes, but to give them a clear assessment of the dangerous realities of climate change and its implications on common Americans.

"No", White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said when asked about the allegations that the report on climate change is a pressure building tactics to scare the people. 

"The Third National Climate Assessment is to provide information in a form that is understandable and comprehensive for Americans across the country to use and review so that they can better understand the effects of a change in climate on their regions of the country and understand that the change in climate is creating impacts everywhere in the country, not in just isolated areas. It's happening now," Carney said. 

"I think that is the bottom line result of this assessment or, you know, point that the assessment makes. It is really a remarkable document, produced over the course of much more comprehensive than its predecessors," the White House Press Secretary said.
02:17  14 militants killed in Pakistan gunfight, bomb blast:  
At least 12 militants died during a shootout between rival factions in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border today, officials said, while two died in a separate attack. 

Supporters of Tehreek-e-Taliban commander Khan Said Sajna and followers of the late TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud clashed in the Shawal area of the troubled North Waziristan district, a security official told AFP. 

Four other militants were wounded during the gunfight which was still continuing, the official said late today. 

Local intelligence officials and militant sources confirmed the clash and casualties. 

Earlier in the day two militants were killed in a bomb blast at a bazaar in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, known as a stronghold of Taliban and Al Qaeda linked militants.

"It was a remote control bomb which targeted Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants. Two of them have been killed and two others are injured," an intelligence official told AFP.
02:17  Nigeria's Boko Haram kidnaps more girls as outrage grows:  
Suspected Boko Haram Islamists have kidnapped eight more girls from Nigeria's embattled northeast, residents today said, after the extremist group's leader claimed responsibility for abducting more than 200 schoolgirls last month.

The girls were seized by gunmen in the village of Warabe as global outrage grew three weeks after the mass kidnapping in the nearby town of Chibok, which the UN warned may be a crime against humanity.

Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau said the extremist Islamist group was holding the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok on April 14 as "slaves," and threatened to "sell them in the market," in a video obtained by AFP yesterday. 

The parents of those taken from Chibok said Shekau's video had made an already horrifying situation even worse.

"All along, we have been imagining what could happen to our daughters in the hands of these heinous people," Lawal Zanna, the mother of one the hostages, told AFP by phone from Chibok.
02:16  News media challenges ban on journalism drones:  
Thirteen leading news organisations are challenging the Federal Aviation Administration's ban on journalists' use of drones, saying it violates constitutional free press protection for news gathering. 

The organisations, including The Associated Press, filed a brief with the National Transportation Safety Board today in support of aerial photographer Raphael Pirker. 

Pirker was fined by the FAA for flying a small drone near the University of Virginia to make a commercial video in October 2011. He appealed the fine to the safety board, which hears challenges to FAA decisions.

An administrative law judge ruled in March that the FAA can't enforce its blanket policy against the commercial use of drones when the agency hasn't issued regulations for commercial drone use. 

FAA officials have said they hope to issue regulations later this year
02:16  Top headlines at this hour::  Modi distorting statement to play backward caste card: Mayawati

Salman case: Witness gets threat call to quit, court orders probe

CBI can prosecute senior bureaucrats without govt nod: SC

Modi interview: Ministry asks Prasar CEO to seek board's opinion

Drunk Salman was behind the wheel: Hit-and-run eyewitnesses

Snoopgate row: Woman approaches SC against probe

Rahul's wish: 'Made in Mirzapur' watch on US president's wrist

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