21:36 Raj Thackeray: I will contest Maharashtra assembly election:
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray announced today at a rally in Mumbai that he will contest this year's Assembly polls.
In fact, Raj was willing to take greater responsibility by running for the Chief Minister's seat.
The MNS chief will be the first member of the Thackeray family to contest an election. Neither Shiv Sena patriarch late Balasaheb Thackeray nor his son and current Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray have ever contest election.
The MNS, which was expected to eat into Shiv Sena's vote bank, did badly in the national election, failing to win a single seat in Maharashtra. Many of its candidates even lost deposits in the "Modi wave".
21:03 Belgium beat India 3-2 in Hockey World Cup opener:
India went down 2-3 to Belgium in their opening match of the Hockey World Cup in The Hague, on Saturday.
Belgium scored in the dying seconds of the match to kick-off their campaign with a thrilling victory.
20:26 Badaun gang-rape: Alok Ranjan appointed new UP Chief Secy:
Amid huge uproar over a string of heinous gang-rapes and crime against women in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party government on Saturday ordered the removal of state Chief Secretary Javed Usmani, reports said.
Alok Ranjan (in the inset photo) has replaced him, official sources said.
Talking to scribes about the order, the newly appointed Chief Secretary Ranjan said, "I hope to fulfill my responsibilities diligently and deliver good leadership to the state."
Vowing to take strong action against law-breakers, Ranjan quipped, "Crime needs to be fought with, criminals need to know that their actions wont be forgiven."
"Public service delivery needs to be improved, GDP, infrastructure and power need to be developed," added Ranjan.
18:41 Akhilesh's comment on Badaun rape 'outrageous': Smriti Irani:
Union Minister Smriti Irani today termed as "outrageous" Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's remarks on the Badaun gangrape case and said the whole nation shared her anguish.
Yesterday, when a journalist had asked Yadav about the law and order situation in the state against the backdrop of the Badaun case, he had shot back, saying, "I hope you have not faced any danger!."
When the journalist replied in the negative, the Chief Minister said, "Thank you. You should propagate this."
On Yadav's comment, Irani said, "The entire nation shares my outrage when on a very sensitive issue like crime against women... when a reporter was asking for reaction from the CM, one got such an outrageous remark."
"There is a constitutional mandate and a responsibility that people in public office have... is that of protecting women and children and those who come from weaker sections of society," she said.
Irani said Yadav had "let down" not only the people of UP, but all youngsters.
18:19 Yogendra Yadav quits AAP Haryana in-charge post:
In what can bring in more trouble for the Aam Aadmi Party post Lok Sabha debacle, party's senior leader Yogendra Yadav on Saturday resigned from its Political Affairs Committee.
While taking the moral responsibility of the party's poor performance in Haryana in the recently held 2014 General Elections, Yadav resigned as AAP's Haryana unit in-charge and its PAC.
Moreover, another AAP leader Naveen Jaihind, who was the party's candidate from Hisar, has also resigned from the post of National Executive.
According to reports, there were some differences between Yadav and Jaihind which led to their resignation from various posts in the party.
Meanwhile, Jaihind has told ANI that, "If Yogendra ji has so much problem with me, I'll work as volunteer and resign as National Executive."
However, the AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has not yet accepted the resignation
17:08 Govt abolishes EGoMs and GoMs:
The government has abolished all Empowered Group Of Ministers and Group Of Ministers for expeditious decisions and greater accountability, says official announcement.
Ministries and departments have been empowered to take decisions pending with GoMs and EGoMs, says the announcement.
16:39 Kejriwal to visit Punjab on Tuesday:
After winning four Lok Sabha seats, Aam Aadmi Party's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal has decided to focus on Punjab, keeping the assembly election in mind.
Kejriwal will visit the state for a day on Tuesday and will also take stock of party's performance. "They will meet volunteers, members, party supporters and take stock of the party's performance in the state. The party units in the state will also be restructured after consulting the volunteers during his visit," said an AAP leader.
Senior party leader Manish Sisodia and AAP's MP candidate Jarnail Singh, who lost from the West Delhi parliamentary seat, will also visit the state along with Kejriwal.
The meeting assumes significance as the party is also aiming to repeat its success in the Lok Sabha polls. After its dismal performance in national capital and country, AAP won four MPs from the state, springing a surprise not only to the party, but also to its rivals.
15:23 Police jawan killed in encounter with naxals:
A police jawan was killed and another injured in an encounter with Naxalites in insurgency-hit Narayanpur district of Chhattisagrh, police said today. The face-off took place when the joint party of Special Task Force (STF) and district force was patrolling forests of restive Orchha police station area last evening, Narayanpur Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) O P Sharma told PTI.
According to the officer, the security personnel were mobilised from Orchha police station of Abhujmad region for an anti-Naxal operation in the region since Thursday night.
When the search party was returning to its camp last evening, a group of armed rebels ambushed it between forests of Becha and Ilam villages, located around 400 kms from Raipur.
Ultras opened indiscriminate firing on security personnel leaving two constables injured. However, Naxals fled to the core forests when jawans retaliated, he added.
Constable Pankaj Suryawanshi (22), a native of Narayanpur succumbed to his injuries while being taken out of the jungle last night while another injured constable Ramesh Kumar Nag (23) admitted to a local hospital, he said.
13:22 Badaun gang rape: Rahul meets family of victims:
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has met the family members of the two cousins who were gang-raped and hanged in the open in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun district.
All the five main accused, including two policemen, have been arrested in connection with the gang rape and murder of two Dalit sisters in Badaun, police said on Saturday.
Constable Chhatrapal Yadav was arrested late on Friday night and Urvesh Yadav was detained in the wee hours on Saturday, Superintendent of Police A K Saxena told PTI. All the five accused named in the FIR, including constables Sarvesh Yadav, Chhatrapal and three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav have been arrested. The FIR was registered against seven persons including two unnamed men after outrage over the incident.
11:09 Jaya may provide issue-based support to BJP in Rajya Sabha:
A day after CNN-IBN learnt that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week, questions are being asked whether the AIADMK is mulling joining the NDA.
AIADMK sources say that the party is likely to provide only issue-based support to the BJP in the Rajya Sabha. Sources say this support is in return for development packages for Tamil Nadu and that as of now, the AIADMK is not joining the NDA. Sources say that Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad have been in touch with Jayalalithaa. Sources also say that an offer has been made by the BJP to the AIADMK.
Read more on CNN IBN
09:58 6.1 magnitude quake hits southwest China; 43 injured:
PTI: At least 43 people were injured and 35,000 others evacuated after the 6.1-magnitude earthquake jolted a county in China's southwestern Yunnan Province.
The quake hit Yingjiang County under Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture of Dehong on Friday.
About 150,000 residents in 15 townships were affected and of them, 35,000 have been relocated, said Wang Junqiang, the Communist Party chief of Dehong Prefecture.
Meanwhile, 3,390 rooms were toppled and 18,000 more were severely damaged, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Even though the quake had a higher magnitude compared to one a week ago, it did not cause bigger losses as local authorities had warned of aftershocks and secondary disasters and evacuated residents from damaged buildings, Wang said.
The Yunnan government has initiated a grade II emergency response, sending a work team of over 50 people for surveying, investigation and disaster evaluation.
More than 3,500 soldiers, paramilitary officers and policemen are involved in the rescue work.
09:47 Smriti Irani appeals to DU to reinstate suspended officials:
CNN IBN: Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday appealed to the Delhi University to reinstate the suspended officials. The Delhi University suspended five officials for allegedly leaking documents related to educational qualifications of Irani on Friday.
She tweeted, "Since the Delhi University is an autonomous institution I have put forth my personal appeal to the Vice Chancellor to reinstate the officials." After a row broke out over the educational qualification of the HRD minister, she tweeted, "In public life one should be open to scrutiny and criticism. So am I."
03:32 Russia making largest troop withdrawal yet from Ukraine border: NATO:
Russia is in the process of making its largest military withdrawal from Ukraine's borders in recent months, according to NATO.
The estimated scale of the withdrawal is far greater than previous estimates issued by the alliance, with about two thirds of the Russian troops on Ukraine's borders believed to have been pulled back.
The White House says while it sees some activity, it has no confirmation that this is a full withdrawal yet.
03:31 Sharif chairs high-level security meeting:
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today presided over a high-level meeting to review security situation in tribal areas and Balochistan province after a powerful faction of the Taliban revoked a peace deal with the government.
Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan briefed the meeting about the status of raising of rapid response forces at the federal and provincial level.
03:30 MH370 search on right track: Australian transport chief:
The head of Australia's transport safety bureau has defended the fruitless hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, saying he is confident that search teams are targeting the right area.
Satellite analysis in the days after the Boeing 777 went missing on March 8 with 239 people onboard placed the jet somewhere in a huge tract of the Indian Ocean stretching from near Indonesia south towards Antarctica.
03:30 Sudan won't install Iranian anti-aircraft missiles:
Sudan said today that it won't install Iranian anti-aircraft missiles in the country after earlier exploring the idea following suspected Israeli airstrikes there in 2012. A statement from Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country wouldn't install the defensive missiles "for fear it could be misinterpreted by some Gulf states."
01:35 Second European team missing in east Ukraine:
A second team of European monitors was reported missing in restive eastern Ukraine today despite army claims it had regained control over much of the separatist rust belt.
The United States meanwhile voiced growing alarm over the sudden appearance of fighters from Russia's war-ravaged Chechnya among rebels who have been waging a seven-week insurgency against Kiev's rule.
01:06 US confirms American carried out Syria suicide bombing:
The United States confirmed today that it believes a US citizen carried out a suicide bombing within Syria, as had been claimed by hardline Islamist rebels.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not provide any details about the suspect, who had been identified in a New York Times report as a man in his 20s from Florida and of Middle Eastern descent.
01:05 Japan offers support to nations in disputes with China:
Saying that his nation will play a larger role in regional security, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan said on Friday that his government would support Vietnam and other nations that have territorial disputes with China by providing patrol ships, training and military surveillance equipment.
Mr. Abe, speaking at an international security meeting in Singapore, said he wanted Japan to shed the passiveness that has marked its diplomacy after World War II and take more responsibility for maintaining regional stability. He said Japan would cooperate with the United States and other like-minded nations like Australia and India to uphold international rule of law and freedom of navigation, and to discourage China's increasingly assertive efforts to take control of islands and expanses of ocean that are claimed by other Asian nations, including Japan.
00:22 Sunken S Korea ferry search claims second diver:
South Korea's coast guard said a diver has died in an attempt to cut a hole in the hull of a sunken ferry to search for more bodies.
Officials say the diver was pulled from the water Friday, unconscious and bleeding from his face. He died later in a hospital. No cause of death was given.
He is the second diver killed in the operation to retrieve hundreds of bodies from the ferry.
00:17 UN terms rape and murder of minor Dalit girls 'horrendous':
The UN has strongly condemned the rape and murder of two Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh, calling it a "horrendous crime" and stressed that all citizens should be protected by the law.
"The rape and death of the two girls, who were hanged from a tree, is a horrendous crime. There are some incidents (where) words are difficult to choose. It was clearly a horrendous incident," Stephane Dujjaric, US Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson, told PTI.
00:17 Pak envoy to India called for consultations on FS-level talks:
Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has been called to Islamabad for consultations on finalising a date for the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries. Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam confirmed that Basit's summon to Islamabad for "routine consultations".