rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 

LIVE! Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq

Write a comment

September 01, 2014


23:23  Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq:  US President Barack Obama today notified the Congress about his authorisation for conducting targeted airstrikes and humanitarian assistance to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State (IS) militants. 

In his notification to the Congress, Obama said on August 28, he "authorised US Armed Forces to conduct targeted airstrikes in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in the town of Amirli, Iraq, which is surrounded and besieged by ISIL."
22:50  Gunfight between militants and security forces in south Kashmir:  Mukhtar Ahmad reports from Srinagar:  

A gunfight erupted on Monday evening between holed up militants and security forces in south Kashmir Pulwama district.   

A senior police officer said troops of the Rashtriya Rifles and police surrounded a house in the Hanjan Bala village in Rajpora on specific information about the presence of a group of militants inside it.   

"An encounter is on,' said the officer. 
22:47  4 lawmakers of Imran Khan's party resign :  Four lawmakers of Imran Khan's party today resigned from the Sindh assembly, stepping up pressure on Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down.  

Members of the Sindh provincial assembly belonging to PakistanTehreek-i-Insaf submitted their resignations to the assembly secretariat. The four PTI lawmakers followed in the footsteps of their31 colleagues in the national assembly and 29 in the Punjab assembly who have also sent in their resignations after cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan asked them to quit.   

Syed Hafeezuddin, Samar Ali Khan, Seema Yazdani Zia and Khurram Sher Zaman tendered their resignations in the Sindh assembly.   

The resignations came as more protests and sit-ins were staged in Karachi by PTI workers, disrupting traffic flow in Pakistan's biggest city.
21:12  6 'high risk' Ebola suspects quarantined at Delhi airport :  Six people deemed "high risk" Ebola suspects were today admitted to a quarantine facility at the Delhi airport, health ministry said today.   

The suspects were among 181 passengers who arrived in India from the affected western African countries. As of today, the ministry said, as many as 816 passengers were being tracked by authorities under the integrated disease surveillance programme.   

These passengers are those who carried certain risk because of suspicion that they might have come in touch with Ebola victims and are being monitored to ensure that they are attended to in case they develop symptoms of the dangerous disease.
20:11  India, Japan fail to break grounds on nuclear deal:  NDTV reports:  Despite the bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, India and Japan failed to break new grounds in ongoing talks on a nuclear deal between the two countries.

The two sides today signed a statement of intent to continue talks on the nuclear deal, officials said after summit talks between the two leaders in Tokyo today.


The Japanese PM said there had been, "important progress on nuclear cooperation in the last few months. I was able to have frank discussions with PM Modi on this issue and deepen understanding on both sides."

Talks on a deal have been stuck on Japan's insistence on a clause that India won't test again and will allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities to ensure that spent fuel is not diverted to make bombs.
20:11  India, Japan fail to break grounds on nuclear deal:  NDTV reports:  Despite the bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, India and Japan failed to break new grounds in ongoing talks on a nuclear deal between the two countries.

The two sides today signed a statement of intent to continue talks on the nuclear deal, officials said after summit talks between the two leaders in Tokyo today.


The Japanese PM said there had been, "important progress on nuclear cooperation in the last few months. I was able to have frank discussions with PM Modi on this issue and deepen understanding on both sides."

Talks on a deal have been stuck on Japan's insistence on a clause that India won't test again and will allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities to ensure that spent fuel is not diverted to make bombs.
19:49  Vajubhai Vala takes oath as Karnataka governor :  Vajubhai Vala, former Gujarat assembly Speaker and an old trusted aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was today sworn in as the governor of Karnataka.

Seventy-six-year-old Vala was administered oath of office by Chief Justice of the Karnataka high court D H Waghela at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Union ministers D V Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar, state ministers, leader of Opposition in the state assembly Jagadish Shettar, BJP vice-president B S Yeddyurappa and senior bureaucrats were present at the event. Vala took the oath in Hindi.
19:47  No row with Sena over seats, final talks yet to start: BJP:  The BJP in Maharashtra today said it was yet to finalise seat-sharing agreement with the Shiv Sena for the ensuing assembly elections and dismissed reports of differences between the saffron allies over pre-poll pact.

The state BJP also said the party will work according to the template set by national president Amit Shah amid indications that it is eyeing more assembly seats than what it contested in 2009.

"We have invited Amit Shah to Mumbai as he has not visited Mumbai after assuming the post of BJP chief. We also want to show him the Ganpati festival being celebrated in Mumbai and also discuss the upcoming elections with him. We will work according to the guidelines set by him," state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said. He was talking to reporters at BJP office in suburban Mumbai on the margins of a meeting of the state BJP parliamentary board. The meet was also attended by Leaders of Opposition in the assembly and council Eknath Khadse and Vinod Tawde, respectively.
19:09  End of days at the Bhojana Bhavan :  At least 185 employees of the Planning Commission on Monday circulated the Congress and Left parties' reactions on the end of the Planning Commission. They were enthused by the negative stories in media and went to the extent of copy-pasting the media reports on their notice boards and in the elevators.

The reason is well known. Yojana Bhavan was once called as the Bhojana Bhavan -- a metaphor for officials who were fattened just pushing files. 
19:04  When in South Block, switch off your phones:  Arun Jaitley has been at pains to explain why mobile phones are not permitted within the Defence Ministry. It's a rule he follows without fail when in office -- switches off his mobile phone and keeps it away from the meeting place.

Technology has an uncanny way of getting past defences and Jaitley quite naturally will have none of it.
18:28  Delhi gang rape juvenile convict paints at reform home :  The juvenile convict in the Delhi gang rape has been painting at the correctional facilities where it is hoped will emerge reformed. His most recent painting shows a young woman in a flowing, yellow and blue robe, wearing a crown. The painting is called The Princess.

Read the full report on the Washington Post.

Picture courtesy: The Washington Post.
18:11  Shekhar Gupta's return to India Today Group 'ends' in two months:  In a memo to the India Today group this morning, founder-chairman Aroon Purie announced that Gupta will no longer be Editor-in-Chief.

The memo reads: "Shekhar has spent the last two months getting to know the organization, and we him. After much thought and discussion, we have decided to restructure our arrangement to our mutual benefit.

From today, I will resume the responsibilities of Editor-in-Chief and he will be Editorial Advisor to the India Today Group even as he pursues his creative and entrepreneurial interests. 

His widely read weekly column, National Interest, will continue to be published plus other long form articles, which he will write exclusively for the magazine.

Shekhar, a dear personal friend, remains passionate to the India Today Revamp Project and will support me and the team. He will attend India Today weekly news meetings to brainstorm with us. He will be available to all of you as a sounding board, critic, and mentor."

Just two months ago, Gupta left The Indian Express after a 19-year-long run to join the India Today Group, as its Vice-Chairman.
17:58  Natwar gifts Pranab a copy of his book :  K Natwar Singh, whose book, 'One Life Is Not Enough' has put the Gandhis in a spot, had an hour long meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee President last week.

It was simply a a courtesy call, where the former senior bureaucart gifted a a copy of his book to his 'friend' Pranab Mukherejee. Their association, in effect a deep friendship, goes back nearly 40 years.

The two are believed to have discussed the internal and external politics of the Congress. When asked, Natwar Singh, refused to elaborate on the President's reaction to his book. 
17:30  What India gets from Modi's Japan visit :  Meeting in Tokyo on 1 September 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to realize the full potential of India - Japan Strategic and Global Partnership for continuing progress and prosperity for their people and for advancing peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.

Elevating the relationship to a Special Strategic and Global Partnership, they called their meeting the dawn of a new era in India - Japan relations.

Read the full text of the MEA's statement
17:29  PM's Japan visit benefits Gujarat:  According to the announcement made by the Japanese government today after the bilateral talks between the prime ministers of India and Japan, the Japanese side announced the launch of a feasibility study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency of a project for setting up of a 10 MW canal-top grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Gujarat as a model for next generation infrastructure.
17:23   Imran Khan, cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri booked for terrorism, reports Dawn news.
17:13  Mamata refuses to pledge support to PM's Jan Dhan Yojana :  The PMO is said to be disappointed with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

It is believed that she did not evince any interest in the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana launched last week, even as all the other 28 CMs pledged support from their state governments.

The PMO is believed to have called each chief minister and sought their government's cooperation. That was followed up by calls from finance minister Arun Jaitley.

But Mamata has not yielded and it is believed she refused to take calls from Delhi. This has obviously not gone down well with the BJP leadership.
16:52  Srinivasan can't be BCCI prez till Mudgal report is filed: SC:  The Supreme Court has ruled that ICC President N Srinivasan cannot be allowed to discharge his job as BCCI president till a report is filed by Justice Mudgal.

The SC asks the Mudgal committee to expedite the probe into the scandal and grants the Justice Mudgal Committee two months more time to complete the probe against ICC President N Srinivasan andothers in IPL betting and match-fixing scandal.

SC allows the committee to file any interim report on Srinivasan or any office bearer of BCCI. Justice Mukul Mudgal committee was set up to look into IPL betting and match-fixing allegations. 
16:45  Just in: Pak Army Chief has not proposed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign or goes on leave.
16:43  Tatra truck case: Tejinder Singh taken to Tihar jail
16:35  PM Abe has understood my vision: Modi :  PM Modi addresses a joint presser in Tokyo: "Understanding my vision, PM Shinzo Abe has assured to extend his support for India's development. Our relation is not only limted to our economy, but we have a lot more ties. We want to take our political relation to new heights. Our relation is not only limited to our economy but we have a lot more ties. We want to take our political relation to new heights.

"In fields like Advance Technology,Education, Research and Development we are working for the benefit of both countries. How the 21st century will be will depend on how our nations decide to move ahead, what path we take," the PM said. 
16:22  'I had decided my first bilateral visit would be in Japan':  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are addressing the media.

PM Modi address Abe as "my old friend". Modi said that he had decided his first bilateral visit would be to Japan. "We discussed politics, security, economy in today's meeting. Japan has a great role in India's development," says Modi. "I am grateful to Japan for the welcome I have got here. Japan will partner us to promote inclusive development," the PM added.

Shinzo Abe addressed the media just ahead of Modi saying he was waiting eagerly to meet him. "Our bilateral relationship has the most potential in the world. "I want to elevate relationship to special global strategic partners. Together with PM Modi, we intend to elevate the relationship into a special strategic and global partnership," he said. 
15:42  Modimagic: Japan pledges aid of Rs 2 lakh crore :  Here's some of the takeaway from PM Modi's trip to Japan.

-- Japan to invest $35billion (in public and private investment in India over a period of five years  to finance projects including infrastructure and building of smart cities. Some of this fund will be used for the Ganga rejuvenation project.

-- No civil nuclear deal with Japan, but negotiations to continue.

-- Japan to provide financial and technical support for bullet trains.

-- No deal on purchase of US2 amphibian craft.

-- Japan to remove six of Indias space and defence-related entities from Japan's Foreign End User List.

India-Japan ties are expected to get a major boost from the personal camaraderie of Modi and his Japanese counterpart Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Both leaders are emblematic of a new, ambitious and nationalistic Asian landscape. They have decisive mandates to reshape the economic and strategic future of their respective nations and they are already using it with great flourish.
15:11  MeT predicts heavy showers over next 48 hours for Mumbai:  The MeT department has predicted that the monsoon is likely to get stronger in Mumbai where heavy downpour is expected over the next 48 hours.

"We have issued an alert of heavy rainfall in Mumbai and very heavy rainfall in Central Maharashtra and Konkan region over the next 48 hours," V K Rajeev, Director General of Regional Meteorological Centre at Mumbai.

Strong south westerly winds, a low-pressure area formed in the Vidarbha region, and an offshore trough running from North Maharashtra coast to Kerala coast have contributed to the activation of monsoon in the state, he said.

And here's what Mumbai looked like today. See our slideshow.
14:49  Redrawing a State in India Drives Land Prices to the Sky. Read
14:46  Court dismisses Tejinder Singh's bail plea in Tatra truck scam case :  Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh's bail plea in the Tatra truck case has been struck down and a court has ordered his arrest. Singh has charged with offering a Rs 14 crore bribe to then Army Chief Gen V K Singh for clearing a file pertaining to the procurement of 1,676 heavy mobility Tatra vehicles.

Special CBI judge Madhu Jain took cognisance of the charge sheet and relied upon statements of former Defence Minister A K Antony, V K Singh and other witnesses whose testimonies were recorded by the agency during the probe.

Read our 2012 interview with Lt Gen Tejinder Singh
14:19  Modi, mythology and music in Japan school :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited an elementary school in Tokyo and mingled with the students, narrating the story of Lord Krishna. Modi wanted to learn how the Japanese education system works and received a presentation in this regard at the Taimei Elementary School on the third day of his Japan visit.

Subsequently, he went to a music class where the children, in the age group of 7-8 years, sang a song for him.

They also played music as he stood between them. Finding that some students were playing flute, he told them that music has the potential of attracting animals.

As the students stood amused, he narrated the story of Lord Krishna. "In India's mythology, there is Lord Krishna. He used to play flute and that used to attract cows to him," he said.

He then played the flute for the children. The Taimei Elementary School was functional as normal and there was no disruption despite the high profile visit because of which a security blanket was put there.

Later in the day, Modi had 'chai pe charcha' (discussion over tea) with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. Modi was served Japanese tea at a ceremony, which was a special gesture by Abe.
14:12   New self-cleaning cashmere developed:  Researchers have developed a new cashmere fabric that automatically cleans itself using nothing but light. Cashmere is a delicate material that usually gets cleaned in an expensive, energy-intensive, and sometimes toxic process at a dry cleaner.

By coating cashmere with an invisible, nano-thin layer of anatase titanium dioxide, researchers in Hong Kong have created fabric that does not resist stains, but makes them disappear. When the fabric is placed in light for 24 hours, any dirt, bacteria, or stain automatically goes away, thanks to a chemical reaction triggered by the light, 'FastCompany' reported.

The researchers said the technology is set to make its way into actual clothing if tests continue to show that there are no adverse effects on health from the nanoparticle coatings.
14:05  Opposition slams Modi over his live Teachers' Day address to students:   A row has broken out over the Human Resource and Development (HRD) Ministry's directive on the compulsory viewing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Teachers Day speech by school students across the country. The opposition slammed the government directive and said that schools and parents will be inconvenienced by this directive.

A number of private schools termed the initiative as "good and positive", but they feel making the necessary arrangements for showing the address to the students will put lot of burden on the teachers and they will not be able to celebrate the day.  Read more
13:35  Scheme for toilets in rural areas makes little headway:  While much is being said and done about the construction of individual household toilets and school sanitation, the slow pace of construction of toilets in rural areas is a reason worth worrying . The data by Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation reveals that most of the states have failed to achieve the set target for the construction of toilets under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. Read
13:22  PM takes on China in Japan: Deplore 'expansionist' tendency of some countries:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi today deplored the "expansionist" tendency among some countries which "encroach" upon seas of others, in oblique comments against China which is having a maritime dispute with Japan.

"The whole world accepts that the 21st century will belong to Asia. But I have a question. How should the 21st century be? We have to give an answer to this. It will depend on how deep and progressive our relationship (between India and Japan) is," he said addressing business leaders of India and Japan.

"We have to decide if we want to have 'vikas vaad' (development) or 'vistar vaad' (expansionism) which leads to disintegration. Those who follow the path of Buddha and have faith on 'vikas vaad', they develop. But we see, those having ideas of the 18th century, engage in encroachments and enter seas (of others)," he said.


Pic: PM at a tea ceremony with Japan PM Abe Shinzo.
13:10  Domestic worker on Masterchef causes a stir :  A South African domestic worker who landed a spot in the popular Masterchef television series is causing a stir in a country where household staff are usually seen but not heard. Read
13:03  United Bank of India declares Vijay Mallya as wilful defaulter:   State-run United Bank of India today became the first lender to declare debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines and its promoter Vijay Mallya as wilful defaulters.

Post this declaration, these persons and the entity would not be able to borrow from the bank in future. They would also lose Director-level positions in companies. Criminal proceeding could also be initiated against these persons if warranted.
12:52  RSS leader hacked to death in Keralas Kannur district:  A district-level RSS leader was hacked to death at Kannur in Kerala on Monday morning. The victim, identified as Manoj was attacked at Diamond mukku near Thalassery, police said, adding that an inquiry was underway. Police is yet to ascertain the identity of the assailants.
12:48  'You're quite pretty...for an Indian girl':   When you belong to an ethnic minority, you quickly get used to people reacting in very different ways to the colour of your skin. As a Londoner, I rarely come across extreme racism in the multicultural city I grew up in, but what I do get is a lot of awkward 'race moments'.  Read
12:45  Stop cheque, pay the price with jail term:   Even a "stop cheque payment' instruction to his bank can land a person in jail.

The Supreme Court, in a recent judgment, has ruled that such instructions amount to an offence under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1885, enough to send the offender behind bars.

Normally, it is understood that if a cheque bounces because of insufficient funds, the payee can initiate criminal action against the drawer under the act, which may lead to imprisonment for up to a year. Read
12:44  3 dead in gas pipeline blast in Assam :  Just in: Three people have been killed and 20 injured in a gas pipeline blast in Moran in upper Assam. 
12:29  In Japan, Modi's chai pe charcha: I'm Gujarati, commerce is in my blood:  Wooing Japanese businessmen, Narendra Modi cited the 5.7 per cent economic growth accomplished in the first quarter of this financial year. "It is a big jump. Now there is renewed hope," he said.

Declaring that he is committed to bringing Japanese-style efficiency to his office and the government, the PM said, "Being a Gujarati, commerce is in my blood. Businesses do not need concessions. They only need the environment to grow."
12:27  Come, do business with us, PM tells Japan:  Holding that the environment of "disappointment" was over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited Japanese businesses to join India's developmental efforts with a promise of non-discriminatory and speedy clearances and announced setting up of a Special Management Team under PMO to facilitate business from Japan.

Addressing top business leaders of Japan and India here, Modi flagged the recent decisions to liberalise FDI policy in the railways, defence and insurance and said rules and laws are being changed in India which would show results in the near future. Modi, who has enjoyed immense reputation in Japan as then Gujarat Chief Minister in terms of ensuring the state's progress, said India wants to emulate Japan in terms of quality, zero defect and delivery systems while carrying out skill development.


A different chai pe charcha: Modi at a tea ceremony in Japan.
12:19  Pakistan Rangers enter the PTV building, asking protesters to leave the premises.
12:17  The Pakistan Television (PTV) network office has been held hostage by protesters as a result of which transmission has stopped in the federal capital, Dawn News reports.
12:15  Pakistan protestors enter PTV office :  Pakistan national television taken off air after anti-government protesters storm state broadcaster's offices. Protestors break gate and enter the PTV office.

Mounting pressure on embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, opposition leader Imran Khan on Sunday vowed to fight till death and asked Pakistanis to rebel against the illegal regime after two persons were killed and about 450 others injured in police crackdown on protesters.

"I request all the nation, civil servants, bureaucrats and police to rebel against this illegal government," Khan told his supporters.

The cricketer-turned-politician asked officials to ignore all illegal orders from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party-led government.
12:09  PM Narendra Modi's official welcome ceremony at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. 
12:08  PTV announcement - saying staff being beaten up, tweets Haroon Rashid '@TheHaroonRashid 
12:05  Pakistan's anti-PM protests: Cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri claims his supporters have reached PM Nawaz Sharif's residence. Protestors have also entered the PTV office. 
11:46  The decline of tobacco and its lessons :   Fifty years ago, in 1964, Dan Galouye wrote a brilliant science-fiction novel that featured a virtual city.

This fully realized urban world, complete with individualized people, was, in fact, a computer simulation designed to save market researchers the expense of polling real people.

One of the uses that this counterfeit world was put to in the novel, was to test out the potential consequences of a ban on smoking. Read more
11:44  Air wars continue: SpiceJet offers Rs 499 fare on domestic network!:   Country's second largest airline by market share, SpiceJet today launched yet another limited period special fare scheme, 'Early Bird', offering customers ticket prices as low as Rs 499 on its domestic network.

The bookings for this three-day offer commences from today with a travel validity period between January 16 and October 24 next year, SpiceJet said in a release today.
11:41  PM invites Japanese businesses; promises speedy clearances:   Holding that the environment of "disappointment" was over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited Japanese businesses to join India's developmental efforts with a promise of non-discriminatory and speedy clearances and announced setting up of a Special Management Team under PMO to facilitate business from Japan.

Addressing top business leaders of Japan and India here, Modi flagged the recent decisions to liberalise FDI policy in the railways, defence and insurance and said rules and laws are being changed in India which would show results in the near future.

Modi, who has enjoyed immense reputation in Japan as then Gujarat Chief Minister in terms of ensuring the state's progress, said India wants to emulate Japan in terms of quality, zero defect and delivery systems while carrying out skill development.
11:29  Special management team for Japan under PMO: Modi:  Holding that the environment of "disappointment" was over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday invited Japanese businesses to join India's developmental efforts with a promise of non-discriminatory and speedy clearances and announced setting up of a special management team under PMO to facilitate business from Japan. Read
11:27  Pandit Ravi Shankar was unhappy as I was drawing more applause: Annapurna Devi:  In the extremely rarefied atmosphere of the finest exponents of Indian classical music, she is a "virtuoso's virtuoso".

Ironically, only a handful of people have been fortunate enough to have heard her play. Now, nearly 60 years since legendary surbahar and sitar exponent Annapurna Devi completely vanished from the public eye (and ear), she has finally broken her silence on why she left her promising concert career and became a recluse: it was to save her marriage with Pandit Ravi Shankar.  Read
11:16  Was rule of law followed in coal block allocation, asks court:  Just In: A Delhi court has asked the CBI to clarify if  rule of law was followed in allocating coal blocks to top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla's Hindalco.

Details soon.
11:13  Japan holds nationwide disaster drill. Is PM Modi taking notes?:  
Here's something for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to learn and take notes during his trip to Japan.

About 2.35 million Japanese citizens today took part in a government disaster drill, hoping to prevent a catastrophe when the quake-prone country is hit by another natural disaster.

Dry runs of evacuations, rescue operations and fire fighting were carried out across the nation to simulate an emergency response to an imaginary quake with a magnitude of 7.3 hitting Tokyo in the early morning.

"I order all the ministers to do their best to respond swiftly and appropriately by placing top priority on people's lives," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. 

The nationwide drill is held annually on September 1, known in Japan as Disaster Prevention Day which comes on the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake which killed more than 100,000 people and levelled Tokyo.

The government has stepped up its disaster response since the devastating 2011 earthquake in northeastern Japan which triggered a tsunami and sent reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant into meltdown.
11:06  Pakistani protesters lay siege to Nawaz Sharif's residence:  
Pakistani protesters wielding sticks and throwing stones clashed with police in the centre of the capital Islamabad on Monday after weeks of demonstrations demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation turned violent.

Protesters broke through the gates of the Pakistan Secretariat, which has a number of ministerial offices, television reports said.

Despite heavy rain, crowds of protesters then tried to break through police lines to push their way to the prime minister's residence.

Police responded by firing teargas.

Announcements from loud speakers also warned the police against using force against protesters.

Troops stationed at the Prime Minister's house are on alert. Rangers are also stationed in the area.

The protesters, after noting the presence of troops, have halted their current movement. They are now pitching tents there and have surrounded the area.
10:13  Come, invest in India: PM Modi tells Japan Inc:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday pitched for greater cooperation between India and Japan and assured the Japanese business leaders that a good environment will be provided to them while inviting them to invest in his country.

Speaking at business lunch by Nippon Keidanren at Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PM Modi said, "Expectations from Japan are natural as our ties are much older. We also want to work with Japan in the field of research and skill development."

Calling for a greater cooperation between the two nations, Prime Minister Modi said, "We know that businessmen need a good environment to grow and this is our responsibility. The state has to be policy driven. We have given importance to good governance and to processes. We are looking at how to integrate technology with Governance."

"In the coming days you'll get the same speed and response that you have experienced in Gujarat when I was the Chief Minister," PM further said.

"Being a Gujarati, commerce is in my blood so I understand that it is policymakers and and government's responsibility to provide good environment for businessmen," PM Modi said.
09:29  UP battles power crisis-drought, CM Akhilesh flies off to Netherlands:  
Zee News Reports: Amid an unprecedented power crisis and a drought in the state, a high-level delegation led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav left for Netherlands Monday, a government spokesman informed.

Accompanied by ministers and senior bureaucrats including chief secretary Alok Ranjan, Yadav will be meeting industry captains and government officials in Netherlands in a bid to attract investment in the state and enhance trade ties.

Soon after arriving in Amsterdam, Yadav is slated to visit the world's biggest flower auction centre Flora Holland at Aalsmeer.

The centre is known world over as the capital of flowers. The visit to this centre, an officer said was to gather knowledge about techniques to grow flowers in UP and also to learn how they are gathered at one place, their upkeep and the subsequent marketing.

Read more HERE
09:06  Coal scam: SC to decide on cancellation of blocks today:  
The Supreme Court will decide today whether to cancel the coal blocks that were allocated by the screening committee between 1993 and 2010, a move which it had termed as unfair and illegal.

In its ealier decision on August 25, the apex court had ruled the 218 coal blocks that were allocated between 1993 and 2010 by the screening committee as illegal as they were not fair and transparent and suffered from vice of arbitrariness.

The apex court, which examined the allocation of 218 blocks, said "Common good and public interest have, thus, suffered heavily" as "there was no fair and transparent procedure, all resulting in unfair distribution of the national wealth."

A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha also held that "no State Government or public sector undertakings of the State Governments are eligible for mining coal for commercial use". 

The bench, however, stopped short of de-allocating the blocks and fixed September 1 to decide the consequences of the illegality of the coal blocks. 

Moreover, the bench also ruled that no objective criteria was followed and guidelines were breached in the coal block allocation, adding that all allocations were done in illegal manner and that it suffers from vice of arbitrariness. 
09:05  Six dead in Paris suburb building explosion:  
Six people were killed when an explosion ripped through an apartment building outside Paris, reducing half a residential block to rubble, emergency services have said. 

The bodies of a child described as around 10 years old, a boy aged 14-18 and two women were recovered from the remains of the four-storey building in the northeastern suburb of Rosny-sous-Bois. 

Two more bodies were found late in the evening as firefighters continued to comb the wreckage, leaving two other people still unaccounted for, Mayor Claude Capillon said. 

Neighbours said the blast, which happened at around 2230 IST yesterday, was strong enough to shake buildings some 100 metres away. 

Early indications were that it was an accidental gas explosion.

"Our house moved, we were trembling from fear," said Pauline, a neighbour, adding that the explosion was so loud that "our ears were ringing". 

Ghislaine Poletto, 55, who lives about 50 metres away from the collapsed building, said she "jumped into her trousers" and hurried to the site, where together with neighbours "we managed to pull two children out".

One of the children was "protected by a mattress and a board above his head, which saved his life," she said. 

Firefighters said 11 people were injured in the explosion, four of them seriously.
09:04  Islamist militia guarding vacant US Embassy in Tripoli:  
An Islamist militia, Dawn of Libya, has taken control of the US Embassy in Libyan capital Tripoli and posted a video online, while the US officials said they are seeking details of it.

"We've seen the reports and videos and are seeking additional details. At this point, we believe the Embassy compound itself remains secure but we continue to monitor the situation on the ground, which remains very fluid," a Senior State Department official said in Washington. 

The official said America had moved embassy staff from Tripoli to Valletta, Malta, because of "ongoing fighting between militias occurring very close to our compound." 

Those personnel "remain engaged," the official said, while the State Department continues to work with the Libyan government.

"Our Ambassador and other officials remain engaged both in Washington and from our Embassy in Valletta, Malta, where Embassy staff from Tripoli were recently relocated," the official said. 
08:57  Nalanda University to be inaugurated today:  
The resurrection of the ancient university will bring to fruition of an idea proposed by the former President APJ Abdul Kalam in 2006.

We will have a low-key launch with classes for the School of Ecology and Environmental Studies and the School of Historical Studies beginning 9 am on Monday. Right now there are 15 students and 11 faculty members, NU Vice-Chancellor Gopa Sabharwal said.

Sabharwal said there were two reasons for starting on a small note as she wanted the students and teachers to settle down, and that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would be visiting on September 14.

We have decided to have a big function when Swaraj visits NU on September 14. By that time things will settle down, Sabharwal added.

The University on Sunday completed the three-day orientation programme for students.
08:55  Top headlines at this hour::  'Student' Modi goes to school in Tokyo

SC's coal scam verdict today; future tense for 194 blocks

Rift in Imran Khan's party over anti-govt protests, top leader expelled

Skipper Chigumbura leads Zimbabwe to shock win over Australia

Liverpool thump toothless Spurs, Arsenal held by Leicester
08:52  Good Morning... 

Stars spotted!  What's this?

Spotted: Rani Mukerji at Yash Raj studio
Reader Rahul Prabhakar sends us a photograph.

More stars spotted

Met a celebrity?
Email us photos & videos