23:22 Ukraine PM rejects Putin ceasefire plan as bid to deceive:
Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Wednesday rejected a ceasefire plan unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin as an attempt to deceive the West about Moscow's real intentions.
"This latest plan is another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the international community ahead of the NATO summit and an attempt to avert the EU's inevitable decision to unleash a new wave of sanctions against Russia," he said in a statement.
23:18 CAfrica attack kills at least 5: peacekeepers:
At least five people were killed during an attack by armed men on a northern town in the Central African Republic, a source in the African peacekeeping force said today. Heavily armed men believed to be ex-Seleka rebel fighters stormed Nana Bakassa, 300 kilometres north of the capital Bangui on Tuesday, an officer with the MISCA force told AFP.
"We provisionally counted five dead and others wounded" in the attack, where people were targeted on the streets and in their homes, he added on condition of anonymity.
22:02 4 Pak cops injured in Karachi grenade blasts:
Attackers hurled hand grenades at a check post today injuring four policemen in Pakistan's biggest city, the latest in a series of deadly assaults on the police. The attack followed the targeted killing of two policemen in the Malir area late last night.
A senior police official said that two men on a motorcycle flung two hand grenades at a police check post near a pedestrian bridge on Main Nursery road.
21:19 Cameron rules out ransom for British hostage held by IS:
UK Prime Minister David Cameron today ruled out paying ransom to secure the release of a British hostage being held by Islamic State militants. Speaking in the House of Commons, Cameron stressed that the UK will not "waver" in its aim to defeat terrorism and that every possible option will be considered to protect the British man even as he condemned the "barbaric" beheading of a second US hostage.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the many tens of millions of dollars that ISIL (IS) have raised from ransom payments is going into promoting terrorism including terrorism affecting our own country," he said.
IS terrorists threatened to kill a British hostage in a video of US journalist Steven Sotloff's death unless US air strikes in Iraq are stopped. The British hostage has family in Scotland but relatives do not want him named.
21:15 Coast Guard repatriates 23 Sri Lankan fishermen:
The Indian Coast Guard has handed over 23 Sri Lankan fishermen along with their four fishing boats to the officials of the island nation at the Indo-Sri Lankan International Maritime Boundary Line.
The Coast Guard ship Vishwast
undertook the repatriation on August 29 from the coast of Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, towing the boats for about 840 kilo metres and handed them over to Sri Lankan forces at the Indo-Sri Lankan International Maritime Boundary Line today, an official release said.
In 2014 alone, the Coast Guard (Eastern) region has repatriated 171 Indian fishing boats along with 930 crew and 55 Sri Lankan fishing boats and 353 crew members, the release said.
21:07 Greenpeace India lashes out at govt:
Greenpeace India, which is under scanner for its foreign funding, today criticised the government, saying it was trying to "muzzle" voices of dissent in democracy in the name of financial scrutiny.
The NGO said that in the absence of any communication from the government, it was forced to believe that the MHA was attempting to "financially choke" and "discredit" it in order to proceed smoothly with its "pro-corporate" agenda. Its statement came after the Delhi high court sought the Centre's response on the NGO's plea seeking directions to the government that foreign donations of Rs 1.87 crore, meant for it, be credited in its bank account.
The court also asked the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to keep the freezed foreign donations as "interest-earning fixed deposit" till further orders.
20:35 Dismissing contentions that the leadership of Rahul Gandhi has come under doubt amid an apparent tug of war within the party, Congress today asserted that the Congress Vice President is the "leadership" for future and that partymen will work under him.
The remarks by party spokesperson Shobha Oza came amid an apparent tug of war within the party between some of the old guards and the new generation leadership of the Congress, which appears poised to take over the reins of AICC affairs as part of the party's restructuring exercise after Lok Sabha debacle.
"Rahulji is our leader. The party will grow under his leadership and we will come back to power...There is no doubt about Rahul's leadership. We will work under him and take the party forward," Oza said at the AICC briefing.
Some young general secretaries have privately held meetings and discussed the remarks of some senior party leaders, which, they felt, appeared questioning the leadership of Rahul.
Oza, however, feigned ignorance about such meetings and said,"I do not know about it. I am ignorant about the meeting. I will inquire about this meeting and will come back to you after getting information".
20:19 Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge:
Korean giant Samsung today unveiled the latest version of its phablet, Note 4, along with Galaxy Note Edge as it looks to defend its leadership against the likes of Apple in the global smartphone market.
Launched at the IFA trade show here, the Note 4 features a 5.7-inch quad high-definition Super Amoled screen, 2.7 GHz quadcore processor (or 1.9 GHz octacore processor depending on the country), 16 MP rear and 3.7 MP front camera.
The Note Edge, which features a slightly smaller 5.6 inch Super Amoled screen, has a display that curves around on one side of the phone. Galaxy Note 4 will be available in global markets starting October, while Note Edge will be available in select markets through Samsung's retail channels, e-commerce and carriers later this year.
20:14 IPS officers asked to declare assets, liabilities by September 15:
The government has asked all IPS officers to submit details of their assets and liabilities by September 15.
In a directive, the home ministry said the Indian Police Service officers must furnish the information and annual return of assets by September 15. Forms are available on the website of the Home Ministry and copy of the returns submitted should be endorsed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com within the stipulated date.
The total strength of IPS officers in the country is 4,728. Currently, 3,798 are in service, leaving 930 posts of senior police officers vacant. The Home Ministry is the cadre controlling authority of all IPS officers.
20:08 Rudy, Lekhi, Hari nominated to Press Council:
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has nominated three members of the House, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Meenakshi Lekhi and G Hari, to the Press Council of India.
As per the Press Council of India Act, the Council shall consist of a Chairman and twenty-eight other members. Of these, five shall be Members of Parliament.
According to the Act, three members shall be nominated by the Speaker from among the members of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) and two shall be nominated by the Chairman of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) from among its members.
20:00 The hospital-bound Modi cabinet : Our correspondent from New Delhi reports:
Ever since the National Democratic Alliance government has assumed power on May 26, the new cabinet's top ministers and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been to the hospital for one reason or other.
Right now Union Minister Arun Jaitley is in hospital. On August 24, Modi checked into the All India Institute of Medial Sciences for check up before traveling to Japan. On August 13, in the midst of the controversy around his son Pankaj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh was hospitalised.
When he was admitted at the AIIMS, it was said that Singh complained of stomach pain. In fact, Singh has been mysteriously losing weight. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also not in the best of her health. She suffers from acute diabetes and has been hospitalised in the past. Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari also suffers from obesity and lifestyle-related issues.
Gadkari and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu have both undergone weight reduction surgery and as a result, have lost weight and appetite.
Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani is healthy and young, but suffers from weight-related issues. BJP president Amit Shah also suffers from obesity related issues and starts his day with a handful of pills.
19:38 Obama sends NSA to China ahead of November visit:
US National Security Advisor Susan Rice will travel to Beijing next week to hold talks with Chinese officials on a range of bilateral and global issues ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to China in November.
Rice would travel to China from September 7-9, for meetings with senior Chinese officials, including State Councillor Yang Jiechi, to consult on a host of bilateral, regional, and global issues, a White House statement said.
Rice will underscore the US' commitment to building a productive relationship between the two countries in advance of Obama's visit to China in November, the statement said.
19:14 Govt bulldozes criticism, appoints P Sathasivam Kerala governor :
Former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam has been appointed Kerala governor. This comes amid strong criticism from the Kerala government and the Congress leadership, wherein CM Oommen Chandy had said that the Centre had not consulted his government before taking the decision to appoint the former CJI as governor. Sathasivam replaces Sheila Dikshit.
19:00 In a first, foreign minister receives PM at the airport :
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned from Japan after his five-day visit today, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj went to the Indira Gandhi International Airport to receive him as she was elated over the success of the trip.
"EAM @SushmaSwaraj ji told me that the visit has generated lot of positivity & optimism in India about our ties with Japan. Glad to know," Modi tweeted later.
Sources said Swaraj decided to go to the airport to meet Modi especially to convey her happiness over the "success" of the visit. She was seen telling something to Modi as he came down from the special plane and the two shared a laugh.
Normally, for the past several years, no minister receives the Prime Minister at the airport when he returns from a foreign tour.
18:28 A diplomat who served India well. RIP APV!:
Rediff.com pays tribute to A P Venkateswaran, who "left an indelible impression on Indian diplomacy and made an incredible number of friends, who kept remembering him more than other Indian diplomats who served at those posts."
Ambassador T P Sreenivasan salutes a legend of the Indian Foreign Service who passed into the ages. Read
18:11 Bengal won't make arrangements to watch Modi's live address :
Possibly the only chief minister who has refused to give in to the union HRD minister's dictat (now toned down to a 'not mandatory') to 'make arrangements' for the PM's Teacher Day speech -- Mamata Banerjee.
Government schools in West Bengal will not make any arrangement for students to watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi's live address on Teachers Day and many private schools too may skip the programme.
West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee today said the there was neither the time nor the infrastructure for making such arrangements in schools.
"We will be be very busy with our own programmes. Our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will felicitate teachers at Netaji Indoor stadium on the day," he said.
17:58 Municipal schools gear up for Modi's speech on Teacher's Day:
Preparations are underway at the schools run by all the three BJP-led municipal corporations in New Delhi for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on the Teacher's Day, civic officials said today. North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), which has over 750 schools under its jurisdiction, said instructions are being followed as per the Delhi government guidelines for the day.
Modi is expected to give a 'pep talk' to about 1,000 selected students at the Manekshaw Auditorium in New Delhi on September 5, which will be beamed live to over 18 lakh government and private schools in the country through Doordarshan and education channels.
17:27 Muthalik wants leaders of Hindu outfit leaders armed :
Controversial right wing outfit Sri Ram Sene's chief Pramod Muthalik today said he would submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the need for providing licences for firerams for self-protection for leaders of Hindu outfits considering increasing incidents of attacks on them.
17:15 Malaysia Airlines tweaks its 'Bucket List' sales promo :
Reuters reports that Malaysia Airlines has changed the wording of an online contest called "My Ultimate Bucket List" after Internet users derided the campaign as insensitive following two disasters suffered by the airline this year that claimed 537 lives.
A bucket list commonly refers to things one wants to do or see before dying.
Nearing six months since the unexplained loss of Flight MH370, the carrier launched the campaign asking Australian and New Zealand customers to describe in 500 words or less, "What and where would you like to tick off on your bucket list, and explain why?".
The prize for 16 winners was an iPad or return tickets to Malaysia.
Hit by plunging ticket sales after the March 8 disaster and the July 17 shooting down of another passenger jet over Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines has slapped discounts on some routes and launched special offers to revive its business.
17:05 Malaysia Airlines mocked for bucket list challenge:
Malaysia Airlines has provoked a storm of controversy by asking customers to list the things they would most like to do before they die. The airline, which lost two planes this year in disasters that claimed 537 lives, committed the marketing gaffe when it launched a "My Ultimate Bucket List" campaign on Monday. Read
17:00 Friends of Steven Sotloff speak admiringly of his talent, passion:
When freelance journalist Steven Sotloff disappeared during a reporting trip to Syria in August 2013, his family kept the news a secret. Families of hostages are frequently advised to do this by security firms.
The abduction of Sotloff, who was beheaded Tuesday -- according to a video released by the terror group, ISIS -- has been international news since Sotloff was seen at the end of another video published last month by the Islamic extremist group. Read
A glider plane from Garg Aviation (Pilot training institute) crashes in Kanpur (UP), trainee female pilot injured.
16:54 RSS-BJP trying to 'indoctrinate young minds':CPI(M):
Accusing the RSS-BJP of trying to "indoctrinate young minds", CPI(M) today said the government's directive to schools to ensure students listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on Teachers Day was "unprecedented" and wanted it to be rescinded immediately.
"Such an instruction has never been issued in independent India even for the mandatory Addresses to the Nation by the Hon'ble President and the Prime Minister. Such an instruction is also never given for the Prime Minister's Independence Day Address from the Red Fort," the party Politburo said.
16:51 To watch, or not to watch, schools in a dilemma over Modi's Teacher's Day speech:
Schools across the country have been instructed to screen a live telecast of a speech to be given by prime minister Narendra Modi on September 5, 'Teacher's Day'. However, while the prime minister's efforts to connect to the country's children is commendable, it is a little ill-timed, as most students and teachers of Maharashtra's schools are on Ganeshotsav vacation.
While the CBSE schools received a mail from the HRD ministry on August 30, ICSE put up the circular on its website.
This is what the ICSE circular to a south Mumbai school reads.
16:21 US confirms beheading of journalist Steven Sotloff:
A disturbing video showing beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff by dreaded terror group ISIS is authentic, US officials said today.
The Islamic State militants released the video yesterday. Sotloff is the second American journalist to be executed by by ISIS in two weeks.
"The US intelligence community has analysed the recently released video ... and has reached the judgment that it is authentic," said Caitlin Hayden, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council.
In the video, Sotloff kneels in the desert, dressed in an orange prison-style jumpsuit.
A masked "executioner" lords over him, wielding a knife. ISIS blames President Barack Obama's decision to conduct airstrikes against the militant group in Iraq for the killing.
The Islamic State has thrived and mutated during the civil war in Syria. It swept into Iraq in June, seizing large swaths of the country's Sunni-dominated northern and western provinces.
15:50 Won't go back on liquor policy, promises Kerala CM:
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today made it clear that his government would not go back on its new liquor policy of limiting bar licenses to only 5-star hotels as part of a move to implement total prohibition in the state in 10 years' time.
Answering questions in this regard after a Cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, Chandy told reporters that the decision in this regard was not taken in a hasty manner and the matter was discussed for about five months.
As to the issue of loss of revenue for the state exchequer due to the new policy, Chandy said, "I am not taking the revenue loss of about Rs 7,000 crore lightly. However, the loss to society and drawbacks due to liquor consumption is much more than the revenue earned by the state."
The Cabinet also decided to give an Onam festival allowance of Rs 5,000 each to all the workers of the 412 bars in the state which have been already shut down. There were 7,467 employees in these bars. As per the new policy, besides these 412 bars, notices have been issued to 312 other such establishments to close down by September 12.
15:48 SC asks govt: Will Ganga be cleaned in this century?:
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to furnish its stage-wise plan on cleaning of river Ganga, the 'dream project' of Narendra Modi govt. According to reports, the court demanded a report on the Ganga Action Plan as well.
The court also demanded a Power Point presentation on how government intends to clean the river. "Will Ganga be cleaned in this century or not?" the court asked, asking the Centre to file another affidavit in three weeks.
"After seeing your action plan, it seems Ganga will not be cleaned even after 200 years. You should take steps so that Ganga gets its pristine glory and future generations can see it. We don't know whether we will see it or not," the top court said today.
The apex court in effect demanded a concrete action plan.
14:57 Modi's 'secular friends' jibe 'shocking, unbecoming': Cong:
Congress today hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his dig at "secular friends" saying that the comments made on foreign soil was "shocking and ungracious" and had made India a "laughing stock" in Japan.
"Shocking and unbecoming of a Prime Minister to mock secularism on foreign soil, when communal temperatures raised by his own party in India," Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said in a tweet.
Not mincing words, he said Modi was "beating the communal drum-beat in Japan" and the "mocking" of a serious issue of secularism is "ungracious, unacceptable, unexpected". "The ferocious communal cat is out of the bag, officially! PM Modi ridicules secularists in India in Japan. We must be a laughing stock there," he tweeted.
His tweets drew reactions from twitterati in support of the ruling party. Modi had an audience with Emperor Akihito yesterday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on the fourth day of his five-day visit to Japan to strengthen bilateral ties.
Addressing the members of the Indian community at a reception there, Modi said he had carried a copy of the Gita to gift to the Emperor.
"For gifting I brought a Gita. I do not know what will happen in India after this. There may be a TV debate on this. "Our secular friends will create 'toofan'( storm) that what does Modi think of himself? He has taken a Gita with him that means he has made this one also communal," the Prime Minister had said.
As the remarks were greeted with a round of applause, Modi hastened to add, "Anyway, they should also have their livelihood and if I am not there, then how will they earn their livelihood?"
14:43 I did not hit anyone during the convention: Wani:
National Conference leader Nasir Aslam Wani today claimed that he did not hit anyone during the party convention in Ganderbal district but admitted to having an heated exchange with supporters of a local leader.
"I will not deny that there was scuffle but I did not hit anyone. I have not hit anyone in 16 years of my political career," Wani told reporters on the sidelines of a function attended by the chief minister.
Wani, who is the provincial president of National Conference, had allegedly hit a supporter of Ishfaq Jabbar, a former Congress leader who joined the regional party last year, at the party one-day convention in Ganderbal yesterday.
13:36 Govt notifies new Lokpal search committee rules:
The government has notified new Lokpal search committee rules, giving it more freedom to recommend names for chairperson and members of the anti-corruption body outside the list provided by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
Earlier rules, which were formed by the previous UPA government, mandated the search committee to prepare a panel of persons to be considered by Prime Minister-led selection committee for appointment as the chairperson and members of the Lokpal, from amongst the list of persons given by DoPT.
In the new rules, the government has omitted restrictions for the search committee to recommend the names for Lokpal through the list provided by the DoPT.
"The search committee may, for the purpose of short- listing of persons, adopt such short-listing norms as it may consider appropriate," said the rules notified by the DoPT.
"The words 'from amongst the list of persons provided by the central government in the Department of Personnel and Training' shall be omitted," the new rules said.
Priyanka Chopra: I am not confident about Mary Kom. Read
the interview on Rediff.com.
12:47 Islamic State and the Afghan analogy:
The Islamic State is threatening to define the United States foreign policies in the near term. The stark message conveyed in the video on the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff is that an action-reaction syndrome is setting in. Every move by President Barack Obama can provoke a counter-move by the ISIS. Read
12:32 Two brothers hacked to death, beheaded in Tamil Nadu:
Two brothers were hacked to death by an unidentified gang that beheaded them and threw their severed heads on the road near the Medical College in Chidambaram town of Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu, the police said. The gang attacked the ambulance in which Kumar and his brother Rajesh were travelling using country bombs and sickles around mid-night last night. Their severed heads were found on the road near the medical college, close to the site where they were attacked, the police said.
12:14 We are still waiting, Mr Modi:
This has been a long first 100 days. The government's sweeping electoral success brought with it high expectations of big changes in the direction of economic policies and reforms. So far, that hasn't happened. Instead, we have seen a remarkable continuity with the previous government's policies and worldview. Read
Pic: Amul's take on Modi's Japan visit
12:06 How Modi learnt to play the flute and the drums:
So, PM Modi is on his way back home after a five-day visit to Japan. People see too much in Modi's drum boy act. He could rock in Tokyo without hesitation because all the RSS boys are taught a few dozen songs and prayers. They are also compulsorily taught to play drums and flute at their annual parade.
Modi being the first amongst equals even in the good old RSS days was always asked to lead the RSS boys march.
He was Ghoshna boy (the person who led the march) of the parade for many years. To his credit, Modi has learnt the lessons well and used it at the right place.
12:03 What happens if ISIS keeps beheading Americans:
SIS has now beheaded a second American hostage. According to the SITE Intelligence Group, the terror group posted a video showing the killing of Steven Sotloff, a journalist who has been held for months but whose captivity was made public only two weeks ago, when he was shown at the end of the video depicting James Foley's killing. Read
11:41 Bismillah Khan's 'Begum' to settle in Bangalore:
Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan mesmerised the people of Karnataka back in 1977 when he played for the Rajkumar-starrer Sanaadi Appanna. The State has got lucky again, as Bangalore will soon acquire and display the Ustad's shehnai -- which he often referred to as his 'Begum'. Read
11:38 A new sunrise in Indo-Japan relationships:
India and Japan have enjoyed the best of relations over the decades. Yet, their trade and economic partnership has, strangely, been under-performing, belying the promise and potential. Bilateral trade at $16.29 billion in 2013-14 accounted for just 2.13 per cent of India's total trade and barely 1 per cent of Japan's. Read
11:35 Nothing Vedic in Vedic Math:
Advocating 'Vedic mathematics' as a replacement for traditional Indian arithmetic is hardly an act of nationalism; it only shows ignorance of the history of mathematics. Read
11:31 In Mamata's Bengal, teen killed, raped for defying kangaroo court's order to lick spit:
A teenager in West Bengal was ordered to lick spit by a village kangaroo court, allegedly led by a woman councilor of the ruling Trinamool Congress. The girl refused, and on Tuesday morning, her naked body was found near railway tracks not far from her home in Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri district.
Her family has filed an FIR or police complaint alleging rape and murder, and named 13 people, including the husband of the councilor, Namita Roy. Three have been held for questioning. Read
11:10 At 100, more worries than hope:
Compared to the UPA-style paralysis, there are some welcome signs of movement with the new government, but its direction remains, at best, unclear, if not worrisome. It is good to see a leader with conviction, but we are already treading the thin line between decisiveness and authoritarianism.
AAP's Yogendra Yadav writes for the Hindu. Read
11:04 Manipur blockade issue: MHA issued advisory, national highway should remain open and law and order should be maintained.
10:57 UN chief 'outraged' at beheading of US journalist:
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today said the world was "outraged" at the apparent beheading of a second US journalist in a video released by Islamic State (IS) militants.
"We are all outraged at reports from Iraq about the brutal killing of civilians by ISIL (IS), including yesterday's reported brutal beheading of another journalist," he said in New Zealand after a video purporting to show the death of US journalist Steven Sotloff was posted online.
The release of the images follows similar grisly footage from IS last month showing another US journalist, James Foley, being decapitated.
10:55 Narendra Modi will allow the RSS a say in a few subjects only :
Indira Gandhi as prime minister led India in a war that culminated in the creation of Bangladesh. She was titled "Empress of India" by the London Economist.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee called her Durga. In a few years, she declared the Emergency, arrested most Opposition leaders and gave her second son, Sanjay, unbridled powers. Congressmen meekly consented to her dictatorial powers. Read more
10:49 The Supreme Court has dismissed controversial godman Nithyananda's plea, and asks him to undergo a potency test in the rape case. The self-styled godman courted controversy after TV channels
telecast visuals purportedly showing him in a compromising position with
a Tamil actress, leading to his arrest in 2010. He was subsequently
released on bail.
10:12 Delhi BJP MLA escapes assassination attempt:
An unidentified gunman opened fire at Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Shahdara, Jeetendra Singh Shunty, outside his house in east Delhi's Vivek Vihar area early this morning, police said.
Shunty escaped unhurt as the bullets narrowly missed him.
The whole incident was caught on CCTV. The incident took place around 5:30 AM when the man reached Shunty's residence and repeatedly rang the bell.
"As Shunty went out to check, the man who was wearing a helmet, told him that he wanted to get some documents attested," said a police official.
As the BJP MLA took the documents from him and was about to go inside the house to attest them, the attacker whipped out a pistol.
Seeing the weapon, Shunty tried to prevent him from opening fire and had a scuffle with him but the gunman managed to fire three to four shots at him, which missed Shunty by a whisker, the official said.
The attacker then fled from the scene and police was informed about the incident.
09:54 5 states may face blackouts as coal shortage hits power supply:
NDTV reports: With an acute shortage of coal and tariff disputes with power companies in some states, India is virtually sitting on a power crisis time bomb.
According to latest official data, the northern region is facing over 5,000 MW of power shortage due to coal stocks drying up.
Five states -- Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat -- are in critical mode. Four of them are procuring electricity from Adani Power's 4,620 MW thermal power plant and Tata Power's 4,000 MW ultra-mega power project, both at Mundra in Gujarat.
One of these power plants, Adani Power, has stopped supply to Haryana citing lack of payment of dues.
09:14 Justice HL Dattu to be next Chief Justice of India: sources:
CNN-IBN reports: Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu is likely to be the next Chief Justice of India, government sources said on Wednesday.
Sources confirmed that the file has been sent to Rashtrapati Bhawan for President Pranab Mukherjee's approval.
Dattu is presently a judge in the Supreme Court. He will replace CJI RM Lodha who will retire on the 27th of September.
Justice Dattu will take over at a time when the Narendra Modi government has brought in the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill that does away with the collegium system of appointing judges.
08:40 PM Modi wraps up 'successful' Tokyo tour:
Calling his Japan trip as 'successful', Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up the five-day tour and left for New Delhi on Wednesday.
The five-day tour of Japan by Modi, which felt like a special odyssey steeped in culture and bonhomie, started on Saturday when Japanese PM Shinzo Abe flew from Tokyo to Kyoto, to specially receive him, which was unprecedented.
Speaking at the Indian community reception held in his honour, PM Modi didn't forget to mention the 'trillions', referring to the 3.5 trillion Yen (USD 35 billion or 2,10,000 crore) promised by Japan to India over next five years for various developmental works.
"There has been talk about billions and millions. But there has never been talk of trillions," he said.
"This visit has been very successful," Modi added.
08:38 CBSE circular on students' mobile numbers stokes controversy:
A circular by CBSE asking schools affiliated to it to provide mobile numbers and email address of students from class IX to XII has stoked a controversy.
While some organisations have objected to the circular, CBSE said the move is aimed at making use of information communication technology tools to improve communication among its various stakeholders.
Schools were asked to submit the information by August 25.
A few schools in Rajasthan objected to the order, fearing that personal information of students could be used for non-academic activities.
In its circular, CBSE has said, "Having mobile number and email details will not only facilitate the candidate to have timely and latest updates but will help the board also in advance planning and estimation relating to examinations."
Officials in the HRD Ministry said the information would be kept strictly confidential.
The controversy comes in the run up to the Prime Minister's live address to students on Teacher's Day. The HRD Ministry has embarked on an unprecedented exercise to make the programme a success.
08:37 NHRC to host annual meet of rights groups today:
The National Human Rights Commission will on Wednesday host the 19th annual general meeting of the Asia-Pacific Forum (APF) of the National Human Rights Institutions.
The meeting aims to promote cooperation, coordination and promotion of human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
The forum that includes 15 NHRIs and six associate members across the Asia-Pacific region will discuss their collective agenda on human rights of some vulnerable sections of the society in the next five years.
"There will also be a dialogue of the representatives of the NHRIs with Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) to discuss practical and constructive ways in which they can engage and cooperate on the APF's Strategic Plan," a news agency quoted National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) secretary general Rajesh Kishore as saying on Tuesday.
"On the last day of the meeting on September 5, specific decisions will be taken on human rights issues related to women and children," he had said.
04:03 British PM says IS beheading video 'despicable':
British Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned an Islamic State video apparently showing a militant beheading a second US reporter and threatening to kill a British captive as "despicable".
"If verified, this is a despicable and barbaric murder," Cameron said in a statement yesterday.
04:03 New Washington Post publisher spells end of era:
The Washington Post has a new publisher, owner Jeff Bezos said in his latest move to reshape the prestigious daily for the digital age, ending a long era of family management.
Bezos, the Internet entrepreneur and founder of Amazon, named Fred Ryan as publisher and chief executive, replacing Katharine Weymouth, the scion of the family that has run the paper for decades.
02:36 Kerry to meet Palestinian negotiators tomorrow: US:
US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Palestinian negotiators tomorrow in Washington to discuss the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and other issues, the State Department said.
Kerry was also expected to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone on Tuesday before meeting Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
02:36 Cameroon army 'kills 40 Boko Haram fighters':
Cameroon's army claimed today to have killed more than 40 Boko Haram fighters who tried to storm a strategic border crossing from Nigeria. Heavily armed fighters "attempted to cross the bridge at Fotokol" in the extreme north of the country and opened fire on Cameroonian soldiers, the ministry of defence told state radio.
02:36 Cameroon army 'kills 40 Boko Haram fighters':
Cameroon's army claimed today to have killed more than 40 Boko Haram fighters who tried to storm a strategic border crossing from Nigeria. Heavily armed fighters "attempted to cross the bridge at Fotokol" in the extreme north of the country and opened fire on Cameroonian soldiers, the ministry of defence told state radio.
02:35 11 killed in Pak building collapse:
At least 11 people, including two women and two children, were killed and 18 others injured today when a three-storey building collapsed in Pakistan's Sindh province. The building located in Choori Mohalla of Hyderabad city was in dilapidated condition and local authorities had issued warnings for its evacuation.
01:25 US family grieving over new beheading video:
A family spokesman says relatives of freelance journalist Steven Sotloff are aware of a new video purporting to show his beheading by Islamic State militants. In a two-sentence statement today, family spokesman Barak Barfi said Sotloff's family, quote, "knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately."
The family has not been told whether the video is authentic, and Barfi said the family does not plan to make any additional comments now.
00:28 Pakistan court dismisses plea against Nawaz, Nisar:
A Pakistani court today dismissed a plea seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for "lying to the nation" over inviting army chief Gen Raheel Sharif to help resolve the ongoing crisis in Islamabad.
Lahore High Cour Justice Mansoor ALI Shah termed the petition "non-maintainable", observing the petitioner could agitate this matter before an appropriate political forum.
00:27 Israel says Gaza war cost military USD 2.5 billion:
Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said today that the direct cost of the 50-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip was more than USD 2.5 billion. "The expenditure on Operation Protective Edge military expenditure, the direct expenditure is more than nine billion shekels," Yaalon told an economic conference in Tel Aviv.
"We attacked over than 6,000 targets, more than 5,00 of them by the air force, about 900 from land and sea," he said referring to tank, artillery and naval fire.
00:26 US assessing results of military action against Al-Shabaab:
The United States has carried out airstrikes against Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants in Somalia and is now assessing the results of its "operation" against the hardline militia, the White House said today.
"I can confirm that the US military conducted an operation in Somalia yesterday against the al-Shabaab network. "US officials are continuing to assess the results of that operation, and we will provide some additional information as appropriate," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
00:25 McDonald's increases checks of Chinese suppliers:
McDonald's says it will monitor its suppliers in China more closely after a food-safety scandal in the country hurt the hamburger chain's sales and reputation.
The fast food company will increase audits and video monitoring at its food suppliers. It will also send more employees to meat production facilities to make sure its food is prepared safely.
00:06 Russia calls on US to push Ukraine into halting military campaign:
The administration of the Russian president is ready to release a recording of a telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and European Commission President Jose Manul Barroso, Russia's envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in a letter to Barroso on Tuesday.
"I am aware that the administration of the Russian President has both a written and audio recording of the telephone conversation in question and to clarify things is ready to release them if you do not inform [us] of your objections to the release in the next two days,' Chizov said.