rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 

LIVE! Trump returns to debate stage; Rubio to face onslaught

Write a comment

February 06, 2016


23:32  Trump returns to debate stage; Rubio to face onslaught:  
An aggrieved Donald Trump returns to the debate stage today hoping to find his way into the winner's circle in New Hampshire, while a rising Marco Rubio looks to fend off an onslaught of attacks from his rivals.
The debate comes three days before New Hampshire's primary, a contest that will likely determine whether some Republican candidates for president in an already shrinking field will move on or be forced to abandon their White House hopes.
While Trump, a billionaire who is largely self-funding his campaign, has enough money to stay in the race, anything short of a win in New Hampshire would be a blow to his White House bid.
He's held a comfortable lead in national polls, as well as surveys in Iowa and New Hampshire for months, but had to settle for second in the kick-off Iowa caucuses last Monday. 

"I think we should have come in first, to be honest with you, a lot of things happened there. A lot of things happened," Trump said Friday during a rally in South Carolina. 
23:14  200 million women and girls live with FGM, says UN:  
At least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries now live with female genital mutilation, according to a new UNICEF report published in time for Saturday's International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, as the practice is often abbreviated.

The report says 70 million more victims than previously thought have undergone the "violent practice."

The exact number remains unknown.

"In every case FGM violates the rights of girls and women," said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta. "We must all accelerate efforts -- governments, health professionals, community leaders, parents and families -- to eliminate the practice."

Read more HERE.
22:26  North Korea moves up rocket launch window:  
North Korea has moved up the launch window for a rocket by one day, the South Korean Defense Ministry said Saturday. The new window, which was also narrowed, is February 7-14; the old window was February 8-25. The areas where debris would fall remain unchanged.

The announcement comes just days after the reclusive country's initial launch plans came to light, which drew condemnation from South Korea and Japan.

Though North Korea says it's putting a satellite into orbit, the launch is viewed by others as a front for a ballistic missile test.

Read more HERE.
21:44  Germany's Catholic Church calls for 'reduction' in refugees:  
The German Catholic Church called for a reduction in the influx of refugees arriving in Germany, saying the country cannot take in "all the world's needy," according to an interview published today.
Germany has been struggling to cope with 1.1 million asylum seekers that arrived in 2015 and Berlin has not yet given an official estimate for how many it expects this year. 

"As a church we say that we need a reduction in the number of refugees," Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, told the Passauer Neue Presse daily.

Germany cannot "take in all the world's needy," Marx added.
The question of how to respond to the migrant crisis, he asserted, should not solely be a matter of "charity but also reason."
21:29  Over 100 missing, 14 dead as strong quake rattles Taiwan:  
Rescuers were searching late today for more than 100 people still missing after a powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn, causing a high-rise residential building to collapse and killing at
least 14 people.
Nearly 340 people were rescued from the rubble in Tainan, the city hit worst by the quake. About 2,000 firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the ruins of the 17-floor residential building, which folded like an accordion onto its side after the quake struck. 

Local authorities said Saturday night that more than 100 people remained missing and that rescuers were racing to find them. Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported that 172 people were missing.
Rescuer Jian Zhengshun said the rescue work was difficult because part of the building was believed to be buried underground, with the quake loosening the earth. He said rescuers had to clear rubble for passages to reach people who were trapped.
Hundreds of people were injured in the quake, but most of them had been released from hospitals by Saturday night.
20:52  Azam at it again; says PM met Dawood in Sharif's Lahore house:  
Known for making controversial remarks, senior Uttar Pradesh minister Mohd Azam Khan today plumbed new depths when he alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in Lahore at the residence of Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.
While BJP attacked him, even a Congress spokesperson said attached no importance to it saying it cannot be believed.

"Prime Minister visited Pakistan by breaking international laws. He also met Dawood there. Let him (Modi) deny. I will give evidence. Who all did he meet behind closed doors?" Khan said.
He said besides Sharif, his mother, his wife and daughters, Dawood Ibrahim was also present when Modi met them at the Pakistan Prime Minister's residence when he went there on December 25 last.
20:42  In Cologne, reporter groped while covering Carnival on live television:  
The city of Cologne, Germany, fell back into the spotlight of sexual assault this week, when its annual street Carnival kicked off.

A woman reporting from the city center for a Belgian broadcaster was groped live on television, and police are searching for a suspect.

The city has been on high alert for sexual assault after hundreds of woman filed criminal complaints of having been groped on New Year's Eve by men described as being of North African or Arabic origin. A handful of the complaints alleged rape.

But Thursday's incident during a celebration called Women's Carnival does not appear to be related. The men taunting Esmeralda Labye in the lead-up to the harassment appear to be of European origin.

Read more HERE.
20:22  No large ISIS footprint in J&K says army:  
Terror outfit ISIS does not have "very large footprint" in Jammu and Kashmir but care needs to be taken to ensure it does not make inroads, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda said today and advocated an "Intelligence Operation" to prevent spreading of its ideology.
Islamic State has been talking about South Asia and India region but "right now we don't see a very large footprint of Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir. But I think we have to be careful," the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief told reporters here while responding to a question.
"We need to study the the situation properly (with regard to ISIS). We need to make sure that Islamic State does not make inroads. So it is more of an 'intelligence operation' that we need to look at and make sure this ideology of Islamic State is not allowed to spread in India," he added.
19:39  Divyansh had injury marks in private parts: Father:  The father of six-year-old Divyansh, who was found dead in a water reservoir at Ryan International School, today alleged there were injury marks on his body including private parts and that the principal has threatened them to keep quiet over the issue.                 

"I saw the body. There were some injury marks and cotton on his private parts. The principal has been threatening me since the beginning saying that keeping quiet will be good for me...," Ramheet Meena, the child's father, said, as he renewed the demand for a CBI probe.                 

The aggrieved father also demanded that the licence or registration of the school be cancelled.                 

"We are demanding CBI probe so as to know how can my child reach that unapproachable place which is often locked and why would he crawl to reach that place. Even after the body was found, they were discussing who is going to take out the body from the tank," claimed Meena, a paramedical staffer at AIIMS.
19:36  10 killed, 25 injured as truck-bus collide in Madurai:  
At least 10 were killed and around 25 were injured in a collision between a state bus and truck in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district on Saturday.

The Tamil Nadu state transport bus was travelling to Kumily in Kerala from Tirunelveli when it collided with the cement lorry.

According to the police, the lorry driver lost control causing the catastrophic accident.

19:28  Foreign troops entering Syria would return 'in coffins':  
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem warned today that foreign ground troops entering Syria would "return home in wooden coffins."
His comments came after Saudi Arabia said earlier this week it would be willing to send troops as part of a US-led military campaign against Islamic State extremists. The group controls large parts of Syria and Iraq.
Al-Moallem said conventional wisdom and logic would suggest the idea of Saudi troops in Syria is far-fetched, but that "with the crazy Saudi leadership nothing is far-fetched." 

"Any ground intervention in Syria, without the consent of the Syrian government, will be considered an aggression that should be resisted by every Syrian citizen," he told a news conference in Damascus. "I regret to say that they will return home in wooden coffins."
19:28  Netaji's Japanese interpreter confirms plane crash: UK website:  

A Japanese interpreter confirmed that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose died at a military hospital in Taipei after a plane crash in 1945, according to information released by a UK website set up to catalogue the last days of the nationalist leader.

Kazunori Kunizuka, who worked as an interpreter with Bose from 1943 to 1945, is still alive and has recorded in graphic detail in his diary the last days of Bose and his death as a result of a plane crash at Taipei on August 18, 1945, said the website bosefiles.info.

The information was conveyed to the website by Noburu Okabe, London correspondent of the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, who also handed over a copy of the diary to the website.
19:28  Tanzanian woman assault case: senior police official suspended:  
The Karnataka government has suspended another senior police official in connection with the alleged assault and stripping of a Tanzanian woman student here, even as African students staged a rally over the
incident today. 
     
Assistant Commissioner of Police A N Pise of Yeshwanthpur Division has been suspended for dereliction of duty, Police Commissioner N S Megharikh said, a day after a team of Tanzanian High Commissioner John W H Kijazi, also the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, and External Affairs Ministry officials flew in here and met state officials and African
students. 
19:28  Thousands of Syrians brave cold, rain at Turkish border:  
Thousands of Syrians were braving cold and rain at the Turkish border today after fleeing a Russian-backed regime offensive on Aleppo that threatens a fresh humanitarian disaster in the country's second city.
Tens of thousands have escaped fierce fighting as government forces unleashed an advance this week against rebels, severing the opposition's main supply route into Aleppo.
This morning, Turkey's Oncupinar border crossing -- which faces Bab al-Salama on Syrian soil -- remained closed, an AFP correspondent said, as Turkish authorities said they were working to free up space within existing camps to accommodate the new arrivals.
"Our teams are ready to provide them with water and food as soon as they arrive," Turkish Red Crescent head Ahmet Lutfi Akar said.
Around 40,000 civilians have fled their homes over the regime offensive, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.
19:28  Encounter in Kashmir's Pulwama district:   A fierce gunfight between militants and security forces is on in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.  A senior police officer said troops of counter insurgency, Rashtriya Rifles and special operations groupof the state police jointly surrounded Gondipora village in Pulwama district this afternoon on specific information about presence of militants in the village. 

"An encounter is on in the village. More reinforcements have been rushed to the area which has been surrounded by the security forces," the officer said. Senior army and police officers have rushed to the area.  
19:27  PM Modi pulls Akshay Kumar's son's ear, calls him a good boy:   Now, here is a moment Akshay Kumar will remember for a lifetime. The action hero was ecstatic when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled his son Aarav's ears in jest at the International Fleet Review held in Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. 

The actor instantly shared the picture on his Twitter account. He captioned the picture, "Proud moment in a father's life, when the Prime Minister pulls your son's ear in jest & calls him a good boy ;)".
16:23  Not Delhi, but Varanasi and Muzaffarpur, most polluted cities in India:  The air quality of Delhi took a refreshing turn as the pollution level improves to 'moderate' category. According to Central Pollution Control Board's data for the September 2015-January 2016 period shows that Delhi's air is healthy and not India's most polluted city. 

Air quality indices in Varanasi, UP and Muzaffarpur, Bihar had 'severe' values of 409, Delhi scored a 'very poor' with 362. 
15:56  Maharashtra to table Anti-spitting bill in Budget session:  Concerned over the sharp rise in infectious disease like tuberculosis, Maharashtra government will introduce a bill banning spitting in public places in the upcoming state Legislature Budget session scheduled next month. State Health Minister Deepak Sawant said that long with imposing heavy fines, governmentalso plans to make the offenders to do social services such as cleaning public places.
15:15  Security agencies on alert after man enquires about IAF station:  Security agencies have launched a hunt for a man who made some enquiries about the Air Force station in Jaisalmer, police said. The man purchased some silver items from a shop yesterday and enquired about the Indian Air Force station from the shopkeeper, they said. 

According to a police official, he also offered extra money to the shopkeeper. After the man left, the shopkeeper informed the police following which the footage of the CCTV cameras installed in the shop and other areas was examined, the official said.  
15:06  Meet the girl who dreams of becoming the first Muslim hijabi ballerina:  Meet Stephanie Kurlow. She's a 14-year-old girl from Sydney, Australia, who, like many other young women her age, dreams of becoming a professional dancer. In 2010, she stopped performing ballet when she converted to Islam.

The 14-year-old, who has been dancing since she was two, doubted her chances of becoming a professional ballerina as she struggled to find schools that catered to both her religious beliefs and dance needs.

Read more HERE
14:52  Cartoonist Sudhir Tailang passes away:  Eminent cartoonist Sudhir Tailang passed away. For several years he was with the Hindustan Times, while also doing short stints with the Indian Express and The Times of India. His present assignment is with the Asian Age. Tailang's first victim on canvas was Indira Gandhi and since then no one has escaped his brush. Tailang's cartoons dealth with issues of corruption, unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and hunger. 
14:44  Nandita Das Opts Out Of Karachi Literary Fest:  After Anupam Kher, it's Nandita Das who has opted out of the controversial Karachi Literary Festival. 

Says Nandita, "I have been unwell since Wednesday morning and unfortunately I am unable to go Karachi. I felt terrible letting down the organisers but it's beyond my control. I had offered to do the sessions via Skype to make sure one can participate and the intent with which the Lit Fest is organised, is upheld."

Nandita has been embroiled in a slug-fest of sorts with her colleague Anupam Kher over the supposed denial of a visa by the Pakistan government for his visit to the literary festival. 

Explaining her stance Nandita says, "As a firm believer of people-to-people initiatives, I want to very clear that anybody's visa being denied is detrimental to the process, especially of artists. At the time I made my comments, it was not clear if the visa was denied or Kher had not send his documents in the first place."
14:28  FLASH: One person has been killed in a blast at a private engineering college in Vellore. 
13:59  JUST IN: Congress accepts Sanjay Nirupam's apology on malicious article in party journal, asks him to be careful in the future.
13:58  RSS to distribute books to connect with youth:  The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is going to kick off its mega literature campaign to connect with the youth, children and women. The Sahitya Prasar Abhiyan, to be rolled out in Delhi on Sunday, will see participation of 10,000 RSS volunteers who plan to sell 1,000 packets of books at 1,000 locations across the city. The total number of books to be sold is 40,000 worth Rs 10 lakh. The organisation has pegged the books at nominal rates-Rs 10-30 for a book. The theme of the books has been kept in line with the ideology of the RSS and the idea of cultural nationalism. 
13:33  Madrasa owner held for planning terror attacks: NIA:   A self-proclaimed cleric has been arrested by NIA officials for allegedly planning terror attacks in the country. Abdus Sami Qasmi, a resident of Seelampur in New Delhi, was arrested from Uttar Pradesh's Hardoi district. He has been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the conspiracy to form a terror organisation and to launch terror attacks in the country, NIA officials said. 

Adbus Sami has been delivering provocative and inflammatory speeches in the support of 'Caliphate', they said. Sami has been allegedly instigating and motivating youth for anti-national activities and has visited various parts of the country in order to deliver his 'Takreer and Bayaan' (speech and statement), the NIA officials said.  
13:04  Rescue operation continues in Siachen:  
The rescue operation to find the 10 soldiers who were buried alive after an avalanche hit an army post in Siachen on February 3 is continuing with additional specialised equipment and teams deployed at the site, said the ministry of defence.

The avalanche struck an Indian Army post in the Northern Siachen Glacier at a height of 19,600 feet.

The army post that faced its brunt was manned by one junior commissioned officer (JCO) and nine soldiers. All ten soldiers went missing after the avalanche.

Amid massive operation undertaken by the armed forces to rescue soldiers trapped under snow, the Defence Ministry had, earlier, said that chances of finding any survivors are rare.

Specialised teams of the Army and the Air Force have been deployed to carry out the search and rescue operations in the area, where temperatures range from minus 42 degrees in the night to minus 25 degrees during the day.

The avalanche struck an Indian Army post in the Northern Siachen Glacier at a height of 19,600 feet.

The 10 missing soldiers are: 
Subedar Nagesh 
Havildar Elumalai 
Lancer Havildar S Kumar 
Lancer Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad
Sepoy Magesh 
Sepoy Ganesan 
Sepoy Ramamurthy 
Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed 
Sepoy Nursing Asst Suryavanshi
12:32  Veterans to take OROP fight to Supreme Court:  The Indian ex-servicemen movement has decided to take the Narendra Modi government to court for what they claim is a non-implementation of the 'one rank one pension' as agreed by the ministry of defence.

The veterans want the government to implement OROP as approved by the Koshiyari Committee of Parliament. The veterans have roped in experienced lawyer Ram Jethmalani to fight their case in the Supreme Court.

A group of veterans led by Major General (retd) Satbir Singh have been agitating for OROP implementation for the past 238 days at Jantar Mantar.
12:29  Working effectively with Obama can advance India's interest:US:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi can advance the interest of Indian people by working "effectively" with US President Barack Obama, who will continue to look for ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship, the White House has said. 

In the last year of his administration, Obama would continue working to strengthen India-US relationship, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. 

"I think that should be a good indication to you that, while obviously Prime Minister Modi takes seriously the responsibility that he has to advocate for the citizens of his country, he can advance the interest of the people of India by working effectively with President Obama," Earnest said. 

"And that's a good thing. It's a good thing for our two countries. It's a good thing for the citizens of our two countries," Earnest said, adding "I would expect the president will continue to look for ways to strengthen the relationship."
11:57  JUST IN: Pakistani boat with 11 crew members apprehended by Indian Coast Guard. Boat to reach Jakhau, Gujarat.
11:38  Indian-American Jindal endorses Rubio for president:  Indian-American former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has endorsed the presidential campaign of Florida Senator Marco Rubio following his better than expected finish in Iowa Caucus. Jindal, 44, had dropped out of the White House race mid-November. 

Rubio finished third in the Republican party's Iowa Caucus early this week. "I'm endorsing Marco Rubio to be our next president," Jindal said.
11:26  That's President Pranab being gifted the International Fleet Review plaque from the Naval Chief Admiral R K Dhowan. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are also present. 
11:22  Carry our message of global peace of brotherhood: President@ Fleet Review:  President Pranab Mukherjee addresses the fleet review. Speaking to the participants, the President says, "As you sail back home, carry our message of global peace of brotherhood so that we can strengthen our bonds." Earlier, in the day, President Pranab inspected the guard of honour and reviewed the ships as they passed INS Sumitra -- the president's yacht for the event. 
11:07  Twitter suspends 125,000 terrorism related accounts:  Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts, most of them linked to the Islamic State militant group, "for threatening or promoting terrorist acts" even as handles of India-centric terrorist organisations and individuals on the micro-blogging site remain untouched. 

In a blog, the US-based firm said, "As the nature of the terrorist threat has changed, so has our ongoing work in this area. Since the middle of 2015 alone, we've suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to Islamic State". 

Twitter, however, did not respond to questions about the accounts of terrorist organizations operating from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Notably, Hafeez Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attack, has been openly calling for carrying out brazen attack against India in his latest tweet on February 3. 

Twitter condemned the use of its platform to promote terrorism and said the 'Twitter Rules' make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on its service.
09:59  India is not intolerant, maintains Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:  In the ongoing debate over intolerance prevailing in the country, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living practice, has said that in his views India is not an intolerant country. 

Responding to questions during an exclusive Twitter Townhall, Ravi Shankar, said, "I do accept that there are people who are swinging to extremes and that's a law and order problem and it is nothing new, it has been there from so many years in this country. In a country of 1.2 billion people, such criminal incidents do happen. But you can't take those incidents and blow them out of proportion."

He added that returning awards is not fair
09:49  Ships line up for President salute as International Fleet Review begins:  The International Fleet review begins with President Mukherjee watching from INS Sumitra. The offshore patrol vessel is the fourth and last of the Saryu class patrol vessel of the Indian Navy, designed and constructed by Goa Shipyard Limited. It is designed to undertake fleet support operations, coastal and offshore patrolling, ocean surveillance and monitoring of sea lines of communications and offshore assets and escort duties. The vessel was also involved in the rescue operations from Yemen during Operation Rahat in the wake of fighting between government forces and tribal rebels. The vessel rescued 350 Indian citizens by evacuating them from Aden to Djibouti across the Red Sea.
09:40  Oops! Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's choice of footwear at the International Fleet Review is garnering quite the buzz on social media. Quite a few social media users are venting about the fact that the defence minister has chosen to wear slippers. 
09:26  How the Navy is guarding its biggest event ever:  The International Fleet Review being held off the coast of Andhra Pradesh is surrounded by grave security concerns, partly because of the deadly terror attack last month at the Pathakot air force base in Punjab, where seven military personnel were killed.

So, the Navy has formed an elaborate matrix of defense with submarines, maritime reconnaissance aircraft and fast interceptor boats armed with heavy machine guns.  
09:06  President Mukherjee, PM Modi attend International Fleet Review:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived late on Friday night in Vishakhapatnam for the International Fleet Review. He was welcomed and received by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandhra Babu Naidu and Governor ESL Narasimhan at Visakhapatnam Airport. 

Around 90 ships of the Indian Navy are participating in the event. Over 50 countries participating in the mega maritime meet. 

The 5-day event began on Thursday with the inauguration of maritime exhibition and IFR village. The main event will take place on Saturday when the supreme commander of the three forces, President Pranab Mukherjee will review the naval fleet. During the review, navy will showcase its capability and technical superiority.
02:41  5 killed as terrorists attack UN camp in Mali:   At least four suspected jihadists and a Malian soldier were killed on Friday following an attack on a United Nations military camp in Timbuktu in Mali's restive north, a Malian security source said.

The assault came just a day after the fabled city celebrated the restoration of its greatest treasures -- earthen mausoleums dating to mediaeval times that were destroyed during an Islamist takeover in 2012.

Hours of fighting followed the early morning attack on the camp in the south of Timbuktu, the source said, adding that the offensive against the attackers ended in the afternoon.

"At least four terrorists were killed, including those who blew themselves up in their vehicles, (and) three Malian soldiers were wounded and one killed," the source said.

"A Malian officer who was taking part in the hunt for the terrorists was unfortunately killed when a wall collapsed on his armoured vehicle. But we are continuing search-and-sweep operations and we will also continue patrolling to ensure the security of the local population," the source said.

The raid was essentially a double attack with the assailants first blowing up their vehicle at a military roadblock near the camp and a second vehicle then coming in with others who started firing.

A Nigerian peacekeeper was slightly wounded along with a civilian.AFP
01:45  Accused ABVP leader says Rohith could have ended life over personal issues:   Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader Nandanam Susheel Kumar, who has been accused of abetting suicide of Rohith Vemula, said on Friday that the Dalit research scholar could have ended his life over personal issues as his suicide note did not mention a specific reason for the extreme step.

Susheel Kumar also said that he was ready to face punishment if found guilty.  

"Rohith was not a weak person, who could have lost his heart at the suspension (by the Hyderabad Central University). There could have been some personal and particular reasons behind his suicide," Susheel Kumar told reporters in a press conference in Mumbai.

"Let there be a free and fair inquiry...maybe judicial or other. If I am found guilty, then I am ready to face punishment," he said.

"But I want to ask why there has been so much of over-reaction to this particular suicide case only. HCU witnessed over 12 suicides in the last seven to eight years. Why are people being so selective about this particular case alone,' Kumar said.

"I did not have any personal issues with Rohith, there were only ideological differences," Kumar said in response to a query.

"Rohith and other members assaulted me and I was grievously injured, following which I landed in a hospital and also underwent an appendicitis surgery," he claimed.

"Rohith's suicide note has nowhere mentioned that he was committing suicide for any particular reason...action should be initiated against the Ambedkar Students' Association and Students Federation of India leaders as certain lines of the suicide note implicate them," he alleged.

Lashing out at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury over their visit to the HCU campus in the wake of suicide, Kumar accused them of fueling Dalit vs non-Dalit atmosphere.

"They are visiting campus with an attempt to politicise an unfortunate death in university in the name of consoling the bereaved family. But why are they criticising only for the sake of it? Why are they ignoring the core issues?' he asked.   Replying to a query, Kumar said, "(Union Minister) Bandaru Dattatreya might have written a letter to university, but All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leaders had also come on the campus and ignited the issue."

He said political parties should have limited interference in the day-to-day affairs of academic institutions.
01:09  Solar scam: Saritha submits details of politicians who 'sexually abused' her:  Deposing before a judicial commission probing the solar panel scam, prime accused Saritha S Nair on Friday produced a sealed cover containing details of powerful politicians who allegedly sexually abused her in Kerala.

The Justice G Sivarajan commission probing the scam had allowed Saritha to produce details of the alleged incidents and supporting documentary evidences in sealed covers.

Saritha said another sealed cover containing more details about the sexual abuse will be produced before the panel on Saturday.

"This is the truth about the allegations regarding my illicit relations with leading politicians," Saritha said while producing a 'strictly confidential sealed cover' before the Commission.

During a cross examination by the Commission lawyer about her call details with powerful politicians and their staff in the state, Saritha admitted that there were 'over 2,000 telephonic calls between her and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's personal staff' during the 2012-2013 period.

Tenny Joppan and Jikkumon were removed from Chandy's personal staff after the scam broke out in 2013.

She admitted that there were 1,736 telephonic calls between her and Joppan and she had chat with Jikkumon 615 times.

Records show Saritha and Thomas Kuruvilla, Chandy's unofficial aide in New Delhi, had 'exchanged 205 telephonic calls'.

Between Chandy's gunman Salim Raj and Saritha had around '416 phone calls' during the period.

During the 2012-2013 period, Saritha and Chandy's residence exchanged around 180 telephone calls. She said she had 'telephoned Ramesh Chennithala when he was the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president'.

Though she made 11 calls on his mobile, call records show that he did not make any call to her.

However, the records show 127 calls made between her and Chennithala's P A in Delhi, one Pradosh.

She admitted that she maintained 'communication' with ministers including Aryadan Muhammad, K C Joseph, A P Anil Kumar, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and K P Mohanan.

Call records also revealed the communication she had maintained with MPs M I Shanavas K C Venugopal and Jose K Maniand MLAs Hybi Eden, P C Vishnunath, A P Abdullakutty and Benny Behnnan.

The scam pertains to alleged duping of several persons to the tune of crores of rupees by Sarita and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions.

Meanwhile, expressing displeasure over certain remarks made against it by Kerala Labour Minister Shibu Baby John, the Commission sought an explanation from him.

His lawyer has been asked to be present before the Commission.
00:09  37 killed as bus plunges into river in Gujarat:   As many as 37 people were killed when a state transport bus in which they were travelling plunged from a bridge into Purna river in Navsari district of South Gujarat on Friday, police said.

"37 people have died in the incident, while 24 others are injured when a bus fell from a 20 feet high bridge on Purna river,' Navsari superintendent of police M S Bharada said.

Though the police is investigating the cause of the mishap, some survivors and eyewitnesses said the bus driver lost control of the vehicle when it was passing the bridge and it hurtled down into the river after breaking iron railings.

The SP said the condition of four out of the 24 injured passengers was serious.   "The injured have been shifted to four hospitals in Navsari. We are also checking the possibility of shifting those who are seriously injured to hospitals in Surat if needed," the officer said.

The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation bus was headed towards Ukai when the accident took place near the village situated around 12 km away from the district headquarters.

"We do not know the exact number of people travelling in the bus, but it is said that it was full (to capacity)," Bharada said.

He said the agencies like police, fire brigade, 108 ambulance services were engaged in rescue operation at the spot.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to condole loss of lives in the accident.

Bus accident in Gujarats Navsari is tragic and deeply upsetting. Condolences to families of the deceased. May the injured recover quickly, he tweeted.

Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel tweeted, 'Deeply pained to learn about the unfortunate bus accident on Purna River Bridge in Navsari. My prayers are with victims and families.'

'I have directed Navsari collector and concerned officials to expedite rescue and relief ops and provide required help to victims and their kin,' she tweeted.
00:02  Top headlines at this hour:  India, Lanka to find 'innovative' solution to fishermen issue
4 more held in Tanzanian woman assault case; envoy backs steps
26/11 attacks mastermind leads anti-India rally on 'Kashmir Day' in Pakistan
WikiLeaks founder Assange should be freed immediately: UN
Rupee ends lower by 9 paise at 67.64 vs USD 
Ranji Trophy: Mumbai poised for outright win over Jharkhand

Stars spotted!  What's this?

Spotted: Tamil actor Vikram at Srinagar airport
Reader Prabir Kumar Das has sent us a photograph.

More stars spotted

Met a celebrity?
Email us photos & videos