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LIVE! Sayeed put on ventilator support

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January 06, 2016


23:31  Sayeed put on ventilator support:   The condition of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, admitted in AIIMS forpast 14 days, is believed to have further worsened with doctors putting him on ventilator support.

Sayeed, 79, detected with sepsis, decreased blood counts and pneumonia, was admitted to the hospital on December 24, with complains of neck pain and fever. Since then, he continues to be in the Intensive Care Unit of AIIMS giving anxious moments to the doctors as his platelets dropped dangerously low.

AIIMS came out with a brief statement saying that the chief minister required respiratory support and that "his condition continues to be warranting close monitoring by the team of experts at AIIMS".
23:28  British Sikh man killed in arson attack in UK:  A 60-year-old Indian-origin British Sikh man was killed after his house was set on fire by an attacker, who has been arrested, in east London on Christmas Day. 

Harbhajan Singh Rooprai was inside his home when 27-year-old Tyrone Jacobs allegedly set his home on fire, causing flames to be ripped through the terraced house in Forest Gate. Rooprai died from burns and inhalation of fumes after he was found on the ground floor of the property. Twenty-one firefighters and four engines tackled the blaze, which was brought under control after two-and-a-half hours. Four people had managed to escape from the house before firefighters arrived. Jacobs has been charged with murder and arson with intent to endanger life after the incident. He is due to appear at the Old Bailey court in London on March 21.
22:52  Prosecution to examine Headley in Mumbai terror attack case:  The sessions court here today allowed the Mumbai police's plea to examine David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist, as a witness in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case.

"The court allowed our plea to examine Headley as a witness on February 8 between 5 to 9 pm and on February 9 between 7 to 9 am," said special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. He will be examined through video link. The court had, on December 10, made Headley an approver, granting him pardon.

Headley, currently serving a 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai terror attack of 2008, had told the special judge G A Sanap (as he appeared from an undisclosed location in the US via video link), that he was ready to depose if given pardon. LeT operative Abu Jundal is now on trial in the 26/11 case.
22:15  UK website claims Gandhi created confusion over Netaji's death:  
Mahatma Gandhi created confusion over the circumstances surrounding the death of Subhas Chandra Bose, a website set up here in the UK to chart the last days of Netaji has claimed.
In January 1946, five months after the reported demise of Bose in a plane crash in Taiwan, the Father of the Nation said he believed Bose was alive and would appear at the right time. 

"Given Gandhi's iconic status, this created confusion in both Indian and British circles," www.bosefiles.info points out.
However, in March the same year, Gandhi conceded in his 'Harijan' publication that it was just "instinct" that led him to believe Bose was alive. 

He wrote: "I appeal to everyone to forget what I have said and, believing in the evidence before them, to reconcile themselves to the fact that Netaji (Bose) has left us." 
22:08  UN Security Council to consider new North Korea sanctions:  
The UN Security Council is considering imposing further sanctions on North Korea after it carried out a nuclear test, the British ambassador said today.

"We will be working with others on a resolution on further sanctions," Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters.

The United States, Japan and other members of the 15-member council were working on a draft text that would strongly condemn what Pyongyang has called a hydrogen bomb test, diplomats said.
22:07  Germany: nearly 1.1 million migrants arrived last year:  
Nearly 1.1 million people were registered as asylum-seekers in Germany last year, more than 400,000 of them from Syria, the government said today. 

The Interior Ministry said that 1,091,894 people in total were registered between January and December. Syrians were by far the biggest single group, accounting for 428,468 people. 

They were followed by Afghans, 154,046 of whom were registered, and 121,662 Iraqis.

Germany has seen more refugees and other migrants arrive than any other European country. In the early part of 2015, that included large numbers of people from Balkan countries who have very little chance of winning asylum. The fourth- and fifth-biggest groups of asylum-seekers last year came from Albania and Kosovo.
20:31  Aamir Khan no longer Incredible India mascot as contract has expired:   Contradicting earlier reports that suggested that Aamir Khan had not been sacked as the mascot for the Incredible India campaign, Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said that Khan's contract has in fact expired.

"Aamir Khan ceases to be mascot for govt's incredible India campaign the contract for which has expired," Mahesh Sharma told PTI.


20:14  Grenade explosion at CRPF camp in J&K:  A grenade exploded near the gate of a CRPF camp at Momin Abad, in Jammu & Kashmir's Anantnag area.

No injuries have been reported as yet.
20:01  China lands two more planes on disputed island in SCS:  
China today landed two more civilian planes on an artificial island it has built in a contested part of the strategic South China Sea, days after its first
successful landing on the island that drew worldwide condemnation.
Two civilian aircraft took off from the Meilan Airport of Haikou, capital of Hainan Province and landed at the airfield on Yongshu Jiao in the Nansha Islands, also claimed by the Vietnam.
The aircraft flew back to Haikou in the afternoon, state- run Xinhua news agency reported.
19:59  Suspicious man apprehended outside Pathankot Air Base:  One suspected person has been apprehended by the army at the gate of the Indian Air Force station in Pathankot.

The man who was apprehended was carrying a suspicious looking bag with him.

The air base in Pathankot had been under siege for over 90 hours after terrorists attacked the installation.

Search and combing operations were on to ensure that the defence installation is properly secured.

More details awaited.
19:47  Emotional Obama calls for 'sense of urgency' to fight gun violence:  
President Barack Obama grew emotional Tuesday as he made a passionate call for a national "sense of urgency" to limit gun violence.

He was introduced by Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Obama circled back to that shooting in the final moments of his speech.

"Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad," Obama said, pausing to wipe away tears.

He added: "And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day," referring to his hometown where he began his political career.

Read more HERE.
19:28  Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad likely to face strict action:  
Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad is likely to face stringent action for his graft allegations against Union Minister Arun Jaitley as the party's Central
Disciplinary Committee has found him "failing in maintaining discipline" and "causing embarrassment to the party".

"We have submitted the report to the party high command observing that he has crossed the 'Laxman Rekha' and it is for the Central Parliamentary Board to take further action," Ganeshi Lal, chairman of the disciplinary committee said.

Lal, who was here as the central observer for the state BJP chief elections, said that the "function of the committee is only to ascertain that whether the utterances made by Azad dented the image of the party, caused embarrassment to the leaders or created discomfort or unpleasantness and our observation is that he was failing in maintaining discipline
and hurt the party by his utterances."
18:51  Combing operations at Pathankot airbase ends after 98 hours :   Lt Gen KJ Singh, GOC Western Command, holds a quick press conference on the Pathankot Attack.  Highlights...

-- Combing operations at the Pathankot airbase have ended.

-- There was excellent synergy among agencies in this operation.

-- Wrong to say role of Army was limited. My bomb disposal teams are still working there, they are playing a very large role.

-- There have been 7 martyrs. Of the wounded, three are from the Army and are in the Command Hospital. They're fine, will be fighting fit soon.

-- He urged the media to exercise restraint and be factual with reports.

-- Assure you that the entire route (of terrorists) will be traced back.
Enquiry is on and can't say more on it.

--  He expressed anguish about false rumours spread by the media against the Indian Army.
17:58  High alert in Gurdaspur, area near military station cordoned off:  
The Tibri military station in Gurdaspur has been cordoned-off after two suspicious-looking men in military uniform were seen near the base.

The Tibri base is located 40 km from the Pathankot airbase which witnessed a 96-hour long siege this week.  

Gurdaspur itself has been witness to a terror attack in June last year, when three fidayeen, attacked passengers in a moving bus and stormed a police station, killing seven persons, including an SP. The attackers were gunned down after a day-long operation. Security forces are presently carrying out combing operations near the camp.

Details awaited.
17:58  Yash Raj Films launches India's first transgender band '6 pack':  Yash Raj Films has launched a new fusion band called '6 pack' which is India's first transgender band.  The band has six musicians from the transgender community.Titled 'Hum Hai Happy', the band's first song is out which is a cover version of Pharell Williams song, 'Happy'.

The band has been launched and supported by none other than Sonu Nigam.The video of this album begins with Anushka Sharma's voiceover. The actress even shared the video on her Twitter profile. She captioned it as "Where words fail, music speaks".The next song by '6 pack' is expected to release on January 26, which will feature Sonu Nigam. The song has been titled 'Sab Rab De Bande'.
17:40  Why an H-bomb more worrying than an atom bomb:  North Korea has announced that it has tested a hydrogen bomb for the first time. It has run nuclear tests in the past -- but the international reaction has been much more panicked this time than before.Both atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs are kinds of nuclear bombs, meaning that the energy comes from nuclear reactions. But the way that they actually release that huge amount of energy is different -- and leads to massive differences in the power that is unleashed when they are set off. Read more
17:36  Women earning less than men more likely to be depressed: study:   Women who earn less than men despite having equivalent education and years of experience are over two times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than their male counterparts, a new study has found.

The researchers found that among women whose income was lower than their male counterparts, the odds of major depression were nearly 2.5 times higher than men; but the odds of depression among women whose income equalled or exceeded their male counterparts was no different than men.

Results were similar for generalised anxiety disorder. Overall, women's odds of past-year anxiety were more than 2.5 times higher than men's. Where women's incomes were lower than their male counterparts, their odds of anxiety disorder were more than four times higher.
17:08  Aamir Khan remains brand ambassador of Incredible India: Govt :   So, may be Aamir Khan remains the brand ambassador of Incredible India? The tourism ministry issues a clarification: "In response to certain reports in the media about Aamir Khan, the ministry clarifies that there is no change in our stand. At present we have contractual agreement with a creative agency to produce social awareness campaign and it featured Aamir Khan."


That's the babu way of saying we are stuck with Aamir.
16:39  Gajendra Chauhan's 1st visit to FTII campus tomorrow :  Seven months on, Gajendra Chauhan to visit FTII campus tomorrow for the 1st time after being appointed as chairperson.

The 139-day strike by the students of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India ended in October with their main agenda -- the removal of Ganjendra Chouhan as chairperson of the institute and cancelling of the appointments of four members to the FTII society -- remaining unanswered.

An FTII students body representative said they will not sacrifice academics anymore for a government that is "deaf and a bully".

So, will Chauhan be greeted with brickbats tomorrow?
Watch this space.
16:33  Mother of Rajiv Gandhi's assassin files petition before Jayalalithaa:  The mother AG Perarivalan, one of the seven convicts serving a life term in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case, on Wednesday filed a petition before Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, seeking the release of her son invoking Article 161 of the Constitution. Arputhammal filed a petition at a special cell of the State Secretariat. Article 161 of the Constitution confers power to the Governor to grant pardons, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.
16:14  NIA team takes SP Salwinder Singh to the spot where he was allegedly abducted. #PathankotAttack
16:13  Operation Pathanblot:  The Telegraph reproduces the accounts by the Union government on the Pathankot air station attack over the past two days and holds them up against information gleaned from the ground and from conversations with defence sources. Read
15:59  Rs 10000 pm scholarship for 1009-run-wonder Dhanawade :  Life's looking up for this world record holder. The Mumbai Cricket Association announces a scholarship of Rs 10,000 per month to Pranav Dhanawade for scoring world record 1009 runs in a single innings. Scholarship will be paid for period of 5 yrs from Jan 2016 to Dec 2021. MCA to monitor both cricket and academics.

Dhanawade, a school cricketer from Kalyan, on the outskirts of Mumbai, scripted history by becoming the first batsman to score more than 1,000 runs in an innings.

The 15-year-old reached the landmark off only 323 balls in a local schools' tournament.

His epic innings was laced with 59 towering sixes and 129 fours, and he offered the opposition just four chances en route.

Dhanawade was representing Smt. KC Gandhi School (Kalyan) against Arya Gurukul School in the HT Bhandari Cup inter-school cricket tournament, organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association.

He was unbeaten on 1,009 when his team declared their innings at 1,465 for three.


15:22  Ajit Jogi's son sacked from Congress for six years :  Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee has terminated Amit Jogi, Congress MLA from Marwahi and son of former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi for six years from the primary membership of the party. The alleged leaked tapes of conversations between senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi, his son Amit Jogi, his "associates' and Puneet Gupta (son-in-law of Chief Minister Raman Singh) to "fix' a by-election last year kicked up a political storm in Chhattisgarh and in Delhi last week. 
15:10  2 MPs sacked from press council of India for being absent:  Two MPs - Satyavrat Chaturvedi of the Congress and G Hari of the AIADMK -- have been sacked from the Press Council  of India for 'intentionally' abstaining from attending three meetings. The Press Council took note of their absence and initiated action to declare the seats vacant. A senior functionary of the Press Council wondered aloud what these MPs were up to and said that they don't think twice about disrupting parliament proceedings and have no respect for constitutionally created bodies like the Press Council. 
14:51  Whenever BJP comes to power, terror attacks increase: Cong's Sushil Kumar Shinde:  Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government of not being able to manage relations with Pakistan in a proper manner, the Congress party on Wednesday said that terrorist activities in the country had risen whenever BJP came to power at the Centre.

"In 1999, when the Indian Airlines plane was hijacked, we had released terrorists from our jails. Masood Azhar was one of them. This has emboldened the terrorist organisations like JeM, they now think that India is weak," former home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said at a press conference.

"Several incidents took place after that, whether it is the Red Fort, attack on J&K assembly or attack on Parliament. Whenever the BJP comes to power, the terror activities increase," he added.

Shinde also pointed out that the government had failed to handle Pathankot attack in swift and effective manner."When they had intelligence inputs beforehand, they should have cordoned off the airbase," he said.He also recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scathing remarks against the UPA government during the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, saying that the Congress had refrained from making such statements.

Slamming the Prime Minister for making an unscheduled visit to Pakistan to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif, Shinde said, "He abruptly visited Pakistan. Held talks there but never told the nation about the discussions he had."He welcomed good relations with Pakistan but said that it should come at the cost of India's
14:22  Aamir Khan sacked as brand ambassador of Incredible India :   This was expected... The Tourism Ministry has removed actor Aamir Khan as brand ambassador of Incredible India, news reports said.


In November last year, Aamir had courted controversy by saying that his wife, Kiran Rao, was considering whether to move out of the country with their child due to the prevalence of an atmosphere of "intolerance".

However, the actor had clarified that neither he nor his wife Kiran have any intention of leaving the country as he is proud to be an Indian.

In conversation with Anant Goenka, Wholetime Director & Head New Media, The Indian Express, at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, Khan said a sense of "insecurity" and "fear" had seeped deep within society, even in his family.

"(Wife) Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That's a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers everyday. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet," he said.

Asked for his view on the trend of writers, artists, historians and scientists returning their awards, Khan said this was one way of getting their point across. "For creative people, to voice what they feel is important. A number of creative people historians and scientists have increasingly had a certain feeling that they feel they need to express. One of the ways of expressing their dissatisfaction or disappointment is to return awards."
14:14  Isis executes first female citizen journalist :  Isis has executed what is believed to be the first female citizen journalist for reporting inside its territory, Syrian media has reported.The execution of Ruqia Hassan marks the fifth journalist who reported on Isis to be killed since October, according to Syrian journalism organisation Syria Direct.
Read more
13:51  Merkel's offices sealed over suspicious package :  The offices of German Chancellor Angela Merkel have reportedly been sealed off after security officials found a suspicious package.  Details awaited. 
13:35  Rs 50 lakh compensation, job for wife, free education for Pathankot martyr:  Kerala government announces a Rs 50 lakh compensation for Lt. col Niranjan Kumar's family. It has announced that the wife will be given a job and the government will also bear the expenses of the daughter's education.

Lt Col Niranjan, who died in the terrorist attack at the IAF base at Pathankot, was laid to rest with full military honours at his ancestral house in Kerala yesterday. Niranjan, 32, a member of the NSG's bomb detection squad, died while defusing an explosive from a terrorist's body on Sunday. Chants of 'Bharat mata ki jai' and 'Niranjan amar rahe' rent the air during the funeral atop a hill near the house at Kalarikkal in Palakkad district.  
13:29  Driven by neither hawks nor doves:  The truth in the India-Pakistan relations is not about golden tomorrows but the ingested bitterness about bloody and betrayed yesterdays, and how we can craft a future of a well-functioning, normal relationship despite this. Read more
13:23  Sena raps BJP again, asks what changed after getting big mandate:  Stepping up its attack on the BJP in the backdrop of Pathankot terror attack, ally Shiv Sena today asked the party what changes it has made on issues, including Pakistan policy and Ram Temple after assuming power with a massive mandate and said the mistakes made by the previous Congress regime are being repeated by it.


 "From the Ram temple issue to the Uniform Civil Code, from inflation to corruption and from Hindutva to the policy against Pakistan, what has changed since the BJP came to power (at the Centre). People are seeking an explanation. People's audit of government policy is of supreme importance," an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana' said. "The mistakes that Congress made are being repeated and we are inviting the wrath of people...The questions that were being asked after Mumbai terror attacks, the Kargil war, are being asked after the Pathankot incident as well," the party said.


The Sena also reminded the BJP that it had won handsomely after the Emergency but infighting within the party (Janata Party in which the Jan Sangh then merged) led to the Congress's revival in less than two years.
12:54  For Odd-Even, a week should be enough: Delhi HC:  
The experiment to curb pollution in Delhi by banning private cars on alternate days has not gone down well with the high court. 

Judges today asked the government of Arvind Kejriwal to explain why the trial should last more than a week. Criticising public transport as "insufficient", the judges said that people are inconvenienced.

The court has asked the government to file a detailed account of the impact on pollution level of the new traffic rules, which were introduced on January 1 for a two-week period to cut smog in the world's most polluted capital.

Cars with odd-numbered licence plates are allowed on the roads on odd-numbered dates, and those with even-numbered plates on the other days.
11:59  Arvind Kejriwal watches 'Wazir' with starcast:  
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attended the screening of upcoming action thriller Wazir along with the film's team including Farhan Akhtar, Aditi Rao Hydari, Bejoy Nambiar and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. 

Kejriwal watched the film at PVR's Director's Cut in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

Also starring Amitabh Bachchan, the film tells the story of two unusual friends -- a paralysed chess grandmaster and a grief stricken ATS officer -- brought together by a peculiar twist of fate as part of a wider conspiracy that has cast a dark shadow over their lives.

Wazir, co-produced by Rajkumar Hirani and Chopra, also features actors Neil Nitin Mukesh and John Abraham in pivotal roles.

It will hit theatres this Friday.
11:51  Malaysia Airlines lifts baggage ban on Europe flights:  
Malaysia Airlines said today it has lifted a ban on check-in baggage on flights to Paris and Amsterdam, after the move angered many passengers who slammed the airline on social media.

The U-turn came less than 24 hours after the airline announced that passengers cannot check-in baggage for Tuesday and Wednesday flights to the two European cities due to "unseasonably strong headwinds" on a longer flight path it is taking.

The airline said it recently had to operate a longer route to Europe, via Egyptian airspace, for safety reasons. It said strong headwinds over the past four days were in excess of 200 knots, which can add up to 15 percent to fuel burn on its Boeing 777 aircraft.

"Based on its current risk assessment, done on a daily basis, the airline is now able to take a shorter route on European flights. Malaysia Airlines maintains that safety is of utmost priority in its operations and will not hesitate to adjust its flight path based on its daily risk assessment," it said in a brief statement.
11:46  Arvind Kejriwal watches 'Wazir' with starcast:  
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attended the screening of upcoming action thriller Wazir along with the film's team including Farhan Akhtar, Aditi Rao Hydari, Bejoy Nambiar and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. 

Kejriwal watched the film at PVR's Director's Cut in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

Also starring Amitabh Bachchan, the film tells the story of two unusual friends -- a paralysed chess grandmaster and a grief stricken ATS officer -- brought together by a peculiar twist of fate as part of a wider conspiracy that has cast a dark shadow over their lives.

Wazir, co-produced by Rajkumar Hirani and Chopra, also features actors Neil Nitin Mukesh and John Abraham in pivotal roles.

It will hit theatres this Friday.
11:44  SC directs Centre to tell within a week what steps it intends to take for whistleblower protection till a law is passed by Parliament.
11:43  UN Security Council has tentatively set an emergency meeting after North Korea's H-bomb test
11:26  Combing operations on at Pathankot air base:  
Combing operations were underway today to sanitise the Pathankot air base that was under siege for four days after terrorists struck the forward installation even as the focus shifted to the probe in the terror strike with the NIA chief arriving here for an on-the-spot assessment.

Security officials said today that the combing operations may continue for a day or two at the forward base where seven security personnel and six terrorists were killed. 

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said yesterday that there "is no suspected terrorist inside right now. (still) I will not give a negative report till the combing operations are over. The combing operations may be over by tomorrow". 

He had said that the combing operation was for safety purpose as there are live, unexploded bombs besides rest of the ammunition. 

"Probably, they have brought high quality explosives," he had said. 

He had stated that the terrorists were carrying AK47s, modified Under Grenade Barrel Launcher, pistols, Swiss and commando knives, 40-50 kg of bullets besides 3-4 dozens of magazine and mortars.
11:24  Kolkata Zoo says no to kangaroos:  
With the death of the lone red kangaroo in captivity in India, the Kolkata Zoo authorities have decided against keeping the pouched mammals in the future.

"We have decided that we won't bring anymore kangaroos in the near future," a West Bengal Zoo Authority official told PTI.

"Henceforth, our focus will be on species found in eastern India and not exotic species", he said.

In case of exotic species which are not found in India or in a neighbouring state, the environment, he said, may not be suitable for their survival. 

"There may be issues with the environment, management of the animal or suitability of the enclosure. We don't know there can be so many problems so we will avoid them," the official said. 

Native to Australia, the red kangaroo is the largest of all marsupials. 
11:16  Just In: SC agrees to hear on Feb 2 the plea of SEBI seeking an interim order with regard to repayment of money by Sahara Group.
11:07  Sanjay Dutt to walk out of jail on Feb 27: Sources:  
Times of India reports: Actor Sanjay Dutt is set to walk out of jail on February 27 after the Maharashtra government remitted his sentence in the Mumbai serial blasts case.

The incarcerated Bollywood actor, whose five-year sentence for his involvement in the 1993 blasts was confirmed by the Supreme Court in March 2013, will be freed next month, official sources told Times Now on Wednesday.

The sources indicated that barring last-minute glitches, Sanjay would be released after completing the remaining 42-month period of his sentence.

Dutt was acquitted of terror charges under the TADA, but found guilty of possessing illegal arms, acquired ostensibly to protect his family during the communal conflagration that engulfed Mumbai after the demolition of the Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992.
10:57  Bangladesh Supreme Court upholds death penalty against Islamist party chief for 1971 war crimes
09:57  
BSF seizes six packets of heroin (worth approximately Rs 30 crore) and one Pakistani mobile SIM card from Khemkaran in Punjab

09:53  Tyre of Air India flight carrying 95 passengers bursts while landing at Bhopal airport, all passengers safe: ANI
09:47  We to continue support to Kashmiris, says Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain
09:47  BREAKING: Musician Shravan (of Nadeem-Shravan duo) has been hospitalised after a road accident at Delhi-Jaipur Highway.
09:46  Pathankot terrorists had conducted mock drills at Pakistani air base: Report:  
The Times of India has quoted highly-placed intelligence sources as saying that the terrorists had made dry runs at at an air base in Pakistan before attacking the Pathankot air base.

Such a mock drill can't be possible without the involvement of the Pakistani military and ISI in the strike, the source added.

As per intelligence intercepts and contacts in jihadi groups, the extensive training session at one of the Pakistani air bases included several dry runs of breaching the security perimeter -- a lesson the terrorists put to lethal use when they managed to enter the Pathankot base, reports the daily.

The terrorists had used under barrel guns (improvised versions of AK-47 assault rifles which can be used as mortar launchers) in the attack, launched days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise visit to Lahore.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday promised his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Islamabad will take "prompt and decisive action" against the terrorists linked to the attack.
09:23  North Korea 'successfully' tests Hydrogen bomb:  
North Korea said Wednesday it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test, marking a major step forward in its nuclear development, if confirmed.

"The republic's first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016, based on the strategic determination of the Workers' Party," a state television news reader announced.

The test was conducted at the Punggye-ri underground test site in the far northeast, official Korean Central News Agency said. 

The explosion was first detected as a magnitude 5.1 earthquake by the US Geological Survey.

The test is the second since Kim Jong Un became supreme leader and began consolidating power through a series of purges and provocations against South Korea. 

Kim has rebuffed US and Chinese efforts to restart talks and has expanded the country's nuclear arsenal that he says is the best defense against a US invasion.
09:15  I have been judged harshly: Malini Parthasarathy after qutting The Hindu:  
Malini Parthasarathy, Editor of The Hindu, has submitted her resignation to the board. Suresh Nambath will be the interim editor of the newspaper.

According to media reports, one of the reasons for differences between Malini and The Hindu board was the way their Mumbai edition was launched and the amount of money spent on it.

This is what Malini wrote to her team after her resignation.

Dear colleagues,

In view of the strong feedback I have been receiving on "general dissatisfaction" with my performance as Editor these last 11 months, I hereby resign from the post of Editor, The Hindu, with immediate effect.

I also want to place on record my deep disappointment that my performance has been judged so harshly within such a short span of time, without any cognisance of the landmark initiatives in my tenure -- the launch of the Mumbai edition and the total upscaling of editorial content. I have also put in place strong talent-driven and experienced teams in different centres.

I leave with a sense of pride and satisfaction that I have consistently upheld basic journalistic values.
 
I will continue to serve as a Wholetime Director. 
 
Sincerely
Malini Parthasarathy
09:09  Govt denies, but scientists admit to new nuclear facility in Karnataka :  
Last month, journalist Adrian Levy, working for the Centre for Public Integrity in Washington, reported that a "secret nuclear facility" was being created at Challakere amid concerns over safety from some of the local population. The report was also carried by the Foreign Policy magazine. Read that report HERE 

The Ministry of External Affairs dismissed the report with sources saying: "It appears to be a clearly motivated piece which seeks to paint a picture of India's nuclear programme, which does not tally with facts at all."

But two senior scientists involved with the atomic energy sector in India, including R K Sinha who recently retired as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, have acknowledged that a nuclear facility is part of the science complex at Challakere. But both underlined that public concerns had been addressed.

Read more HERE
08:56  Delhi Police special cell's officer accidentally shoots himself dead while trying to chase criminals in Sector 21 of Rohini locality in Delhi.
08:30  North Korea quake possible 'nuclear test': Japan:  
The Japanese government said today that an earthquake recorded in North Korea might have been caused by a nuclear test.

"Considering past cases, there is the possibility that this might be a nuclear test by North Korea," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, said at a regular briefing, adding that Tokyo was analysing the situation.
08:23  Tremor near North Korea nuclear site; Pyongyang reaction raises eyebrows:  
An earthquake in North Korea early Wednesday raised questions about whether the Communist nation conducted its fourth nuclear test.

A Yonhap news alert that Pyongyang was set to make a special announcement has created a flutter.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center measured the magnitude as 5.1 and described the seismic activity as unusual. 

The US Geological Survey said it was centered about 12 miles from Sungjibaegam at a depth of 6.2 miles.

The location is about 30 miles from the Punggye-ri site, where the North has conducted nuclear tests in the past, according to Reuters.

Reuters also reported South Korea's Meteorological Agency said the earthquake appeared to be man made. China's Earthquake Network Centre said on its website the quake was at ground level, describing it as a "suspected explosion," AFP reported.

The South Korean president's office said it was investigating all possibilities, including a nuclear test by the North
08:21  North Korea to make 'special' announcement: Yonhap
08:18  Delhi HC to hear petitions against odd-even scheme today:  
The Delhi high court will today hear a batch of petitions against the Aam Aadmi Party government's odd-even scheme.

The Delhi government's temporary initiative to check alarming air pollution has come under fire from the day it was announced and the latest petition too has sought quashing of the administration's December 28, 2015, notification bringing the scheme into force for 15 days from January 1. 

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath listed the petition for hearing along with the other PILs filed against the scheme. 

Some of the PILs have challenged the entire scheme as being "arbitrary" or "ill-conceived", while others are against certain portions of it, like the exemptions given to women drivers and two-wheelers.

There are some PILs seeking inclusion of certain categories like lawyers in the list of exempted persons and some which have questioned whether the government has the power to modify vehicular movement in the national capital. 

The latest petition by Delhi resident B Badrinath claims that the city government's scheme violates his fundamental rights -- equality, freedom of movement and right to practise any profession or occupation -- guaranteed under the Constitution.
08:10  A self-goal by the RSS:  
Two things are taboo in the RSS and the BJP. The RSS never admits theres anything flawed or outdated in its ideology. 

The BJP, which has allowed itself to be ideologically captured and organisationally controlled by the RSS, never publicly challenges the parent organisations core beliefs. 

However, reality does not respect any organisation's imagined infallibility. Those who have tried to dictate the world to follow their own dogma have fallen by the wayside. 

History accommodates, even applauds, those who change with the times. But changing with the times demands honest self-criticism in the public realm. This spirit is in short supply in the RSS and BJP. 

Read more HERE
02:41  Inside the Oregon refuge seized by militiamen:  The latest clash between Washington and the west is playing out on a snowy desert plain in the wilds of Oregon.

When we arrived in darkness all was calm and quiet.We were greeted courteously by men carrying copies of the US constitution, who told us they were unarmed.

Read this article HERE
02:11  Trump campaign ad shows southern border using footage of Morocco:  Republican presidential front- runner Donald Trump's gaffe-prone election campaign has apparently suffered another one with his new television advertisement using a wrong footage to back his strong views on illegal immigration.

The ad shows people rushing towards a border fence as the narrator says he "will stop illegal immigration" from Mexico but the footage used is of a Spanish enclave in Morocco. 

A prominent fact-checking organisation Politifact, citing footage from May 2014 on an Italian television network, wrote yesterday that migrants shown were not crossing into Arizona or Texas -- but into the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the African coast.

The footage shows Moroccans fleeing. The ad features a narrator who says of Trump, "He'll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for," as various images of people stream across a border fence.
01:11  EU Referendum: UK ministers can campaign for either side:  Prime Minister David Cameron today allowed his ministers to campaign for or against Britain's membership of the European Union when it comes up for a referendum.

"It will be open to individual ministers to take a different, personal decision while remaining part of the government," the British Prime Minister told MPs in the House of Commons today. His government has pledged to hold a referendum on whether the UK stays in the EU before 2018.

A number of British Cabinet ministers are thought to favour an out vote, leading to a British exit dubbed "Brexit", with Cameron expected to campaign for Britain to remain in the EU. 

If the prime minister had decided to insist on collective Cabinet responsibility, he would have been forced to sack ministers who disagreed with him.
00:07  Obama weeps as he unveils gun control measures:  
US President Barack Obama today wept in public as he announced a slew of executive measures to tackle the gun violence that claims thousands of lives in the country each year, amid stiff resistance from Republican- controlled Congress to steps for tightening control on firearms.

"Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad," Obama said as tears streamed down his cheeks in the East Room of the White House in the presence of a large number of victims of mass shootings.

He summoned the memory of the 20 elementary school children killed three years ago in Newtown, Connecticut. Obama warned that the US gun lobby cannot be allowed to block government action.

00:04  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  Bomb scare in Parliament premises, caller tracked down
Doval's actions saved critical air assets in Pathankot
Parrikar meets kin of soldiers killed in Pathankot attack
Parrikar admits to 'some gaps' in Pathankot op
Modi seeks 'strong steps' against terrorists, Sharif vows action

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