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LIVE! IS claims deadly Baghdad mall attack

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January 11, 2016

23:36  IS claims deadly Baghdad mall attack:  
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack in eastern Baghdad today that killed at least 12 people.
The jihadist group said in an online statement that four of its members carried out the attack and claimed that as many as 90 people were killed or wounded. 
23:25  16,000 Syrian refugees stuck at Jordan border: minister:  
The number of Syrian refugees stuck on the border with Jordan has climbed from 12,000 to nearly 16,000 since December, the kingdom's government spokesman said on Monday.
Mohamed Momani, who is also Jordan's information minister, said "around 16,000 Syrians are located in camps situated a few hundred metres from the Jordanian side (of the border) in no-man's land."
The UN said in December that 12,000 Syrians were stranded on the border and urged Jordan to take them in, but Momani at the time dismissed the report as exaggerated.

On Monday, he told AFP in written remarks that the refugees were receiving humanitarian assistance from Jordan as well as the UN and aid organisations. 
23:21  6.4 quake hits off Indonesia, Philippines: USGS:  
A strong 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's Talaud islands north of Sulawesi today but there was no threat of a tsunami, seismologists said.

The quake hit at 00:38 am local time (1638 GMT Monday), the US Geological Survey said, and was centred around 300 kilometres (190 miles) northeast of Manado and 320 kilometres southeast of the Philippine city of General Santos. 

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat from the quake.

In its preliminary impact assessment, the USGS said there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage from the tremor. 

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity in the region.
23:13  Teen slasher of Jewish teacher in France cites Islamic State:  
A teenager armed with a machete slashed a Jewish teacher in southern France today, invoking the Islamic State group and saying he had also planned to go after police, a French prosecutor said.
The 15-year-old Turkish Kurd was arrested soon after wordlessly attacking the teacher, who was injured in the outdoor attack in central Marseille, said Brice Robin, the Marseille prosecutor.
The teen invoked Allah and the extremist group only after he was detained.

He attacked the teacher first from behind, slashing him in the shoulder, and then went after the man again as he tried to run away, Robin said.
23:04  Baghdad mall attack over, at least 12 dead: officials:  
An attack on a mall in Baghdad today that left at least 12 people dead has ended, Iraqi security and medical sources said.

"The security forces are now fully in control, the gunmen have been killed and the hostages have been freed," a senior police officer said. 

Several gunmen blew up a car bomb and sprayed bullets in a crowded area and took hostages in a shopping mall in eastern Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 12 people, police said. 

According to reports, at least 25 people were injured in the attack.

The officials had earlier estimated that 50-75 people were trapped in the mall.
22:47  Pak opposes preconditions for Afghan-Taliban peace talks:  
Pakistan today said that no precondition should be attached for talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, as a key meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US began here to revive the stalled
peace process and encourage the militants to end 15 years of

The four-day talks came as Taliban waged an unprecedented winter campaign of violence.

"It is important that no preconditions are attached to the reconciliation process, as it will create difficulties in bringing Taliban to the negotiating table," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said at the meeting.

The group was set up last year to facilitate the reconciliation process in the war-torn country. 
22:22  French president calls for humanitarian action in Syria:  
French President Francois Hollande called for the immediate implementation of humanitarian measures in Syria in order to build the conditions of a "credible cease-fire" two weeks before a new round of peace talks expected to take place in Geneva.
Hollande said in a statement that humanitarian aid should reach besieged areas, especially the rebel-held town of Madaya.
The French president met today with Riad Hijab, coordinator of the opposition team that will negotiate with the Syrian government.
Syrian President Bashar Assad "can't have a role" in Syria's future, Hollande said.

22:13  735 people challaned for violating odd-even scheme:  
As many as 735 violators of the odd-even scheme were challaned today, the 11th day of the car-rationing measure's implementation in the National

The police penalised 209 motorists for violating the vehicular restriction norms, enforcement teams of the government's Transport department fined 304 motorists and Revenue department booked 222, said senior officials.
On Saturday, the authorities had booked 875 violators of the scheme, which will run till January 15.

Officials of Delhi Metro said that 21,85,271 commuters took the metro services today, an increase of around 4.13 per cent from the ridership yesterday, when the scheme was not in force.
The odd-even scheme brought by the AAP government as part of a pilot plan to cut air pollution in the city was rolled out on January 1. The rules apply only from Monday to Saturday. January 10, being a Sunday, did not fall under the ambit of the new norm.
22:08  Xi reorganises structure of PLA headquarters:   President Xi Jinping today directed China's 2.3 million-member armed forces to strictly follow the orders of the ruling Communist Party and focus on winning wars as he reorganised the military headquarters structure firming up his grip on the world's largest army.

Xi reorganised four army headquarters by replacing them with 15 new agencies under the Central Military Commission headed by him.

He asked officers to unswervingly follow the 'absolute leadership' of Communist Party of China during a meet with the new heads of the reorganised organs of the People's Liberation Army, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Xi, who is also the CPC chief, besides being the chairman of the CMC which makes him the strongest Chinese leader in recent times, said military leaders must adhere to the Party spirit, obey political discipline, and 'be politically intelligent', with firm political faith and right political stance.

Military leaders need to sharpen their political alertness and become better at discerning right and wrong in political matters, Xi said.
21:38  Gunmen holding hostages at Baghdad mall, 10 killed so far:   Several gunmen blew up a car bomb and sprayed bullets in a crowded area and took hostages in a shopping mall in eastern Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 10 people, police said.

The gunmen were still holed up in the shopping centre in Baghdad al-Jadida, a police colonel said.   Police said that it was feared the attackers were wearing suicide belts.

A hospital official confirmed the death toll and said 14 people were also reported to have been wounded in the attack.

"They are inside the Zahrat Baghdad mall. When the security forces got too close, they killed three hostages," a police official said.

"We are taking a cautious approach now. We want this attack to end with the lowest possible number of casualties," the official said.

An interior ministry source said an unspecified number of gunmen opened fire in the street after a car bomb exploded and briefly clashed with members of the security forces before entering the mall
21:18  Geeta refuses to recognise UP couple claiming to be her parents:   Geeta, the visually and hearing impaired girl who was stranded in Pakistan for 15 years, did not recognise a couple from Uttar Pradesh who had claimed that she could be their lost daughter, an official said today.

"Mohammad Issa, from UP, had submitted an application that Geeta resembles his daughter, Rubaida, who went missing 14 years ago. At that time she was 9-years-old," Indore collector P Narhari said.

But when Geeta met Issa and his wife here, she didn't recognise them, he said.   Many people have come forward claiming that Geeta was their long-lost daughter or relative but no one could establish the claim.

Geeta was reportedly 7-8 years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express at Lahore railway station by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago.
20:43  Ghulam Ali arrives in Kolkata, concert tomorrow:   Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali today arrived in Kolkata to perform at a concert tomorrow.

Organised by the state Minority Affairs and Madrasa Education Department, whose minister in-charge is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the singer will perform at the inaugural function of a trade fair organised for small and medium enterprises.

Banerjee will also attend the concert at Netaji Indoor stadium tomorrow evening.

In October last year, the Shiv Sena had threatened to disrupt Ali's concert in Mumbai warning that no artiste from Pakistan will be allowed to perform in the city till terror emanating from across the border stopped.   After the incident, Banerjee had invited Ali to the city.
20:16  Kejriwal to visit Pathankot, Gurdaspur:   Aam Aadmi Party president and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will visit Pathankot and Gurdaspur on January 13 and meet the families of the security personnel who were killed in Pathankot terror attack.

"He (Arvind Kejriwal) will come to Pathankot and Gurdaspur on January 13 and meet the family members of martyrs," Durgesh Pathak, National Organisation-building head, AAP said today.

Kejriwal would be meeting the families of Havildar Kulwant Singh, Honorary Captain Fateh Singh and taxi driver Ikagar Singh.

Kulwant and Fateh who belonged to Chak Sharif village and Jhanda Gujjran village, respectively, in Gurdaspur district, laid down their lives fighting terrorists who had attacked the Pathankot airbase.

Taxi driver Ikagar Singh was killed by terrorists, a day before the terrorists striking the air force base. Ikagar Singh was native of Bhagwal village in Pathankot.

Notably, Kejriwal is scheduled to address a political conference on Maghi Mela on January 14 at Muktsar as the party is eyeing to wrest power in 2017 assembly polls in Punjab.
20:02  No clarity on govt formation in J&K so far:   Even after the end of mourning period, there were no indications today about how soon a new government would be formed in Jammu and Kashmir, with the People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti maintaining suspense and the Bharatiya Janata Party saying it will wait for the ally to make the first move amid its wish to see the existing power-sharing arrangement to continue.

Mehbooba, who is tipped to be the next chief minister succeeding her late father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has kept the suspense on over when she will start steps to form the government in the state where Governor's rule was imposed on last Saturday.

"So far nothing has changed. Any further development on the formation of government would depend on how soon the party president is able to hold consultations and seek advice on the issue," senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said when asked whether any step has been initiated for forming the next government.
19:50  CPI-M leader reacts after being stopped from entering Malda:   After he was stopped by the West Bengal police near Amriti on his way to Malda, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Mohammad Salim accused the state government of hiding the truth.

"Is it a police state? Why the state government is hiding the truth. I was going to meet affected people and my party people at the party office. I was stopped long before I entered Kaliachak," Salim said.

Salim questioned the decision of stopping him even when Section 144 is not in force and he was travelling alone without any convoy, media or security.
19:17  Refugees attacked in Germany in wake of Cologne sex assaults:   A group of 20 men attacked at least six Pakistani nationals in the German city of Cologne, with two hospitalised for their injuries, police said.

A man of Syrian descent was later attacked and injured by five men.

Two men have been detained following the attacks, Cologne police said.

19:08  Terrorist killed in encounter with security forces outside Srinagar:  Encounter between terrorists and security forces underway in Tailbal area in outskirts of Srinagar (J&K).

One terrorist is believed to be killed and another holed up in the area. Details awaited.
19:01  Encounter between terrorists, security forces in Srinagar :  Just in: Encounter between terrorists and security forces in the Tailbal area in the outskirts of Srinagar. Two terrorists believed to be trapped by security forces. Details awaited.
18:46  10,000 paramilitary forces to keep India safe on R-Day:  Just in: At least 10,000 additional paramilitary forces will be deployed in Delhi to ensure security for the upcoming Republic Day celebrations.

With a high alert being sounded across the country in view of the Republic Day celebrations, security agencies have stepped up vigil at sensitive airports in the country entailing passengers to go through a second round of frisking and detailed scanning of their footwear and handbags.

At large and important airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad, passengers are being screened through multiple layers of CISF and airport security and a number of them are being asked to take out shoes and open hand baggages for a thorough checking. Airlines and special teams of the CISF and airport security have been asked to conduct risk-based Secondary Ladder Point Check which entails frisking passengers on the air side just before entering the aircraft.

Pic: A team of motorcyclists practice on Rajpath this morning for the Republic Day parade. The pic was tweeted by President of India ‏@RashtrapatiBhvn.
18:38  For want of pilot, AI flight delayed for nearly 2 hrs:   For want of a pilot, an Air India flight from New Delhi to Bhubaneswar was delayed today for nearly two hours making it the second time in four days where passengers of the state-owned carrier were left stranded for reasons other than bad weather.

Last Friday, one of the airline's flights to Odisha capital was delayed by eight hours as Air India had allegedly assigned the aircraft and crew of that plane to its Bhopal flight to favour some VIPs including a BJP Minister from Madhya Pradesh. An NHRC delegation was among the passengers who were on board the Bhubaneswar-bound flight this morning.

18:21  'Chiefs allowed Doval to dictate terms and micro manage':  "The ISI and terrorists have exploited the drug nexus that exists on either side of the border. Superintendant of Police Salwinder Singh's role is suspect. He could also be an innocent victim, but there are too many unanswered questions. This nexus has been there for quite some time. The BSF, the Punjab Police and the Punjab politicians are all involved in the drug trade. There is no difference left between the infiltration of terrorists and smugglers. Everybody is out to make money so it doesn't matter to them. This is how the information has emerged. Once Salwinder realised that he has been trapped or to cover his tracks he gave the information to the police. The case is under investigation by the NIA."

Lieutenant General H S Panag (retd) discusses the Pathankot attack with Archana Masih/ Read
18:07  When Putin got his Labrador in a meeting with dog-phobic Merkel:  Vladimir Putin has said he didn't intend to scare German Chancellor Angela Merkel when he brought his black Labrador Konni to one of their first ever meetings.Merkel, who is famously terrified of dogs, kept quiet over the 2007 incident but it was widely believed that Putin had been attempting to intimidate and embarrass the German leader.

Less than two years in the job at the time, Merkel was photographed looking uncomfortable throughout her meeting with Putin as the large black Labrador wandered around the meeting room at the Russian leader's summer residence in the Russian city of Sochi. Read more
17:58  Madonna on Bowie: Your spirit lives on forever!:  Madonna pays tribute to David Bowie @Madonna "Talented . Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever! Im Devastated! This great Artist changed my life! First concert i ever saw in Detroit! R.IP. So lucky to have met you!!!! Hot Tramp I love you So."
17:32  India will take decision on secretary-level talks with Pakistan in the next 48 hours. 
17:24  Pathankot terror probe: NIA to question Gurdaspur SP Salwinder's cook Madan Gopal.
17:15  Why should women NOT be allowed in Sabarimala, asks SC:   It's a question women want answered.

The Supreme Court today asked why cannot women should not be allowed to enter the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, a prominent Hindu pilgrim centre in Kerala. The court said women cannot be denied entry into the temple as long as the Constitution permits it to do so.

The court also asked the Kerala government to submit an affidavit in the case and has aksed the Tranvacore Devaswom Board which manages the Sabarimala temple to make its stance clear on the issue.

The court was considering a petition file by the Indian Young Lawyers Association.

In an earlier decision, the Kerala HC has upheld the ban on women.

The SC will consider the case later. Taditionally women aged between 10 and 50 are not permitted.
16:50  JUST IN: Sabarimala temple can't ban women unless it has Constitutional right, says Supreme Court on Kerala shrine's age-old rule
16:03  Sanjay Dutt to be released early morning on February 25:  Actor Sanjay Dutt, who has been serving the remainder of his five-year term in Yerwada jail, Pune, will finish his term on February 25. Reports said that contrary to the various dates of his release doing the rounds, the actor will be released in the early hours of February 25. 

The actor has served for more than the 50 months out of the 60 month's sentence that was announced by the government. A regular remission was granted to Sanjay Dutt by the authorities on account of his good conduct.The actor has been given a clean chit by the Maharashtra government.

Dutt had reached jail two days late while he was on parole but an inquiry concluded that this was due to lapses on part of the jail administration to take a decision. Dutt will not be penalised for arriving late at the jail.
15:59  PM orders NIA to file two FIRs in Pathankot attack:  Why did Prime Minister Narendra Modi order the the National Investigations Agency to register suo-moto, two FIRs, in the Pathankot terror attack?

Whatever the reason, it's certanly left the Akalis red-faced.

The first terror strike in Punjab's Gurdaspur had left seven people dead in July 2015. Three suspected Pakistan-based terrorists attacked a passenger bus and stormed a police station before being gunned down after a 12-hour firefight.

The Modi government had requested Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to allow the NIA to probe the incident, but the Badals had declined.

The PM had let the matter rest. But this time, an angry PM directed the NIA to go ahead and file an FIR without even asking the Akali government.

While one FIR related to the killing of a taxi driver, the other was the mysterious escape of three persons including the SP of Punjab Police from the clutches of the Pakistani fidayeen squad.

As we write this, the Gurdaspur SP has been interrogated by the NIA. 
15:45  J.K. Rowling @jk_rowling I wish he could have stayed on earth longer. RIP #DavidBowie
15:31  Contributions to TN flood relief crosses Rs 300 Crore:  Contributions to Tamil Nadu government's flood relief and rehabilitation works crossed Rs 300 crore, with several corporates and film industry officials handing over Rs 17.10 crore worth of funds today.
15:22  Parliament attacker Afzal Guru's son scores 95% in Class X exams:  Ghalib Guru, son of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru who was hanged three years back, has scored 95 per cent marks in the Class X standard examinations conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Examination.

Ghalib secured 474 marks out of 500, according to the results declared today.

He has secured 'A1' grade in all five subjects.His performance in the examinations became a talking point on the social media for excelling despite hardships.

Afzal Guru was hanged to death on February 9 in 2013 following his conviction in theParliament attack case.

The topper was a boy from Awantipora in Pulwama district. Earlier, girls had been dominating the exams for a few years.

Tabish Manzoor Khan scored 498 marks out of 500 in the examination while Aneesa Haleen and Hiba Intikhab bagged second and third position, respectively.
15:18  Chintan Upadhyay's judicial custody extended till Jan 25:  Hema Upadhyay murder case: Chintan Upadhyay's judicial custody extended till January 25th by Borivali court.

Chintan Upadhyay, estranged husband of artist Hema Upadhyay, was on Tuesday arrested in the double murder case of his wife and her lawyer in suburban Kandivali in Mumbai and sent to police custody by a Mumbai court.
14:59  JUST IN: EAM Sushma Swaraj to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh today.
14:46  Pathankot airbase attack: Pak arrests some suspects:  Pakistani authorities carried out raids at different places following attack on the Pathankot air base in India, leading to some arrests, intelligence officials said today.

They said that raids were carried out in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts and an unspecified number of people were arrested.

"Probe has been going to ascertain if they were involved in the attack or some of them facilitated it," they said.

The arrests led Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to order a Joint Investigation Team of IB, Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Federal Investigation Agency and Police to thoroughly probe the Pathankot attack links to Pakistan.

Sharif has already said that a transparent investigation will be made and those involved will not be spared. India has provided telephone number in Pakistan contacted by the airbase attackers and given other inputs while asking Islamabad to take punitive actions against the handlers and possible mastermind.

India has stated that the foreign secretary level talks will continue if Pakistan acts on the leads given by India on the Pathankot terror attack.

The January 15 foreign secretary level talks have not been cancelled and will go on as scheduled. National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval clarified this while rubbishing claims made by Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar.

In its report, Dainik Bhaskar had claimed that the NSA had, in an interview given to it, said that the scheduled talks with Pakistan on January 15 stand cancelled.

14:31  Peter Mukerjea's judicial custody extended till Jan. 25:   The judicial custody of former media honcho Peter Mukherjea, who was arrested in connection with the Sheena Bora murder, has been extended till January 25th.On December 28th, a Mumbai Esplanade court had extended the judicial custody of Peter till January 11.
14:30  Binny Bansal is Flipkart's new CEO; Sachin Bansal is executive chairman:  Changes afoot at India's largest e-commerce marketplace: Flipkart co-founder and chief operating officer Binny Bansal has been appointed as the chief executive officer of Flipkart.He will be taking over from Flipkart's other co-founder Sachin Bansal who will assume the role of executive chairman.In this role, Sachin Bansal will provide strategic direction, mentor the senior leadership and look for new investment opportunities, Flipkart said in a statement.He will continue to be the chairman of the board.Sachin will also "play an active role in championing the Indian e-commerce sector and building the Internet ecosystem, and represent the company in external forums", Flipkart added
14:27  Sensex crashes to 19-mth low, sinks 335 pts on Asian cues:  The benchmark BSE Sensex plunged over 335 points to hit a fresh 19-month low and the NSE Nifty crashed below the 7,500-mark in early trade today due to heavy selling by funds and investors tracking weak Asian markets amid persistent China fears. The 30-share index was trading down by 335.43 points, or 1.34 per cent, to 24,598.90 with all sectoral indices led by metal, capital goods and PSU leading the fall with losses up to 2.29 per cent. The Sensex had gained 82.50 points in the previous session on Friday.
14:21  Odd-Even scheme needs supporting infrastructure: Ratan Tata:  The Odd-Even scheme has worked to an extent in other countries but may require more supporting transport infrastructure here to make travel comfortable for commuters, leading industrialist Ratan Tata said today.

Tata declined to get into the merits of the scheme that is being followed in the capital till January 15, saying that he is not the 'qualified person' to comment on it. "Even Odd licence plate solution has been tried in other countries. It has worked to some extent. So I am not quick to dismiss it...may be it needs more supporting (transport) infrastructure to make it comfortable to other people to avail it," Tata told reporters in New Delhi.

The Delhi government introduced the Odd-Even formula for fortnight from January 1 to check pollution in the city. Under this scheme private 4-wheeled vehicles bearing registration numbers ending with even number can ply on roads only on even dates like 2,4,6,8,10 from 8 am to 8 pm. 
14:17  Dress code banning jeans, skirts in TN temples put on hold till Jan 18:   The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday granted interim stay on the order imposing dress code for devotees entering temple in Tamil Nadu.

The bench granted the stay based on a writ appeal filed by the state government which argued that it was not possible to enforce a dress code on visitors at temples.

Several important shrines have put up notice boards highlighting a new dress code to be followed following the orders of the Madras High court in December 2015, officials said.

According to a notice board outside the Palani temple, male devotees have been advised to wear dhoti, shirt, pyjama or pant and shirt while women and girls should wear saris or churidhar or 'pavadai' with half-sari.

Devotees wearing lungi, bermudas, jeans and tight-leggings would not be allowed, it said. Other major shrines which have put up notice boards about the dress code included the Rameswaram and Meenakshi temples, officials said.
13:34  Just in: Pakistan detains Pathankot attack suspects. 
13:30  Nawaz Sharif orders JIT for Pathankot attack probe:  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered formation of a high-profile joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the links of the Pathankot air base attackers with Pakistan, a media report said today.

Sharif's decision to form the JIT came after the leads provided by India which has linked the Foreign Secretary-level talks, scheduled for January 15, to Islamabad's decisive action on the Pathankot terror attack.

The decision to form the JIT, comprising officials from Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Sharif recently, The Express Tribune said.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar attended the meeting. Prime Minister Sharif "is taking an active role in getting to the bottom of the Pathankot incident," a Prime Minister's House source was quoted as saying by the paper.

"He also discussed the issue with army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and took him on board about the decision to form a JIT," the source added.

"This investigation will be a major test of the prime minister to move Pakistan-India relationship forward and to break the cycle of off-again on-again talks between the two neighbours," the source added. In a pre-dawn attack on January 2, a group of heavily- armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the Air Force base in Pathankot. Indian intelligence reports suggested that groups and people in Pakistan planned and executed the strike. India has provided "specific and actionable information in this regard" to Pakistan.

The evidence is said to include some voice recordings and the cellular phone numbers of the attackers' handlers which were traced to Pakistan. Sharif has assured leaders from India and the US that Pakistan will investigate the matter and make the results public.
13:20  The 20 essential David Bowie tracks. Listen in.
13:18  Enact separate law for 'brutal perverts' who rape children, SC tells lawmakers:   Noting that rape and sexual offences against infants and girl children below 10 years of age is nothing but "brutal perversion", the Supreme Court has asked parliament to enact a separate offence of 'child rape' and provide rigorous punishment to offenders.

This is the first time that the apex court has distinguished between minors and children below 10 years of age.

The Bench, led by Justice Dipak Misra, said Parliament has to separately define the word 'child' in terms of rape.

"The pain and distress caused to a child, including infants as young as 28 days old, who knows nothing about sex and rape is nothing but brutal perversion. When a society moves this way, it has to be stopped," Justice Misra dictated in a written order.It said Section 376 (i) of the Indian Penal Code only talks of "woman below 16 years of age" and has no specific provision for girl children below 10 years of age and infants.Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said child rape never be tolerated and agreed to highlight the court's order to the Government for putting it up before the lawmakers for an appropriate legislation.This has to be remedied by amending the Indian Penal Code, the apex court said.
13:10  Shane Warne tweets: We can be "Hereos"..You were one of mine. #Bowie tunes will be played loud in the Warne house tonight #Legend #RIP 
12:51  Bowie's hidden influences:  Personas, he's had a few. David Bowie was the Man Who Sold the World, and the Man Who Fell to Earth. He was the Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. And during his Scary Monsters incarnation, he was a white-faced Pierrot. These were attention-grabbing guises, but there was always a musical depth and range of influences behind them. Read
12:49  The Supreme Court asks parliament to enact a separate offence of 'child rape' and provide rigorous punishment to offenders.
12:46  Meeting between Home Minister Rajnath Singh, NSA Doval, IB Chief,Raw Chief and DGs of Paramilitary Forces at North Block ends. Details shortly.
12:32  Legendary rock star David Bowie dies at 69:  Singer David Bowie has died after a battle with cancer, his representative confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. 
"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief," read a statement posted on the artist's official social media accounts. Read more
12:18  Ranji cricketer from MP Rameez arrested for hunting rare deer.
12:17  11-yr old Indian-origin girl's Mensa score puts her in same league as Einstein:  A 11-year-old Indian-origin girl in the UK has achieved the top possible score of 162 on a IQ test of Mensa, becoming one of the youngest brainiest students in the country.

Mumbai-born Kashmea Wahi achieved the top score of 162 out of 162, putting her in the league of scientists Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking and in the top 1 per cent of the country's brightest.

"It's overwhelming to be compared with the likes of Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, the comparison is implausible and I believe it would take loads of achievements for anyone like myself to be able to get into the league of such legends. Anyways, I am buzzing with excitement," Kashmea said.

Both Hawking and Einstein are thought to have an IQ of 160.

The daughter of IT management consultants, Vikas and Pooja Wahi, at Deutsche Bank in London took the test to prove a point to her parents.

The Cattell III B Mensa test is a well-known international evaluation process and Kashmea stumbled upon it while browsing her iPad.Cattell III B has 150 questions, often assessing comprehension through passages of texts, while the maximum score that can be achieved is 161 for adults, and 162 for under-18s.

The high achiever at school felt it would be a good way to convince her parents to get off her case for not being buried in her books for long hours.
12:10  Meeting between Home Minister Rajnath Singh, NSA Doval, IB Chief, Raw Chief and DGs of Paramilitary Forces underway at North Block.
12:09  Doval heads to Paris to fine-tune response to terror attacks:  The NSA will meet with officials of the French external intelligence agency to forge a very close counter-terrorism relationship with India, reveals Rajeev Sharma. Read
12:01  Animal activists move SC against Centre's decision to lift Jallikattu ban :  The Animal Welfare Board has moved the Supreme Court against the Centre's move to lift ban on bull-taming sport Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.

Last week, the Centre lifted the four-year-old ban on poll-bound Tamil Nadu's controversial bull-taming sport 'jallikattu' by altering its 2011 notification.

The fresh notification also cleared other traditional bull-related events like bullock cart races in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat.

Soon after the notification was issued, activists vowed to move the Supreme Court against the environment ministry's fresh move. They said the step was taken by completely ignoring the view of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) that had on December 31 written to the environment ministry against any such move.
11:51  Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to visit Pathankot on January 13.
11:46  Gurdaspur SP appears before NIA for questioning, lie-detector test likely:  The Gurdaspur SP, who was allegedly abducted by terrorists involved in the Pathankot attack, today appeared before the NIA here for questioning in connection with the terror strike.

The NIA had issued summons to Salwinder Singh, who is at present Assistant Commandant of 75th battalion of Punjab Armed Police, to appear before the agency for thorough questioning as there were some discrepancies in his statement to NIA and Punjab Police.

Sources did not rule out the possibility of subjecting him to lie detector test.

Singh, along with his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma and cook Madan Gopal, were allegedly kidnapped by terrorists on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 before they entered the IAF base in Pathankot and carried out a terror strike on the following intervening night in which seven security personnel including a Lt Colonel of NSG were killed. Singh was recently shunted as SP (headquarters) of Gurdaspur following allegation of breach of discipline.

The NIA has registered three cases in connection with the terror strike at Pathankot IAF base. The first case pertains to Salwinder Singh's abduction and the second for the killing of the taxi driver.

Both the cases were registered at Narot Jaimal Singh Police Station in Pathankot district. The third and the main case, registered at Police Station Division No. 2 Pathankot, relates to the terrorist attack on the Air Force Station.
11:31  Odd-Even scheme to continue till Jan 15, says Delhi High Court:   The Arvind Kejriwal government's Odd-Even scheme will continue till January 15 as planned, the Delhi High Court ruled today and said it would continue hearing petitions challenging the new traffic rules on January 15.

The court said it would "not interfere with the notification" that allows only cars with odd-numbered licence plates on Delhi's roads on odd-numbered dates, and those with even-numbered plates on the other days till this Friday.

The government, the judges said, could consider some of the points raised by petitioners on Odd-Even.

On Friday the court had reserved judgement on whether the scheme should be allowed to run till January 15, but criticised the city's public transport as "insufficient" and observed that people were inconvenienced.

It had earlier asked why the the Delhi government's experiment to ban private cars on alternate days should last more than a week.  
11:24  Mehbooba Mufti breaks down as she meets party leaders :  PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti broke down as she met her party members yesterday evening as the traditional four-day mourning for her father and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed ended.

Mufti, who is expected to take over as the state's first woman chief minister, told the PDP legislators to head back to their constituencies and work to strengthen the party. She did not mention government formation.

Jammu and Kashmir is under a brief spell of Governor's Rule since Friday, since Mufti chose not to be sworn in immediately after her father's death.

The state's constitution provides that the post of chief minister cannot be vacant.

A seven-day state mourning ends on Wednesday, but PDP sources have said, is not inclined to take oath all of this week, and the delay has set off speculation about a political realignment in the state.

A 10-minute meeting between Mufti and Congress president Sonia Gandhi yesterday fuelled the speculation. The Congress has said Sonia visited Mehbooba Mufti to offer condolences and stressed that they are close family friends.

Pic: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti breaks down while offering prayers for her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed yesterday/PTI.
10:57  'Abducted' Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh has reached the  NIA office in Delhi for questioning.

According to media reports, the blue beacon atop Singh's Mahindra XUV helped the terrorists get past several police checkposts before the attacks on the Pathankot airbase. It is suspected that the same lot of terrorists entered the airbase because the SUV was found abandoned a little over 500 metres away.
10:53  The actor, the kingpin, and Mexico's drug war as entertainment:   In Mexico's drug war, reality and fiction have become intertwined as larger-than-life criminals run wild, while novels, soap operas, movies and even video games create a fantasy version of the conflict. 

This blur between a surreal drug war on the ground and a wealth of narco fiction reached world attention over the weekend when it emerged that actor Sean Penn drank tequila with drug trafficker Joaquin "El Chapo' Guzman in a mountain hideout before Guzman was recaptured on Friday.

Read this article HERE
10:51  VHP wants a Ram temple in every village:  With Ayodhya Ram Temple issue bouncing back to the centre stage of Uttar Pradesh politics ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has decided to construct temples in every village across the country.

"The organisation has decided to set up a temple of Lord Ram in every village," spokesman of VHP Sharad Sharma said today. He said from April 15 -- Ram Navami -- the organiation would start a seven-day-long Ram Mahotsava. "During this period Lord Ram will be worshipped in every village," he told PTI.

Sharma said the target is to reach 1.25 lakh villages. "We had been observing Ram Mahotsava in the past and the organisation has already reached 70,000-75,000 villages pan India," he said. 

Sharma said that during Ram Mahotsava, statues of Lord Ram would be worshipped. "Whether it is a statue or picture it will be installed at a place after worship," he said.
10:45  Delhi HC to decide odd-even scheme continuation today:   The Delhi high court on Monday will give the ruling on the continuation of the odd-even formula.The high court on Friday had reserved its order on the various petitions challenging the Delhi government's scheme.

According to the state government, the pollution level of particulate matter across the national capital has shown a declining trend after the implementation of the scheme.

The Aam Aadmi Party-led government had submitted that it wanted to extend the programme beyond the decided 15 days. 
10:30  'Confused' BJP rightly sent back from Malda: Congress:  Supporting the West Bengal Government for sending back the three-member fact-finding committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress Party on Monday said the state government has rightly done so in order to maintain peace.

"Whatever happened in Malda is very unfortunate and the state government must maintain peace. If a political party tries to intervene and create chaos, then it is the responsibility of the state government to send them back. I think it was rightly done to maintain peace," Congress leader P L Punia told ANI.
10:06  'The Revenant wins best motion picture at Golden Globes:   "The Revenant" wins best motion picture - drama at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. A little while earlier, Leonardo DiCaprio and  Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won the Best Actor and Best Director award for the same movie.
09:36  JUST IN: Leonardo DiCaprio has won the best actor Golden Globe in a motion picture '" drama for "The Revenant". Brie Larson has won the award in the best actress in a motion picture '" drama category for her role in "Room".
09:12  And Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has won the best director Golden Globe for survival drama "The Revenant".
09:09  Matt Damon, Kate Winslet early Golden Globe winners:  Actors Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Sylvester Stallone and Jon Hamm are the early winners at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards here. Winslet, 40, who played the role of Joanna Hoffman, marketing executive for Apple in biopic "Steve Jobs", walked away with the golden trophy in the supporting actress category.

The Danny Boyle-directed movie, which did not do well at the box office, earned another trophy for Aaron Sorkin in the best screenplay category. Stallone won the best supporting actor in a motion picture trophy for his role in "Creed" and was received with a standing ovation.

Damon won the best actor trophy in a musical or comedy category for his role of Mark Watney, a botanist in "The Martian", who is accidentally left alone on Mars during an aborted space mission and uses his skills to survive on the planet.
09:04  Doval denies giving any interview, says talks not cancelled:   National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has told ANI that he does not remember giving any interview to Dainik Bhaskar, which had claimed that India had cancelled the 15 January Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks.

"I speak to journalists every day. But I do not remember giving any such interview. I strongly deny that I made such a statement," Doval said in a telephonic conversation to ANI.

However, the online version of the daily had carried out an interview on Monday with Doval, where he was quoted as saying that the NSA-level talks have been cancelled and the situation will remain same until Islamabad comes through in the Pathankot probe.
08:53  I have 'more work than MoS' VK Singh: Tewari on 'jobless' jibe:   Hitting back at Union minister and former Army chief General VK Singh's 'jobless' jibe, former information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Monday said that by God's grace, he had much more work to do than a Minister of State (MoS).

"Saw @Gen_VKSingh statement on being jobless. Well Minister I know how much work MOS's in GOI have. With God's grace have more work than that," Tewari tweeted.   Following the furore over Tewari admitting that the Raisina Hill incident was reported correctly by the Indian Express in 2012, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, the then Army Chief General, dismissed the Congress leader's statement saying 'he has no work these days'. 

"Manish Tewari ji has nothing to do these days. There is this book of mine, ask him to read it and everything will be clear to him," The retired Army General told reporters
08:38  BJP's fact-finding team held at Malda railway station:  JUST IN: The BJP's fact-finding team, which had gone to assess the situation in violence-hit Malda, was stopped from going to Kaliachak and held at the Malda railway station. 

The team, set up by BJP president Amit Shah, is headed by party national general secretary and member of Parliament Bhupender Yadav.

On January 3, a mob protesting against the alleged blasphemous comments by a right-wing leader had resorted to violence in Malda district during which a police station was also attacked.
08:04  Tewari's statement on troop movement 'bold': Shekhar Gupta:  Hailing former information and broadcasting ministerManish Tewari's backing to the story on troop movement, former editor-in-chiefof Indian Express Shekhar Gupta on Saturday said it was 'better late than never', adding that the Congress leader has made a bold statement.

"It has once again opened a debate on the troop movement in 2012, which I think is a welcome thing. As far as we are concerned, we know the when and what of the story, but we don't know why and how of the story," said Gupta.
07:58  Gurdaspur SP to undergo lie-detector test today :  Days after terror struck Pathankot Indian Air Force base, Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh will be subject to a lie-detector test on Monday.

The NIA, which has taken over the probe into the attack, has brought Singh to Delhi where the polygraph test will take place.

The NIA had on January 8 issued summons to Singh, who was allegedly abducted by terrorists involved in Pathankot attack, to appear before it on Monday for detailed interrogation even as the probe agency had picked up some foot prints in the fields of a border village and the IAF base and sent them to central forensic lab for matching.

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