Wed, 29 August 2012
Summit of NAM leaders opens tomorrow

Timeline  Refresh

23:38   Summit of NAM leaders opens tomorrow
Amidst Western efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear programme, the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement will open in Teheran tomorrow with issues such as Syrian crisis and Palestine statehood set to dominate the agenda. 

The Summit of the 120-nations grouping will open with Iran assuming the Chair from Egypt for the next three years.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is leading the Indian delegation to the two-day Summit which is being attended by over 30 Heads of State/Governments.
21:33   Kin of Guj riots victims seek exemplary punishment
The families of the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots victims have demanded exemplary punishment to the 32 people, including former Gujarat Minister Maya Kodnani, convicted in the case by a special court today.

The special court convicted 32 people, including Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, on charges of murder and conspiracy. 97 people belonging to the minority community were killed in the post-Godhra riots.

"All the convicts should be given such a punishment that nobody in the future can even think of committing such a crime," Shakeela, who lost most of her family members during the communal violence in Naroda Patiya, said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Dildar Umraav Saiyed, who was also present during a press meet organised by Citizens for Justice and Peace, an NGO run by social activist Teesta Setalvad, who actively helped the victims get justice.
21:12   Ex-Mumbai top cop Arup Patnaik hospitalised
Former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik has been admitted to Jaslok hospital in South Mumbai after he reportedly complained of chest pain, reports NDTV

Patnaik was the commissioner of the Mumbai police till as recent as last week. He was transferred and promoted to Director General, Security Corporation, after being criticised by some parties for his handling of the August 11 riots in the city. Patnaik was succeeded by Satyapal Singh.
20:26   Fire on 5th floor of Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi
A fire has broken out on the fifth floor of Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi. Six fire engines have been rushed to the hospital to battle the blaze, reports NDTV.

Safdarjung Hospital is one of the biggest government hospitals in the capital.

More details are awaited.
19:00   Mamata's district tours wasteful expenditure: CPI(M)
Moving on, the CPI(M) today alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's district tours were aimed at political mileage before the panchayat election and should be scrapped as it was wasteful expenditure.

"Though the idea behind district tours to review and assess progress of work is good, it appears that the Chief Minister is mixing party work and that of the administration," Leader of the Opposition Suryakanta Mishra belonging to the CPI(M) said.

Stating that the district tours had yielded nothing worthwhile in last 15 months of Trinamool Congress rule in the state, he said "Lakhs of rupees are being spent in the chief minister's district tours where nearly the entire cabinet and bureaucrats are taken."

Without naming the Railway minister, the CPI(M) leader questioned the necessity of a union minister accompanying the chief minister on her district tours.
18:57   Miscommunication between pilot and tower: Airline
This is what Reuters news agency reports on the hijack that never was.

Miscommunication between a Spanish airline pilot and Dutch ground control caused a hijack scare on Wednesday that led the Netherlands to send F-16 fighters to intercept a plane, the airline said.

"There was never any danger. There was a lack of communication between the pilot and the tower and the airport has activated the security protocol," a spokeswoman for Spanish carrier Vueling said.

The airline's flight from Malaga in Spain to Amsterdam was surrounded by Dutch security forces on landing at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.The Dutch Defence Ministry had sent two F-16 fighters to intercept the airplane after suspecting a hijacking, a Dutch military police spokesman told Reuters.

"We are still trying to establish communication with passengers and with the crew," Martijn Peelen, spokesman for the military police, told Reuters by phone..
18:50   Amsterdam hijacking is miscommunication: Airline
According to Spain's Veuling airline company, there was NO hijacking and chalked the incident up to a "miscommunication" between the pilot and the control tower

"The plane approached the airport in an unusual way. This led to a miscommunication between the pilot and the control-tower", a Vueling spokeswoman tells Reuters.Initial press reports from Holland told of a feared hijacking, including the possibility of hostages, according to The Associated Press.

Those fears prompted Dutch police to swarm the plane after it arrived to Amsterdam from the Spanish city of Malaga, according to The Associated Press.
18:43   Vijay, Yogeshwar conferred Khel Ratna; 25 get Arjuna awards
While we await confirmations or otherwise on the 'hijack' at Amsterdam, in other news, Olympic medallists Vijay Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt were today jointly conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award -- the country's highest sporting honour.

An unprecedented 25 sportspersons were honoured with the Arjuna awards in a glittering ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here. A loud applause greeted the two Olympic heroes as they received their Khel Ratna Awards from President Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of a host of Ministers, dignitaries and sports celebrities.
A spokesperson from Spain's Vueling airline says the hijack report was due to miscommunication between the pilot and control tower at Schiphol. Earlier, the defence ministry reportedly sent two F-16 fighters to the plane, which was believed to have hostages on board.
18:38   F16s scrambled, 'hijacked' plane lands in Amsterdam
According to the Reuters news agency, Dutch military police say security forces have now surrounded the plane with the passengers still on board.Police have confirmed that they believe this is a hostage situation. But Spanish airline Vueling, which reportedly owns the plane, has denied reports that it has been hijacked.

And according to this tweet: Schiphol Incidenten '@112SchipholPassenger on board Vueling 8366 report to Dutch media that there is NO hijack or hostage in progress.
The 'hijacked' Dutch, which is reported to have the hijacker and hostages on board has landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, says BBC. The Dutch defence ministry earlier scrambled F-16 fighters to intercept the plane, which had apparently taken off from Malaga, Spain. 
According to the Reuters news agency, Dutch military police say security forces have now surrounded the plane with the passengers still on board. Remember, there is still no confirmation whether the plane was hijacked.
18:19   Dutch plane from Spain to Amsterdam hijacked?
Unconfirmed reports of a Dutch plane taken hostage en route to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. The airline spokesperson has however denied the report, but the Dutch police say the 'hijacker' is on board the plane. 

Dutch media are reporting that the passenger plane was hijacked en route from Malaga in Spain to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. News website reports that the plane was escorted to Schiphol today by two F16 fighter jets. The report cited the Defense Ministry. reports that the plane is from carrier Vueling.
Excellent report on Bloomberg on how the poor in UP are starving as politicians steal food worth billions of dollars. Read
18:00   Cancel ALL 142 coal blocks allocated during UPA rule: BJP
BJP today stuck to its demand for cancellation of the 142 coal blocks allocated during UPA rule and asked the government to clarify whether any "comparative appraisal" of applicants was done and what was the criteria for making these allotments.

Heaping praise on the media for exposing "more wrongdoings" in coal block allocations, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar alleged the Screening Committee formed by the Centre for making these allotments was only a "facade".

"The coal block allocation process was twisted and manipulated. While the Committee had ten representatives from the central government, there was only one from the state concerned. It appears that these bunglings were pre-planned and the motive was to make profits not as a nation but as a party," Javadekar said.
17:54   How will Modi explain his ministers role in the riots?
What can be said of civil society in Gujarat when its minister for women development and child welfare is convicted of rioting against women and children?
Read the report on the conviction of Maya Kodnani.
17:49   Why sex is best on a Thursday
And there's a best day for everything. Read more 
17:39   Smoothing the path from foreign lips to American ears
Foreign graduate students at Ohio University "are spending up to two hours a day learning how to speak so that their American colleagues and students will understand them,' Richard Perez-Pena wrote in The New York Times. Read
I'd like to go out with my head high: Andrew Strauss. Read
17:20   Foreign coach would benefit women boxers: Mary Kom
After making the country proud with her bronze medal-winning feat in the London Olympics, M C Mary Kom today said that training under foreign coaches will be beneficial for women boxers of the country.

"Of course there is a need for foreign coaches. I have practised with Indian coaches for so many years and after the Olympics, we need to learn something from a foreign coach as well," she told reporters at a promotional event here. Mary wanted to be trained by a foreign coach prior to the Olympic qualifying rounds, a demand that wasn't met by the Sports Ministry.
17:04   CBI files 3rd FIR against arms dealer Abhishek Verma
The CBI has registered its third case against arms dealer Abhishek Verma under the Official Secrets Act. Verma allegedly leaked sensitive documents of the Ministry of Defence.

The CBI on Friday received a complaint from the ministry of defence (MoD) on the alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA), which is based upon the classified documents provided by alleged arms-dealer Abhishek Verma's estranged business associate, C Edmond Allen.

MoD has not named Verma in its complaint, but has requested the CBI to probe the "leakage of the secret documents". The agency is, however, taking legal opinion on the `involvement' of Verma as documents were not recovered from his possession, but were provided by a third person.
17:00   Had I led attack, I could have won gold: Sushil
Disappointed at not winning gold in the London Olympics, India's silver medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar today said if he had attacked his Japanese opponent first then he could have defeated him in the final.

"Had I attacked the Japanese wrestler first, I could have won the gold medal for India in London Olympics," Sushil told reporters in Bhopal. The silver medallist arrived here to take part in the Madhya Pradesh government's Shikhar Khel Award ceremony, to be held later in the evening.
The CBI registers a case against arms dealer Abhishek Verma under the Official Secrets Act. 
16:41   Rahul, Akhilesh among MPs with low attendance in Parl
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy, Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, and the BJP's Navjyot Singh Sidhu are among those who barely attended Parliament in the third year of the 15th Lok Sabha.

While Gandhi was present in the Lok Sabha on 24 days out of the 85 sittings it had between May 2011 and May 2012, Yadav fared slightly better by remaining present on 31 days. Sidhu and Kumaraswamy, former Karnataka Chief Minister, attended the Lok Sabha on 16 days.

This was stated in 'Representative at Work' - a report on the third year performance of the 15th Lok Sabha 2011-12 prepared by an NGO 'Mass for Awareness'.
16:29   England captain Andrew Strauss quits cricket
Just in: England captain Andrew Strauss has retired from all forms of cricket, reports BBC. Batsman Strauss played 100 Tests and skippered his country in 50 of them. During his time in charge, England were ranked the world's best Test team for the first time. One-day captain Alastair Cook is taking over from Strauss and will lead his country in the four-Test series against India in November.
16:24   Pilot sustains minor injuries, Asaram Bapu safe
Here's more on the chopper crash. Asaram Bapu was unscathed as per reports on Zee News, but the pilot of the chopper sustained minor injuries. Bapu's chopper reportedly broke into three parts. The accident is said to have happened because of the error on the part of the pilot as per initial reports. The accident happened near Godhra's science college.
16:17   Spiritual guru Asaram Bapu survives chopper crash
Spiritual guru Asaram Bapu has a miraculous escape when helicopter crashes during landing in Godhra in Gujarat. Asaram Bapu is reported to be safe. Details awaited.
16:03   'If Guru was hanged 26/11 may not have happened'
Eknath Ombale, the brother of assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Ombale who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 terror attacks, said if Afzal Guru had been hanged 10 years ago, then 26/11 and 13/7 incidents would not have happened.

"We are very happy with the verdict. We are now waiting for it to be implemented," he said. "The truth has come out before the world. I request the government to implement the sentence," he mentioned. All Indians are awaiting the moment when Kasab is hanged, Ombale said. "Had Afzal Guru been hanged 10 years ago, maybe 26/11 and 13/7 wouldn't have happened," he said.
15:58   Kasab verdict important milestone: Crime Branch
The Mumbai Crime Branch, which probed the 26/11 terror attack case, has termed as the "important milestone" the Supreme Court verdict upholding death sentence of Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab. "The Supreme Court's judgement is an important milestone in fight against terrorism," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy told a press conference.

On the role of Pakistan, the crime branch chief said, "Abu Jundal's interrogation further reveals role of Pakistan in exporting terror to our country and his links with LeT".

Jundal, suspected to be one of the key 26/11 handlers, was deported to India by Saudi Arabia and is currently in the police custody in connection with the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. "Crime Brnach is collecting very strong evidence against Jundal," Roy said.
15:44   Iran's Indians raise concerns with PM
Representatives of the Indian community in Iran today raised issues of property rights, work permits and recognition of marriages during their interaction with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who kick-started his much awaited visit here.

The Indian community representatives said that though Indians were the oldest expatriate community in Iran, unfortunately due to various reasons, the strength of the community has come down tremendously as the "new generation faces problems, face difficulties to work and many families have left for good".
15:41   Trade, security, Syria on agenda of Indo-Iran talks
Highly-tilted trade relations in favour of Iran, supply of oil and gas and other key strategic bilateral and international issues, including Syria, are expected to dominate the meetings of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran.

Though there are no "irritants" in particular between India and Iran, Singh will be raising the issue of trade imbalance in favour of Tehran and seeking more access for Indian goods, including wheat and tea.

The back-to-back meetings with Iranian leaders assume significance in view of the US pushing India and other countries to curtail their engagement with Iran to press Tehran on its controversial nuclear programme.

Oil supply, one of the major components of bilateral ties, will also be discussed in the backdrop of the sanctions imposed by the US. India has already made it clear that it will continue to be one of the biggest oil buyers from the sanctions-hit country, notwithstanding US' reservation on the issue. 
Just in: The Supreme Court pulls up Centre for not placing before it original documents pertaining to Niira Radia phone tapping case.
15:17   MHA: Kasab's mecy plea will be disposed of quickly
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde says that if Ajmal Kasab files a mercy plea, "we will ensure that it is disposed of in minimum time." He said that after today's verdict on Kasab, Pakistan should ensure that others involved in 26/11 living in that country should also be punished. 
15:04   Gursharan Kaur visits gurudwara, school in Tehran
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur had a foot-tapping time at a gurudwara and Kendriya Vidyalaya in Tehran today.

The school children, including a Bangladeshi and an Iraqi girl, left the audience including Kaur mesmerised with their songs and dance sequences. The Prime Minister's wife was seen tapping her feet and clapping softly, enjoying every moment of her over one and half hours.

The Indian governnemt extended a grant of Rs two crore to the school. During the second half of the 20th century till the 1979 revolution here, the school used to have more than 350 students on its roll and was affiliated to Punjab University and later with CBSE.

After the revolution, many Indian families left Tehran and from about 350 Indian families, only just 60-65 families were left.
14:48   Samsung pays Apple $1 billion sending 30 trucks of 5 Cents coins
More than 30 trucks filled with 5-cent coins arrived at Apple's headquarters in California. Initially,  the security company that protects the facility said the trucks were in the wrong place, but minutes later, Tim Cook (Apple CEO) received a call from Samsung CEO explaining that  they will pay $1 billion dollars for the fine recently ruled against the South Korean company in this way.

The funny part is that the signed document does not specify a single payment method, so Samsung is entitled to send the creators of the iPhone their billion dollars in the way they deem best.

Read more
14:38   Guj: MLA guilty of murder not minister during riots
The Gujarat government reacts to the conviction of MLA Maya Kodnani in Naroda Patiya post-Godhra riots. Kodnani, a three-time MLA from Naroda area, who was considered to be close to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was arrested in March 2009 when she was the minister and had to resign from the post.She has been convicted of murder and criminal conspiracy in the 2002 riots that left 97 dead.

However, the Gujarat government says that the MLA was not a minister at the time of the riots and the judgement would be studied carefully. The court will announce the quantum of punishment on August 31.
14:34   Katie gets to keep all the gifts Tom gave her
While Katie Holmes did not get a huge payout from her divorce, sources say she is keeping gifts worth "millions of dollars" from ex-husband Tom Cruise. The 33-year-old actress was granted a mere USD 400,000 a year in child support in her divorce settlement, with a pre-nup barring her from any share in Cruise's million dollar fortune.

But the newly single mother got to keep lots of expensive gifts she received throughout their marriage, reported Radar online. "Tom was extremely generous to Katie with lavish gifts during their marriage and she will be keeping millions of dollars of jewelry, Hermes handbags and other luxurious items," said a source.

Apparently, Cruise gave Holmes a pair of diamond earrings that cost over USD 500,000 and he had lots of other jewelry pieces custom designed just for her. She also has a Hermes Birkin handbag collection that could easily be worth from USD 100,000 to USD 500,000.
14:22   Rs 1400 a pop pill that can mask alcohol in a breathalyzer
An Indian-made pill that helps drunk drivers pass the breath test has gone on sale in the UK, drawing criticism from police and road-safety campaigners.

The pill, called Alcopal costs Rs 1,400 and is already banned in the US. In the UK, it is being sold online. Supplier Arthur Kibble claims a motorist who has had alcohol above the legal limit can reduce the booze reading to almost zero.

If his claims are correct, it could mean a driver who had five pints of beer can still be found to be under the limit.Interestingly, the key ingredient in the pill - simethicone - is commonly used to treat digestive discomfort.
Reactions to the verdict in Maharashtra:

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil  "We welcome the apex court verdict and will ask the Centre to ensure that it is implemented at the earliest."

State Congress president Manikrao Thakre "We expect the next process to be completed and the death sentence should be executed at the earliest."

NCP state president Madhukar Pichad "The death sentence is the appropriate punishment for the crime committed by Kasab. It was not an ordinary crime but an attack on our country. The punishment should be executed at the earliest,."
14:07   Samjhauta blasts, 26/11 can't be compared: India
India has already made a clear distinction between the Mumbai terror attacks and Samjhauta train blasts, and that  the two were "very different" and at some stage Islamabad needs to "come clean" on this.

Asserting that India has provided enough evidence to show involvement of not only non-state actors but also of official hierarchy in 26/11 attacks, government sources said Singh will raise the issue of terrorism, which is of prime concern to the country, with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who is arriving in Tehran tomorrow to participate in the 16th NAM summit.

The government sources said other bilateral issues will also be discussed during the Singh-Zardari meeting. Asked about Pakistan equating the Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people were killed, with Samjhauta Express blasts in which 67 Pakistani nationals died, sources said, "... there is no comparison. We have shown the will to take action, not chosen to make statements of convenience".

The sources also noted that India had managed to convict some of those involved in the Mumbai attacks through the same set of evidence which was provided to Islamabad in a trial which was not a "show trial".

Pakistan keeps switching judges, and people inside the jails are using mobile phones to run their network, the sources said, clearly expressing India's unhappiness over the slow progress of the 26/11 trial in that country.

The remarks, which were made in the backdrop of Pakistan equating the two incidents to project that it is also a victim of terrorism, also assume significance given that they come before the structured Indo-Pak talks between their Foreign Ministers in Islamabad next week
13:46   Lawyer who defended Kasab 'takes pride' in judicial system
Reacting to the apex court verdict which upheld the death sentence awarded to Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who defended him in the apex court as amicus curiae, said he "bows down" to the ruling.

"I bow to the verdict of the court. As amicus curiae, I was given an opportunity to advance every convincing arguments, I could," said Ramachandran, who was appointed amicus by the apex court to defend Kasab. "I made my arguments and the court considered them. No lawyer should be attached to the result of the case... Let us all take pride in our judicial system," he added.

He said he considered Kasab's case as one of the greatest professional challenges of his career, which he performed as per the best of his abilities. "I would definitely call it one of the greatest professional challenges of my career to be able to make plausible arguments in a case which world has thought to be hopeless.

"I think the court has given anxious consideration to various submissions made on behalf of the accused and that is a matter of satisfaction," Ramachandran told reporters soon after the apex court delivered its judgement. The lawyer said, "I would not call it an opportunity (to be an amicus in Kasab case). I think it was an honour given to me. "I took it as a sacred duty and I performed it to the best of my ability,
Here's what's happening at the NAM summit in Tehran, Iran. Iran calls on Non-Aligned movement to push for Israel war tribunal. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said such an initiative would also stop Israel from committing further alleged war crimes against Palestine. Read
Dr Manmohan Singh @PMOIndiaPrime Minister meets leaders from the Indian community in Tehran. "We are proud of your achievements".
The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal in India and when it announces something it becomes law of the land and other things will follow," says Krishna.

Does this mean Kasab will be hanged before the Lok Sabha polls? Wait and watch.
Communications and IT minister Milind Deora has his say: @milinddeora A proud day in our judicial history: anti-nationals from & outside India have been convicted for state-sponsored terrorism.
13:21   Krishna on Kasab verdict: Sure Pak will take note
The first reaction by the government on the death sentence of Ajmal Kasab. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said, "I am sure Pakistan will not fail to take note". 
12:56   Faheem's wife elated over SC acquittal in 26/11 attack
Yasmin, the wife of Faheem Ansari whose acquittal was upheld by the Supreme Court in the Mumbai terror attack case today, said she was "very happy" with the verdict as the terrorist tag on him has been removed.

However, Yasmin did not attend the Supreme Court hearing owing to her domestic pre-occupations. "I am alone in my house and this news was given to me by Jamiat (the organisation which provided legal help to Fahim)," Yasmin said, adding she is looking forward to meet her husband.

The apex court today upheld the acquittal of two Indians, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, who were alleged to be co-conspirators in the Mumbai terror attack case. The trial court and Bombay High Court had also given a clean chit to them in the case.
12:54   Usain Bolt crashes wedding reception at UK hotel
In other news -- a newlywed couple were left stunned when they were joined by an unexpected hotel guest in the form of sprint star Usain Bolt during their reception at the five star Lowry Hotel in Manchester. 

Posing for pictures in the lobby they were interrupted by triple gold medalist Bolt, who joined the lucky couple and a handful of guests in some memorable wedding snaps.  

Bolt was happy to pose for shots with the newly weds and sign autographs as he left the hotel.   Bolt was staying in Manchester during a trip to the city which included a meeting with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, the Daily Mail reported.
12:50   Pak a terror factory, we should destory infrastructure: BJP
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi describing Pakistan as "a terror factory", said the government "must take all steps to destroy" terror infrastructure. Naqvi also sought a separate set of laws to deal with terror-related cases.

"No leniency should be shown against this kind of a terrorist. They have tried to destroy the peace of the nation, so he (Kasab) should be hanged as fast as possible," he said.
Why it hasn't been easy being a defence lawyer for Kasab. Read the story on
12:38   Sharmila confirms Saif-Kareena to wed in October
Sharmila Tagore has indicated that the wedding of her son Saif Ali Khan with Kareena Kapoor will take place in October.  However, she did not disclose the date of the wedding and said only Saif can confirm that.

Earlier, it was reported that Saif and Kareena's wedding would take place on October 16, but later Saif refused to confirm it. Saif had earlier said that the wedding would take place in November or December.

Sharmila, the wife of late Nawab of Pataudi Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, arrived in Bhopal to take part in the first meeting of Aukaf-e-Shahi (Wakf properties) of which her eldest daughter, Saba Sultan, is the 'Mutawalli' (custodian).

The meeting was held to discuss the issue of caretaker of 'Rubaat' (guest house situated in holy city of Medina). The row has been settled with the appointment of Saba Sultan as the 'naazir' (caretaker) of the 'rubaat', Sharmila said.
12:30   Enough of biryani for Kasab, hang him: BJP
Reacting to the Supreme Court verdict upholding the death sentence awarded to Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 attacks case, the BJP on Wednesday demanded that the Pakistani terrorist is executed at the earliest, reports Zee News.

Welcoming the verdict, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that those who wage war against the country and kill innocents deserve no mercy.

In a caustic remark, Naqvi said, "Kasab should be hanged without delay, enough of biryani for him.' He also demanded that there should be separate law for terror related cases.

Kasab has two options left before him. He can file a review petition in the apex court against today's verdict or file a mercy plea with the President of India.
The BJP has asked senior leaders Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javdekar and Nirmala Sitaraman to go to Gujarat this weekend to train 200 local BJP leaders as media liaison persons for all polling booths and to coordinate with district media. 
12:22   One more dies of swine flu; toll up at 11 in Pune
With one more swine flu death reported in the city, the toll has reached 11 since April this year, health officials said today. A 25-year-old youth succumbed at a city hospital yesterday after testing positive for H1N1 virus following his admission on August 17, taking the swine flu casualties this month to four in Pune.

Seven more persons also tested positive for swine flu yesterday and were undergoing treatment in various hospitals, officials said. Three swine flu deaths have been reported from the city in the last couple days. 
Caustic predictions that Kasab will be an old man when he meets his maker needs to be allayed, but may just hold true. Once Kasab files his mercy petition, the rule demands that he waits until the rest of the petitions are taken up and disposed off. However, the President reserves the right to fast track a particular case, provided he is convinced that there is an extraordinary circumstance concerning this case and hence it must be taken out of turn. Read Vicky Nanjappa's report.   
What next for Kasab? As Ramesh Srivats  puts it: @rameshsrivats Over to the President. Kasab ka Pran-ab Pranab ke haathon mein hai
11:50   Pak should expedite 26/11 trial after SC verdict on Kasab: Nikam
With the Supreme Court upholding the death sentence of Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, Pakistan should now expedite the trial in their court, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam today said.

"The death sentence awarded to Kasab should be executed as soon as possible so that it gives a strong signal to the terrorists that law takes stern action against such acts," Nikam said.

The prosecution against perpetrators of the 26/11 terror strikes should now be expedited by the prosecuting agency of Pakistan, he said.

"The (prosecution in Pakistan) should not delay the trial on the ground that India has to furnish evidence because conspiracy behind the terror attacks was hatched in Pakistan and it is for them to prove the same," Nikam said, adding the apex court in India has also held that criminal conspiracy behind the attacks was hatched in Pakistan.
The other SIT cases in which judgements have been pronounced include the case in Ode village of Anand where 18 persons were sentenced to life imprisonment and five others to seven years in prison by a special court last month, for the killing of 23 persons on March 1, 2002.
This is the first time that a sitting MLA has been convicted in Gujarat in a post-Godhra riot. Ninety-seven people were killed in the Naroda Patiya riots.  
More on the Naroda Patiya case...

Before the charges could be framed or trial could begin, six persons died, while two - Mohan Nepali and Tejas Pathak - jumped bail and are still absconding.
The Naroda Patiya case was probed by eight investigating officers over the last decade. The present investigating officer was Himanshu Shukla, on behalf of the SIT.

All the accused have been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempted murder), 323, 324, 325 (causing grievous hurt with deadly weapons), 367 (kidnapping in order to cause grievous hurt) and various others.

The Naroda Patiya case was one of nine cases of Gujarat riots being probed by the SIT, including the Godhra train burning case.
11:29   BJP leader Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal's Babu Bajrangi guilty
Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and BJP leader Maya Kodnani are among those convicted. They were accused of leading a mob against Muslims in the post-Godhra riots.

On February 28, 2002 when a bandh call was given by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a large crowd gathered in the Naroda Patiya area and attacked the people of minority community, killing 97 persons and injuring 33 others.

The trial began in August 2009 and charges were framed against 62 accused. One of the accused, Vijay Shetty, died during the trial. As many as 327 witnesses including eye witnesses, victims, doctors, police personnel, government officials, forensic experts and journalists like Ashish Khetan, who conducted a TV sting operation on the accused, have been examined by the court. Initially, after the incident, 46 persons were arrested by the Gujarat police.

After the probe was handed over to the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) in 2008, the agency arrested 24 more persons, taking total persons arrested in the case to 70.
11:25   32 convicted, 29 let off in Naroda Patiya case
Thirty-two people have been convicted, while 29 have been let off by a special trial court as it pronounced the verdict in the Naroda Patiya riots case, in which 97 people of a minority community were killed during post-Godhra riots in 2002. There are 61 accused in the case.

The incident had taken place a day after the Godhra train burning incident on February 27, 2002.
The key accused in the case include former Minister in Narendra Modi government and MLA from Naroda constituency Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, local BJP leaders Bipin Panchal, Kishan Korani, Ashok Sindhi and advocate Raju Chaumal.
A 26/11 survivor tells NDTV that the trial should have ended a long time ago. "Why approach the high court, Supreme Court? Kasab should be thrown to the public. That's the only way we can get justice."

Ajmal Kasab will also be remembered for being India's costliest prisoner -- the government has been spending well over Rs 2 lakh a day on his security. 
11:06   SC: Kasab's trial fair
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam says the verdict and the case itself is historic because it proves that the conspiracy was hatched by Pakistanis, the terror group Laskhar-e-Toiba and the Pakistani army. The apex court had appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran to argue on behalf of Kasab. After the verdict, Ramachandran said, "I bow before the verdict."

The SC also upholds the Bombay HC acquittal of Indians Fahim Ansari and Shahbuddin Ahmed and says the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan.
10:58   SC: No option but to uphold death sentence
The Supreme Court said that waging war against the country is the primary and
foremost offence committed by Kasab and dismissed Kasab's plea that he was not given a fair trial in the 26/11 terror case. 
The SC bench said that not providing counsel to Kasab by the government at a pre-trial stage does not vitiate his trial in the case and the confessional statement of Kasab was very much voluntary. 
10:55   Nikam: Strong message for perpetrators of terrorism
Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam speaking to TV channels says the verdict is a strong message for the perpetrators of terrorism. 
Kasab, during the argument in the apex court, had contended that he was not given a free and fair trial and that he was not the part of any larger conspiracy for waging war against India.

Kasab had sought mercy on the grounds of his age. He had also contended that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against him beyond doubts and told the bench that his right against self-incrimination as well as his right to get himself adequately represented by a counsel to defend himself in the case had been violated during the trial. The apex court had stayed Kasab's death sentence on October 10 last year.
Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist taken alive during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed had filed the appeal from jail challenging his conviction and death sentence. The apex court had appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran as amicus curiae to argue on behalf of Kasab.

The Supreme Court ruled that Kasab had waged war against the nation. The court said that it was crystal clear that the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan.
10:44   SC upholds death sentence for Kasab

The Supreme court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence against lone surviving gunman in 26/11 attacks Kasab.  


The apex court ruled that the Pakistani terrorist waged war against India

10:16   France opens murder inquiry into Arafat's death

French prosecutors opened a murder inquiry into the death of Yasser Arafat on Tuesday, his widow's lawyer said, after she and a TV investigation raised new questions about whether the Palestinian leader was poisoned.


There have long been rumours in the Arab world that Arafat was poisoned, and a Swiss lab's recent finding of elevated levels of polonium-210, a rare and highly lethal radioactive substance, on Arafat's clothing has fed those claims.


Read the full story on IBNLive

08:54   Indian American group backs Romney

PTI: Observing that Mitt Romney shares the vision of Indian American community for the US, a political action committee of the community has endorsed Republican's nomination for this year's presidential polls.        


"Without question, Governor Romney shares the Republican Indian Committee's vision for America for all of our citizens. The Indian-American community supports the highest ideals of advanced education, entrepreneurial risk taking, strong work ethics, and family values," said Dilip Palith, national president of Republican Indian Committee.        


Soon after Romney officially bagged party's presidential nomination at convention in Tampa, RIC endorsed Romney noting that he represents the "highest" of American ideals and "thoroughly understands" that private sector.  

08:25   India a key partner of the US: Republican Party

PTI: Terming India a geopolitical ally and strategic trading partner of the United States, the Republican Party has called for strengthening the working relationship and a renewal of "historic ties" between the two countries. 


"We welcome a stronger relationship with the world's largest democracy, India, both economic and cultural, as well as in terms of national security. We hereby affirm and declare that India is our geopolitical ally and a strategic trading partner," declared the party's platform adopted by the Republican national convention that began in Tampa on Tuesday. 


The party also stressed at "encouraging" New Delhi for "permitting" greater foreign investment and trade and urged for "protection" for adherents of all India's religions. It also lauded the contribution made by US citizens of Indian ancestry in development of the country.

02:35   Convention protesters try to arrest Condi Rice
AP reports: The police stopped a dozen anti-war protesters from entering an event attended by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after the group said it intended to arrest her for war crimes.

The protesters from Code Pink carried handcuffs today and tried to enter a performing arts centre. Rice was attending an event in conjunction with the Republican National Convention.

They said they wanted to make a citizen's arrest of Rice.
02:14   Mexico leader regrets US embassy car shooting
AFP reports: Mexican President FelipeCalderon voiced regret on Tuesday for the federal police shooting of a US embassy car that wounded two US government employees.
In his first public remarks about Friday's shooting,Calderon told the US ambassador to Mexico that the attorneygeneral's office was thoroughly investigating the incident.

"I want to express, ambassador, deep regret over theevents from a few days ago," Calderon said during a forum onsecurity attended by the US envoy, Anthony Wayne.
01:39   Human organs found in Florida storage locker
AP reports: Authorities areinvestigating after finding human brains, hearts and lungs ofmore than 100 people in a Florida storage unit they saybelonged to a former medical examiner.

Someone bought the unit at auction last week and noticed afoul smell as they sifted through furniture and boxes.

Officials at the medical examiner's office in Pensacolasay the remains were found crudely stored in Tupperwarecontainers, garbage bags and drink cups. Many remains were notidentified.
00:34   US Sikh temple shooter's death ruled suicide
AP reports: The man who killed six Sikh worshippers at a US temple before fatally shooting himself had a history of alcohol problems and underwent a noticeable personality change in the preceding year, according to an investigative report released on Tuesday.

The report said Wade Michael Page's sister told investigators he had a bloated appearance that made her wonder if he had been drinking recently.

She also said she noticed Page become more intense over the past year, as if he had lost his sense of humour. She said he took everything literally.