Wed, 04 January 2012
So what if Osama is dead, Qaeda threat looms over Olympics

Timeline  Refresh

18:10   So what if Osama is dead, Qaeda threat looms over Olympics

Britain's intelligence agency, MI5 has claimed that terror group Al-Qaeda is still the biggest threat to the security of the London Olympics. But according to the MI5 bosses, an attack by a single person like by Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik is the most probable one to transpire.

Breivik killed 77 innocent people alone in Norway last July in case of extreme race hate.

British security services are not taking the threat from Al-Qaeda lightly despite the killing of their leader Osama-bin-Laden last year and still consider them as the most dangerous threat to the Olympic games.

They also believe that new terrorist organizations that are trying to gain international recognition like the Irish rebels can also attack during the Olympics.

18:07   Aakash Tablet: Why I REGRET buying it!
Must's Syed Firdaus Ashraf's excitement knew no bounds when he laid his hands on the 'poor man's iPad'. But the supposedly 'revolutionary' and 'game-changing' piece of technology that sells at Rs 2,500 a piece went kaput in 30 minutes flat. Yes, we are talking about the Aakash Tablet PC.
17:57   Justice for racial hate victim in UK: Duo get 15 years

As Anuj Bidve's parents and brother-in-law leave for the UK for the terrible task of collecting his body, Stephen Lawrence gets justice after 18 very long years, the victim of another race crime. 


Two men convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence have been detained for a minimum of 15 years and two months and 14 years and three months. The jury found Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, guilty of the 1993 killing in south east London.

Dobson and Norris were sentenced as juveniles as both were under 18 when the black teenager was killed.

The judge, Justice Treacy, said the crime was committed for no other reason than racial hatred. The life sentences will see Dobson serve a minimum of 15 years and two months and Norris to 14 years and three months, reports the

17:49   Memogate Pak envoy fears he will be killed

Meanwhile, Pakistan's former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, has said he feared he would be killed if he leaves his sanctuary in the official residence of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.  

Haqqani said that he has been branded a 'traitor' and a 'Washington lackey' by 'powerful quarters', a reference to the country's powerful ISI intelligence agency.  

He said he now fears he will be murdered like his friend, the late governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who was shot dead by one of his own security guards last year after being branded a blasphemer.

Haqqani said that he had only left the PM's residence on three occasions, each under heavy security escort. "I'm a guest of the prime minister with whom I have had a long-standing political association. There are clear security concerns given the hysteria generated against me. Staying at the prime minister's house is the safest option."

Earlier in the day, one of the two traders held in captivity told CNN IBN that if the government does not intervene and bail them out, he would commit suicide.
17:43   Safety of Indian traders important to Chinese, assures envoy
SM Krishna who just held a press meet has also asked that the situation not be blown out of proportion. He said the envoy assured him that the safety of the Indians is important to the Chinese.
17:40   Krishna: Indian traders freed, en route to Shanghai
SM Krishna's meeting with the Chinese envoy is over. He sais the Indian traders have been taken to Shanghai and the issue of safety had been discussed with the envoy. The traders have been freed from Yiwu and are on their way  to Shanghai.
17:38   China provokes India: Teach your traders honesty

China's external affairs minister has meanwhile said that India should teach the traders honesty and should look at things fairly, but assures protection of the Indian traders.

India says that police must prosecute Chinese mafia. The MEA has also asked the traders to avoid trade in Yiwu.

17:33   Sino-India traders' row: Chinese envoy meets Krishna

So far, the Chinese envoy to India, Zhang Yan, says everything will be settled according to Chinese law and that he is working hard to solve the diplomatic row with India.

The detained Indian traders in the trading hub of Yiwu near Shanghai said yesterday they were fearing for their lives as a simmering fortnight-long trade dispute with Chinese businessmen continued to escalate.

The Indian embassy in Beijing put out a strongly worded advisory on Tuesday cautioning Indians "not to do business with Yiwu,' even as officials from the Indian consulate in Shanghai negotiated with local police and foreign office representatives in the trading city, which is in Zhejiang province and 250 km from Shanghai, to help secure the release of the two traders.

Suhasini Haidar tweets: Chinese ambassador Zhang Yan meets MEA officials; to meet SM Krishna at 5pm to explain action in Yiwu traders case.
17:21   Will Iran blink after US won't budge warships from Gulf?

The US has brushed aside Iran's warning to keep American aircraft carriers out of the Persian Gulf, dismissing its latest threats as signs that biting sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear activities are working.

Underlining its commitment to protect maritime freedom in the Persian Gulf region, the White House and the Pentagon dismissed Iranian threats and ruled out any change in US warship deployment schedule in the key region.


Also read: Iran threatens US navy

17:11   Why did Saudi 'Twitter' prince met Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata

What's brewing? The Hindustan Times reports that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, who recently created a flutter by picking up a $300-million stake in micro-blogging site Twitter, had a few months ago met Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani and Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata.


17:07   Mum gives liposuction gift voucher to daughter, 7

A story on the Daily Mail:

A plastic surgery addict has given her seven-year-old a 7,000 voucher for liposuction. Sarah Burge said the gift to daughter Poppy was a Christmas present -- along with make-up, hair extensions and a spray tan. The 51-year-old mum said: "I put the voucher in her stocking. There's nothing wrong with that."



And the Abhishek tweet which he's tweeted to his dad:

Abhishek Bachchan: @SrBachchan: As you reach the top, remember to count the steps on ladder that took you there .you will need them when you have to climb down.


Impersonal and preachy...



If it's a choice between a SRK tweet and a Abhishek Bachchan one, we choose this.

Shah Rukh Khan: The epitome of lazy... son and me trying to wake each other up... kept giving ourselves 10 min snooze time till we oveslept by 5 hrs... yawwwn


Nice and personal.

16:51   Bangladeshi lecturer jailed for derogatory FB status

A university lecturer, who posted a Facebook status wishing for the death of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was today sentenced to six-month in jail by a
Bangladeshi court.

Muhammad Ruhul Amin Khandaker was sentenced after he failed to respond to a summon to appear before the High Court in connection with the post, of which the court took a suo moto notice.Khandakar was handed out the jail term in absentia as he is studying in Australia.

16:31   Ferreira sues state for infringement of fundamental rights

This is the thesis Arun Ferreira wrote from the Nagpur Central jail on political prisoners in India. Read

Ferreira has filed a criminal writ petition against the state and others before the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court today seeking compensation for infringement of his fundamental rights of liberty and freedom of movement guaranteed under the constitution and a speedy trial.


Also read: Arun Ferreira acquires human rights degree in jail

16:23   Three years on 'Naxal' Arun Ferreira released from jail

Arun Ferreira, who was picked up by the city police along with three others a few years ago in a naxal-related case, was today released from the Central Prison in Nagpur following bail. 

Ferreira along with Mahesh alias Murli Satyareddy, Davendra Bhurle and Naresh Bansod were arrested by Crime Branch of city police from near Deekshabhoomi here on May 7, 2007 for what is the police believe is their active involvement in strengthening naxalite network.

The suspected naxalite was since then in custody and was re-arrested by police in September last year after he released from jail as he was required in some other naxal violence cases in Gadchiroli district, police sources said.

The quartet were carrying a rifle and other naxal material when the city police in a swift operation arrested them, after they assembled here, sources added.

16:18   Dangerous breast implants EIGHT times cheaper: UK doc

A top British surgeion Vikram Vijh said dodgy PIP breast implants were eight times cheaper than standard types, reveals a story in the A top surgeon said clinics paid 130 a pair -- compared to the normal price of 1,000. But women were told the faulty French-made implants were high quality and were charged the usual rate for private ops of between 4,500 and 6,000.


Also see: More than 250 women to sue French implant company PIP 

16:08   Days after Bidve murder, another Asian attacked in Manchester
On the heels of the Anuj Bidve murder, another Asian man has suffered group assault and racial abuse in Manchester. The Manchester Police said the Asian, 24, was assaulted and racially abused during an attempted robbery in Salford
early on Tuesday. The identity of the victim has not been revealed. Bidve, a postgraduate student of Microelectronics at Lancaster University, was shot from point blank range on December 26.
16:05   UK varsity to refund Bidve's fees, coroner releases body

Update on the Anuj Bidve murder

The body of killed the Indian student has been released by the coroner to a funeral company in London, from where it is expected to be taken to India for
final rites. 

The body was released after a second post-mortem was conducted yesterday. Bidve's family members are scheduled to arrive here today to take the body back to India.

After their arrival, they may decide to visit Salford where Bidve was killed in an unprovoked attack on Boxing Day. Lancaster University, where Bidve was enrolled on a postgraduate course in Microelectronics, has informed India's
Consul in Birmingham, R R Swain, that it will refund the fees paid by Bidve.

15:58   CBI sets up special unit to end human trafficking

Our Delhi correspondent tells us that the CBI today set up a special unit to check human trafficking in Delhi and offered rewards up to Rs 2 lakh or information. A helpline number 011-24368638 has also been established.

The unit, which will also liaise with NGOs, will develop 'actionable' intelligence to conduct operations against gangs involved in trafficking, especially of children and women for the purpose of exploitation, such as beggary and prostitution.


Gul Panag tweets: Best part about winters in the north- being able to go for a run at any time of day. Just finished a nice long run:)


Something Mumbaikars, for a start, will understand entirely.


The Girl in the Yellow Boots is also a mean writer apparently.

Read actor Kalki Koechelin's fiction story in the genre romance for Tehelka magazine: The Glass Princess.  

15:19   Earth nearest sun tomorrow (just 147 million km away)

FYI: The sun will be nearest to our planet tomorrow, giving an opportunity to astro-enthusiasts to carry out several experiments. "At 5:53 am tomorrow (Perihelion Day), the Earth will be at its nearest point from the sun. The distance at that time is 147 million km," Planetary Society of India General Secretary N Sri Raghunandan Kumar said today. 

Every January, the Earth is at perihelion, the closest from the Sun for the year and in July it is at aphelion, the farthest to the Sun for the year, he said. The word perihelion comes from the Greek words "peri" (meaning "near") and "helios" (meaning "sun").

15:17   Mukesh's name on Swiss loss is an error, says HSBC

On An intriguing story in The Economic Times today confirms that India's richest businessman, Mukesh Ambani's name was on a list of Swiss bank account holders. But HSBC Bank says that his name got into it by mistake.


15:07   Child abuse peaks at stations, bus-stands, parks: Survey

Public utilities in India, including railway stations, parks and bus-stands, are not
child-friendly with a spurt in cases of abuse in these places, a study has claimed.

According to the study by Childline India Foundation released today, children are often victimised in public spaces with 87 per cent of railway security forces claiming to have come across cases of child abuse in some way or the other.

"Protection of children and their rights has become an urgent imperative with a rise in the number of cases of children being victimised in public spaces," Deputy Director of Childline Nicole Menez said.

The study claimed children were victims of sexual, physical and verbal abuse in these spaces with "the public doing little to intervene except play the role of onlookers".

15:00   Cong will win UP pollls, says our in-house survey. Here's how

Ahead of the UP polls, the survey says:

The combine of the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal will emerge as the single largest party in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, according to yet another survey commissioned by the party. The Congress-RLD combine will win 127 votes, says the survey. While the RLD will get 12 seats, the Congress will get a whopping 115 seats. 


14:57   Women MPs settle in for long wait for equality in Parliament

The Indian Parliament will "remain a male bastion for the near future", Nilanjana S Roy writes in the International Herald Tribune. The lower house, "almost 90 percent male in its composition, had ensured that a bill intended to increase the number of female members would not be passed for at least another year," she writes.

Read more on the New York Times blogs on India

14:49   NY firebomber attacked after being refused use of loo

A 40-year old unemployed truck driver, charged with hate crime and arson for throwing molotov cocktails at five places, including a Hindu temple and an
Islamic centre here, was upset at being denied entry to use its bathroom and being thrown out of a convenience store. 

Ray Lengend, a naturalised US citizen from Guyana, had confessed to attacking the five locations with firebombs over the weekend, citing personal grudges.

14:26   The real India? BJP neta's son shoots vendor over free paper

The son of a BJP leader allegedly shot a hawker today for not being given a free newspaper, police said here. 

BJP leader Rana Pratap's son Vikas along with an accomplice Ajit beat the hawker Ram Kumar (22) and shot him twice in the chest when he had gone to distribute newspapers, they said. 

Kumar claimed that the two had asked for free newspapers on January one and took the step when he refused, police said. The victim, who was admitted to the Sarojini Naidu Medical college, is said to be in a critical condition.

14:22   Safety in Delhi requires an IMMEDIATE rethink

A story on Delhi and a reputation it can well do without: India's rape capital.

On the WSJ: Something has gone fundamentally awry in the fabric of a city when reoccurring headlines of 'rape, dowry killing' and other gender-based violence are treated as banalities, acknowledged with cursory glances.


Also read on Blinded by the perils of adoring Imran Khan (the ex-cricketer turned politician, not the actor)
14:13   Mush fears arrest when he returns to Pak, seeks Saudi help

Neighbourhood watch:

Ahead of his planned return to Pakistan later this month, former President Pervez Musharraf is expected to meet Saudi King Abdullah to discuss getting
"foolproof guarantees" from Pakistani civilian and military leaders that he will not be arrested after his homecoming. Musharraf (68), currently living in self-exile in
Britain and Dubai, intends to return to Pakistan on January 31.

He is expected to meet the Saudi King on January 22 to discuss getting "foolproof" guarantees from Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that he will not be arrested on his return or prosecuted for any of the crimes he has been charged with.


Also read on Imran Khan hints at joining hands with Musharraf

14:06   Cartoonist faces ban on right to poke fun

Aseem Trivedi, a Kanpur-based cartoonist is the latest to be caught up in the push-and-pull over what constitutes free speech and what constitutes material so offensive that no one should see it.

Trivedi runs a website called that he says was inspired by Anna Hazare's anticorruption movement. The portal was recently suspended, following a complaint that it showcased "ugly and obscene' content that mocked the Indian Constitution.


More on the WSJ

14:01   Shit happens: Urban Indian drowning in its own sewage

Also on the WSJ, not something you can stomach post lunch, but an important read nonetheless: If a new report is to be believed, India is swimming in its own sewage and turning its rivers into drains for its ever-expanding cities.


13:57   Parties vie for upper hand in Uttar Pradesh

While on the UP polls, read this story on the Wall Street Journal:

Uttar Pradesh's 18% Muslim population has become a pot of gold at the end of the electoral rainbow as India's key political parties desperately seek ways and means to take power in the country's largest state.



Kushwaha - BSP chief Mayawati's biggest fund-raiser - was thrown out for involvement in the National Rural Health Mission scam and for the murder of three chief medical officers.

On Monday night, the BJP had announced the names of Daddan Mishra and Awadhesh Kumar Verma as its candidates from Bhinga (Shrawasti) and Dadraul (Shahjahanpur), respectively. Mishra, minister for ayurveda, and Verma, backward class development minister, were sacked by Mayawati after she found them misusing the MLA fund.


Also read on BJP laps up tainted ex-ministers discarded by Mayawati 

13:44   BJP ticket unlikely for tainted Kushwaha after Advani ire

BJP national president and the party's poll manager in UP Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says that Babu Singh Kushwaha who was formerly inducted into the party is unlikely to get a ticket for the polls. He will not be a star campaigner either.

This comes after criticism from BJP senior leader LK Advani over Kushwaha's induction after he was thrown out of the BSP for his alleged involvement in the multicrore NRHM scam. 

13:35   Race for the US Presidential elections begin

The race for the US presidential elections have begun in earnest. President Obama's official campaign machine has @BarackObama has already sent out this tweet:

This race is officially on. The other side is poised to spend hundreds of millions in corporate cash to attack the President. If we want to win, we have to out-organize them on the ground. That starts with you. Will you sign up to volunteer in 2012

13:29   Why Iran's ayatollah-in-chief always gets it so very wrong!

The United States and Iran are once again set on a collision course -- this time over the world's narrowest choke point, the Strait of Hormuz.

With the specter of more draconian sanctions hovering over its oil exports, the Iranian regime threatened in late December to seal off the strait through which 30 percent of the world's oil supply travels.


Read the report on

13:25   Ahmadinejad revokes appointment of son-in-law

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revoked his decision to appoint Mahdi Khorshidi-Azad, his son-in-law, as the director of the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran, according to ISIRI director Nezameddin Barzegari. 

Barzegari said yesterday that the president told him on Monday night that he has been reinstated. Khorshidi-Azad was appointed as ISIRI director on December 26, 2011. His appointment drew strong criticism from a number of MPs.

13:23   Hospitalised for bronchitis, Hazare doing well, says doc

Update on Anna Hazare who has quietly slipped off the radar after his failed fast in Mumbai. Hazare called off his three-day fast beginning December 27 on the second day, after doctors warned him of kidney failure if he persisted with his fast.

The Gandhian then went back to his village Ralegan Siddhi from where he was hospitalised in Pune.

Health bulletin: Hazare, who is suffering from bronchitis, is stable and improving, doctors attending on him said today. "Hazare's chest X-ray and blood tests are normal," Dr Parag Sancheti said. 74-year-old Hazare was shifted from Ralegan Siddhi to the Sancheti Hospital on December 31.

He had been suffering from viral infection, since he undertook a fast on December 27, which was subsequently withdrawn the next day. "Hazare spent a restful night and if the improvement continues on the expected lines, he can be discharged on Sunday," Sancheti said. 

Visitors are not allowed to meet hospital authorities to ensure complete rest for the Gandhian.

13:04   World's highest paid politician takes 36% pay cut!

Singapore's politicians, the highest paid in the world, will soon see their unpopular multi-million dollar salary packages cut by at least a third, but in spite of that they would remain as top paid globally. To add to the woes of the politicians, the cut would be backdated to May 21, 2011, when the new government took office.

The sharp slashes recommended by government-appointed panel will see the Prime Minister himself taking a 36 per cent cut in salary to still peg his perks at USD 1.69 million (SGD 2.2 million).

But it is still believed to be the highest salary of any elected head of government in the world -- more than four times as much as Barack Obama who gets USD 400,000 a year as President of United States.

12:57   After America, what?

Q: How does the world look in an age of US decline?

A: Dangerously unstable.

Read the report on Foreign Policy Magazine.

12:56   Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan gets Mallikarjun Mansur Award

Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan,whose unique style of playing the instrument with his fingernails has enthralled audiences worldwide, has been presented the Mallikarjun Mansur award in recognition of hisachievements.    

"I deem it a great honour bestowed on me. It is a big award for me," Khan, a Padma Vibushan awardee, told a packed audience on receiving the award at a function in Dharwad last night.

Who was Mallikarjun Mansur

12:39   New York temple attack: People are scared, says priest

For the weekly Monday Shiva puja at the Hindu temple in Jamaica, Queens, New York, the attendance is usually two dozen people. On Monday, January 2, a day after a man threw a firebomb at the house, only four people turned up, Ramesh Maharaj, the Hindu priest who lives with his family inside the building, told's George Joseph.


12:34   Shut toilet lid when you flush or catch the explosion of bacteria

Health update that's easy to follow...

The next time after you answer nature's call, make sure to close the lavatory lid before you flush, for a new study says that watering the toilet with its lid up can spread germs like the winter vomiting bug. 

A team at Leeds University says leaving the lid up can allow a cloud of bacteria to explode into the air, settling on nearby surfaces. This also increases the risk of viruses like the winter vomiting bug of transmitting to another person.

12:31   'Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar for Thatcher'

The definitive verdict on the biopic from former Guardian political editor Michael White, who observed Margaret Thatcher up close as a young sketchwriter in the 1970s. White says The Iron Lady portrays a very different Margaret Thatcher from the one he knew.


12:26   AP top cop's U-turn: Sexy clothes not ONLY factor for rape

Andhra Pradesh DGP V Dinesh Reddy, who landed in a controversy for his remarks linking women's fashionable dresses to increase in rape cases, today said he did not mean to degrade women and had only mentioned a "social

The state police chief had sparked a controversy on Friday last when he attributed the increase in rape cases to women provoking men by wearing "flimsy and fashionable" clothing.

"I had said that provocative fashionable dresses, was perhaps one of the factors (behind increase in rape cases). But I did not say that it was 'the factor'," the Director General of Police said. 

The top cop's remarks had earned the wrath of political parties and women organisations, who strongly condemned it.

12:22   'Holocaust' children walk the talk in Jerusalem


Israelis waking up to their newspapers this past Sunday, the front pages offered a shocking and repulsive sight. Photographs of ultra-orthodox children donning yellow stars and striped prison uniforms reminiscent of the Holocaust stared back at them. Read

12:18   Detained Indian traders in Chinese hub 'fear for their lives'

Meanwhile, the detained Indian traders in the trading hub of Yiwu near Shanghai said yesterday they were fearing for their lives as a simmering fortnight-long trade dispute with Chinese businessmen continued to escalate.

The Indian embassy in Beijing put out a strongly worded advisory on Tuesday cautioning Indians "not to do business with Yiwu,' even as officials from the Indian consulate in Shanghai negotiated with local police and foreign office representatives in the trading city, which is in Zhejiang province and 250 km from here, to help secure the release of the two traders.

More on The Hindu

12:12   Murdoch's wife's Twitter account is fake, though verified

Even as husband Rupert Murdoch steps into Twitter gingerly, a verified Twitter account purporting to belong to Wendi Deng, his wife, is a fake.

News International confirmed that the @wendi_deng account was a spoof. The person running the account tweeted: "Hello Twitter. As News International has finally come to their senses, it's time to confirm that yes, this is a fake account. I'm not Wendi."

More on the

News alert: Ahead of the five-state polls, the Union Cabinet approves the filling up of backlog vacancies in SC and ST categories in Central government jobs.
12:04   Would James Bond wear orange laces?

Back to tabloid news.


The Daily Mail story that asks that pertinent question as Daniel Craig steps out in boyish orange laces at a Paris premiere. Read or rather see.

12:00   SC relief for Kerala CM, PIL in Palmolein case dismissed

Just in: The Supreme Court has dismissed a PIL against Kerala CM Oommen Chandy seeking to name him as an accused in the Palmolein scam.

Last month, a division bench of the Kerala High Court declared as null and void the observation made by a vigilance court against Chandy and asked it to complete a re-investigation into the palm oil import case in six weeks.

The High Court bench asked for the removal of the observation made by Vigilance Judge P.K. Haneefa, who rejected the vigilance report that gave a clean chit to the Chief Minister and ordered a re-investigation.

The high court had given a clean chit to Chandy in October.

The import of 15,000 tonnes of palm oil was undertaken in 1992. The case was registered in 1999 when the communists led by E.K. Nayanar were in power.

The vigilance department had earlier submitted a report that there was nothing that could indict Chandy in the case. Former Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, then food minister T.H. Mustafa and bureaucrats P.J. Thomas and Jiji Thompson were charged with causing a loss of Rs.2.32 crore by importing oil from Malaysia at an enhanced price.


A rush of tabloid news:

David Beckham shows off his impressive package (again) as he models his own underwear range for H&M.


(And they say women pad up) Or may be we should ask a certain Rebecca Loos if the package is a big deal

Read more on the Daily Mail.



11:47   Obama optimistic of 2nd term, psychic predicts loss

And here's what's happening as the battle for the second term in the US presidential elections begins. 

As Republicans kicked off the primary battle to pick the candidate who will challenge Barack Obama, the incumbent President had a reassuring message for his supporters -- "I am more optimistic than in 2008".

Four years ago, Obama launched his bid for the White House, before going on to win a historic victory, and despite a slide in his popularity over the period, the president said he was more confident heading into his second presidential battle having fulfilled some of his key promises.

"We have done a lot, but we've got a lot more to do, and that's why we need another four years to get it all done," Obama said, when asked how he responds to people who say you haven't done enough.

"In some ways, I'm actually more optimistic now than I was when I first ran, because we've already seen change takeplace," Obama said when asked if in 2012 he still believed in his 2008 war cry of hope and change. Seeking a re-election in November, Obama asked his supporters today to gear up for the big battle ahead.

11:41   Mexico's grand warlock predicts Obama will lose
Mexico's self-appointed grand warlock has predicted that US President Barack Obama will lose the 2012 election. Antonio Vazquez, who calls himself the Brujo Mayor, or grand warlock, leads a Mexican tradition of  brujeria (sorcery), centered in the south-eastern city of Catemac. Read the story on the
11:37   Ma, mati, manush to make a debut in UP polls

Political news update: PTI says that Trinamool Congress is set to make its debut in UP.


After demolishing the Left bastion in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee is all set to make its electoral debut in the Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh in the coming assembly polls. 

The party, in coalition with the Rashtriya Parivartan Morcha comprising smaller parties, would contest the coming elections, newly-appointed convenor of the state unit of the Trinamool Congress, Bhagwan Singh said here. 

Though the Morcha would be contesting all the 403 seats, the Trinamool is yet to decide on the number of seats on which it would be fielding its candidates and a formal announcement in this regard would be made in Delhi on January 6, Singh said.

11:32   'My father's killer was showered with rose petals'
And this was author Aatish Taseer's tribute to his father on the Telegraph, UK, a few days after the incident, last year. Read
11:29   This day a year ago, Pak governor Salman Taseer shot dead

On this first anniversary of the assassination of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer, Pakistan's Tribune says that the country must take stock of how much moral backbone it has lost by acquiescing in the persuasion of terrorism and the creed of extremism activating it.


11:14   Hours after he joins BJP, UP politician raided

Ironically, the raids began hours after Babu Singh Kushwaha joined the BJP. The ousted Bahujan Samaj Party minister and former Mayawati confidante was raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation early this morning.

CBI teams conducted simultaneous raids at about 45 locations, allegedly owned by Kushwaha or his associates, in a dozen districts in Uttar Pradesh in pursuance of its investigation into the multi-million rupee National Rural Health Mission scam.


Read Sharat Pradhan's report on

11:10   CBI carries out 60 raids as NRHM scandal blows up

The CBI today carried out searches at more than 60 places, including at the residence of former UP Family Welfare Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha in Lucknow, after registering five new cases to probe alleged irregularities in
funds allocated to the National Rural Health Mission. Besides Uttar Pradesh, the searches were being carried out at other places including Delhi and Haryana. 

Official sources said the cases were registered on January two in a designated court at Lucknow after which CBI sought search warrants against the accused people. 

The searches began this morning at 60 places including at the residence of the former Minister, who joined BJP yesterday after being sacked by UP Chief Minister Mayawati.

10:59   Anuj Bidve's parents to leave for UK today to claim body

Update on the Anuj Bidve murder. His parents are likely to leave for the UK today to collect his body, a task no parent should have to do.

Yesterday, the UK police carried out the second post-mortem. Bidve was shot dead in an unprovoked attack in Salford. Officers of the Manchester Police, who visited the Bidve family in Pune, said in a statement, "Anuj's family is very understandably keen to have Anuj returned to them. In the UK following charge of a person, the defence are entitled to a second post-mortem examination. This is taking place this morning."

Read more on

10:51   CBSE Std X and XII exams from March 1 to April 13
Good morning. CBSE has announced the exam schedule for Std X and XII. The exams will take place from March 1 to April 13 with around 8 lakh students appearing for the exams.
10:44   Headlines this morning

British pharma company's bid to patent ginger foiled (The Times of India)

India has foiled an attempt by a British pharmaceutical company to claim a patent on using ginger for the treatment of cold. Read


CBI claims breakthrough in Bhanwari Devi case (Hindustan Times)
The CBI today claimed that they have solved the Bhanwari Devi murder case and said that her murder was planned by former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna, according to reports. Read


Axed Mayawati minister raided over NHRM scam (Hindustan Times)
The CBI raided former Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha for his alleged involvement in a National Rural Health Mission scam, reports said today. Read


UP health scam: CBI conducts raids, registers fresh cases (Indian Express)
Agency had recently questioned former UP health ministers Babu Kushwaha and Anant Mishra. Read


US State Dept's new India map shows LoC as disputed area (Indian Express)
Earlier map showed a portion of J-K as part of Pak triggering strong protest from India. Read


Mullaperiyar, Idukki dams safe, experts tell panel (The Hindu)
Inspection in the wake of recent tremors in the region. Read