Fri, 06 July 2012
Obama on jobs report: It's still tough out there

Timeline  Refresh

23:14   Obama on jobs report: It's still tough out there
ABC News reports: Responding to a grim jobs report, President Barack Obama assured struggling Americans on Thursday that he knows 'it's still tough out there' but defended what he described as his 'steady' work to help the fitful economy recover from the global meltdown of 2007-2008.

Read the full story here
22:17   Not such a Good Time: Kingfisher pays its dues
Debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines has finally started paying salary dues of its staff, though in a staggered manner, airlines sources said today.

"Finally, the airline, which has not paid employees their salary for the last five months, has started paying February salary from Thursday," sources said. 

In the first phase, junior cabin crew and ground handling staff have been paid, they said, adding the pilots and engineers are expected to receive their salary from next Friday.
22:00   Aruna Roy seeks Sonia's intervention in Jarawa issue
Days after the Supreme Court banned tourism activity near the habitat of Andaman's Jarawas, activist Aruna Roy today sought NAC Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's intervention to ensure closure of a highway to end exploitation of the ancient tribe. 

Roy, who is also a member of the National Advisory Council, forwarded a petition by Survival International, an organisation working for the rights of tribals, to Gandhi during the NAC meeting.
21:03   IAS officer disappointed with posting
IAS officer from the 1978 batch of the UP cadre Desh Deepak Verma was disappointed after being cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Appointments as secretary Parliamentary affairs.    

Desh Deepak Verma was hoping to continue as secretary general of the Sports Authority of India for three months. The PMO had apparently cleared his name as a delegate to the Olympics in London, and his wife was ready with baggage to take off on June 29. But the next day, Verma was asked to join as secretary n Parliamentary affairs.   

Not only did Desh Deep Verma lose this 15-day stay in London, but was also shocked to learn that the department of Parliamentary affairs has only one joint secretary. 

He was also taken aback when his private secretary told him that only one staff car was available and that too without air-conditioning.
21:02   Bachchan reaches 3 million followers on Twitter
Actor Amitabh Bachchan has crossed the 3 million mark on Twitter and is quite excited about it. 

This makes him probably the most popular Bollywood star on Twitter, as other stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra, who are quite active on the micro-blogging site, are half a million behind him.
21:02   For Mamata, Congress ignores Chidambaram!
In an apparent conciliatory signal to Mamata Banerjee ahead of the Presidential poll, Congress today chose to ignore Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's criticism of Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal on the issue of political violence. 

"I am not aware of any such statement. This all happens in politics," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury told reporters. 

She was asked whether Congress agreed with the statement of Chidambaram that there had been an increase in political violence after the takeover of Mamata Banerjee as chief minister of West Bengal in May last year.
20:10   No update on EGoM list
The Cabinet secretariat has removed the list of EGoM and GoM from the website. There has been no update on the new list of EGoM for more than a fortnight now.

After Pranab Mukherjee resigned from the Cabinet, the PMO has not yet taken a decision whether to continue the EGoM arrangements, as NCP chief Sharad Pawar has not agreed to head the EGoM on 2G, sources said.
20:03   2G case will fall apart: Pankaj Pachauri
While speaking to 45 senior Indian Foreign Service Officers at their institute, the prime minister's Communication Advisor Pankaj Pachauri brushed aside the numerous scams and corruption charges the government is facing.   

He is said to have remarked that all these charges were a creation by English TV channels, which seem to run the country's politics.    

The CD of his talk is now available with the IFS training institute. The Editors Guild is likely to take up the issue with the PMO.
20:02   PM Singh keen to retain finance ministry
The general council of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is scheduled in New Delhi in May 2013. 

Insiders in the prime minister's office are jubilant as there is speculation that the PM might keep the finance ministry till the next Budget.    

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh specially approved a one-year extension for Ashok Lakhri, executive director, ADB, keeping the meet in mind.
19:35   FDI mode for converting black money to white: Ramdev
Terming FDI (foreign direct investment) as a mode for converting black money to white money, Yoga guru Swami Ramdev today wanted the government to frame a transparent and effective policy to check this. 

"FDI is the key to black money...a lot of black has come to the country in the form of case the names of those brining it are known, almost 80 to 90 per cent sources of black money would be known", Ramdev told news persons here. 

"In the form of FDI, black money has come back into the country as white money and the government should frame a transparent and effective policy to check this", Ramdev said.
19:32   'Nice to be right', says Higgs
The British scientist who gave his name to the Higgs boson particle spoke today of his delight after researchers affirmed its existence, saying it was "nice to be right sometimes". 

Professor Peter Higgs was making his first detailed public comments since researchers at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced Wednesday they believe they have found the sub-atomic particle thought to confer mass on matter. The announcement came following nearly 50 years of research after Higgs published the conceptual groundwork for the elusive boson, dubbed the "God particle" because it is powerful and everywhere in 1964. 

Asked at a press conference at Edinburgh University if he now felt a sense of vindication, Higgs said: "It's very nice to be right sometimes... it has certainly been a long wait." The 83-year-old also brushed off suggestions he would now be in the running for a Nobel Prize as a result of the discovery.
19:07   UN plans tax to raise $400 bn for development
The United Nations is planning to raise USD 400 billion every year through tax and other innovative financing mechanisms for development and global challenges. 

"The UN is proposing an international tax, combined with other innovative financing mechanisms, to raise more than USD 400 billion annually for development and global challenges such as fighting climate change," the international body said today during the release of World Economic and Social Survey 2012. 

Financial needs of developing countries have long outstripped the willingness and ability of donor countries to provide aid, it said adding that finding the necessary resources to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and meet other global challenges will be tough, especially for least developed countries.
19:01   Tendulkar watches Federer-Djokovic match
Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar today paid a visit to the All England Club to watch the marquee semifinal match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in Wimbledon here. 

Tendulkar, who decided to skip India's limited overs series in Sri Lanka starting later this month, was at the Wimbledon Royal Box along with his wife Anjali.

The iconic Indian batsman, who is passionate about tennis and a Federer fan, has been a regular at the Wimbledon Championships every year and had made a similar visit last year too.
18:41   Rao was not worshipping or asleep during Babri demolition
Former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao was neither worshipping nor asleep at the time of demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, a former IPS official Kishore Kunal said today. 

Contrary to the claims of veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayar in his soon-to-be published book 'Beyond The Lines', Kunal, who was the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Union Home Ministry on the Ayodhya issue, said, "the factual position is that Rao was neither worshipping nor sleeping at the time of demolition of the Babri Mosque on the fateful day." 

He said, "the factual position is Rao was not only awake, but received all calls from the then Union Home Secretary Madhav Godbole who informed him almost every half an hour after 12:30 pm on that day about gradual demolition of the mosque."
18:23   Power situation eases a bit in Delhi

With the capital receiving pre-monsoon showers and weather becoming much tolerable, power situation eased a bit today though outages were reported from
some parts of the city. 

A day after recording an all-time high for power demand of 5,462 MW yesterday, the demand for electricity peaked only to 5,236 MW during the day. This demand for power was recorded at 3:04 pm. Though the demand was less compared to yesterday, the city could not meet a demand for 307 MW due to non- availability of electricity, leading to power cut in some
areas of the capital.

Also read: Why do Black African racial stereotypes persist in India?
Read: 'India Is Racist, And Happy About It' -- A Black American's first-hand experience of footpath India.
18:03   'Beaten, comatose African boy needs financial help'

Update on the African student beaten and comatose.

The envoy of Burundi has said that India has to bring the perpetrators to justice, and that the attack was not racism, but a criminal offence. He says the boy, Yannick Nihangaza's father needs legal and financial help.

Yannick is in a coma ever since the assault and his father Nestor Ntibateganya has come to India to care for him. The family is in a trauma. MRI results shows serious neurological damage inflicted on Yannick for the rest of his life. He would be lucky if he comes out of coma, said doctors treated Yannick.

Yannick, a first-year student at Punjab's Lovely Universy, was attacked by some unidentified person on April 21, while he was walking to a party. Though Jalandhar police arrested two persons, but many others are on the run.
He was rushed to a hospital by passers-by, and has been operated upon twice. Later, his friends shifted him to Patiala for specialised treatment

17:46   Get it right -- CPM backs Pranab not Cong: Yechuri

Senior CPM leader and politburo member Sitaram Yechuri gets the facts straight. Today he said that his party's support to Pranab Mukherjee as the presidential candidate did not mean support to the Congress. 


"Our support is to Pranab-da...our support is not to Congress," Yechuri, who is here to attend a meeting of CPM office-bearers from Maharashtra, said. The UPA government had failed on all fronts, he alleged while talking to reporters before the meeting. Yechuri addressed the session of the three-day state level meeting that started today.

17:36   We want to become Scientologists

Katie Holmes has rejected it, but what happened when Independent writers tried to embrace the controversial church? Must-read on the Independent.


(Scientology's founder spent many years in the East Sussex countryside, buying Saint Hill Manor from the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1959 and living there until 1966. While in Britain, the science-fiction author developed and wrote many of the books that set out the core beliefs of his new faith.)

17:34   Dalai Lama at 77: Does he still matter?

The Dalai Lama turns 77 today. And this birthday, as with every other birthday, reminds his followers of the uncomfortable truth. The "living god is' human and aging. And Lhasa durast.


17:24   Was PMs interview meant for Sonia Gandhis ears

n an interview to Hindustan Times (read the full interviewhere), Singh made several points about reforms, about corruption, about the UPA's policy paralysis, and more.


That's the story on


17:19   Indian peacekeeper killed in clashes in Congo

A UN soldier from India was killed in clashes between renegade soldiers and DR Congo troops on the border with Uganda, the United Nations saidtoday as the mutineers took a key border post. 


The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said the Indian peacekeeper was fatally wounded by shrapnel during the fighting. "It wasn't a direct hit. He died from his wounds," MONUSCO spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai said. 


The DR Congo's forces yesterday launched an offensive to rout the mutinous armed troops known as M23 near the Virunga national park which is home to one of the biggest populations of mountain gorillas.

17:15   Think again: India's rise

A couple of stories from Foreign Policy magazine...


Is the world's largest democracy ready for prime time, or forever a B-list player on the global stage? Read


Who should worry about SyriaLeaks? Read

17:06   Mamata, not Left, observes Jyoti Basu's birthday

Left Front MLAs abstained from attending the observation of the birth anniversary of former chief minister Jyoti Basu in the assembly advanced from
Sunday to today by the West Bengal government. 


Chief minister Mamata Banerjee who along with Speaker Biman Banerjee were among those who offered flowers at Basu's portrait, said that the Left Front members had not shown courtesy to a great leader belonging to the CPI(M). 


Leader of the Opposition Surya Kant Mishra, belonging to the CPI(M) said that Jyoti Basu's birthday would be observed on the original date of July eight.

16:42   Big shot Syrian defector heading to Paris
A Syrian general from a powerful family close to President Bashar al-Assad has defected and is on his way to Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said. Read the report on the bbc.
16:40   Indian police still using truth serum
Use of Sodium Pentothal to secure confessions -- classified by some as torture -- still common in certain regions of India. Read he report on the Guardian.
16:35   Fuhrers orders to spare life of a Jew

A letter sent on the orders of Adolf Hitler telling the Gestapo to spare the life of a Jew has been found. Ernst Hess was saved because he had been the Fuhrer's commanding officer in World War I. The letter -- written by SS overlord Heinrich Himmler and dated August 27, 1940 -- was found in a file kept by the Dusseldorf Gestapo.



16:29   Not little green men, aliens may look like jellyfish

Aliens may not actually resemble the little green creatures Hollywood loves to portray them as. Rather, they are more likely to look like 'giant jellyfish with orange bottoms', if a leading British space scientist is to be believed.

"My vision of aliens is an inhuman, silicon-based life form that looks much more like a jellyfish than sci-fi's little green men. It is likely that there is extra-terrestriallife - it is just more alien than you'd imagine," Maggie Aderin-Pocock, satellite expert and government adviser in UK, said. 


As against the little green men so beloved of Hollywood directors, they may look like football-field sized jellyfish,complete with onion-shaped appendages and an orange underbellyor bottom, the Daily Mail reported quoting the scientist.

16:22   WB govt 'ignorant' about Pinki Pramanik case

The West Bengal government today pleaded ignorance about the complaint made by Asiad gold medalist Pinki Pramanik of atrocities inflicted on her incustody and demand for justice, as the Opposition's move to raise the issue in the Assembly was rejected on the ground of it being sub-judice. 


"I have not received anything from Pinki Pramanik's family, nor from any sports organisation. Nobody has talked to me or written to me saying that what is going on is illegal", state sports minister Madan Mitra said when asked aboutalleged atrocities being perpetrated on Pramanik in custody. However, the minister said he was keeping a close watch on it.


On the demand for keeping the athlete in a separate cell, the minister said that whether Pinki was supposed to be kept in a women's ward or not had to be decided by the police. Leader of the Opposition Suryakanta Mishra said in the Assembly lobby that their move to raise the issue was rejected on the ground of it being sub-judice.

16:14   For 'Bosun' a long journey from Dhaka

Another report on Satyendra Nath Nose.


In the word "boson,' as media reports have plentifully pointed out during the past two days, is contained the surname of Satyendra Nath Bose, the Calcutta physicist who first mathematically described the class of particles to which he gave his name. As was common with Indian scientists in the early 20th century, however, his work might easily have eluded international recognition. Like the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujam, Mr. Bose was saved from obscurity by a generous and influential mentor in Europe. In Mr. Bose's case, that mentor turned out to be one of the greatest physicists of them all: Albert Einstein.


Read more on the NYT's India blogs

16:09   IMF chief warns over slowing global growth

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde today warned the global economy was slowing and said the situation could get worse because Europe was not doing enough to fix its debt crisis. 


Lagarde said the IMF would cut its growth forecast in its global outlook to be released later this month. "What I can tell you is that it will be tilted to the downside and certainly lower than the forecast that was published three months ago," she told an economic forum in Tokyo during a week-long Asian tour.

16:03   Unable to get 26/11 handler Jundal's custody, NIA tells court

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today told a Delhi court that it has been unable to get the custody of 26/11 key handler Abu Jundal, whom it wanted to interrogate for unearthing the conspiracy hatched by Lashkar-e
-Toiba for terror strikes across India. 


The agency informed Special NIA Judge H S Sharma that it could not manage to secure the accused' custody which was given to Delhi Police's Special Cell for further 15 days yesterday by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav The NIA told the judge that it will seek the custody of Jundal alias Syed Zabiuddin from CMM on July 20 when the police remand of the terrorist comes to an end with the Delhi Police.

15:50   Pranab in Manipur
UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is on a two-day visit to the North East region to meet members of the electoral college as part of his
country-wide campaign for the July 19 poll. 
15:41   Jundal: Major Sameer gave 2 cartons of cartridges

Jundal's police remand was extended by another 15 days yesterday. In the two weeks he has been in custody, Jundal has also identified Sajid Mir, the alleged link between ISI and LeT, as the prime motivator and organiser behind the Mumbai terror attacks.

Mir had helped the attack module with training at a camp in Muzaffarabad. This is where the ISI operative -- Major Sameer gave the 10 terrorists the two cartons of cartridges.

Jundal also said that Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency had raided the 26/11 'control room' a few weeks after the attacks and destroyed it. 

15:27   Jundal: ISI major gave AK-47 bullets for 26/11

Just in: 26/11 handler Abu Jundal singing in the custody of the Delhi police says ISI operative Major Sameer Ali gave AK 47 cartridges to the operatives. The two cartons of cartridges were handed over at Muzaffarabad.


Jundal, has named ISI officers, Major Sameer and Colonel Hamza, as Pakistan's state actors who were directly involved in the terror attack on Mumbai. While Major Samir Ali oversaw the 26/11 operation from LeT's control room in Karachi, Colonel Hamza arranged for Jundal's escape to Saudi Arabia in April-May 2011.  


The West Bengal Human Rights Commission has also directed the home, health and police departments to inquire into the alleged 'inhuman torture' on Pramanik in police and jail custody and submit a report within two weeks. An MMS of her undergoing gender test went viral on the internet.

Taking note of the CD, the HC has asked the government to get cyber crime experts to probe the issue.

The High Court has asked the government to respond within two weeks.

15:09   HC: Probe if Pinki Pramanik's rights were violated

In what comes as a relief to athlete Pinki Pramanik, the Calcutta high court hearing a PIL filed by RS Chattopadhyay against the violation of her human rights has ordered a probe into the alleged violations. It has asked the government to get the probe done by cyber experts. The retired middle distance runner was arrested on June 14, has been accused of being male and of allegedly raping a live-in partner, a 30-year-old estranged woman.

The petitioners have also been asked to lodge a complaint in the case.

Yesterday, Jayalalithaa slammed the Centre for remaining "silent" on a resolution moved by the state assembly calling for economic sanctions against Sri Lanka besides demanding equal status for Tamils in that country and said "it is an insult for the Tamil people that the Centre is imparting military training to the Air Force personnel from Sri Lanka".
15:00   Govt bows to Jaya: Lanka airforce to be sent back

The Minsitry of Defence has ordered the Sri Lankan airforce to be sent back in the aftermath of the severe criticism it has received from the Tamil Nadu government.


Yesterday, Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa took objection to the training being imparted to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel at an Indian Air Force base near Chennai. Jayalaithaa urged the Centre to immediately cancel the programme and send back the personnel to the island nation.

14:56   Kidnapping at CST, Mumbai, caught on camera

Mumbai police today released a CCTV footage of a man kidnapping a child in full public view at Chattrapati Shivaji Station. The June 10 footage shows a man walking inside the station premises and taking away the girl, Sangita, while her parents continue to sleep, reports cnn ibn. The footage shows the man first looking around to make sure no one catches him in the act. The police have now released the CCTV footage in the hope that someone may be able to identify the kidnapper or the girl.


See the video

14:35   SC verdict in Maya case an indictment of UPA: BJP

The BJP today alleged that the Supreme Court quashing the disproportionate assets case against BSP leader Mayawati was an indictment of the government which was "misusing" the investigative agencies for political gains. 


"This is a serious indictment of the UPA government which has turned the investigative agency as a tool to garner political support for its survival," BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay said.


He said there were several cases in Gujarat, Rajasthan and elsewhere in the country which were "examples of the misuse" of such investigative agencies for political gains by the government. 


"It is time the government should restore the credibility and independence of investigative agencies in the interest of democracy," he said. The Supreme Court today quashed a nine-year-old disproportionate assets case against her and pulled up the CBI for initiating the probe against her without specific directions from the court.

14:29   PV's son upset over comments in Kuldip Nayar's book

P V Narasimha Rao's son Ranga Rao today criticised the comments made by late Arjun Singh against his father in a book, which said the former Prime Minister was opposed to Sonia Gandhi. He was also very critical of the book written by veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, which blamed late Rao for thedemolition of Babri mosque on the basis of a reported claim by socialist leader Madhu Limaye.   


Lamenting that "vested interests" were trying to spew venom at his late father, P V Ranga Rao said the former Prime Minister's family was "very unhappy and sad" about it. "What is being written in these books is not fair to father.   We don't expect such things about a person who is no more," Ranga Rao said. "How can anyone talk something ill about a person who is no more...a person who cannot defend himself?," Rao said reacting to the claims made in late Congress leader Arjun's soon-to-be-released posthumous autobiography 'A Grain of Sand in the Hourglass of Time'.   


In the book, Singh had quoted P V Narasimha Rao as saying, "Why should Congress party be hitched to the Nehru-Gandhi family like train compartments to the engine" when a suggestion was made that Sonia be made Congress chiefafter the assassination of her husband Rajiv Gandhi in May, 1991.


Jagan had informed the court that he was no longer chairman or director of Jagati Publications and that the ED could question those appearing on behalf of the company.


Jagati Publications, which publishes Telugu daily 'Sakshi', reportedly received investments from firms based abroad in return for the favours doled out to them by the then government of Jagan's father YS Rajasekhara Reddy.


The ED has already booked Jagan for alleged violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act.

The special court heard the petition by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for permission to question YSR Congress Party leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in his illegal assets case. The CBI court heard arguments of both the ED and Jagan Mohan Reddy and, who is still in jail.
14:08   ED to quiz Jagan Reddy in illegal assets case
Just in: CBI Special Court gives the Enforcement Directorate permission to quiz Jagan Reddy in the illegal assets case.
13:56   Inventory of Rs 1 lakh crore treasure temple begins

The Supreme Court appointed Experts Committee for scientifically documenting priceless treasures of the famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple has resumed its work by opening another underground vault.


According to temple sources, the committee members yesterday examined Vault-A and documented few gold chains, some gem-studded, with the help of sophisticated equipment, a few imported from Europe.


The panel, headed by eminent conservationist M V Nair, had drawn up a list of experts experienced in assessing the value and antiquity of gold and precious stones, to be engaged in the process. 


The members of the oversight committee, tasked last year with inventorying the priceless treasures, were also present.The oversight committee, also set up by the Apex Court, had opened four of the six vaults of the temple last year and found them holding a glittering array of precious wealth, drawing worldwide attention to the temple and its history.


Though the panel was not mandated to quantify the value of the treasure in money terms, it has been widely speculated that it was more than Rs one lakh crore, even by modest estimates.

13:42   Glimpsing the 'God particle': 4 lingering questions
The near-certain discovery of the Higgs boson is a huge deal for scientists. Here are some reasons it might mean something to laypeople, too. Read
13:36   To censor or not to censor the Internet, debate MPs

A seminar organised by the editors guild at the India International Centre, Delhi on the challenges before media has law minister Salman Khurshid saying that this government does not understand social media. Khurshid says consultations on internet censorship is being carried out by telecom minister Kapil Sibal and stakeholders seem to be responsive and guidelines are also being formed.

Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP says he does not support Internet censorship

13:24   SC quashes 'misuse of office' PIL against Pranab

The Supreme Court has dismissed a PIL against presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee which said that he had misuesed his office of the finance ministry and sought support for his candidature.

Last week, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a plea challenging the candidature of ex-Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee for the upcoming Presidential election. The petitioner had alleged that Mukherjee had misused his office and is guilty of obtaining 'pecuniary advantage.' 

This is PranabMukherjee's second win in the increasingly murky presidential elections. The first was when the BJP's demand that his candidature be struck down over the office of profit was quashed.

13:17   Can't clarify Malik's citizenship status: UK border agency

The UK Border Agency has refused to clarify the exact status of Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik's British citizenship, an issue that resulted in the suspension of his membership of Pakistan's parliament. 


Responding to a request filed by The Express Tribune under Britain's Freedom of Information Law for information on Malik's citizenship, the UK Border Agency said it could "neither confirm nor deny whether we hold the information requested by virtue of Section 40(5)(a) and (b)(ii) (personal information)". 


"This would be considered personal information as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 and therefore confirming or denying would be considered neither fair nor lawful," the Border Agency said in its response. 

13:01   Would love to sip tea with Thackeray, says Pawar

Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar today said he "would love to have a cup of tea with Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray" during UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Mumbai next week.


Mukherjee is the UPA candidate and is backed by several parties including JD(U) and Shiv Sena, who are NDA constituents, Pawar aid.


"It is important for the candidate to meet and discuss issues with supporting parties and leaders. We have met CPM and TRS leaders as well," he said adding that Shiv Sena had supported UPA nominee for presidential post in 2007 also. 


To a question if he would accompany Mukherjee to Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree', Pawar said "if Thackeray had time on July 13, he would love to have a cup of tea" with the Sena chief. On if Sena leader Manohar Joshi is being considered as a vice presidential candidate, Pawar said there is no proposal from Sena on Joshi's candidature.

The Calcutta High Court to hear a PIL filed by the West Bengal Human Rights Association that sportsperson Pinki Pramanik's rights wee violated.  
12:53   India's poor boxing their way to a dream

India traditionally underperforms at the Olympics. But a spurt in the popularity of boxing has given it a fighting chance in 2012.

Great story on the Guardian..

12:50   There were signs Katie was divorcing Tom

'I feel sexier', says Katie Holmes as she unleashes the sex kitten in smouldering new photos... taken just weeks before she announcing shock split from Tom Cruise.

Read more

12:39   Inside Katie Holmess new life
Friends say she and daughter Suri are celebrating life without Tom Cruise with ice cream and rekindled relationships with old pals. Read
12:37   Kuldip Nayar on Shekhar Gupta, N Ram & Co

Kuldip Nayar, 89, the grand old lion of Indian journalism -- former editor of the Statesman in Delhi, former managing editor of the United News of India news agency, former correspondent of the London Times, former media advisor to the late prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, former high commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, and above all a secular, liberal peace monger'"has just published his memoirs.



12:32   Cuban President signs deals in China

Cuban President Raul Castro is meeting Chinese leaders in Beijing, signing agreements aimed at deepening already close ties between the two allies. Mr Castro is due to meet Vice-President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who are widely expected to take over China's top leadership posts.

More on the bbc.

12:14   War games India does NOT want to talk about

India is participating in the largest US-led naval war games but shhhhh, don't tell anyone because China does not like it.

An Indian Navy commodore will join nearly 45,000 soldiers from 22 countries at Hawaii for RIMPAC 2012, hosted by the US Pacific Command. RIMPAC is a real warfare exercise involving aircraft carriers, submarines, live firing, aircraft, anti-submarine warfare and amphibious operations by elements like the Marine Corps.

The scale of this edition of RIMPAC most likely makes it the largest maritime warfare exercise.


Read the report on the Telegraph.

12:07   Maya: SC verdict on DA case has vindicated me

Former UP CM Mayawati addressing the a press conference after the SC verdict quashing the disproportionate assests case against her. Mayawati says she welcomes the SC verdict and thanks all those who backed her. She says just as her mentor Kanshiram had faced obstacles while uplifting the backward classes, she too has faced similar hurdles, but will go ahead and help those who have been downtrodden.

11:59   India wants peaceful resolution of South China sea dispute

Amid increasing sparring between China and its neighbours over disputed oil blocks in the South China Sea, India today said the region was key to its energysecurity and the conflict must be resolved peacefully as per international laws.


Expressing concern over the escalating tension in the area, India's Ambassador to Vietnam Ranjit Rae said half of India's export and import go through the South China Sea and India considers itself as an integral part of the archipelagosand its development. 


"The dispute should be resolved as per international laws.The South China Sea is very important and there should be safety and security of the international ships so that import and export are not affected," he said here. China has been opposing resolution of the dispute under international laws and insisting on resolving the issue through bilateral talks with respective countries.


Also read:  India takes on ocean-cop role, tests China

11:53   'Long road ahead in US-Pakistan ties after Nato deal'

News from the neighbours: Pakistan and the United States are set to resume broader talks on security cooperation, militant threats, aid and other issues in the wake of an agreement to reopen supply routes into Afghanistan, Pakistan's envoy to Washington said.

Read the report on the Dawn.

11:43   The man who chose the particle over his wife

More on the Higgs Bosun story...


Peter Higgs was driving along the East Coast of America with his wife, Jody, and their six-month-old baby son Christopher strapped in the back seat. Suddenly his heart was racing and his breathing was completely out of control. Frightened he would kill his wife and child in a crash, Higgs had to pull over and stop the car while his wife talked him down, exhaling deep lungfuls over the steering wheel. What had caused such a panic attack?


Read the report on the Telegraph, Calcutta.

11:37   Satyendra Nath Bose towers over Higgs in world of physics

Kolkata-based scientists are glad that Bengal remembered 20th century physicistSatyendra Nath Bose when the world celebrated the confirmation of the Higgs boson particle on Wednesday. But they were also anguished that Bose never quite received the honour or adulation that Swami Vivekananda or Rabindranath Tagore did.



Ramesh Srivats @rameshsrivats Mayawati claims to work for the benefit of SCs. Now, SC is working for the benefit of Mayawatis.


Back to the Mayawati DA case verdict.

The CBI, in its last affidavit filed on September 13, 2011, had alleged there was a "criminal nexus" between Mayawati and her relatives and the disproportionate assets case against her cannot be closed on the basis of conclusions arrived at by the Income Tax Department. The agency had rejected Mayawati's stand that the DA case should come to an end after the income tax authorities accepted her income tax assessments.


Mayawati had said every paisa of her assets is accounted for and the income tax cases against her are politically motivated.

11:20   Zardari shocked over barbaric burning of Pak man

In other news, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed profound grief over the harrowing incident in which hundreds of angry protestors burnt a man to death after accusing him of blasphemy.


The mob wrested the mentally unstable man from police custody before burning him in the Punjab province. Police said they detained the man after locals complained that he had desecrated the Koran.  


Expressing shock over the incident Zardari said that no one should be allowed to take the law into their own hands no matter what the crime is, The Express Tribune reports.

11:15   Strong 6.3 quake strikes off Vanuatu: USGS

Mayawati emerges whitewashed after the SC verdict.


Meanwhile, a strong 6.3 magnitude quake struck off the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu today, the US Geological Survey said. The tremor hit about 358 kilometres north-northwest of the capital Port Vila at a depth of about 180 kilometres, USGS said. Hilaire Bule, a journalist at the Vanuatu Independent,said the tremor was not  felt in Port Vila. "We never felt anything here at all," he told AFP.

11:09   No material evidence against Maya in DA case: SC
The SC says that anything beyond the Taj Corridor scam was not the subject matter of this court and that the CBI proceeded against Mayawati without properly understanding the court's order. There is no finding and no material report pertaining to the DA case against Mayawati, the court said.
11:01   No material evidence against Mayawati: SC

The Supreme Court said that the CBI should not have lodged the DA case against Mayawati as there was no direction regarding it from the court. "We are satisfied that we didn't issue any direction to probe alleged disproportionate assets of Mayawati between 1995-2003, said the court and added that there was no material evidence against Mayawati.

BSP leader Satish Mishra says the party welcomes the order.  

10:54   CBI probe against Mayawati unwarranted: SC

Mayawati had said the bench should direct the CBI to consider the aspect of order passed by the Income Tax Tribunal holding that her income was genuine and the order had also been upheld by the Delhi high court.


The CBI had said there was "ample evidence" to show that she had amassed wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income. Mayawati had claimed she had received the money as donations from party workers. Questioning Mayawati's assets, the CBI had said her declared assets of Rs. one crore in 2003 had gone up to Rs. 50 crore in 2007.

10:49   SC strikes down criminal cases against Mayawati
In a major relief for former UP CM Mayawati, the Supreme Court today struck down the disproportionate assets case against her. The SC said that the FIR filed by the CBI in the case is unwarranted. Mayawati had filed a petition in May 2008 seeking the quashing of the criminal proceedings against her in the disproportionate assets case lodged by the CBI over eight years ago. She had alleged it was an act of political vendetta against her.
10:46   Mauritius: Have exchanged information on 170 cases

Mauritius has offered a couple of sun-drenched islands to India as part of a trade and investment deal. While the offer has been talked about for a while, Mauritius has revived it - at a time when it's very keen on persevering with the 1983 double-taxation avoidance treaty with India.


Today, Mauritus Foreign Minister Arvin Boolell said the country has made tremendous progress on the double taxation avoidance treaty with India since 2006. He said, Mauritius has exchanged information related to over 170 cases with India over three years, some even outside the treaty. Any domestic legislations should not over-ride the taxation treaty between India and Mauritius, said Boolell.

10:37   Investors should feel we mean business, PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is training his sights on five key challenges in the year ahead, as the architect of India's economic reforms aims to achieve inclusive growth for Indians and a fair playing field for foreign investors.

More on the Hindustan Times.

10:13   HC asks Centre for plan to free sailor held by Somali pirates
The Kerala High Court has asked the Centre to inform steps taken to rescue sailor who is held hostage by Somali pirates.    

Justice T R Ramachandran Nair asked central government to inform about possible steps that could be taken to free the Malayali merchant navy personnel T B Unnikrishnan while considering a petition filed by his wife Shobha Krishnan.

In the petition, Shobha had challenged central government's stand that it would not negotiate with Somali pirates to facilitate release of her husband. The Centre has refused to negotiate with Somali prirates.  

MT Asphalt Venture, the ship in which Unnikrishnan was the second officer, was hijacked by Somali pirates on September 28, 2010 and crew members, including Unnikrishnan, have been detained in Somalia by the pirates.
09:47   Environment min objects to UP CM's lion safari project
In a set back for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has instructed to stop the construction of the lion safari in n his native district of Etawah.     

The UP government has been asked to file action taken report in 15 days.  

In a letter to the Principal Secretary (Forests) on July 1, the MoEF said the state government was going ahead with the project illegally, as no permission under the Forest Conservation Act had been taken from MoEF for using any forest land for the purpose of the proposed lion safari. A copy of the letter was also sent to the Chief Secretary. 

The lion safari is Akhilesh Yadav's dream project.
09:09   J&K: 2 terrorists killed in encounter in Handwara
Two terrorists were killed in an encounter in the Handwara area of Jammu and Kashmir this morning. Two security personnel were injured in the heavy gunfire exchange.     

The second encounter is still on.  

On Thursday, three terrorists were gunned down by security forces in the Mankal village of Handwara near the Line of Control.
02:18   Police probe Bloody Sunday deaths
Prosecutors in Ulster have spent the past two years considering the findings of the Saville Inquiry, which ruled that the civil rights protestors shot dead in London derry in 1972 were the victims of 'unjustifiable firing' by soldiers from the Parachute Regiment.

Read the full story here
02:06   WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million Syria emails
CNN reports: WikiLeaks said Thursday it has begun publishing some 2.4 million e-mails from Syrian politicians, government ministries and companies dating back to 2006.

The e-mails, which are in a range of languages including Arabic and Russian, come from the ministries of presidential affairs, finance, information and foreign affairs, among others.

Read the full story here
00:14   US hunger striker in Dubai eating again: Lawyer
A lawyer says a jailed American businessman has ended his 7-week hunger strike after authorities agreed to set bail for his release.

Attorney Eric Akers said his client Zack Shahin told him he started eating again today. Akers said a Dubai judge set conditions for his pretrial release on bail on Wednesday.