Sun, 19 May 2013
Syria army 'storms' rebel-held town; 70 killed

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21:31   Syria army 'storms' rebel-held town; 70 killed

Syrian troops have stormed the rebel stronghold of Qusair and now control the town centre, state media say. State TV says 70 "terrorists" have been killed while activists say 40 people have died including many rebels.


The town, near the Lebanese border, has been under siege for weeks. Its control would give the government access from the capital to the coast.


Read the full report on BBC

20:09   'Many names from Maha coming up in fixing probe'

Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said in Shirdi today that more names were surfacing in the probe into spot-fixing in IPL following the arrest of Sreesanth and two other players.     


Delhi police's special cell, which arrested Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan in Mumbai, had to carry out the action "in haste" and some loose ends were yet to be tied up, such as examination of the players' laptops, i-pads, which Mumbai police seized yesterday, Kumar told reporters after visiting the Sai Baba temple.  


When asked about the scope of the scandal, he said he could not reveal much at this juncture, but several names including those from Maharashtra were coming up in the probe.

19:44   Searing heat in North, Delhi sizzles at 44 deg C

Heat wave swept across Northern states as temperatures today soared past 45 degrees Celsius at several places affecting normal life in the region. Churu in Rajasthan was the hottest place in the region with temperature touching 47 deg C. The national capital recorded a high of 44 deg C while mercury in parts of Punjab and Haryana shot up to 46 deg C.        


Delhi sizzled under a scorching 44.6 deg C today which was highest for the season, surpassing yesterday's 43.2 deg C. A Meteorological department official said that heat will rise further in the days to come. The day temperature was five notches above normal while the minimum settled at 25.9 deg C.  


Punjab and Haryana also witnessed a sudden rise in temperature during the past three days as the mercury hovered around the 45 deg C mark at most places.   Hisar in Haryana was the hottest place in the region as it recorded maximum at 46 deg C, up by five notches above normal, local MeT office said.

18:28   Government mulls anti-match fixing law
Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal spoke to Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, and discussed a new law against betting in the wake of IPL spot-fixing scandal.
17:53   Walmart lobbying case closed: Govt sources
Walmart lobbying case has been closed due to lack of evidence, government sources tell CNN IBN channel.
17:12   Three Telangana Cong MPs give ultimatum to party

Three Congress MPs from Telangana region Sunday said they would not hesitate to quit if the party leadership does not take a decision on statehood issue by May 30. The MPs '" M Jagannath, G Vivek and S Rajaiah -- met in Hyderabad and discussed the issue.  


Talking to reporters, Jagannath said they would not hesitate to quit the party if no favourable decision came by May 30. "We want to make it clear to Congress high command that if no decision came on Telangana issue by May 30, our action plan will be towards taking a tough decision. We would not even hesitate to quit the party," he said.  


Though they had set such deadlines earlier too, Rajaiah said this would be the final one.   The MPs condemned the comments of AICC spokesman P C Chacko yesterday that Telangana does not form a part of the national agenda of the UPA and it concerns the state government.

16:42   North Korea fires another short-range missile

North Korea fired a short-range missile from its east coast on Sunday, a day after launching three of these missiles, a South Korean news agency said, ignoring calls for restraint from Western powers.  


Launches by the North of short-range missiles are not uncommon but, after recent warnings from the communist state of impending nuclear war, such actions have raised concerns about the region's security.   "North Korea fired a short-range missile as it did yesterday into its east sea in the afternoon, " South Korea's news agency Yonhap reported, citing a military official.  


Read the full report on Reuters


Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with military officers in Pyongyang |  Photograph: Reuters

16:01   Now, GPS to provide tsunami alerts within minutes

Global positioning systems (GPS) may be used to provide accurate warning of a tsunami in just a few minutes after the earthquake onset, scientists say.         Researchers have demonstrated that by using GPS to measure ground deformation caused by a large underwater earthquake, they can warn of the resulting tsunami in just a few minutes after the quake.        


For the devastating Japan 2011 event, the team revealed that the analysis of the GPS data and issue of a detailed tsunami alert would have taken no more than three minutes.        


Most tsunamis, including those in offshore Sumatra, Indonesia in 2004 and Japan in 2011, occur following underwater ground motion in subduction zones, locations where a tectonic plate slips under another causing a large earthquake.        


To a lesser extent, the resulting uplift of the sea floor also affects coastal regions. There, researchers can measure the small ground deformation along the coast with GPS and use this to determine tsunami information.  


Image: People join hands facing the sea to mourn victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, in Iwaki, Fukushima. |  Photograph: Reuters  

15:23   Chinese premier Li Keqiang arrives in New Delhi

On his first overseas visit after assuming office, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has arrived in New Delhi where he will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on all contentious issues, including the boundary dispute.        


Shortly after his arrival, Li will be holding restricted talks with Singh, who will also host a dinner for the visiting dignitary at his official residence which will be attended among others by members of major political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party and Samajwadi Party.    


Asserting that India thinks "very highly" of Li's gesture of making the country his first overseas stop after assuming charge, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin had said such high-level exchanges are aimed at enhancing trust and understanding as well as "exhibiting sensitivity" towards each other's concerns.

15:00   Li's visit: Race Course metro station to be shut for 2 hrs

Anticipating Tibetan protests during the visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang, DMRC has decided to close Metro station at Race Course Road for two hours in the evening, besides shutting four others tomorrow.        


Race Course Metro station near PM's residence will remain closed for public from 7 pm to 9 pm as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be hosting a dinner for Premier Li.        


"Race Course Metro station will remain closed for public from 7 pm to 9 pm today as advised by police for security reasons due to Chinese Prime Minister's presence," a DMRC spokesperson said.  


Four more metro stations will be shut for public tomorrow from 8am to 10 am. "As per advisory from Delhi Police Racecourse, Udyog Bhawan, Central Secretariat and Khan market stations will remain closed from 8 am to 10am on May 20'.

14:10   Cobrapost: NABARD gives clean chit to co-op banks

Amid allegations of co-operative banks being used as conduits for money laundering, NABARD, which jointly regulates such lenders, has said that it has found no shortcoming pointing towards any such activity.  


"Every year we do an inspection and we have not found anything like that," National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development's chairman Prakash Bakshi told PTI over the weekend, when asked about the recent controversy over money laundering.        


A probe launched by Reserve Bank of India following allegations of non-compliance with anti-money laundering measures and know your customer norms by top private banks has reportedly found that cooperative banks are used as conduits.        


Not having the entire bouquet of service offerings, the cooperative banks tie-up with scheduled commercial banks to expand their reach. Co-operative banks can accept cash under Rs 50,000 from customers (the limit at which reporting to tax authorities sets in). They usually earn commission from larger banks for providing services.  


Online portal Cobrapost had in March made public a sting operation purportedly showing some executives at three top private banks -- ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank -- allegedly agreeing to receive unverified sums of cash and put them in their investment schemes and benami accounts in violation of anti-money laundering laws.

13:20   PM to present Report Card of UPA-II on May 22

With the image of his government in tatters, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will present the last Report Card of UPA-II on May 22 in which he is expected to list the positives such as Direct Benefit Transfer and FDI in retail in a bid to boost the sagging morale of Congressmen with elections less than a year away.        


Battered by series of scams and the recent sacking of Cabinet Ministers P K Bansal and Ashwani Kumar, the Prime Minister's task to present a positive picture is not easy.        


Congress President Sonia Gandhi and leaders of UPA constituents will be present at a dinner in which Singh will present the Report Card on the fourth anniversary of UPA-II. Gandhi is expected to showcase her backing for the Prime Minister in the backdrop of reports that the two had sharp differences, which has been denied by the party.        


The Prime Minister is expected to unveil plans on the occasion on the way ahead for the much-talked about National Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill, seen by the party as game changers in the next Lok Sabha elections.         Representatives of Trinamool Congress and DMK will not be at the dinner as the two key allies have left the UPA.

13:04   RR to file FIR against tainted trio for cheating public
Rajasthan Royals will file FIR against K Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan and Ait Chandila, the three arrested players, for cheating the public.
12:34   Development the way to fulfill every dream: Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has said that development in all spheres is the sole key and formula of solutions to the problems faced by India.   Modi, who is also a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, asserted this in his rhetoric manner while addressing a huge public rally at Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon.  


He also highlighted the significance of development approach to tackle the problems in the country.   Citing examples of development in the BJP ruled states, like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh besides his own state, Modi, declared that development is need of the hour in India.  


"We (Bharatiya Janata Party) want to compel all the political parties in India to come forward for developmental works. We just want to popularise a single hymn in the country and that is the word, ''development''. Solution to every existing problem in the country is development. The way to fulfil every dream is development. Development is the way to get rid of all shortcomings," Modi said.

11:43   I-T dept slaps Rs 582 cr tax demand notice on Infosys

Income Tax department has slapped a fresh $106 million (about Rs 582 crore) tax demand notice on Infosys, for 2009 fiscal, adding to the tax woes of India's second largest IT firm.         


The Bangalore-based software services exporter is already contesting additional income tax demands of $214 million (about Rs 1,175 crore) for four fiscals years beginning 2005 and said it will take legal recourse against the fresh tax demand notice as well.    


"The company has received the assessment order from the Income tax authorities for fiscal 2009 on May 2, 2013 along with a demand order for an amount of $106 million," Infosys said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week.         


In the filing Infosys added, "As the company is contesting this position like earlier years, the appellate authority would be approached within the time limit prescribed under the relevant law."         


Infosys is already facing tax demands worth $214 million for fiscal 2005 to fiscal 2008 "mainly on account of disallowance of a portion of the deduction claimed by the company under Section 10A of the Income Tax Act."

11:39   Mumbai doc on the run after 'raping' woman in clinic

NDTV: A 27-year-old woman has claimed that she was raped by a doctor at his clinic in Mumbai on Friday evening. A resident of Ghatkopar, she was visiting the doctor's clinic at Khar in suburban Mumbai, where she has been undergoing treatment for TB for the past year.


The results of the woman's medical test to confirm rape are awaited. The doctor is now on the run. The woman alleges that the police have not taken her complaint seriously and have let the accused escape.

11:38   Abdul Qadeer Khan: 'My name is clear'

The 'father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb' answers allegations that he gave nuclear secrets to North Korea, Libya and Iran.


Read the full interview on Al Jazeera

11:37   11 injured in clash in Rajapalayam

Eleven persons were injured in a clash between two groups at Sivalingapuram near Rajapalayam, police said Sunday. Police said three houses were also damaged in the clash around mid-night last night.    


The injured were hospitalised, sources said, adding, police reinforcements have been sent to the area to monitor the situation.

11:36   Senior leader of Imran Khan's party shot dead

A senior leader of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party was shot dead in Karachi on Saturday, police said. Zahra Shahid Hussain, the vice-president of the party's chapter in Sindh, was shot by two unidentified men outside her home in Defence Phase IV late Saturday night.

She died while being taken to a nearby hospital.   Hussain was a member of the party's central executive committee. The motive for the murder could not immediately be ascertained. The killers escaped on a motorcycle.        


The shooting occurred hours before re-polling in some polling stations of a parliamentary constituency in Karachi.