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Mon, 14 October 2013
Live! Senate Democrat leader: 'We're getting closer' to deal

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23:45   UN's naked male sculpture hidden ahead of Iran talks
A relief carving of a naked man at the UN's Geneva headquarters was covered up today, apparently to spare the blushes of Iranian diplomats ahead of fresh talks on the country's nuclear drive. 

UN officials would not comment on why the wall relief, inspired by Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam", had been masked by a large white screen, referring questions to the Swiss authorities. 

But Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve claimed that the aim was to avoid offending the Islamic republic's delegation for the talks taking place tomorrow and Wednesday.
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23:30   Iran nuclear: Israel PM warns against easing pressure
It would be a "historic mistake" to ease pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme right now, according to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Opening parliament's winter session, Mr Netanyahu said Israel must "keep up the pressure" on Iran, "particularly at this moment".

His speech came on the eve of nuclear talks in Geneva between Iran and international negotiators.Iran's foreign minister said he hoped a "roadmap" could be reached.
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22:58   Senate Democrat leader: 'We're getting closer' to deal
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says a deal is near to end the partial government shutdown and to avoid hitting the nation's debt ceiling.   

Separately, House Speaker John Boehner and other top House GOP leaders will meet later to discuss their options and to consider preparing their own bill to raise the debt ceiling.   

Top congressional leaders are expected to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House at 3 p.m. ET today.   

Obama was asked today whether he was confident a deal would be reached. "There's some progress on the Senate side," he said.
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22:08   Shutdown: Obama to meet congressional leaders
US President Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders at the White House at 3 p.m. ET, the White House announced today.   The meeting comes as the partial government shutdown reaches the two-week mark and as the United States is just three days away from hitting its debt ceiling.
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22:07   Will not support Modi for prime ministership: Patnaik

Odisha Chief Minister and BJD Chief Naveen Patnaik today categorically stated that he will not support Narendra Modi for prime ministership after the Lok Sabha polls next year.     

 

Patnaik also said that a lot of people were "uncomfortable" with the idea of the Gujarat Chief Minister becoming the Prime Minister of the country and he also felt the same way.    

 

"There is no question of supporting Narendra Modi for the prime ministership. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of Modi and so am I," he told IBN7 Hindi news channel. Asked why was be uncomfortable with Modi, Patnaik told his interviewer, "you know this."

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22:06   Union Minister Raju faces ire of Seema-Andhra supporters

Union Minister M M Pallam Raju today faced the ire of Seema-Andhra agitators on his visit to his Lok Sabha constituency in Kakinada.   The agitators greeted him with black flags when he travelled between Annavaram town and Kakinada, his Lok Sabha constituency. Police intervened and pushed back the protesters who tried to block the Congress MP's cavalcade.    

 

Soon after reaching Kakinada, Raju was gheraoed by leaders and members of Joint Action Committee, comprising government employees, who staged a demonstration near his residence and asked him to clarify his stand on the ongoing agitation against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.  

 

The minister made a brief speech at a nearby spot and explained to the agitators circumstances leading to the Union Cabinet's nod early this month to Telangana creation and his resignation in protest.        

 

Raju said he had to remain silent and not press for acceptance of his resignation on advice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. 

 

He assured the slogan-shouting crowd he would strive to ensure justice to Seemandhra people on key issues such as drinking water, irrigation, education and employment by placing "facts" before the Group of Ministers, looking into modalities of carving out a separate state of Telangana.         Amidst loud protests, he cut short speech and headed towards his residence under police escort.

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21:20   MP temple stampede: Datia collector, SP suspended

Top officials of Madhya Pradesh's Datia district, including Collector and Superintendent of Police, were suspended by Election Commission on recommendation of the state government on Monday evening.  

 

At least 115 people were killed and over 100 injured in a stampede during Navratri festivities near a temple in Datia district on Sunday.

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20:59   Live! Humiliated Manohar Joshi leaves Mumbai

Senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, who was booed off the dais at the party's Dussehra rally by Sainiks, who were angry at his utterances against party chief Uddhav Thackeray's leadership style, today left Mumbai.   

 

Joshi has left Mumbai and will be back in six days, sources said.    It was not known whether the former Lok Sabha Speaker, a regular fixture at the party's annual Dussehra rallies at Shivaji Park all these years, had left for his village Nandvi in coastal Konkan.    

 

At the rally yesterday, Uddhav and his son Aditya had tried to pacify the agitated Sainiks raising anti-Joshi slogans. Uddhav's wife Rashmi even ventured into the assembly to calm down the workers. However, Joshi finally left the venue.

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20:25   Defence ministry issues notice to Agusta for cancelling chopper deal
Armed with fresh details on the alleged kickbacks, India has initiated steps to cancel the Rs 3,600 crore-chopper deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland by issuing a show cause notice to it in this regard.

The latest initiative by the defence ministry comes soon after the attorney general gave his opinion that there was breach of contractual obligations and the integrity pact by the firm, sources said in New Delhi.
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20:08   I was wrong on Gurunath's role in CSK: Hussey
Just days after claiming that Gurunath Meiyappan, who was arrested for his alleged role in the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal, was actually running the Chennai Super Kings team, Michael Hussey today made a U-turn, saying that he might have written wrongly in his autobiography.

In his book -- Underneath The Southern Cross -- CSK opener and former Australia batsman Hussey has said that the Chennai IPL team owner and BCCI president N Srinivasan had handed the control of the franchise to his son-in-law Gurunath.

But, Hussey backtracked his assertion, saying that he was not completely clear about Gurunath's position in the CSK team, according to a report.
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20:02   Fisherman's killing: India summons Pak deputy envoy
The external affairs ministry today summoned Pakistan deputy envoy.  India lodged a strong protest over firing by Pakistan forces on unarmed fishermen in which one person died.

30 fishermen were allegedly kidnapped by Pakistan's maritime security agency.

The fishermen claim that they were fired upon in Indian waters.
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19:34   UP govt bans VHP's 'Sankalp Diwas' on Ram Temple issue
After clamping down on its yatra on the Ayodhya issue, the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday banned Vishwa Hindu Parishad's proposed 'Sankalp Diwas' stir on October 18 to press for a parliamentary legislation on building Ram Temple, fearing a communal flare-up.

The decision was taken in view of security concerns, especially after the recent communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and surrounding areas, officials said. Inspector General (Law and Order) R K Vishkarma said elaborate security arrangements are being made to effectively implement the ban.
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19:28   Post Phailin, Odisha's Paradip port resumes partial operations
Paradip Port today resumed partial operations, after suffering extensive damage due to Cyclone Phailin that lashed the east coast two days ago.

The full operations would, however, take a few days more in view of heavy siltation, damages and grim weather.

"We could resume partial operations today despite stormy weather and have allowed 13-metre draft vessels," Paradip Port Trust, Odisha, Chairman Sudhanshu Shekhara Mishra told PTI.

The port could restore normalcy to some extent through adequate contingency plans and restoration measures, he said, adding that "day-and-night untiring efforts by officers and staff of the port" also helped resume operations immediately.
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19:24   11-year-old student hit by javelin dies
An 11-year-old student was critical after javelin thrown by a senior student hit him on his head, scummed to his injuries today.

According to the police, Roshan Lama, a standard VI student of Sarvodaya Government School in C R Park area of South Delhi was roaming with his friends in the school playground around 4 pm when he was hit by the javelin. The incident occurred on October 1 and since then Lama has been battling for life. 
An 11-year-old student was critically injured when a javelin thrown by a senior student hit him on his head,

Read more at: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/11yearold-hit-by-javelin-admitted-to-icu/426000-3-244.html?utm_source=ref_articleAn 11-year-old student was critically injured when a javelin thrown by a senior student hit him on his head,
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18:53   Sentencing in Brar attack case fixed for December
Three Sikh men and a woman convicted of carrying out a life-threatening attack on Lt Gen (retd) K S Brar, the hero of the 1984 Operation Blue Star, will be sentenced on December 10, a UK court ruled today.

The pro-Khalistani supporters had tried to slash the throat of the 78-year-old retired Indian Army officer as a revenge attack on the streets of London last year for his role in leading Operation Blue Star to flush out extremists from the Sikh holy shrine of Golden Temple in Amritsar.
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18:51   Live coverage of speeches on TV may be restricted to 30 minutes
Buzz is that the Group of Ministers on Media is expected to decide whether live coverage of election speeches from December 2012 to May 2014 will be curtailed to 30 minutes. Is this a strategy to cut down on the uninterrupted coverage of Narendra Modi's speeches which run on for over 90 minutes.
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18:41  
Modi, who is speaking in English, says that when he took over as CM, he personally spoke to farmers to find out their problems. Today, most parts of the state get surface water and there is more production per drop of water.

The Gujarat CM, who is not fluent in English, is apparently using teleprompters.
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18:36   Live! Modi to US: Democracy is the best form of governance
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is addressing the global emerging markets forum of USA through video conferencing from Ahmedabad. The speech is being relayed to Washington D.C. to the Emerging Markets Forum.

This is what he says. "I have seen authoritarian systems and democracies but people's own government in a democracy is the best possible system.
Democracy may have its limitations, but nothing is greater than that," he says.

He also said that there was no alternative to good governance, touting the Gujarat model of development.
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17:56   Hafiz Saeed calims India, US blocking Pak quake relief
LeT founder Hafiz Saeed alleges that New Delhi and Washinton are trying to block funding to his group to hamper relief efforts in earthquake-hit Balochistan. Read
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17:50   MP temple tragedy: BJP accuses Congress of playing politics over dead bodies
The BJP on Monday defended the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh Government's handling of the situation post the Ratangarh Temple tragedy, and charged the Congress Party of playing politics over dead bodies.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the need of the hour is that the Central Government takes initiatives, takes all states into confidence and prepares national disaster plan how to averse such disasters and come out with a plan and help the states to walk on the path.

"But instead of doing this, every Congress leader right from Kamal Nath to Jyotiraditya Scindia to Ajay Maken and Satyavrat Chaturvedi and everybody Digvijay Singh, they are doing politics on the eve of election.

"They are doing politics over dead bodies. So, this attitude of the Congress is destructive attitude. We condemn such attitude. One should really discuss the tragedy and ensure that how such tragedies do not happen again,' said Javadekar.
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17:45   Very heavy rainfall over Sikkim, warns Met
Meteorological Department issues warning of "very heavy rainfall" for Sikkim over next 48 hours because of cyclone Phailin.
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17:43  
At a cyclone shelter, consoling constituent whose home was damaged. The hard work of rehab/reconstruction starts now! tweets BJD MP Baijayant Jay Panda.
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17:29   Gujarat Police takes Asaram to Ahmedabad for interrogation
Three days after a court in Ahmedabad permitted the Gujarat Police to take custody of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, he was taken to the city this afternoon for interrogation in connection with sexual assault case lodged by two Surat-based sisters against him and his son.

72-year-old Asaram will be taken to Ahmedabad via Mumbai and questioned about the allegations of rape, sexual assault and illegal confinement between 2001-2006.

The District and Sessions Court had given permission to Gujarat Police to take custody of Asaram on Friday itself, but fearing a backlash by his followers, Gujarat Police had waited for orders from their seniors on taking him to Ahmedabad.
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17:26   Why You Have No Chance Of Beating The Market: Fama
Professor Eugene Fama of the University of Chicago was one of the three economists to be awarded the 2013 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences. Read more
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17:10   Amit Shah to be chargesheeted?
Meanwhile, in a not so noble world, former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah could be chargesheeted in the Ishrat Jahan case. No confirmation yet, tweets Rana Ayyub. 
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17:09   Financial markets are a force for good: Shiller
Finance and the good society, Nobel Economist Robert Shiller's 2012 tome, is likely to appear, at best, a contradiction in terms and, at worst, a sick joke. It is a measure of Robert Shiller's intellectual courage, or perhaps his foolhardiness, that this understandable hostility to finance did not daunt him. He believes strongly that finance makes an essential contribution to the good society.  '

Meet the man. Read
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17:02  
And a factoid from Saikat Datta on Twitter: In 2012 we had 22,000 cyber attacks. A 30% increase in attacks from 2011, says Dy NSA Nehchal Sandhu.
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17:01   MP CM on temple tragedy: Whatever ti takes, never again
In other news: Anand Mahindra tweets to Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the temple tragedy in Datia: "We need to declare a mission:"No more temple stampedes"&bring to bear the same competence that was displayed against Phailin."

Chouhan replies: I agree. We are committed. Whatever it takes, never again.
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16:53   Nobel economist Shiller reacts with 'disbelief'
Robert Shiller reacted in disbelief when the Nobel Committee called him. Robert James "Bob" Shiller currently serves as the Arthur M Okun Professor of Economics at Yale University and is a Fellow at the Yale International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management. Shiller is ranked among the 100 most influential economists of the world.
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16:49  
The Nobel committee said the trio's separate pieces of work had "laid the foundation for the current understanding of asset prices". The prize is worth 8m Swedish krona  (US$ 1.2m), which will be shared equally among the three winners.
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16:44  
The press release from the Nobel Committee on the Economics prize. Read
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16:42  
This is the 6th time the Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded jointly to three people. 
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16:38   Live! Eugene Fama, Lars Hansen, Robert Shiller win Economics Nobel
2013 Prize in Economic Sciences to Fama, Hansen & Shiller "for their empirical analysis of asset prices".

This is what the Royal Academy of Sciences says on the Economics Nobel:

"There is no way to predict the price of stocks and bonds over the next few days or weeks. But it is quite possible to foresee the broad course of these
prices over longer periods, such as the next three to five years. These findings, which might seem both surprising and contradictory, were made and analyzed by this year's Laureates, Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen
and Robert Shiller.
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16:31   Live! Eugene F Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, Robert Shiller win Economics Nobel
2013 Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to: Eugene F.Fama, Lars Peter Hansen & Robert Shiller
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16:26   2013 Economics Nobel any time now
Less than 10 minutes before the 2013 Prize in Economic Sciences is announced by the Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

If you've used the phrase, 'there is no free lunch', this is the man who said it. Read Milton Friedman's banquet speech during the 1976 Economics Nobel
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16:19  
The most popular Laureate in Economic Sciences is John F. Nash Jr. who received the Prize in 1994. Ten minutes to go for the 2013 Nobel. 
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15:58   Dry ice explosion at LA airport terminal causes flight delays
Authorities say a plastic bottle containing dry ice exploded at Los Angeles International Airport and caused a commotion that delayed a few flights.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says a chemical reaction led to the blast Sunday evening in an employee bathroom in Terminal 2.

No injuries were reported, but as a precaution authorities closed the terminal and examined the area for evidence.
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15:54  
The 2013 Prize in Economic Sciences is decided by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
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15:50   2.5 lakh marooned in Balasore, Orissa; army, navy, NDRF teams to the rescue
With more than 2.5 lakh people marooned in Balasore in floods triggered by heavy rains in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin, the Odisha government today deployed the armed forces besides NDRF teams for rescue and relief operations.

At least 450 army personnel along with boats and other logistics have reached the spot, with more army men in reserve. The army men were being deployed in the flood-hit areas as per the request of the state government. 
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15:35   Nobel Economics at 4.30 pm IST
The Nobel Prize in Economics in numbers...

44 Prizes in Economic Sciences have been awarded since 1969.
22 Prizes in Economic Sciences have been awarded to one Laureate only
1 woman has been awarded the Prize in Economic Sciences so far, Elinor Ostrom, in 2009.
51 years was the age of the youngest Laureate in Economic Sciences ever, Kenneth J. Arrow, who was awarded in 1972.
90 years was Leonid Hurwicz when he was awarded the Prize - the oldest Laureate in Economic Sciences ever.
67 is the average age of the Laureates in Economic Sciences the year they were awarded the prize.
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15:26   Nobel prize in economics: will financial crisis adjustment theory win the day?
Those in the know hope Nobel committee makes choice in 2013 that reflects the seismic changes of the past five years. Read
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15:12   Gujarat Police to quiz Asaram Bapu in sexual assault case
The Gujarat Police is taking controversial self-styled godman Asaram Bapu to Ahmedabad on Monday to question him in connection with the sexual assault case filed against him and his son Narayan Sai by two sisters from Surat.
 
The state police had earlier obtained a transfer warrant from a court for the self-styled godmans custody.
 
Meanwhile, Narayan Sai continues to evade police despite summons and look out notices issued against him by the Surat police.
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15:09   Army to buy latest snow mobiles for Ladakh sector
Army's Northern Command has issued a global tender for procuring latest snow mobiles which will ensure better mobility for jawans and intensified patrolling in the snow-bound areas of Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C) Northern Command recently issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) tender for procurement of 20 snow mobiles for the Army units deployed in Northern Command theatre in J&K.
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15:07   Live! MP CM to set up inquiry commission to probe temple stampede
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said an inquiry commission would be set up within the next two days to probe into the stampede near the Ratangarh temple near Datia.

"A commission of inquiry to look into yesterday's stampede would be set up within two days," Chouhan said, after meeting injured persons at a hospital.

At least 115 people were killed and over 100 injured in the stampede near the temple yesterday following rumours that a river bridge the devotees were crossing was about to collapse.

Chouhan said that the inquiry report would come in about two months and action on it will be taken within 15 days after its submission.

He said action would be taken against those who are responsible for the stampede, after taking permission from the Election Commission.

The chief minister wished to visit the stampede site but could not go there as he did not get permission for it from the EC.
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14:55  
In pictures: Kajol, Ayan, Rani Mukerji celebrate Durga Puja.
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14:50   'We don't burn Ravan'
Mumbai's oldest Ram Leela plays out for 20 days at the historic Azad Maidan. Absolutely stunning pictures on Rediff.com. See
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14:33   Live! Temple stampede: MP CM visits injured in hospital, toll 109
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan visits the injured at hospitals in the state in the aftermath of the catastrophic stampede.

At least 115 people were killed and over 100 injured in a stampede during Navratri festivities near a temple in Madhya Pradesh's Datia district.

The state government ordered a judicial inquiry into the mishap, which was a shocking re-run of the tragedy at the same site in 2006, when 50 pilgrims were killed.Datia district's Chief Medical Officer R S Gupta said autopsies on the 109 bodies were conducted till late Sunday night.

Pic: Reuters/Sivaram V
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14:25   Happy Bijoya, greets Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today extended her Bijoya Dashami greetings to the people and prayed for the welfare of all.

Banerjee wrote on a Facebook post in Bengali 'Aaj Subho Bijoya/ Bhore Jakhon Akash Jude/ Bajbe beena Sonar Sure/ Ami Jeno Na Roi Dure/ Ei Diyo Mor Man' (Today is Subho Bijoya, When the morning sky will reverberate with the melancholic music of the Veena, give me that power so that I am not far).

Conveying her wishes, she wrote 'My respect to elders and good wishes and lots of love to the young'.

She also prayed for the health and happiness of the people. "Keep good health and I pray for the welfare for all members of the family".
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14:22   A kiss goodbye: Sir Richard Branson is off to the Caribbean
Richard Branson insists he can raise money for charity just as well from his private island-- the Virgin boss is moving to the Caribbean. Read
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14:15   Swiss climber's 'greatest' Himalayan ascent
Ueli Steck, in the headlines after a row with Sherpas on Everest earlier this year, has made the first ever solo climb of Annapurna's feared south face, a feat that has amazed his fellow mountaineers. Read
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14:13   Michael Douglas: I Lied I Actually Had Tongue Cancer
The world was shocked when Michael Douglas announced he had stage fourthroat cancer in August 2010, but the Oscar winner now reveals that he wasn't telling the whole truth.

In an interview with Samuel L. Jackson on the U.K. talk show This Morning the actor, 69, admitted Thursday that he'd actually successfully battled tongue -- not throat -- cancer.  Read
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14:11   Pulitzer winner 'Mambo Kings' author dead at 62
Oscar Hijuelos, the Cuban-American author best known for his Pulitzer-prize winning novel "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," died in New York age 62, his agent told AFP.  Hijuelos collapsed on a tennis court in Manhattan on Saturday and never regained conciousness, his widow Lori Marie Carlson told the New York Times.
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14:09   BSF jawan injured as Pak violates ceasefire along IB in JK
Details of the ceasefire violation in J-K. A BSF jawan was injured today when Pakistani troops again violated the ceasefire, opening fire on forward area along Indo-Pak border in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.

"There was sniper firing from Pakistani side today on Katav Border Out Post (BoP) along the International Border (IB) in Samba district around 11:30 hours today," a Border Security Force officer said.

Constable M Basu was injured in the sniping incident as he was hit by bullets in the abdomen. He was shifted to hospital immediately, the officer said.

The sniping incident was followed by firing by Pakistani troops on the forward area, he said.
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13:50   Malaysia court rules non-Muslims can't use Allah
A Malaysian appeals court on Monday upheld a government ban against the use of the word ''Allah'' to refer to God in non-Muslim faiths, overruling claims by Christians in this Muslim-majority nation that the restriction violates their religious rights. Read
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13:47   Telangana: Seemandhra lawyers to hold massive sit-in in Delhi
Scores of lawyers from 13 districts of Seemandhra region will hold a protest in New Delhi on October 18 to mount pressure on the Centre to concede to their demand for a united Andhra Pradesh. Heads up for traffic disruptions...
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13:44   A 12 hour journey from Goa to Thiruvananthapuram!
It was a long journey for Dr P Sanjay and his family from Goa to Thiruvananthapuram. The family was booked on a 7:35 am flight from Goa to Thiruvananthapuram via Chennai on October 13.

At 3:15 am he got a call from the airlines saying his flight was delayed by 22 hours. His family had to leave at 6:30 am to Bengaluru from where they would be flown to Thiruvananthapuram at 8:20 am. They reached Bengaluru at 7 am to be told that the flight to Trivandrum was full. So, they were sent to Chennai by a Jet Konnect flight at 10:25 am.

From Chennai they were to take a 5:35 pm flight to Thiruvananthapuram, but they were sent back to Bangalore at 5:30 pm.

They finally flew to Trivandrum at 8 pm. The family then took a train to Kanyakumari from Thiruvananthapuram. Such a long journey, indeed!
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13:35   How WE defeated cyclone Phailin and saved thousands
Massive preparedness, speedy evacuation plans and almost accurate prediction of cyclone time and path have saved the country from a natural disaster which could have taken thousands of lives. Read
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13:30  
Sunanda Tharoor's 'Happy Dussehra' message on Twitter, says, 'God Bless you all lots of love from both of us'. All is well with the Tharoor marriage. See
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13:20   Digvijaya blames police for temple stampede
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh has blamed the police for the stampede near Ratangarh Temple in Madhya Pradesh's Datia district.

At least 115 people were killed and over 100 injured in the stampede near the temple yesterday, which was triggered by rumours that the bridge the devotees were crossing was about to collapse.

Singh, in a tweet last night, alleged that the "police was charging Rs 200 from every tractor to allow them entry into the no-traffic zone."

"Is this what they call good governance in Madhya Pradesh?" he asked. He said the BJP-led state government had learnt no lesson from the tragedy at the same spot in 2006.

Over 56 pilgrims had been washed away at the same site in 2006 after water was released in the Sindh river from upstream.
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13:11   In Indias politics, jail time is a badge of honor
In other news: When he decided to run for a parliamentary seat from this impoverished, and mainly low-caste constituency in northeast India, Kameshwar Baitha made no effort to sugarcoat his criminal record. Read
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13:09   Congress, Gandhi family deny Priyanka will campaign for 2014 polls
Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken denies Priyanka Gandhi will be campaigning for the 2014 polls. The Gandhi family has issued a denial as well. Maken says the party is distressed by these rumours.

The BJP has already slammed the decision, that seems not to have been a decision, saying it's yet another example of dynastic politics.
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12:57   Live! Pak violates ceasefire again: BSF posts fired at in Samba in Jammu
Yet again, ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Hiranagar, Samba in Jammu and Kashmir. Two BSF posts have come under fire.  On Friday, the ceasefire was violated for the third time in less than 24 hours, with Pakistani troops shelling mortars and firing on forward areas along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistani troops opened small arms firing and shelled 82 mm mortars in forward areas along LoC in Barasingha, Mendhar and Hamirpur sub-sectors of Poonch district from 0830 hours, a Defence Spokesman said today.
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12:44   Raghuram Rajan says big banking sector reforms coming soon
While inflation rises, the Reserve Bank of India will soon come out with major reforms in the banking sector that will allow foreign banks to enter India in a big way and even take over domestic lenders, Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan has said.

"That is going to be a big opening because - one could even contemplate taking over Indian banks, small Indian banks and so on," he told a Washington audience on Sunday.

The policy framework for the entry of foreign banks in India, Dr Rajan added, would be unveiled in the next few weeks.
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12:35  
Inflation rises to 6.46 per cent in September as compared to 6.1 per cent in August.
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12:31   Cyclone Phailin: 2 districts in Orissa badly hit
Heavy downpour triggered by Cyclone Phailin today led to floods in several rivers in Odisha, with the state government describing the situation in Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts as "critical".

Relief and rescue operations have been launched in the affected areas. "The situation due to floods caused by cyclone induced rainfall is critical in Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts where major rivers like Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha are in spate following sudden inflow of water," Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said.

Though water level in rivers in Bhadrak also rose menacingly following heavy rains, the situation in the district is now under control, he said.
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12:21   Live! Cong reveals Brahmastra: Priyanka to campaign for 2014 polls
Just in: Priyanka Gandhi will be campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. She is likely to campaign in UP and other parts of the country as well.

Congress leaders have always wanted a bigger role for Priyanka Gandhi in the run-up to the 2014 general elections and believe she and not Rahul is the star campaigner.
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12:10   Live! Sanjay Dutt's parole extended for 14 more days
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, currently out of jail on parole for a fortnight, has been allowed an extension of parole for 14 days. Dutt, 53, was granted parole from the Yerawada Central Jail Oct 1 to get medical treatment for certain unspecified illnesses. His parole period ends today and he has sought another fortnight's extension.

A parole is a conditional release of a prisoner for a limited period for a specific purpose and is strictly governed under Indian jail laws.
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12:00   US ship with armed guards detained at Tuticorin; no papers authorising possession of arms
The Indian Coast Guard on Friday intercepted and detained a vessel belonging to a US-based firm off the coast of Kanyakumari. MV Seaman Guard had 10 crew and 25 armed security guards on board. The crew and guards have not been able to satisfactorily explain why they had entered Indian waters, sources in defence agencies have said. Read
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11:58   Malala: They cannot shoot my dreams
When Malala Yousafzai woke from the coma the Taliban put her in, she was aware of only a few things."Yes, Malala, you were shot,' she told herself.

Malala on life after not winning the Nobel. Read
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11:41  
PHOTOS: Phailin claims 23 lives; lakhs of homes damaged.
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11:36   Where Are Indias Cyclone Funds?
After a deadly tsunami killed more than 15,000 people in India in 2004, authorities chalked out one of the country's most ambitious disaster management programs: A 14.9 billion rupee ($240 million) cyclone mitigation project. Read
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11:34   Remember the Mahashivratri stampede?
PHOTOS: Temple stampedes India won't forget. See the slideshow on Rediff.com.
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11:27   MP temple stampede: Police dumped bodies into Sindh river to water down toll, claim survivors
This is a shocker from the tragedy, if eye-witnesses are to be believed. Villagers and survivors claimed policemen dumped bodies of pilgrims into the river to water down the death toll. The cops even turned tragedy vultures and stole money and valuables from the bodies before tossing them off the bridge, they alleged. Read
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11:22   Hizbul commander arrested
A top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit has been arrested by security forces from Bandipora district of Kashmir Valley, police said today.

Junaid, who used aliases Manzoor and Arshad and was working with the outfit for the past 14 years, was arrested in Turkpora area of north Kashmir's Bandipora district last Wednesday, a police spokesman said.
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11:08   109 killed in MP temple stampede
At least 109 people were killed and over 100 injured in a stampede during Navratri festivities near a temple in Madhya Pradesh's Datia district.

The state government ordered a judicial inquiry into the mishap, which was a shocking re-run of the tragedy at the same site in 2006, when 50 pilgrims were killed. Read
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11:05   'Uddhav becomes aggressive when it is required'
Earlier this year, Rediff.com's Savera R Someshwar met Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi to discuss the Sena's future after Balasaheb Thackeray's death last November.

As Mr Joshi finds himself increasingly at odds with Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and the party cadre -- he was forced to leave the Sena's Dussera rally on Sunday -- we publish the first part of an exclusive three-part interview with the former Lok Sabha Speaker. Read
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11:00   Cong hails efforts of govt agencies in tackling cyclone
Congress today appreciated the Armed forces, scientists and various other government agencies for tackling the situation arising out of Cyclone Phailin with "exemplary courage and efficiency."

"Congress congratulates and records its appreciation as well as gratitude towards Indian Armed forces, NDMA, NDRF, the IMD, scientists and various other government agencies. They had tackled the situation arising out of Cyclone Phailin with exemplary courage and efficiency", party General Secretary Ajay Maken said in a statement.

Maken, who heads the AICC Communication department, said these agencies along with the personnel of the Ministry of Railways, Surface Transport, Petroleum and Telecommunication, worked with a single minded focus on delivery.

"In first evaluating the impending threat of the unprecedented cyclone and then putting into place, systems, logistics and mechanisms that made it possible to mitigate and minimise the impact of the Cyclone, they had been successful," he said. It was this effort, Maken said, that had minimised the casualties.
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10:50   Royal lineage my biggest disadvantage: Digvijaya's son
Leading another dynastic succession with royalty to boot, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's son Jaivardhan says the "royalty" tag may have helped him get a headstart in politics but can cause his downfall if he lets it go to his head. Read
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10:48   The doubt of the benefit
The conviction in the lower court itself came after the intervention of the High Court, which expedited the trial more than 11 years after the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre. Read
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10:47   Cargo ship presumed sunk, 18 crew members rescued
A cargo ship is presumed sunk in rough seas caused by Cyclone Phailin off the coast of West Bengal but its crew consisting 17 Chinese and an Indonesian was rescued today, the Coast Guard said.

The crew were spotted in a lifeboat by a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft yesterday and rescued 28 nautical miles north-east of Balasore in Odisha early today, Coast Guard Commandant Rajendra Nath said.

"The crew had abandoned the ship after it started sinking 24 miles south of Sagar Island. All of them are safe now and they have been sent to a hospital for check-up," he said.
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10:42   IAS officer suspended for issuing UP temple letter
The Samajwadi Party government on Sunday suspended IAS officer Sarvesh Chandra Mishra for issuing a "misleading" letter to summon top police officials for a meeting "to discuss the reconstruction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya". Mishra was the home secretary when he issued this letter on October 9. Read
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10:38   Over 50% of internet users are mobile-only: Report
Fuelled by the increasing penetration of smartphones and a whole host of mobile-only content to go with it, the Indian mobile advertising market is estimated to reach Rs 2,800 crore by 2016 from a mere Rs 180 crore that it is worth today. Read
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10:36   Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi booed off stage at party's Dussehra rally
Shiv Sena's senior most leader Manohar Joshi was today booed off the stage at the party's annual Dussehra rally at the iconic Shivaji Park in Mumbai. 

A late entrant at the venue, Joshi faced a group of hostile Shiv Sainiks who shouted slogans against him.

The 75-year-old leader chose to walk out telling reporters there was no hostility between him and the party workers.

"No need to pit me against them," he said. Two days ago, the Sena veteran and former Lok Sabha speaker had criticised party chief Uddhav Thackeray, hinting that his leadership was not as strong as his father Bal Thackeray's was.
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09:48   Delhi BJP chief challenges CM for public debate
Delhi BJP President Vijay Goel today challenged Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for a public debate on the issue of governance ahead of the assembly elections in November.        

Goel also raised a list of 15 questions on 15 years of the Congress government led by her.
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09:46   Modi has no right to invoke Gandhi's name: Digvijaya
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh has hit out at Narendra Modi, saying the Gujarat chief minister has "no right" to invoke Mahatma Gandhi's name.        

"Modi takes Gandhi's name not because he agrees with his ideologies or principles but because he wants to cash in on his standing among the people," Singh told reporters.
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09:44   Very heavy rains likely in next 48 hrs: NDMA
Very heavy rains are expected over north Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim in the next 48 hours, with cyclonic storm Phailin now closer to the Chattisgarh-Odisha border, the National Disaster Management Authority said today.    

National Disaster Response Force officials said the wind system is expected to move towards Nepal, with heavy rains creating a threat of floods in river Kosi.    

Precautionary measures have been taken and rescue teams deployed in the areas that could be hit by cyclone, NDMA Vice Chairman M Shashidhar Reddy said.
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09:40   Chidambaram raises India's visa concerns with US
Finance Minister P Chidambaram today met his American counterpart Jack Lew and raised concerns of Indian IT companies on visa issues in the comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill which is currently under the consideration of the Congress.        

Lew, who led the American delegation for the annual India-US Economic and Financial Partnership meeting, is understood to have assured Chidambaram that he would work towards addressing concerns of the Indian IT companies, particularly those related to H-1B and L-1 visas, within the limitations of US laws and system, a top Indian official said.
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09:06   Odisha announces food packages for cyclone-hit families
With over one crore people hit by Cyclone Phailin in Odisha, the state government today announced food assistance packages for the families living in affected villages. 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced food assistance packages of 14 days and 7 days for 'very severely affected' and 'severely affected' villages respectively. 

"The families in severely affected villages in need of support will be provided food assistance for 14 days. They will get 50 kg of rice and Rs 400 cash each for daal per family," Patnaik said.
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09:05   Phailin weakens, takes shape of 'deep depression'
Cyclonic storm Phailin, which left a trail of devastation in Odisha, weakened into a deep depression today. 

"Phailin over Odisha moved northwards with a speed of 20 kmph during the past 6 hours, then weakened further into a deep depression and lay centred at 1730 hrs of October 13 over north Chhattisgarh and adjoining areas of Odisha and Jharkhand near latitude 22.50 N and longitude 83.80 E, 70 km north-northwest of Jharsuguda," the IMD said.
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09:04   Naveen govt failed to handle Phailin, says Congress
A day after Cyclone Phailin made landfall at Gopalpur, the Congress today accused the BJD government in Odisha of failing to handle the calamity and asked it to quickly restore the supply of electricity, water and essential commodities in the affected areas. 

"While the Centre has done a commendable job by rushing defence personnel and machinery for rescue and relief work in cyclone-hit areas, the Odisha government failed to deal with the situation," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Jaydev Jena and Union minister Srikant Jena said.
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09:02   India, US to jointly target financial networks of LeT, JuD
India and the US today agreed to work together to target the financial network and fund raising activities of Pakistan-based terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the Haqqani network and individual terrorists associated with these organisations. 

The decision by the two countries, in this regard, was taken during a meeting between Finance Minister P Chidambaram and US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. 

The two leaders jointly chaired the fourth annual meeting of the India-US Economic and Financial Partnership held at the IMF headquarters.