Wed, 31 December 2014
Greece launches probe over ferry tragedy off Corfu

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23:20   Greece launches probe over ferry tragedy off Corfu
Greece has launched a judicial probe in addition to the investigation carried out by Italian authorities over the circumstances of the Italian ferry tragedy which started on early Sunday off the Greek island of Corfu, Greek Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said on Tuesday during a press briefing.

At least ten people died in the Norman Atlantic which was eventually towed to Albania, according to the latest official estimate by the Greek side which crosschecks data released by the Italian Coast Guard which was leading the rescue operation that ended on Monday.
22:56   Pakistan summons Indian Deputy High Commissioner
 Pakistan today summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner and lodged a protest over the ceasefire violations allegedly by India in which some Pakistan Rangers were killed. 

Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh was called to the Foreign Office here and given a note verbale by the Pakistani Foreign Office which lodged the protest over the incident, sources said.
21:46   Cross-border firing: Pak summons Indian Deputy High Commissioner
Pakistan summons Indian Deputy High Commissioner over Indian retaliation to cross-border firing.
21:31   '10 terrorists suspected to be hiding in Ghaziabad'
At least ten terrorists, who have entered India with explosives via Nepal, are suspected to be hiding in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, a senior police official today said. 

"According to secret inputs from Intelligence Bureau, 10 terrorists who have entered India with explosives via Nepal are suspected to be hiding in the district," Senior Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Singh Yadav said here.
21:20   Palestinians look to ICC after failed UN statehood bid
Palestinian leaders say they will look to join the International Criminal Court to pursue action against Israel, a day after their bid for statehood failed in the United Nations Security Council.

Palestinian representative to the U.N., Riyad Mansour said the Palestinian people can no longer wait. He said officials will meet Wednesday to discuss ICC membership as an avenue to bring charges of possible war crimes against Israel.
19:36   58 people killed during New Year celebrations in Thailand
At least 58 people have been killed and 517 injured in separate incidents since yesterday mostly due to drunk driving as people across Thailand began their New Year celebrations.

Six fatalities reported from the country's northeastern Buriram Province while Chiang Mai city and Surat Thani province witnessed 23 accidents. Authorities apprehended that the toll may rise.

Yesterday, which was the first day of the 'Seven Dangerous Days' campaign to promote road safety during the New Year holiday, 508 accidents were reported, Deputy Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said today.
19:21   Cong slams Surat mock drill
The Congress reacts to the Surat mock drill. Spokesperson Rashid Alvi says terror cannot be linked to any religion and calls for strict action against the police.
19:13   Surat: 'Terrorists' wearing skull cap in a mock drill creates controversy
An anti-terror police mock drill sparked a controversy after one of the persons posing as a terrorist wore a skull cap suggesting that the terrorists belonged to a particular community.

The drill meant to check the preparedness during a terror attack was organised by the Surat Rural Police. In the drill one cop and two civilians posing as terrorists were captured by the police.
19:00   Sydney Harbour, Australia, welcomes 2015
Sydney Harbour, Australia, welcomes 2015.
18:52   Mars Orbiter: It was an honour to be a part of your team Dr Radhakrishnan
ISRO's Mars Orbiter @MarsOrbiter Bidding farewell to the one who led me up to this planet. It was an honour to be a part of your team Dr Radhakrishnan.
18:50   'How are we supposed to live like this?"
A local resident in Samba, says firing was going on since morning. "We were asked to stay inside, how are we supposed to live like this?"
18:26   Tit for tat: BSF kills 4 Pakistani Rangers in retaliatory firing
Four Pakistani Rangers were killed in the retailiatory firing by the BSF at the International Border. This comes after Home Minister Rajnath Singh's go-ahead to the BSF saying Indian should provide appropriate reply to any unprovoked firing by Pakistan.
18:19   Shailesh Nayak is new ISRO chairman
Shailesh Nayak, secretary, ministry of earth sciences is new chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Nayak takes over from Dr K Radhakrishnan, under whose watch India launched the prestigious Mangalyaan mission. Radhakrishnan is one of 2014's top 10 scientists chosen by the prestigious journal Nature.
18:00   Imran Khan: Reports of my marriage are greatly exaggerated!
Imran Khan responds to rumours about his marriage to a BBC weather girl. @ImranKhan tweets:The reports of my marriage are greatly exaggerated!

So, are the reports false, Mr Khan?

The Daily Mail, UK, reported that Imran Khan remarried in secret to a former BBC weather girl. The 62-year-old is believed to have tied the knot at the weekend with Pakistani news anchor Reham Khan, 41, who is a divorced mother-of-three. She lived in Britain for part of her previous marriage, when she was a weather girl and presenter on the BBC regional news programme 'South Today'.

Rumours have been circulating for several months that the pair are an item, and there have been reports in recent days that they are now married.
17:51   Pak Rangers show white flag, ask BSF to stop retaliatory fire
Just in: Pakistan Rangers show white flags along the International Border asking the BSF to cease firing. India has stopped retaliatory firing following the 'surrender'.  The BSF has destroyed six permanent bunkers belonging to the Rangers.

In the second ceasefire violation in the past 24 hours, Pakistani Rangers on Wednesday fired on a BSF patrol party along the International Border in Samba district of Jammu & Kashmir, killing a jawan and injuring another.

There was heavy firing by Pakistan on a patrolling party of BSF along IB in Suchtegarh forward belt in Samba sector, Inspector General, BSF, Jammu Frontier, Rakesh Sharma said.

A BSF jawan was killed in the heavy firing, the IG said, adding that troops were on routine patrol when the firing took place.

The deceased jawan has been identified as constable Sri Ram Gowria. Another jawan suffered minor injuries.
17:30   Bad weather hampers recovery of plane wreckage, bodies
Bad weather today hampered the recovery of scores of bodies and the wreckage of the AirAsia plane that drifted away from the crash site due to strong tides in the Java Sea off Indonesia after sonar images identified what appeared to be large parts of the jet.

The massive hunt for the 162 people on board the Singapore-bound AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that went missing on Sunday after taking off from Surabaya, Indonesia, was severely limited due to heavy rain, wind and thick clouds.

Seven bodies, including that of a woman flight attendant still wearing her AirAsia uniform, have been recovered, said Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyo.

Divers were to be deployed to search for bodies and for the plane's "black box" flight recorders but officials said heavy rain, strong winds and waves of up to 3 metres had forced them to suspend the operation.
17:00   The 15 people who missed the doomed AirAsia flight
Some may call it serendipity, others divine intervention. Either way, circumstances prevented two families from boarding the doomed AirAsia Flight QZ8501.In one case, it was missed e-mails. In another, an illness in the family. As a result, 15 people -- seven of them children -- are alive and well.

Read more
New Year celebrations in Auckland, New Zealand. 
16:41   Sensex ends 2014 with a bang: Best annual gain in five years!
The Sensex today rose by over 95 points to end at 27,499.42 on back of infrastructure, power and realty shares, helping the BSE benchmark end 2014 calendar year with the best annual gain in 5 years.

BHEL, Tata Power and NTPC were among the gainers today with about 1-3 per cent rise. Other Sensex-related stocks that ended higher include Dr Reddys, RIL, Hindalco, TCS, Bharti Airtel, Sesa Sterlite, Tata Steel, SBI and ICICI Bank.
Also read: There's nothing selfish about suicide.
16:28   India and the right to suicide
"My mother was a chronic suicide. We paid again and again. When one day she had a genuine accident while crossing the road, a police officer turned up again, convinced she had been at it once more. My father paid so much that time, in hospital bills and bribes, that we had to give up the dream of moving to a bigger home.

"Not all people who attempt suicide are mentally ill: There are Indians who want to kill themselves for religious reasons, like some Jains, or out of political conviction."

Jerry Pinto, writer, poet, raconteur, on the government's decision to decriminalise suicide. Read
16:20   Build a Godse temple in every district in India, quips Azam Khan
Samajwadi party leader Azam Khan today took on outfits demanding the construction of a temple dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, saying such temple should be constructed in every state.

"The temple of Nathura Godse should not come up at any one place but should come up at every district in the country and no one will have any objection to this," said Khan sarcastically.

"Only his temples should not come up by demolishing any mosque. If there is a demand that his temple should come up at Taj Mahal, then it should be allowed there, no one will have any objection for this too," he said, adding, "Godse can also be bestowed with 'Bharat Ratna'".

Recently, activists of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha had allegedly performed a ceremony in Meerut for construction of a "temple" dedicated to Godse, following which the administration ordered a probe into the matter.

Khan had earlier accused BJP of conspiring to demolish Taj Mahal the way its workers brought down Babri mosque in Ayodhya.
16:09   Has Imran Khan married BBC weather girl?
Has cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan remarried in secret to a former BBC weather girl? The 62-year-old is believed to have tied the knot at the weekend with Pakistani news anchor Reham Khan, 41, who is a divorced mother-of-three. She lived in Britain for part of her previous marriage, when she was a weather girl and presenter on the BBC regional news programme 'South Today'.

Rumours have been circulating for several months that the pair are an item, and there have been reports in recent days that they are now married.

Read more
15:59   President gives nod to Judicial Appointments Commission Bill
The Constitutional amendment Bill that seeks to scrap the collegium system of appointing judges to higher judiciary has received Presidential nod.

The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) bill passed by Parliament in August this year has received President's assent, official sources said.

The new law facilitates the setting up of a commission for appointment of judges, replacing the 20-year-old collegium system, which has been under severe criticism.

It paves the way for the setting up of NJAC, which will appoint and transfer judges to the Supreme Courts and the 24 High Courts.

The bill, 124th amendment to the Constitution, grants Constitutional status to the NJAC and its composition which will be headed by the Chief Justice of India. As many as 16 of the 29 states have ratified the bill.

Any Constitutional amendment bill requires ratification by at least 50 per cent of the state legislatures. Besides the CJI, the judiciary would be represented by two senior judges of the Supreme Court. Two eminent personalities and the Law Minister will be the other members of the body.
15:54   20 crude bombs found in Birbhum district of Bengal
Twenty crude bombs were recovered from the Parui area of the Birbhum district of West Bengal. It was defused by the local police.
15:04   BJP: Appreciate Mehbooba's remarks on Vajpayee
Nirmal Singh, BJP, says the party appreciates the statement given by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. "She has appreciated Vajpayee-ji's approach for Jammu and Kashmir. We have always maintained that all options are open for us, discussions are going on at different levels. Our stand is clear, we want a stable government in J&K which will deliver and will be as per public mandate."

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav says the party is waiting to see if a formal approach is made.
14:51   I want everyone to watch PK, that's why I made it tax free: Akhilesh
"How many of you have watched the film PK? If not, I would want you all to watch it. I watched this 'PK' film yesterday only and decided to make it tax free as I want more and more people to watch it," UP CM Akhilesh Yadav on his decision to make the Aamir Khan starrer film tax free in UP.

"Jo log mahol kharaab kar rahe hain unhi ke liye tax free ki hai, ek baar dekhenge to hall se tareef karte hue bahar nikalenge," the UP CM said.
14:12   Kahan gaye woh achche din?
The Modi government is just continuing old ideas with a new twist -- of interference in matters where the State should not venture, says Mango Indian. Read
14:05   1 BSF jawan dead in ceasefire violations by Pak in J-K
No let up by Pakistan on the last day of 2014. Ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Early reports indicate 1 BSF jawan has been martyred and 1 has been injured.

Over 550 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan occurred in 2014, the highest since the truce came into force in 2003, with the Indo-Pak border witnessing the worst such escalation during August to October which left 13 people, including 2 security personnel dead, and thousands displaced.

Jammu and Kashmir's Line of Control and the International Border this year witnessed 562 violations, with increased shelling, firing, Border Action Team (BAT) and sniper attacks on civilian areas and forward posts by the Pakistani troops.

As many as 410 ceasefire violations were reported along IB and 152 violations along LoC, in which 19 people, including 5 jawans, were killed and over 150 injured, besides scores of cattle perishing.
14:00   Missed e-mails, hepatitis keep 15 from boarding doomed AirAsia flight
 Some may call it serendipity, others divine intervention. Either way, circumstances prevented two families from boarding the doomed AirAsia Flight QZ8501.In one case, it was missed e-mails. In another, an illness in the family. As a result, 15 people -- seven of them children -- are alive and well.

Read more
13:53   Gharvapasi: Home is Where the Heart is!
'We must begin dialogue with openness and goodwill, but we will not proceed very far without trust and good faith. The alternative is the violence of 'might is right,' which settles very little and destroys so much of real value,' says Dr Rudolf C Heredia, author of Religious Disarmament -- Rethinking Conversion in India. Read
13:41   Bengal will burn if you touch Mamata: TMC MP on Saradha scam
TMC MP Idris Ali from Basirhat has threatened to resort to violence in West Bengal if Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is framed in the Saradha scam. "Touch Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal shall burn. A lot of people will die in the fire," the TMC MP was caught saying on Wednesday.

Commenting on Idris Ali's statement Congress leader PC Chacko said, "Saradha scam inquiry must take place in a proper manner if there is any irregularity going on."

This remark comes right after four top TMC leaders were arrested in connection to the multi-crore Saradha chitfund scam case.
13:24   Exclusive! BJP adamant on Hindu CM for JK
A PDP-BJP alliance would have been formed on the evening of December 28 had the BJP agreed to let Mufti Mohammad Sayeed become chief minister for the first three years and allow the BJP to nominate its chief minister for the next three years. Read more
13:23   Have a problem with PK? Don't watch it, says SC
In August, the Supreme Court turned down a Public Interest Litigation asking for a ban on the film. The judges stated that anyone who is against the movie should not watch it. Censor Board chief Leela Samson said recently that there was no question of the movie being reviewed again to determine if contentious scenes should be removed. "We are not a censorship board. Political or ideological groups may advice their followers not to watch it," she said.
13:11   Maharashtra CM refuses to stop PK screening
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis says he has no intentions of stopping the screening of a movie which is running in accordance with the law.

The uproar over Aamir Khan's PK escalated on Monday as Hindu radical groups vandalised theatres and multiplexes across several states, demanding a ban on the movie for apparently showing organised religion and godmen in a bad light.

Activists of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad along with fringe groups protested outside cinema halls, damaged property and ripped promotional posters of the film which they said has hurt religious sentiments of Hindus.

The protests undermined senior BJP leader LK Advani's endorsement of the Rajkumar Hirani-directed movie as a "wonderful and courageous film' and that everybody should watch it. 
12:58   Chinese man jailed for 13 years for eating tigers and making wine from their blood
A Chinese man has been jailed for 13 years for buying and eating endangered tigers and making wine made out of their blood. Read more
12:36   Mehbooba: All options open, mandate is big responsibility for Modi
J&K poll mandate is a big responsibility for PM Narendra Modi, says Mehbooba while invoking development agenda of Vajpayee.
Subramanian Swamy tweets: PC invited 40 journalist for lunch today at Taj Chennai. 25 came. After 5 star lunch he told them not to publicise his role in Aircel scam.
12:27   Mehbooba Mufti: Vajpayee's initiative, PDP agenda must work together
PDP leader and the person likely to be the next CM of Jammu and Kashmir says she had an informal meeting with the governor after he invited her to meet him at the Raj Bhavan today. 

She said the mandate in the state has been decisive, but divided. "The PDP has the mandate for Kashmir, but the BJP has mandate for Jammu," she said. 

When asked about the likelihood of a tie-up with the BJP, she said, "We don't want to cobble up a government. PDP is not in a hurry to grab power. We have updated the governor on our plans. We want peace and reconciliation. The diplomatic process begun by Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be taken forward. Political agenda is the key for us. You cannot have development without peace. The development mandate of PM Modi is possible only if it goes along with the vision of Vajpayee. Vajpayee's initiative and PDP's agenda must go forward," Mehbooba said. 
UP CM Akhilesh Yadav says the Aamir Khan film PK will be entertainment tax free in the state.
12:04   Delhi must counter the worsening image of India in the US
With slightly more than three weeks to go before Barack Obama arrives in New Delhi, India's public diplomacy in the United States of America has been thrown at the deep end of the Potomac, the river that is a symbol of America's capital. 

Instead of a celebration of the first ever visit by a US president to be chief guest at the Republic Day parade, Washington and New York are witnessing a difficult struggle by well-meaning friends of India and Indian diplomats to fight the perception that Obama will soon be bestowing approval on a country where intolerance has become its new benchmark of tolerance. Read more
11:36   Army faces Assam ethnic 'minefield'
The Indian Army has again waded into the minefield of ethnic rivalries in Assam, this time more practised but still wary of the political dirt its actions will throw up. Army chief General Dalbir Singh gave orders for an intensification of the drive against the NDFB (Songbijit) faction of militants, upping the total number of mobile columns of the army and the Assam Rifles to 77. Read more
11:23   Mehbooba Mufti meets J-K governor on govt formation
PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti meets J&K governor NN Vohra over government formation. The PDP, the party which won the maximum seats in J&K 28/87) is now split wide open over whether to seek BJP support to form a government. 
11:02   'AirAsia flight may not have exploded mid-air'
It is unlikely that Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 exploded in mid-air, air crash experts say, as the first pieces of debris were spotted and some bodies recovered.

Chances are that the plane hit the Java Sea intact and broke up upon impact before plunging to the ocean floor.

The wreckage of the Airbus 320-200 was found more than 48 hours after the ill-fated flight, which left Surabaya for Singapore on Sunday morning with 162 people on board, went missing. Search teams reported seeing some bodies intact. Read more
10:53   Hospital ready to hold 150 bodies; families give DNA samples
Some 130 ambulances were on standby at an airbase in Surabaya close to Juanda International Airport on Wednesday morning, to transport the bodies of passengers on board the doomed Air Asia flight QZ8501. The bodies will be brought to a nearby hospital inside a police complex, where cold storage containers have been prepared to hold 150 bodies.
Read the full report on the Straits Times.
10:50   Anguish revisited for MH370 survivors
Few people would consider those with loved ones on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lucky, but Sarah Bajc has a particular perspective.

"I'm almost a little jealous in a way because, you know, at least they have this ability to put some closure to it," she told CNN after the wreckage of the AirAsia flight was found.

Her partner, Philip Woods, was on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared without a trace almost 10 months ago.

"We're still in limbo. There's still no evidence as to what happened to the plane," she said, struggling to hold back tears. Read more
@tonyfernandes I hope to fly to evacuation site to thank everyone for putting in so much effort in finding the site. And keep everyone informed.
10:35   Air Asia boss tweets condolences
"My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501," Tony Fernandes, the head of AirAsia, wrote in a Twitter message soon after the debris was discovered. "On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am."
10:30   Another tragedy in the skies
Two full days after an AirAsia aircraft on a flight from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore went missing, rescue teams have found pieces of debris and the bodies of at least 40 of the 162 passengers and crew who were on board. This brings to a fairly quick end the suspense and speculation over the fate of the aircraft after it suddenly went off the radar. Read more
Relatives of the 162 people on board the ill-fated plane hugged each other and burst into tears yesterday as they watched television footage of bodies floating in the sea.

The Airbus A320-200 was carrying 155 passengers -- one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three South Koreans, 149 Indonesians -- and seven crew members -- six Indonesians and a French co-pilot.

Seventeen of the passengers were children. There were no Indian nationals on board. The mystery still remains over why the plane lost contact with air traffic control and what happened afterwards.
10:22   Body of Air Asia stewardess found, black box still missing
At least six bodies have been retrieved from the Java Sea off Indonesia where the ill-fated AirAsia plane carrying 162 people went down as rescuers were hampered by stormy weather today in their efforts to pull out the wreckage.

One of the bodies pulled out today was dressed in air stewardess uniform, said Bambang Soelistyo, chief of Indonesia's search and rescue agency Basarnas. The other two bodies were male, he told reporters at a press conference. Many bodies were seen floating around by the rescuers and efforts were being made to retrieve them.

Nearly three days after the AirAsia flight QZ8501 went off the radar, its debris was found yesterday in the Karimata Strait near Pangkalanbun, Central Kalimantan.

Three bodies, two female and one male, were retrieved yesterday while three more were pulled out by rescuers today to take the total number of of bodies found to six.

However, the efforts to locate victims and wreckage of the plane were hampered by stormy weather and strong tides.

Divers were to be deployed to search for bodies and for the plane's "black box" flight recorders but officials said heavy rain, strong winds and waves of up to 3 metres had forced them to suspend the air operation, though ships already in place were continuing the search.
10:07   MS Dhoni inspired small town India to dream big
In 2004, a player debuted for Team India, whose state team, Jharkhand, was not even represented regularly in Ranji Trophy. In-fact, he was a player who switched between tennis ball and synthetic ball cricket because not everywhere in Jharkhand (then undivided Bihar) was the game played with synthetic balls at club level. His name was Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose eventual rise in Indian cricket inspired millions of youngsters in small town India to dream big not just in the field of sports but to strive for excellence in whatever they did.

Read more HERE
09:39   Crashed AirAsia plane found upside down on ocean floor
JUST IN: Reports have just come in stating that the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 has been found. Indonesia's search and rescue officials have confirmed that they have found the location of the plane. Elaborating further, officials said that sonar imaging showed that the aircraft is upside down on the floor of the Java Sea.
09:19   Unmanned aerial vehicles to keep an eye on New Year revellers
This year, in an attempt to ensure that New Year celebrations go off without any incident and issues, police in various metros will be making use of unmanned aerial vehicles to keep an eye on revellers. 

Security has been beefed up in various parts of the country in wake of the recent Bengaluru blast and security threats. Police officials said that this is the first time that they will be using the drones to watch over revellers. 

In Bengaluru, in addition to the unmanned aerial vehicles, night towers have been set up at various vantage points to keep a watch over people. Even in the nation's capital, security measures have doubled in order to prevent any untoward situations. 
09:14   Kejriwal likens his 49-day rule to Ram Rajya
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has likened his 49-day rule in Delhi to 'Ram Rajya' even as he tried justify his decision to quit as chief minister, saying he had made a mistake but it was not a crime.

"Our government slashed electricity tariff and gave 20,000 litres of free water to every household. During our tenure, we brought down inflation. But most importantly, we brought down corruption which Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party could not do in 65 years. During our 49-day government, people used to say that Ram Rajya (welfare state) has returned," he claimed. 
09:08   Impropriety of ordinance
By promulgating ordinances within days of the winter session of Parliament coming to a close, the Narendra Modi government has shown that it is not averse to repeating what his party would have considered a constitutional impropriety, had it been done by a Congress government.

Read more HERE
09:00   AirAsia QZ8501: Bodies found holding hands
Lieutenant Airman Tri Wobowo who discovered the debris from the missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 told a newspaper that three of the bodies recovered were holding hands. Tri Wobowo who also co-piloted the C130 Hercules aircraft that first saw the items of the aircraft off the coast of Borneo earlier, described the scene that greeted rescuers in the water.
JUST IN: India's largest nuclear reactor Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu starts generating electricity commercially.
08:33   US woman shot by shot dead by 2-year-son in Walmart
A woman in the US state of Idaho has been killed after her two-year-old son accidentally shot her with a gun he found when reaching into her handbag. The woman, named by the local sheriff's office as Veronica J Rutledge, 29, was shot in a WalMart in Hayden, a town in Idaho's northern panhandle. She had been shopping with several children at the time, a spokesman for the office said. Officials said Rutledge had had a concealed weapons permit.
08:11   PM Modi, Rekha hottest vegetarians this year
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and actress Rekha have been named the hottest vegetarian celebrities by People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals for the year 2014. PM Modi was voted as the hottest vegetarian for his strict vegetarian schedule and for practising Yoga on a regular basis.

Also in the race for the vegetarian of the year were celebrities Kangana Ranaut and Shahid Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, R Madhavan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Hema Malini. 

But after thousands of votes were cast to help PeTA India choose the winners, the results indicated Modi and Rekha to be on the top, said a statement. 
08:06   AirAsia flight: Another 6 bodies, including 1 crew member recovered
After search officials recovered three bodies from the Java Sea on Tuesday, officials today announced that they have recovered six more bodies, including that of a crew member of AirAsia flight QZ8501. 

On Tuesday, after resuming intense search efforts, debris of the missing AirAsia aircraft carrying 162 people was found. Officials announced that they had recovered the bodies of two women and a man along with debris floating in the Java Sea off the Indonesian part of Borneo, close to the area where contact was lost with the aircraft on Sunday morning.
04:01   US strike in Somalia 'killed al-Shabab intelligence chief'
A leader of the al-Shabab Islamist group was killed by a US air strike on Monday, Somali officials say.

The intelligence chief, named as Abdishakur, was part of a unit responsible for suicide attacks, security officials said.US defence chiefs did not confirm whether the al-Shabab leader had died.

Washington has supported an African Union (AU) force which has driven the fundamentalist group from strongholds across the country since 2011.
03:13   First Ebola victim may have been infected by bats
A team of researchers think they have pinpointed how the Ebola epidemic in West Africa started with a small boy playing in a hollowed-out tree where infected bats lived. 

The researchers explored an area in southeastern Guinea where 2-year-old Emile Ouamouno fell ill a year ago and died. Health officials believe he was the first case in the epidemic, which wasn't recognised until spring.
02:19   IS demands release of leader's ex-wife in Lebanon talks
Jihadists in Syria have threatened to execute Lebanese servicemen they hold captive unless Lebanon releases the ex-wife of the Islamic State group's leader and another militant-linked woman, a negotiator said today. 

Salafist Sheikh Wissam al-Masri is mediating the release of 25 police and soldiers held by IS and the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, the Al-Nusra Front.
02:18   Ebola cases in W Africa reach 20,000, death toll at 7,842
The World Health Organisation today said that the number of people infected by the Ebola outbreak in the three west African countries has passed 20,000, even as the death toll from the deadly-disease reached 7,842. 

Cumulative Ebola cases in the three west African countries - Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea - stood at 20,081, the WHO said in a statement.
01:25   Somalia says US airstrike kills al-Shabab leader
A US airstrike killed the intelligence chief of Somali terror group al-Shabab, Somalia's intelligence service said today. 

Abdishakur is the name of the slain leader, who is also known as Tahlil, a statement from the spy agency said, adding that the operation also killed two other al-Shabab militants. 

The Pentagon said the airstrike took place Monday in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia. The statement from the pentagon provided no details, beyond saying it did not believe the attack caused any civilian or bystander casualties.
01:24   Mumbai 'Dabbawala' leader Gangaram Talekar dead
Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association general secretary Gangaram Talekar passed away at a private hospital here today. "Gangaram had recently undergone a bypass surgery. 

He got a heart attack this morning and passed away suddenly," said Raghunath Medge, Head of the Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association.
01:23   Spokesman: George H.W. Bush returns home
Former President George H.W. Bush has been released from a Houston hospital after a stay of about a week for treatment of shortness of breath. Family spokesman Jim McGrath said today the 90-year-old Bush had left Houston's Methodist Hospital, was resting at home and was "grateful to the doctors and nurses for their superb care."
00:26   Jordanian pilot shown in ISIS' propaganda magazine
"Do you know what the Islamic State (ISIS) will do with you?" members of the terrorist group's propaganda wing ask their captive, who appears to be wearing an orange jumpsuit. 

"Yes. They will kill me," the hostage replies.The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has just published in its latest English-language magazine Dabiq what it claims is an "interview" with the Jordanian pilot captured in Syria.
00:24   Protests continue in Gujarat against Aamir Khan's 'PK'
Demanding a ban on Aamir Khan- starrer movie 'PK' for allegedly painting Hindu Gods and godmen in a bad light, right-wing outfits held protests in different parts of the state for the second day today. 

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists tore and burnt 'PK' posters at Inox multiplex in Jadeswar area in Bharuch town demanding a ban on the screening of the movie.
00:24   Ebola nurse may be offered recovered patients' plasma
Nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who is battling Ebola at a London hospital, could be offered plasma from patients who have survived the virus.

The treatment contains antibodies that should help fight the infection.British nurse William Pooley has donated plasma, Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies confirmed.

Other available treatments include antiviral drugs, but there are no stocks left of ZMapp - the drug used to treat Mr Pooley.
00:23   Russian police arrest Kremlin critic Navalny at protest
Top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was detained by police today after he violated his house arrest to join a protest in Moscow over a guilty verdict against him and his brother in a controversial fraud case. 

Dozens of other people were also detained as hundreds gathered in central Moscow after the charismatic 38-year-old opposition leader called on Russians to take to the streets against President Vladimir Putin's regime following Tuesday's court ruling.
00:22   AirAsia flight QZ8501: Who were the victims?
Indonesia has confirmed AirAsia flight QZ8501, which went missing 28 December en route from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, crashed in to the Java Sea.

The Airbus A320-200 was carrying seven crew and 155 passengers, including 17 children. Almost all of them were Indonesians, with the exception of a South Korean family of three, the French co-pilot, one Briton, one Singaporean and one Malaysian.