Tue, 04 February 2014
Karunanidhi rubbishes AAP's '2G evidence' claims

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22:26   Karunanidhi rubbishes AAP's '2G evidence' claims

Rubbishing the claims of Aam Aadmi Party on additional evidence emerging about 2G spectrum scam showing alleged role of M Karunanidhi, his daughter Kanimozhi and a top state police officer, the DMK chief today said it was "all lies."  


"It is all lies, all lies, all lies," the 90-year-old DMK chief told reporters outside his Gopalapuram residence in Chennai.   Asked about AAP leader Prashant Bhushan accusing him of "cover-up", Karunanidhi shot back saying if media would ask his arch rival and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa about the ongoing disproportionate case against her in Bangalore.        


"There is a disproportionate case happening (in Bangalore). Can you ask questions to those involved in that like this? Can you meet the Chief Minister like this," he asked.        


Senior AAP members Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and others had said in Delhi that recently four new taped conversations had surfaced which "throw more light" on the scam in which Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi has been chargesheeted by the CBI.

21:25   Badal dares Congress to field Rahul Gandhi from Bhatinda

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said Congress should field Rahul Gandhi from Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency in the state to "test the waters".        


Commenting on media reports that state unit of Congress wanted former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to contest from Bathinda against his daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur, Badal said Rahul Gandhi should contest from there.        


"Instead of shifting responsibility on a local leader, Congress should ask its national Vice President Rahul Gandhi to test the waters from Bathinda Lok Sabha seat," a press statement quoting the Chief Minister said.        


According to reports, Amarinder Singh's name for the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat has been suggested by state unit of Congress even though the former Chief Minister had announced recently that he will not contest from the seat.        


Bathinda Lok Sabha seat is represented by Harsimrat Kaur, wife of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

20:05   TADA court orders probe into Salem's train wedding

A TADA court today directed the Thane Police Commissioner to conduct an inquiry after a media report claimed gangster Abu Salem, an accused in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, had married on a train while being escorted by police to Lucknow for a court hearing.        


"The designated TADA court has directed the Thane Police Commissioner to conduct an inquiry as to how an accused, who is in judicial custody, can marry on a train without the permission of the court," prosecutor Deepak Salvi told PTI.         Special Judge G A Sanap's directive came after he took suo-motu cognizance of the report that appeared in a tabloid today.        


The Thane police chief has been asked to submit his report in 10 days.         According to the report, Salem married a resident of Mumbra in adjoining Thane district last month on a train and that the 'Nikah' was performed by a Qazi in Mumbai over phone. Salem's nephew advocate Rashid Ansari and some policemen were witness to the marriage, it was claimed.         However, Salem, while speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, dubbed the report as "baseless" and a "rumour".

19:46   Microsoft announces India-born Satya Nadella as next CEO
Microsoft Corp has named India-born Satya Nadella as its next chief executive officer, ending a longer-than-expected search for a new leader after Steve Ballmer announced his intention to retire in August.   Nadella is only the third CEO in Microsoft's 39-year history, following co-founder Bill Gates and Ballmer.
19:00   Britain admits it advised India on Operation Bluestar
The British government has confirmed that it DID advise India on planning Operation Bluestar to flush out militants from the Golden Temple in 1984

Prime Minister David Cameron had ordered a probe after documents released under a 30-year declassification rule stated an officer of the elite Special Air Service travelled to Delhi and advised the Indian government as it framed plans for removing the militants in February 1984.

Two letters released from the National Archives in London, both marked "top secret and personal", revealed details of the advice given to Indian authorities by the SAS.

One document, a letter from then Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe's private secretary to his counterpart in the Home Office, warned that the operation could trigger tensions in Britain's Indian community, "particularly if knowledge of the SAS involvement were to become public".

It is unclear whether the plan referred to in the documents was used by the Indian government.

A few months after Operation Bluestar, then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in an apparent revenge attack.

18:16   Post Supreme Court criticism, CISF DG removes red beacon on his vehicle
In the backdrop of the Supreme Court's criticism of indiscriminate use of beacons, the chief of paramilitary CISF has taken the lead among police officers in the national capital by having the red flashing light removed from atop his vehicle.

CISF Director General Arvind Ranjan, who took over the command of 1.40-lakh personnel force in December, decided to remove the beacon from his official car soon after he entered office.

The vehicle, however, bears a blue three-star board indicating the vehicle belongs to a DGP rank officer and is escorted by a commando team drawn from the forces.

The move by the top boss has prompted other officials in the force, who include inspector generals and deputy inspectors generals, to take off the blue beacons from their vehicles.
18:15   HC notice to Centre, CBFC on anti-smoking warning in films
The Bombay High Court today issued a notice to the Union government and the Central Board for Film Certification on a petition by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap challenging the notification that made an anti-smoking disclaimer mandatory during smoking scenes in a movie.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha issued notice to the ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Information and Broadcasting besides the censor board and asked them to file their affidavits. The matter has been posted for March 5.

Kashyap had approached the high court in December 2013 after the censor board restrained him from releasing his movie "Ugly" after he refused to comply with the rule that requires for 'Smoking is injurious to health' warning to pop up every time a character smokes in a movie.
17:58   Adarsh scam: CBI seeks two-weeks time to file reply on plea
The CBI today sought two-weeks time to file its affidavit in reply to a plea questioning the Maharashtra governor's order refusing sanction to prosecute former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh scam.

The application relied on a Supreme Court order and said that the CBI does not require sanction from the governor to prosecute public servants in cases which are being monitored by the judiciary. A division bench of justices P V Hardas and Ajey Gadkari adjourned the plea for two weeks after CBI sought time to file its affidavit.

"The Supreme Court ruled that there is no requirement of sanction for the CBI under section 6-A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act to prosecute government servants in cases that are being monitored by the judiciary," the application, filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, said.

It further said that the CBI's compilation of documents submitted to the governor for sanction to prosecute Chavan were foolproof and point out to the "faulty" decision of grant of additional FSI to the society allegedly by Chavan.
17:52   Who is Indias most protected police officer?
At 54, Punjab police chief S S Saini is the youngest director general of police. Now he is also the most heavily guarded.

Following an intelligence alert that he is on the hitlist of the Khalistani terrorist group, Babbar Khalsa International, Saini's security detail has been beefed up further.

Given Z plus security cover so far, Saini already has 50 personnel from the Punjab police and the CRPF who man his house and the police headquarters. Now, following the decision to heighten his security cover further, he will have 32 more men guarding him, making him more heavily guarded than his Jammu and Kashmir counterpart. 

The Punjab DGP has a fleet of five cars protecting him when he is on the road, including one jammer, while he himself travels in an armoured vehicle. An estimated Rs 10 lakh is spent on his security every month.   

Saini was the bane of Khalistani terrorists when the state was being overrun by them, and they have not forgotten or forgiven him for driving them into the ground.

Read more about the nation's most protected police officer, here.
17:48   Adarsh: CBI seeks two-weeks time to file reply on plea
The CBI today sought two-weeks time to file its affidavit in reply to a plea questioning the Maharashtra Governor's order refusing sanction to prosecute former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh scam.

The application relied on a Supreme Court order and said that the CBI does not require sanction from the governor to prosecute public servants in cases which are being monitored by the judiciary.

A division bench of justices P V Hardas and Ajey Gadkari adjourned the plea for two weeks after CBI sought time to file its affidavit. "The Supreme Court ruled that there is no requirement of sanction for the CBI under section 6-A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act to prosecute government servants in cases that are being monitored by the judiciary," the application, filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, said.

It further said that the CBI's compilation of documents submitted to the Governor for sanction to prosecute Chavan were foolproof and point out to the "faulty" decision of grant of additional FSI to the society allegedly by Chavan.
17:29   T-Bill or PIL, which will come first?
On the heels of the news that the government will introduce the Telangana Bill in Parliament for consideration on February 6, comes the related news that the PIL filed by senior Supreme Court advocate M L Sharma in the apex court against the government introducing the T-Bill in Parliament will also be heard -- but on February 7, a day later!
17:18   Thailand to deport Indian businessman for leading protests
Thai government today ordered the deportation of an Indian businessman for leading a group of protesters in a business district here demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Satish Sehgal, chairman of the Thai-Indian Business Association, was ordered to be deported by Thailand's Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order, which is overseeing the government's response to protests, according to Thai news agency MCOT.

The CMPO directed immigration authorities and police to start procedures to deport Sehgal, who has been living in Bangkok for decades and holds an Indian passport, for leading anti-government protests and defying a state of emergency. Sehgal was a core member of the protests aimed at ousting Yingluck.
17:17   Telangana Bill to be tabled in Parliament on Feb 6
According to the media, the Cabinet note and  Telangana draft Bill and the  on Telangana are likely to be tabled in Parliament on February 6.

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the government will bring the Bill in Parliament on February 6.According to sources, the GoM has finalised the Telangana Bill. It has also approved the Cabinet note.

The draft Bill and the note will be produced before the Cabinet likely this week, added sources.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies tweets: #MilitaryBalance2014: Two-thirds of world's battle tanks owned by just 15 countries. The accompanying graphic, shows which are these nations, you can see it here. And, yes, India is among the nations that have more than 1000 tanks.
17:03   Will Daniel Pearls murderer ever face justice for this crime?
Twelve years ago a Pakistani man drew a knife around Wall Street Journal's India correspondent Daniel Pearl's throat. One can be excused for thinking that the perpetrator is still at large. Will it surprise you to know that the person who committed the dastardly act is in fact in American custody, and has been so for the last 11 years?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested in 2003 for being the ringleader of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, and has been in Gitmo since then. Initially his involvement in the Pearl murder was not known, and he was 'interrogated' for his role in 9/11 -- as part of which he underwent 183 waterboardings and other harsh treatment.

But years later, as America has had a rethink, and a rethink on the rethink, on the Gitmo prisoners, Khalid, like many others of his ilk, continues to be in detention.

Will he ever undergo justice for the Daniel Pearl murder? Your guess is as good as ours, but in the meantime read Gerald F Seib's account of the saga, in the Wall Street Journalhere.
16:49   Telangana Bill to be tabled in Parliament on Feb 6
According to the media, the Cabinet note and  Telangana draft Bill and the  on Telangana are likely to be tabled in Parliament on February 6.

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the government will bring the Bill in Parliament on February 6.According to sources, the GoM has finalised the Telangana Bill. It has also approved the Cabinet note.

The draft Bill and the note will be produced before the Cabinet likely this week, added sources.
16:27   A century later, Titanic's nemesis is alive and kicking
Remember the Titanic? Sure, yes, the James Cameron film that chronicled the tragedy of what was in 1912 the world's largest and most luxurious liner, that met its match in an iceberg?

Well, Steve Connor reports in The Independent, London, that 'the Greenland glacier that was thought to have been responsible for the sinking of the Titanic is moving four times faster into the sea than it was in 1960s and its instability could result in it moving at 10 times the speed by the end of the century,' quoting a study.

'The Jakobshavn Glacier in the south-west of Greenland, which is believed to have produced the iceberg that sank the Titanic in 1912, is now the fastest moving glacier in the world as a result of a rapid increase in the rate at which the massive Greenland ice sheet is melting,' Connor writes.

'The Jakobshavn Glacier drains about 6.5 per cent of the Greenland ice sheet and produces about 10 per cent of Greenland icebergs, amounting to about 35 billion tons of floating ice that eventually melt in the open ocean,' Connor points out.

He adds that satellite measurements from space show that last summer the glacier moved at a record speed of 17 kilometres a year, or more than 46 metres per day. Scientists said the speed is unprecedented for any glacier or ice stream in Greenland, the rest of the Arctic or the Antarctic, he further reports.

What does this mean for us, you say? Connor quotes Ian Joughin, lead author of the anove-mentioned study and a researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle, to say that the glacier 'is pushing more and more ice into the ocean, causing an acceleration in the rate at which it is contributing to rising sea levels'. 'From 2000 to 2010 this glacier alone increased sea level by about 1 millimetre. With the additional speed it likely will contribute a bit more than this over the next decade,' Dr Joughin points out, here. 

So imagine global warming, ocean levels rising, and the accompanying images of apocalypse, that's what this means.
16:21   AAP exposes 'conspiracy to save Kanimozhi' in 2G
AAP leader Prashant Bhushan claims to expose conspiracy to save DMK MP and party boss Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi in the 2G scam case.

The AAP has gone public with the conversation details between Kalaignar TV head Sharad Kumar Reddy and ex-Tamil Nadu ADGP Jaffer Jait.

Kalaignar TV is owned by Karunanidhi family.
Just In: Army denies permission for Narendra Modi's chopper to land at Race Course ground in Kolkata tomorrow, says the BJP.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj will meet President Pranab Mukherjee over move to appoint a particular lawyer to Lokpal which her party opposes.
Reacting to the Shiv Sena's protest against Pakistan band, President of the Mumbai Press Club Gurbir Singh said, "This is nonsense. I have called up Joint Police Commissioner Sadanand V Date. He is rushing in more police."
16:00   What is Karzai up to in Afghanistan?
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has been engaged in secret contacts with the Taliban about reaching a peace agreement without the involvement of his American and Western allies, further corroding already strained relations with the United States, report Azam Ahmed and Matthew Rosenberg in the New York Times.

But 'the clandestine contacts with the Taliban have borne little fruit, according to people who have been told about them. But they have helped undermine the remaining confidence between the United States and Mr Karzai, making the already messy endgame of the Afghan conflict even more volatile,' the duo report. 

And, finally, 'frustrated by Mr. Karzai's refusal to sign the security agreement, which would clear the way for American troops to stay on for training and counter-terrorism work after the end of the year, President Obama has summoned his top commanders to the White House on Tuesday to consider the future of the American mission in Afghanistan,' they say here.
15:59   Group of ministers create a Cabinet note on Telangana
The Group of Ministers today cleared a Cabinet note on Telangana but with a few minor changes. 

The Congress top brass has summoned Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who has raised a revolt over creation of Telangana, and the party's rebellious Seemandhra MPs to the capital in an attempt to mollify them and get them on board the state bifurcation bill.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said emphatically that the government will bring the Telangana bill in the current session of parliament
15:32   Shiv Sena protests against Pak band in Mumbai
Shiv Sainiks today barged into Mumbai Press Club to protest against a performance by Pakistani band -- Mekaal Hasan Band. "We won't allow Pakistani artists to perform in Mumbai," Sena said.

The band was holding a media interaction at the press club when Sena activists forced an entry.  
15:22   Permission denied to suspend monorail ops on Monday for repairs
'They had two years to test the monorail in Indian conditions but when it was finally opened to the public on Sunday it became apparent that the fancy mode of mass transport had not been tested for the Mumbai rush hour.The overcrowding -- more than 700 in a four-coach train meant for 560 -- had led to several mechanical glitches,' reports Iram Siddique in the Free Press Journal.

'On Monday, with 'hyper' commuters crowding the windows to have a bird's eye view of the city through the tree canopies, the monorail almost swerved and tilted, tottering on the beam that it rides upon,' he reports, a report that is drastically different from all the puff jobs one has been reading about the new-fangled mode of transport in Mumbai.

Mathew Verghese, the operations manager, tells Siddique that there was no real danger of the monorail tipping but the tottering could surely lead to the electronic doors getting jammed. In that case, the train will have to be taken to the yard.

Siddique further reports that Scomi, the Malaysian firm behind the monorail, wanted to suspend operations on Monday, the second day of its operation. But the MMRDA denied permission to do so -- fearing public ire -- and they carried out maintenance work for eight hours on Sunday night and resumed operations with four trains on Monday morning.

Phew, what a frightening report! You can read it here.
15:11   Why we ignored Hoffman's drug problem while talking about others'
A story about yet another actor going into rehab for drug addiction has become so commonplace that it's no longer deemed a big hard news story, even for a seemingly sober, intelligent, well-respected 46-year-old Oscar winner not known for a life on the party circuit, writes Kaleem Aftab in The Independent, London, about Philip Seymour Hoffman's drug addiction, even as news comes in that 65 bags of heroin were discovered from the actor's home after his death.

'The list of young stars being caught up in drug scandals or checking into rehab seems endless. Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford was arrested for being in possession of marijuana. Glee star Corey Monteith died after mixing heroin with alcohol. High School Musical star Zac Efron was also in rehab last year, reportedly fighting a cocaine addiction. Such is the prevalence of drugs that a celebrity needs to be hospitalised or have a run-in with the law for the story to break in the quality press,' Aftab writes.

So much so, 'It's now become a story when someone feels the need to come out and say they don't do drugs, as DiCaprio himself recently did,' he points out.

Finally, 'It says everything about the prevalence of drug culture in the entertainment industry that when Philip Seymour Hoffman admitted to going into rehab early last summer, it barely caused a ripple in British newspapers,' he writes, here.
14:56   Hope Telangana Bill is passed: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expresses hope that Parliament will be able to pass the bill on Telangana. "We will bring the Telangana Bill for its approval in this session," he said.
14:37   Indian fisherman found dead in Pak jail
An Indian fisherman, who was a prisoner in Landhi jail in Karachi, Pakistan, has been found dead.

More details are awaited. 
14:26   Seema-Andhra MLAs protest outside North Block
Seema-Andhra MLAs protest outside North Block in New Delhi over the Telangana issue. The protests come ahead of the GoM meet on Telangana.

The TDP delegation has reached the North Block.
14:15   The problem of being a north-easterner
Racism in India has so far been debated in relation to the caste question but the northeast question is an opportunity to imagine modes of collective living which go beyond lip service multiculturalism, write Lawrence Liang and Golan Naulak in The Hindu.

'Incidents like the Richard Loitam, Dana Sangma and now Nido Tania cases have the possibility of opening many old wounds which have only been tenuously resolved in recent times. It is not surprising that in the midst of the protest against racism, one protester chanted "Hame kya chhahiye? Azadi chhahiye.' This was echoed by many others who were there. It was a spontaneous act but one that stands witness to the fact that even if the Azadi is not about self-determination any longer, it echoes an underlying sense that they have never belonged,' they say, here.
14:04   Now, BJP takes protest to AAP MLA Madan Lal's house
The Bharatriya Janata Party has taken its protests to AAP MLA Madan Lal's house.

Lal had alleged that he was offered Rs 20 crore by a close aide of Arun Jaitley to create a rift within the AAP. He also said he was offered the Delhi CM's post if he got nine people along with him.

Meanwhile, AAP members continue protests outside Jaitley's house. The BJP soon started a counter protest there shouting slogans against the Arvind Kejriwal government.

BJP's Smriti Irani joined the protest.
Image: Representation picture    
13:57   I will continue to bat for India even though cricket has stopped: 'Bharat Ratna' Sachin
I will continue to bat for India even though cricket has stopped, says Sachin Tendulkar after he received the Bharat Ratna today.

Read: Sachin, Prof CNR Rao conferred Bharat Ratna
13:54   Arunachal student Nido's death: Home ministry steps in
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today promised to take action against those responsible for the death of a 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh and ensure a speedy probe.   

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering said the home minister gave the assurance when he, accompanied by a delegation of students from the northeast, met him.  The delegation sought a speedy probe and justice to the family of Nido Tania, a BA first-year student of a private university, who died after allegedly being assaulted by a group of people in Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi.
13:50   IITians file petition against Sec 377
A group of students, alumni, faculty and staff of the Indian Institutes of Technology have signed a petition against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex and whose iniquitiousness has been upheld by the Supreme Court of India. The petition has been sent to the prime minister, home minister, law minister, HRD minister, the Chief Justice of India, and directors of all the IITs.   

In their petition, the IITians say: 'We reiterate that our concern goes beyond the rights of adults to participate in private acts of consensual sex. It is focused on the public domain, where alternate sexuality and gender identity is often treated as a form of deviance in schools, colleges, workplaces, religious institutions, and governmental institutions. Patriarchy and hetero-normativity are pervasive facts of social life in all parts of the country, including the campuses of elite institutions like the IITs. Women and LGBT individuals among the undersigned have often experienced prejudice in their routine interactions with their classmates, colleagues, professors as well as members of the institute administration, and these experiences of prejudice at close quarters can sometimes be more debilitating than an archaic and distant law.'

The IITians also hold out an assurance: 'While efforts to read down Section 377 and to dispel societal misconceptions must continue, we also re-commit ourselves to protecting the gains made in recent years within IITs to create a more welcoming atmosphere for women and LGBT individuals. While Section 377 has, in the past, relied heavily on social stigma to penalize sexual minorities, we assert that we will not allow ourselves to be used in this manner to discriminate against our own peers. Several support groups for queer students have been established and received official recognition in various IITs in the past two or three years. Their rights of free association are by no means affected by a law that merely criminalizes certain sexual acts.'

Spoken like true IITians, we say! And if you are interested in reading the petition, click here.
13:08   Obama to visit Saudi Arabia to discuss security issues
President Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia next month and meet King Abdullah to discuss the enduring and strategic bilateral ties as well as issues like regional security and countering violent extremism.

Obama's visit also aims at reassuring America's key ally about his policies in the Middle East in the backdrop of Saudi's concern over US-led efforts to broker a nuclear deal with Iran and its reluctance to engage more directly in Syria.
12:56   AAP members are 'pathological liars': Jaitley
Bharatiya Janata Party member Arun Jaitley today said that the Aam Aadmi Party members are pathological liars. Neither me nor Narendra Modi is aware of who Madan Lal is.

Lal, an AAP MLA, accused the BJP of offering him a bribe to bring down the Delhi government.    
12:36   SC reserves verdict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case
The Supreme Court has reserved the verdict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. 

The convicts had filed a plea to commute death sentence into life. 
12:24   Centre opposes plea of Rajiv Gandhi convicts in SC
The Centre today opposed in the Supreme Court the plea of convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case seeking commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment.

Death convicts did not go through torture, agony and dehumanising experience during pendency of the mercy pleas, the Centre told SC. There has been delay in deciding the mercy plea but the delay is not unreasonable, unexplainable and unconscionable to commute death sentence, it added.

It is not a fit case for commuting death sentence, the Centre told the apex court.
12:10   Sachin Tendulkar, scientist CNR Rao honoured Bharat Ratna
A beaming Sachin Tendulkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna by President Pranab Mukherjee today
12:07   Bharat Ratna for scientist CNR Rao
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar today has become the first sportsperson to join the list of the nation's Bharat Ratnas today.

President Pranab Mukherjee awarded him the highest civilian honour along with noted scientist Professor CNR Rao.  

At 40, Sachin has also become the youngest recipient of the Bharat Ratna.

Present at the ceremony at the Rashrtrapati Bhavan was Sachin's wife Anjali and daughter Sara.

Attending the ceremony is the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his wife Gurusharan Kaur and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. 
11:55   Sachin, CNR Rao to be conferred Bharat Ratna shortly
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and scientist CNR Rao to be conferred Bharat Ratna shortly.  
11:50   MNS fined Rs 3.9 lakh for vandalising toll booths
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has been served a notice to pay Rs 3.90 lakh as damages for vandalising toll booths.

The recovery notice has been served by the Mumbai collector.

MNS activists went on a rampage last week after their chief Raj Thackeray ordered them not to pay the levy and "thrash" those who demanded it. They even vandalised the toll booth at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai.    
11:41   AAP promises to 'expose politicians involved in 2G scam' today
The AAP will hold a press conference today to expose new material which has surfaced on the 2G scam, which shows the involvement of some important political players, according to a statement issued by the party. 

The press conference will be held at the Constitution Club at 4:00 pm today. 
11:12   Arunachal student Nido died of swelling in brain, says autopsy report
NDTV reports: Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Taniam died of a swelling in his brain and excess fluid in his lungs, says the autopsy report of the 20-year-old who died on Thursday allegedly after being beaten by shopkeepers at a south Delhi market locality.

Doctors, however, say the report has not established whether Nido, the son of an Arunachal Pradesh Congress legislator, died of his injuries after being beaten.
10:48   BJP's counter protest against AAP
Even as AAP protests outside Arun Jaitley's residence, the BJP workers have started a counter-protest there. They are raising their voices against AAP's claim that it tried to bribe its MLAs.   

Jaitley had earlier tweeted: AAP's alternative politics includes a right to falsehood and lies. 
10:28   Tiger Woods tees off in Delhi amid much fanfare
Legendary golfer Tiger Woods teed off today amid much fanfare during an exhibition match at a rather hushed-up private event here at the Delhi Golf Club.

Dressed in a blue tee-shirt, black trousers and white cap, Tiger started off with a wonderful shot straight down the middle, while his second shot landed on the green.

The World No 1 missed an eagle putt but birdied the par 5 hole. In the second hole, Tiger landed a shot just four feet away from the pin to miss it by a whisker.
10:16   AAP protests outside Jaitley's house, says BJP tried to bribe MLAs
The Aam Aadmi Party is holding protests outside senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley's residence in New Delhi. They have accused the party of trying to bribe its MLAs.

Security outside Jaitley's residence has been tightened in wake of the protests.

AAP MLA Madan Lal has accused the BJP yesterday of offering him Rs 20 crore to split his party and pull down the government in Delhi.
09:51   Sensex falls below 20,000 amid global selloff
The Sensex has dipped below 20,000 level, falling 233 points. The Nifty has plunged 60 points to 5,942 in opening trade today tracking a sharp selloff across global markets. 
09:47   Nearly 50 envelopes of suspected heroin in Philip Seymour Hoffman's house
CNN reports: Police investigating the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman have found close to 50 envelopes of what they believe is heroin in his Manhattan apartment, two law enforcement sources familiar with the inquiry said.

A number of used syringes, prescription drugs and empty bags that authorities suspect used to hold heroin also were found in the apartment where Hoffman, 46, was found dead on Sunday of an apparent drug overdose.
09:36   Centre, BJP lock horns over jurist for Lokpal panel
The Bharatiya Janata Party is opposing the Prime Minister's choice of a jurist for the panel that will select the Lokpal. The BJP is likely to take its protest to the President, reports NDTV

In a meeting called at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence last night the government named senior Supreme Court lawyer Pavani Parameswara Rao as its choice for the post.

Rao's candidature, however, faced severe opposition from Sushma Swaraj saying that he could be a partisan.

08:48   10 killed, 35 injured as bus falls into ditch on Pune-Satara highway
Ten people were killed and 35 others were injured as a bus fell into a ditch on the Pune-Satara highway today.

The accident reportedly happened after a container hit the bus from behind.

The injured have been rushed to the hospital.

Image: Representation picture  
04:24   Sachin, Prof CNR Rao to receive Bharat Ratna today
Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist Prof C N R Rao will be conferred with the country's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Master batsman Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket on November 16 last year, will be the first sportsman to be bestowed with the honour by the President at a function to be held in 'Durbar Hall' of Rashtrapati Bahavan.

Tendulkar (40) and Rao (79), both of whom are recipients of Padma Vibhushan -- the country's second highest civilian honour, will join a list of 41 eminent personalities who have been conferred with the award that is given in recognition of exceptional service of the highest order since it was instituted in 1954.

An outspoken scientist, Prof Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao is a well recognized international authority on solid state and materials chemistry who has published over 1,400 research papers and 45 books. He is the third scientist after C V Raman and former President A P J Abdul Kalam to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna.

Prof Rao's contributions have been recognized by most major scientific academies around the world through conferment of memberships and fellowships and has been honoured with several national and international awards, an official announcement said.

He currently serves as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India

Tendulkar is also the first active sportsperson to become a Rajya Sabha member last year. The Bharat Ratna was announced after a gap of four years with Hindustani music doyen Bhimsen Joshi being the last recipient in 2009.
04:20   Musharraf served with arrest warrant at hospital
Former Pakistani dictator General Pervez Musharraf has been served with an arrest warrant by the police at a military hospital where he is hospitalised. 

A special court, constituted to try 70-year-old Musharraf on charges of high treason for imposing emergency in 2007, had issued a warrant on Friday, carrying a bail bond of Rs 2.5 million.

The court had also ordered the Islamabad police to submit a compliance report to the court on February 7. 

Police were able to serve the warrants only after waiting for two-and-half hours at the reception of the medical facility, media reports said. 

Musharraf's lawyers, who were also present at the hospital, provided the police with details about the surety bonds of Rs 2.5 million.

Since the start of the high treason trial against him, Musharraf has not appeared before the court. 

Musharraf was admitted to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi after he developed heart problems while being driven to the special court.
04:20   Google provides glimpse at secret US requests for data
Google today for the first time provided a glimpse into the numbers of secret requests for user data made by the US in the name of fighting terrorism. 

US officials used the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to ask for information from between 9,000 and 10,000 Google user accounts in the first six months of 2013, and between 12,000 to 13,000 accounts in the six months prior to that, according to a blog post.

Release of such data was subject to a six-month delay under terms of an arrangement with the US Department of Justice to let Internet firms be slightly more open about how much information is sought under authority of FISA court orders.

"Publishing these numbers is a step in the right direction, and speaks to the principles for reform that we announced with other companies last December," Google law enforcement and information security legal director Richard Salgado said in a blog post. 
04:19   Convicted murderer escapes from Michigan prison
A national manhunt was underway for a convicted killer who peeled a hole in two fences with his hands to escape from a Michigan prison before abducting a woman and fleeing to Indiana, where the victim and her vehicle were safely recovered, authorities have said.

Officials were stunned by the brazen escape Sunday night of Michael David Elliot, who had a record of good behaviour during his 20 years in custody. He wore a white civilian kitchen uniform to evade security and blend in with the snow at the Ionia Correctional Facility, prisons spokesman Russ Marlan said.

Prison fences were equipped with motion sensors to alert guards. The fences also carry electric current to shock anyone that touches them. 

"It appears that did not happen. ... He was not zapped with electricity, and he was not picked up by the motion sensors," Marlan said. 

Elliot, 40, then abducted a woman and stole her Jeep outside the prison. She later escaped when he stopped for gas some 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the south. The woman's Jeep was found abandoned nearby later yesterday. 
04:18   Reggae singer 'Bunny Rugs' Clarke dies at age 65
William 'Bunny Rugs' Clarke, the husky-voiced lead singer of internationally popular reggae band Third World, died of leukemia at his home in Florida, longtime friends and colleagues have said. He was 65. 

Former bandmate Colin Leslie said the singer died Sunday in Orlando a week after he was released from a hospital following cancer treatment. 

Clarke worked with the band Inner Circle and top reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry in Jamaica before joining Third World in 1976. The next year, the band released "96 Degrees in the Shade," one of its most popular albums. The group was signed to Island Records and had hits on British and US charts, including "Now That We Found Love," ''Always Around" and "Reggae Ambassador." He performed on all of Third World's records except the group's debut.

Stevie Wonder, who performed on stage with the band at Jamaica's Reggae Sunsplash festival in 1981, wrote and produced Third World's 1982 song "Try Jah Love." 

Clarke and Third World were known for seamlessly fusing reggae with soul and pop music, something they were occasionally criticised for by reggae purists. In a 1992 interview with Billboard magazine, he described the band's identity this way: "Strictly a reggae band, no. Definitely a reggae band, yes."
04:18   Over 400 dead dolphins on north Peru coast
More than 400 dead dolphins were found last month on the Pacific Ocean beaches where twice that amount were encountered in 2012, Peruvian officials said. 

Authorities never established the cause of death in 2012. They are doing autopsies now on the dolphins found in January in the Lambayeque region on the northern coast. 

Technician Jaime de la Cruz of Peru's IMARPE marine life agency said yesterday, about 220 dead dolphins were found the last week of January, the rest during the previous three weeks.

De la Cruz said autopsy results are expected in two weeks. Exams will focus on lungs, kidneys and livers. 

Autopsies of some of the more than 870 dolphins found in 2012 were inconclusive. Speculation ranged from biotoxins in the sea to seismic testing to an unknown ailment. 

Yuri Hooker, director of the marine biology unit at Cayetano Heredia University told The Associated Press that in other parts of the world dolphin deaths generally are caused by environmental contamination when the sea mammals eat fish or other smaller species filled with toxins. Hooker said others die after ingesting discarded plastics floating in the sea.
04:15   India built 10,250 houses in Sri Lanka in 2013
The Indian government has built 10,250 houses last year for internally displaced people in Sri Lanka's northern and eastern provinces.

"Another 27,750 houses will be constructed under the same scheme. The funds are being released directly to the beneficiaries," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said quoting a communication from the Ministry of External Affairs.

He further said that as part of the rehabilitation scheme, 5,000 houses in Northern part of Sri Lanka are being repaired with the assistance provided by India. 

The construction of houses for resettling and rehabilitating people displaced during the ethnic war in Sri Lanka is part of India's overall commitment to build 50,000 houses, which was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June 2010.

The project is being implemented with full grant assistance from India, with the total outlay of Rs 1,372 crore making it one of the largest grant assistance projects undertaken by the government in any country, the Indian High Commission had said earlier.