Sun, 23 February 2014
Mobile phone found in Tejpal's cell during prison raid

Timeline  Refresh

20:46   Mobile phone found in Tejpal's cell during prison raid
CNN-IBN reports: Prison authorities on Sunday seized a mobile phone during a surprise inspection of the cell in which Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal is lodged at the Sada sub-jail in Goa's Vasco city.

The mobile phone was among nine phones seized by Sub-divisional Magistrate Gaurish Shankhwalkar during the surprise raid.

Headphones, MP3 players, cigarettes and tobacco packets were also seized from other cells.

An official said a mobile phone was found from cell no.14 where Tejpal and four other inmates are lodged.

Tejpal, however, told the officers that the phone does not belong to him.
20:36   Russia closes costliest Olympics
Flushed with pride after a spectacular showing at the costliest Olympics ever, Russia celebrates 17 days of sport-driven global unity on Sunday night with a farewell show that hands off the Winter Games to their next host, Pyeongchang in South Korea. 

The closing ceremony, a farewell from Russia with love, pageantry and protocol, starts at 20:14 local time precisely a nod to the year that President Vladimir Putin seized upon to remake Russia's image with the Olympics' power to wow and concentrate global attention and massive resources. 

Its $51 billion investment, topping even Beijing's estimated $40 billion layout for the 2008 Summer Games, transformed a decaying resort town on the Black Sea into a household name. All-new facilities, unthinkable in the Soviet era of drab shoddiness, showcased how far Russia has come in the two decades since it turned its back on communism.

But the Olympic show didn't win over critics of Russia's backsliding on democracy and human rights under Putin and its institutionalised intolerance of gays. 
19:56   Unhappy with Sunanda case probes pace: Tharoor
Five weeks after his wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said he was "not happy" with the pace of the probe by the Delhi Police. 

Tharoor said it seems increasingly that Sunanda (52) died due to "health related" issues and it is also "increasingly clear" that there was no basis to take the case much further. 

The Minister of State for Human Resources Development said he was "not happy" with the amount of time the investigating authorities were taking for completing the process as "non-sense speculations" were being made.

"It seems increasingly that a tragedy happened that is health related and not related to anything else. But we are waiting for the police investigation to get over and to see the final determination by the doctors and medical team," Tharoor told Headlines Today in an interview.

He said he was fully cooperating with the police investigation "even though there is no case against me personally."

Asked about the progress in the investigations by the Delhi Police in the case, Tharoor said, "(it is) increasingly clear that they (police) have not filed an FIR, there is no charge sheet, there is no case, it is increasingly clear that there is no basis for taking the case very much further. 
19:28   Blaze in Ceat tyre warehouse in Mumbai
A major fire broke out today at the premises of a tyre manufacturing company in Nahur, near the north-eastern suburb of Bhandup, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) disaster control room said. 

The fire broke out at CEAT's tyre manufacturing unit at around 5.50 pm, official sources said. 

Six fire tenders and two water tankers, besides an ambulance have been rushed to the spot, officials said. 

The cause of the fire is not yet known. 
19:19   The burial of linguistic states
The UPA government made Telangana the last item on its five-year agenda because it wanted electoral benefits without taking any responsibility for the consequences. 

Otherwise the new state could have been created, without all the dangerous drama, two or three years ago. 

The price will be paid, not just by political parties, but by the nation.

19:18   Saudis go arms shopping in Pakistan for Syrian rebels
Saudi Arabia is in talks with Pakistan to provide anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets to Syrian rebels to try to tip the balance in the war to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, a Saudi source said Sunday.

The United States has long opposed arming the rebels with such weapons, fearing they might end up in the hands of extremists, but Syrian opposition figures say the failure of Geneva peace talks seems to have led Washington to soften its opposition.

Pakistan makes its own version of Chinese shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, known as Anza, and anti-tank rockets -- both of which Riyadh is trying to get for the rebels, said the source, who is close to Saudi decision-makers, requesting anonymity.

19:14   Paswan's LJP to tie up with BJP for 2014 election
CNN-IBN reports: With the Lok Sabha elections just two months away, Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party has decided to cement alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Senior LJP leader Surajbhan Singh confirmed the reports while the party is likely to make an official announcement soon.
This U-turn by Paswan comes after he was reportedly upset with no progress in the alliance between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), LJP and the Congress.

The LJP chief had earlier hinted that there is a 'Modi wave' in the country.

His party was involved in negotiations with Congress and RJD over seat sharing, but it didn't materialise. LJP National Vice President Ramchandra Paswan had expressed hope that the alliance between the trio will be finalised in a few days and will be able to put up a good show in the state.

Read more HERE
18:53   Pope to prelates: no intrigue, favoritism, gossip
Pope Francis today gave his new cardinals what amounted to a code of conduct: "no intrigue, gossip, power pacts, favoritism." 

Francis also urged the 19 men he elevated to cardinal a day earlier to avoid behaving as if they were in a royal court.

During his homily in St Peter's Basilica, Francis told the cardinals to strive to "be saints." To achieve that, he advised them to simply love those who are hostile to them, bless those who speak badly of them, and "smile at those who perhaps don't merit it." 

Advocating humility, Francis is trying to reform a church hierarchy that has been criticized as arrogant, egotistical, petty and nasty. Scandals involving alleged corruption and power plays tainted the Vatican's top bureaucracy in the last few years before Francis was elected in March. 

Later today, while addressing the faithful and the curious in St Peter's Square, Francis was interrupted by resounding cheers and applause when, wagging his finger, he told them that bishops, cardinals and the pope need to be "good servants, not good bosses" of God's people. 

As his papacy draws near the one-year mark, Francis has been drawing huge crowds for the traditional Sunday noontime appearance from a window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking the square.
18:14   Telangana state's 'first family' with Sonia Gandhi
T S Sudhir, Editor (South) at TV Today Network, tweeted this photograph of TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao's family calling on Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi on Sunday.

Sudhir captioned it: "Telangana state's first family with Sonia Gandhi"
17:25   Former Odisha minister, wife quit Congress
Senior Congress leader and former Odisha Minister Ramkrushna Patnaik and his wife Kumudini Patnaik, a former MP, today said they have quit the party, alleging that it is being run by a "coterie". 

The couple told reporters they have sent their resignation letters to OPCC President Jayadev Jena expressing their dismay over the manner the party is being run by a "coterie". 

Ramkrushna said he and his wife, a former MP from Aska, had informed OPCC and AICC on January 25 that they would not be interested in contesting the 2014 polls. 

The district strongman, referred to as the 'Ganjam Tiger', said he had given a number of proposals to rejuvenate Congress at the grass root level but his suggestions for reforms had been ignored.

A five-time legislator from Kodala assembly constituency in Ganjam district, Ramakrushna had worked as minister holding portfolios of finance and other important departments. 

His wife Kumudini said on being persuaded by the party leadership in the wake of January 25 letter, she had agreed to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls.
16:43   How can a tea-seller have so many helicopters: Kejriwal
The Aam Aadmi Party today launched its national campaign today from Haryana, with party chief Arvind Kejriwal addressing a rally in Rohtak.

"Wherever in Haryana you go, there are land scams everywhere," says Arvind Kejriwal, addressing the rally at Haryana. Further raking up the issue of land deals, he add, "The Haryana CM is stealing the people's land and giving it to Robert Vadra, DLF, Ambani."

He further questions, "I want to ask Modi who is paying for his helicopters. I have a photo of Modiji, it shows Adani's helicopter behind Narendra Modi. Modiji says he was a tea-seller. How can a tea-seller have so many helicopters."

In a further attack to Modi, he says, "Expenditure on Modi rallies go up to Rs 50 crore. Who funds his rallies?"
16:13   India U-19 captain Zol suspended for abusing
India's Under-19 captain Vijay Zol has been suspended for one match, while off-spinner Aamir Gani has been reprimanded after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup quarter-final match against England. 

Zol was found to have breached Article 2.2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "using language or gesture(s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person during an International Match".

While Gani was found to have breached Article 2.1.4 of the Code, which relates to "using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an International Match". 

The incident involving Zol happened in the 30th over when the captain caught England's Ben Duckett at short mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav and then used seriously offensive language at the batsman at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday. 

In a separate incident, Gani used obscene language after having England's Ed Barnard caught by Sanju Samson in the 26th over. Both the incidents were captured on television. 
16:01   How to get a job at Google
Many jobs at Google require math, computing and coding skills. 

So if your good grades truly reflect skills in those areas that you can apply, it would be an advantage. 

But Google has its eyes on much more.

15:59   Where is Ukraine headed now?
As one disgraced president fled Kiev in the early hours of Saturday morning, so another aspiring one had landed in the city by evening. 

Within a few hours of being released from her prison hospital in the eastern city of Kharkiv, Yulia Tymoshenko had flown to Kiev and was being wheeled into Independence Square to address the crowds.

Hunched in a wheelchair, needed because of back problems, but with a resolute expression and her hair pulled into her trademark plait, she yelled rousing words from the stage to the crowd, telling them they must stay in central Kiev until their work was over, and those responsible for the violence are punished.

15:57   Food subsidy can fill poverty gap, twice
Union Finance Minister P Chidambarams estimate for Indias 2014-15 food subsidy bill of Rs 1,15,000 crore in the interim budget is more than twice of Indias Poverty Gap, or the cost of pushing all households above the poverty line if cash transfers were used instead.

The Poverty Gap for India, as per the latest NSSO Consumption Expenditure Survey data available (for the year 2011-12) is Rs. 55,744 crore.

15:30   Kejriwal can win Guinness Record for lies: Cong
Delhi Congress on Sunday kick started an 'expose-all' campaign against former chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, whom it accused of abandoning the national capital at the mercy of bureaucrats to further his own political ambitions. 

If Guinness World Book of Records had a category for lies, Arvind Kejriwal would win without any competition, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Arvinder Singh Lovely said while launching a 'Pol Khol Abhiyan' against the ex-Delhi CM. 

"Arvind Kejriwal has abandoned people at the mercy of Gods and bureaucrats. He is a runaway and we are launching a 'Pol Khol Abhiyan' against him to expose the lies he had been telling in the name of common man's welfare," Lovely added. 

Lovely termed the Kejriwal-led 49-day AAP government as a "government of promises and no performances" and its sudden departure as an "act of betrayal" to the people. 
15:29   Modi in Punjab: Will guard the country if I become PM
Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said that if elected as PM of India, he will function as people's watchman in Delhi and will ensure that their money is not looted by anybody.

Addressing a joint rally of SAD and BJP in Jagraon, Modi came down heavily on Congress party and said that it's very strange that Congress leaders are talking about corruption these days.

"I am surprised that Congress talks about corruption these days. The fact is they have drafted ABCD of corruption. A for Adarsh scam, B for Bofors scam, C for Coal scam and so on. Rajiv Gandhi had said that if centre releases Re 1 then only 15 paise used to reach to the ground level. I want to ask about those hands that used to reduce Re 1 to 15 paise, said Modi.

Trying to assure Sikhs of their safety in Gujarat, Modi said that every Indian has as much right on Gujarat as he himself has on the state.
15:23   Ambareesh's condition stable: Doctor
The condition of actor-turned-politician and Karnataka Housing Minister Ambareesh is stable but he is on ventilator following his hospitalisation after he complained of breathlessness. 

"His condition is stable now. All his vital organs like heart, kidney and lungs are functioning, but he is on ventilator," Dr K S Sathish of Vikarm Hospital told reporters. 

A decision about whether to remove the ventilator or not would be taken tomorrow, he said, adding that a team of specialist doctors are monitoring his health. 

He said there is no truth in the reports of shifting Ambareesh to Singapore for better treatment. 

Ambareesh's wife Sumalatha said her husband's health has improved considerably and requested the media not spread canards because it hurts people, including relatives and well-wishers. 

"Blessings of fans is on him. Therefore nothing will happen to him. He will be well soon. I just want to request you please give us some privacy," Sumalatha said.

61-year-old Ambareesh was admitted to the hospital on February 21 after he complained of breathlessness. 
14:32   Javed Akhtar pens song for CRPF; Prez to unveil it
Renowned lyricist Javed Akhtar has penned a patriotic and valour-filled song for the country's largest paramilitary force CRPF, which is celebrating it's 75th year of raising this year.

The five-minute song -- 'Hum hain desh ke rakshak' -- will be unveiled by President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi February 28.

During the event, Mukherjee will also honour the gallantry award winners of the force which is the mainstay for anti-Naxal operations in the country. 

The idea to create an anthem for the force was mooted by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Dilip Trivedi after which Akhtar was approached, a senior official said.

"While there is already a CRPF song in existence, the need to create a new anthem was felt keeping the new tasks of the force in anti-Maoist operations and additional tasks in internal security domain of the country. 

"The song will be sung at all official events after it is ceremonially released later this month," the official said.

Akhtar wrote a song for another central paramilitary force, CISF last year.

The latest CRPF song has been composed by Raju Singh and its vocal is by Javed Ali. 

The paramilitary, with 3 lakh personnel in its ranks, was raised in 1939 and its name was changed from Crown Representatives Police to the present CRPF with an all-India charter to deal with law and order problems. 
14:24   KCR-Sonia meet sparks speculations
Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrasekhara Rao's thanksgiving trip to Sonia Gandhi's residence on Sunday afternoon once again raised the question: will TRS merge with the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls?

Accompanied with family members, Rao's Sunday meeting with the Congress chief was a courtesy call but it will set the stage for a future relationship.

"No politics was discussed and it was only a thanksgiving call. I met Soniaji to express my gratitude for the passing of Telangana Bill in Parliament. Sonia ji asked me to stay in touch with Digvijaya Singh," said Rao, popularly known as KCR.

TRS sources have indicated that an immediate merger may not be on the cards but a pre-poll alliance is likely. 

There are 17 Lok Sabha seats in the Telangana region and for the Congres, fighting its toughest elections in the past 10 years, every seat would be crucial.
14:18   Ukrainian President is missing
The whereabouts of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych were unclear today, a day after he left the capital and his arch foe Yulia Tymoshenko was freed from prison and returned to Kiev to address a massive, adoring crowd.

Ukrainian news agencies, citing the deputy head of the State Border Service, reported that a chartered airplane with Yanukovych onboard was denied permission to take off from Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine that is the president's base of support. 

The centre of Kiev, meanwhile, was calm as the sun came up today after a day that saw a stunning reversal of fortune in Ukraine's political crisis. 

Protesters yesterday took control of the presidential administration building, and thousands of curious and contemptuous Ukrainians roamed the suddenly open grounds of the lavish compound outside Kiev where Yanukovych was believed to live.

Parliament, which he controlled the previous day but is now emboldened against him, called for his removal and for elections on May 25. But Yanukovych said he now regards the parliament as illegitimate and he won't respect its decisions. 
13:14   Cold conditions continue unabated in Kashmir
Overnight rains lashed many areas of Kashmir, including summer capital Srinagar, even as the cold wave tightened its grip with the minimum temperatures dipping in most parts of the Valley. 

Srinagar received 2.7 mm of rainfall during the night and the mercury settled at a low of 1.6 degrees Celsius, over a degree down from the previous night's 3.0 degrees Celsius, a MeT official said in Srinagar today. 

The official said Qazigund - the gateway town to Kashmir valley - received 28.3 mm rainfall and the temperature there settled at a low of 0.3 degree Celsius. 

Pahalgam resort, which serves as base camp during annual Amarnath yatra, recorded 9.9 mm of rainfall and registered a
minimum temperature of minus 8.0 degrees Celsius, over seven degrees down from minus 0.6 degree Celsius the previous night,
the official said. 

He said the night temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg increased by over a degree to record a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius as against the previous nights minus 8.6 degrees Celsius.
13:13   Satisfied with G20 outcome: Chidambaram
Satisfied with the outcome of G20 meeting, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said India's concerns with regard to withdrawal of US stimulus and the need to expedite IMF quota reforms have been taken on board by the group of rich and developing nations. 

"The communique has been drawn by the deputies sitting together and our concerns have been fully reflected in the communique," he told PTI in an interview after conclusion of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet. The Minister said "yes", when asked whether he was satisfied with the G20 communique.

The communique was released at the end of the conference which among others was attended by Finance Ministers of several important countries including the US, Japan, France and Australia. 

Representatives of global bodies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank also participated in the conference. 

Collectively G20 represents 85 per cent of the global economy. 
11:28   Rallies Today: Modi in Ludhiana; Kejriwal in Haryana; Rahul in Dehradun
Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will be addressing 'Fateh' rally in Ludhiana on Sunday. 

The rally will be held in Jagraon today and is expected to have a huge turnout. Several buses and trains have been booked to ferry people to the venue of the rally.
Modi's rally in Ludhiana comes a day after he addressed rallies in Northeast and said that 2014 general Elections will mark the end of Congress rule. 

Aam Aadmi Party will also start its national campaign today. It will hold its first rally in Rohtak, Haryana.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal will address the rally in Rohtak, which is represented by Deepender Singh Hooda, son of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. 
The party has accused the Congress-led government in the state of creating hurdles ahead of the rally today. AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Manish Sisodia are also likely to address the rally. 

Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will be addressing a public rally in Dehradun on Sunday
11:18   Court denies bail to Speak Asia scandal mastermind
Ram Niwas Pal, an alleged mastermind of the over Rs 2,200 crore 'Speak Asia' marketing scam in which 24 lakh people were duped, has been denied bail by a Delhi court which rapped the city police for keeping him under illegal detention since December 16 last year.

Irked by police's response on the issue of extension of Pal's judicial custody, the court of Additional Sessions Judge
Kamini Lau directed the DCP concerned to be present before the court on the next date of hearing.

The judge also said that the prosecution shall advise the police on provisions of law requiring extension of remand and the penalty for illegal detention of the accused. 

The court order came during the hearing of the bail plea of Niwas, who was nabbed from Bangalore on November 30, 2013 in a case wherein he, his brother Ram Sumiran Pal along with a friend allegedly cheated 24 lakh investors from Delhi, Mumbai and other cities through the online marketing scheme. 

They had devised the Speak Asia scheme wherein people had to deposit Rs 11,000 and fill survey forms and were promised Rs 52,000 in return. 

Niwas' counsel Amit Kumar sought his relief on the ground that his client was kept in illegal detention since December 16, 2013 and the investigators have not sought any extension of his judicial custody till date. 
10:49   WhatsApp? Service down, days after Facebook deal
WhatsApp's 450 million worldwide users were unable to access the smartphone free-messaging service, three days after Facebook declared it was lavishing up to $19 billion on it. 

"Sorry we currently experiencing server issues. We hope to be back up and recovered shortly," WhatsApp said in a message on Twitter that was retweeted more than 25,000 times in just a few hours and provoked ridicule because it comes so soon after Facebook's hefty acquisition. 

Yesterday, some WhatsApp users found they were unable to connect to the app, while others complained their messages were not going through.

WhatsApp has not indicated how long the outage would last or when it began. 

However, the specialist website suggested the problem might be down to "a surge of signups and usage that has overloaded its servers" after the publicity the app garnered after Facebook's announcement on Wednesday. 

Facebook is betting huge on mobile with the eye-popping cash-and-stock deal for WhatsApp, which was only started five years ago but has quickly grown as a free alternative to text messages.
10:48   Indian squad leaves for Asia Cup
The Indian cricket squad, led by Virat Kohli in the absence of injured regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, departed today for the Asia Cup competition in Bangladesh starting on February 25. 

Dhoni has been ruled out of the tournament after the wicketkeeper-batsman sustained a Grade I left side-strain injury during the course of the second Test against New Zealand earlier this month. 

The Kohli-led team would commence its campaign to regain the trophy, that India won for the fifth and last time in 2010 in Sri Lanka, with a round robin game against hosts Bangladesh on February 26.

The remaining round robin fixtures for India are scheduled on February 28 (v Sri Lanka), March 2 (v defending champions Pakistan) and March 5 (v Afghanistan). 

The final of the tournament is scheduled on March 8.  

India squad: Virat Kohli  (Capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra and Ishwar Pandey.
10:47   Mexican drug lord's arrest 'landmark achievement': US
US Attorney General Eric Holder has hailed a "landmark achievement" for Mexico after the arrest of the world's most wanted drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo"  Guzman.

The United States had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Guzman, who was captured by Mexican marines in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan yesterday, putting an end to a 13-year manhunt. 

The arrest stemming from US-Mexican coordination dealt a blow to the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's biggest drug-trafficking
organisation, a blood-stained empire that stretches along the Pacific coast and smuggles drugs over the border to the United
States, as well as to Europe and Asia. 

Holder welcomed the capture of the man blamed for much of the drug violence that has plagued Mexico for years as a "landmark achievement, and a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States." 
10:46   You are heroes, you are the best thing in Ukraine: Tymoshenko
Hours after being released from prison, former Ukrainian prime minister and opposition icon Yulia Tymoshenko praising the demonstrators killed in violence this week as heroes as she addressed a massive crowd at the protester encampment in Kiev.

The 53-year-old Tymoshenko, who suffered severe back problems during her two-and-a-half years in prison, spoke to the crowd from a wheelchair and appeared close to exhaustion.

But her flair for vivid words was undimmed.

"You are heroes, you are the best thing in Ukraine!" she said of those killed in the violence. The Health Ministry today said the death toll in clashes between protesters and police that included sniper attacks had reached 82. 

Today's appearance brought Tymoshenko back to the square where she attracted world attention in the 2004 Orange Revolution protests, a riveting figure then for her rhetoric, her elaborate blond peasant braid and her fashionable clothing.
00:08   Reunited Korean families bid final farewell

The joy of being reunited for the first time in decades turned to grief for North and South Korean families as a rare cross-border visit ended, with participants unlikely to see their relatives again.


In perhaps the most traumatic moment of the emotionally-charged event on Saturday, 80 elderly South Koreans and their 174 Northern relatives were separated, many at first refusing to let go of their loved ones' hands.


The families, the first of two batches who are being allowed to meet with each other 60 years after they were torn apart by the chaos of the 1950-1953 Korean War, were given an hour to say goodbye in a hotel dining room at a North Korean mountain resort, the Agence-France press news agency reported.


At the start of Saturday's meeting, many were already in tears, while others forced smiles to hide pent-up emotions.


Read more on Al Jazeera

00:07   World's most wanted drug lord arrested

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the powerful boss of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, has been arrested in Mazatlan. 


Read more on CNN

00:05   Ukrainian oppn leader Tymoshenko freed from jail

The Ukrainian parliament has voted to dismiss President Viktor Yanukovich and has set the date for a new presidential election on May 25. Earlier protesters seized Yanukovich's Kyiv office on Saturday after the president fled the capital to his stronghold in the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, as the pro-Russian leader's grip on power rapidly eroded following bloodshed in the Ukrainian capital.


Parliamentarians took the decision to declare him constitutionally unable to carry out his functions, having left Kyiv. Parliament also voted to free his arch-rival, jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Her daughter said Tymoshenko was already free under Ukrainian law but still in the hospital where she has been held for treatment.


The former prime minister waved to supporters from a car as she was driven out of the hospital in Kharkiv, a Reuters photographer said.


Tymoshenko, 53, was jailed in 2011 for abuse of office over a gas deal with Russia but her supporters and Western leaders say her trial was politically motivated.


The newly-installed interior minister declared that the police were now behind the protesters they had fought for days, giving central Kyiv the look of a war zone with 77 people killed, while central authority crumbled in western Ukraine.


Read more on EuroNews