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Wed, 05 November 2014
Pakistan slams Pentagon report on terror safe havens

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23:01   Wanted criminal arrested in Delhi with associates
Rajesh Bawania, one of the most notorious criminals of the national capital was today arrested along with four of his associates following a brief encounter and a chase with the Special Cell in Outer Delhi's Shahbad Dairy area this evening, police said.

Although nobody was injured in the gun battle, a huge cache of weapons was recovered by the police from the alleged criminals who have been evading arrest since long. 

Based on a tipoff, the Special Cell of Delhi Police laid a trap. After a chase, the criminals were intercepted. Finding no way out, they opened fire prompting the police to retaliate. The gang was soon overpowered and nabbed, said a police official.

Rajesh Bawania is a history-sheeter wanted in several cases of murder, attempt to murder, extortion, robberies and Arms Act. He and his gang operated in Outer Delhi's Bawana area.
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22:16   Patnaik demands central assistance
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today demanded central assistance for the state hit by cyclones Hudhud and Phailin saying it was a "genuine" need. 

Patnaik, who met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to press for the demands, said the state has not been provided with interim assistance of Rs 500 crore from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for Hudhud till date and is yet to receive Rs 399.83 crore due on account of Phailin.
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21:41   Pakistan slams Pentagon report on terror safe havens
Pakistan today reacted sharply to a blunt Pentagon assessment that it harbours terrorist sanctuaries, saying the remarks in the report contained "unsubstantiated allegations" and "unwarranted comments". 

In a candid assessment of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, the Pentagon had told the US Congress that the country is using militant groups as proxies to counter the superior Indian military.
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21:06   Pak army chief to visit Kabul on Thursday
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif will make a visit to Kabul on Thursday to meet the new Afghan leadership, the Pakistani military said in a short statement today.

"During his daylong visit, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif would meet Afghan President  Ashraf Ghani, CEO Abdullah Abdullah, defence minister, national security  adviser and senior military leaders," DG ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa posted on Twitter.

Sources within the defence ministry told Dawn.com that during his meetings with Afghan civil and military leaders, General Sharif would discuss security issues concerning both the countries as well as the post drawdown of US-led international forces from Afghanistan.
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21:05   600 charged for gruesome murder of Pak Christian couple
Six-hundred people were charged today for the gruesome murder of a Pakistani Christian couple accused of desecrating the Quran in Punjab province. 

An angry Muslim mob yesterday burnt alive the couple '" Shahzad Masih, 35, and his pregnant wife Siama alias Shamah, 31 '" by throwing them in a brick kiln after severely beating them in Kot Radha Kishan in Kasur district, some 50 kilometres from Lahore.
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21:03   Mortar fire on Syria school kills 11 children
Mortar shells struck a school east of Damascus today, killing at least 11 children, said activists, and the death toll was likely to rise. It was the most serious violence against Syrian minors since a twin suicide bombing killed at least 25 children near a school in October. 

The children of the Haya School in the town of Qaboun were struck by three mortars, said a local activist who uses the name Abu Akram al-Shami.
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20:31   Amnesty calls Israeli airstrikes on homes in Gaza 'war crimes'
Amnesty International has accused Israel of committing war crimes during the war in Gaza this summer, saying its military showed "callous indifference" in its attacks on family homes.

The London-based human rights group,  in a report published Wednesday, suggested violations of international law were committed by both sides during the 50-day conflict, noting that "Palestinian armed groups fired thousands of indiscriminate rockets and mortar rounds into civilian areas of Israel." But its report largely focused on attacks by Israeli forces. 
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20:29   1 dead after car rams Jerusalem train platform in terror attack
At least one person has died and 13 others have been injured after a Palestinian man rammed a car into a crowd on a light rail platform in east Jerusalem Wednesday in what Israeli police describe as a terror attack.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that police shot and killed the driver of the car. The driver slammed his car into the train platform in east Jerusalem first, backed out and proceeded to drive away, hitting several cars along the way, according to authorities. He then got out of the car and attacked a group of civilians and police officers on the side of the road with a metal bar before he was shot and killed.
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20:15   Saudi blames Qaeda for deadly anti-Shiite attack
Saudi authorities today blamed militants linked to Al-Qaeda for an unprecedented attack that killed six Shiite worshippers, including children, and stoked sectarian tensions in the Sunni-dominated kingdom. Masked gunmen in Saudi Arabia's east late Monday killed at least six Shiites as they celebrated Ashura, the last day of the Muharam, one of the holiest festivals of their faith. 

Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told Saudi media the attackers were "followers of the deviant ideology", using a term often used to describe Al-Qaeda.
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19:43   Swedish co-founder of Pirate Bay whisked to Bangkok
The Swedish co-founder of the website Pirate Bay website was hauled to Bangkok today following his arrest in northeast Thailand, with police from Stockholm waiting to press for his deportation to serve a jail term for copyright infringement. 
Fredrik Neij, 36, was stopped at the border on Monday. Neij was accompanied by several Thai police officers as he arrived at Bangkok's second airport, his hands restrained and covered by a folded T-shirt.
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19:08   Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to be new defence minister?
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar could be headed to Delhi for a plum posting in the Narendra Modi government.

According to sources, Parrikar who is widely regarded as a man of integrity could be in contention for the defence portfolio when Prime Minister Narendra Modi reshuffles his Cabinet in the next couple of days.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who holds additional responsibility of the defence portfolio, has been keeping busy with the budgetary exercise, finalising the revised estimates for 2014-15 and Budget estimates for 2015-16 for plan and non-plan expenses.

Earlier in the day, Parrikar met BJP president Amit Shah amid reports that he may be inducted into the Cabinet.

He is also likely to meet Modi.

Asked about the speculation that he may be inducted into the Cabinet, Parrikar said, "I can comment on it only after meeting the prime minister. Let the prime minister who has invited me comment."
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18:02   Telangana govt presents over Rs 1 lakh crore maiden budget
The Telangana government presented its maiden budget with an outlay of over Rs 1 lakh crore in the Assembly today. Etela Rajender, Finance Minister of Telangana state formed on June 2 this year, said in his budget speech that for the ten months of the financial year 2014-15, the Government proposes total expenditure of Rs 1,00,637.96 crore, of which the non-plan expenditure is estimated at Rs 51,989.49 crore and plan expenditure at Rs 48,648.47 crore.
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17:48   Kejriwal indicates he will be AAPs CM candidate
Gearing up for the assembly polls in a bid to recapture power, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has said he will be the party's "face' for the election campaign and indicated that he will be the chief ministerial nominee.

Kejriwal (46), who led AAP to a stunning debut in the assembly polls in December last year, said there was no reason why there would be a change in chief ministerial nominee though a final decision on it would be taken by the party. 
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17:46  
PM Narendra Modi chairing a high-level meeting to review connectivity related infrastructure sector
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17:09   Sachin: Took me three years to write the book and I won't change anything
At the book release of his autobiography, Sachin Tendulkar, says this book is a sincere attempt. The book has taken me three years to write but it was nice relive the moments. I don't want to change anything. I want people to know what my life has been. I owe it to the people across the world who have supported me.

The first copy of Sachin Tendulkar's much-anticipated and talked-about autobiography -- 'Playing It My Way' -- was presented to his mother Rajni by the batting maestro himself, in Mumbai, today.

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17:04   Assam renews plea for Ratna to Hazarika on 3rd death anniversary
Even as Assam paid rich tributes to Bhupen Hazarika on his third death anniversary today, the Assam government renewed its plea for a Bharat Ratna to the legendary singer, musician, poet and filmmaker, with chief minister Tarun Gogoi saying a fresh proposal has been sent to the Centre in this regard.  Read
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16:54   More autonomy, not less accountability
The task of injecting more professionalism into the Maharashtra police force is an enormous challenge. The problem may not be one of finding the resources, but primarily one of changing attitudes at the top. Read
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16:51   After award, Dr Singh lunches with Emperor Akihito
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko hosted a luncheon for Dr Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan at the Imperial Palace after the award ceremony. He is among 57 foreign recipients named for the 2014 Autumn Imperial Decorations. Singh had earlier said he was truly honoured and felt "humbled by the love and affection showered upon me by the people and government of Japan".
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16:23  
I wish that everybody had remained united in Congress, we are not in strong position in TN: Karti Chidambaram on GK Vasan.

Karti is former union minister P Chidambaram's son.
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16:12   Momma's boy! Sachin gifts first copy of autobiography to his mother
The first copy of Sachin Tendulkar's much-anticipated and talked-about autobiography -- 'Playing It My Way' -- was presented to his mother Rajni by the batting maestro himself, in Mumbai, today.

"Gave the first copy of my book to my mother. Look of pride on her face was a priceless moment!"

Tendulkar said on his facebook and twitter page. The now-retired batsman also posted a picture of himself with his mother, who is seen smiling on receiving the book.

Tendulkar called it quits from international cricket last year after playing a record 200 Tests.
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16:05   Will the Modi wave work in J-K?
If there is any party which can hope to make electoral gains from holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir at this moment, it is, undoubtedly, the BJP.

It seeks to ride on what it claims is a Modi wave and is hoping to at least emerge as the single largest party in the State.  Read more
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16:00  
Narendra Modi acknowledges Japan's award to former PM Dr Manmohan Singh.

Narendra Modi tweets: Matter of joy & pride that Japan has conferred Dr. Manmohan Singh with Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers. Congrats to him.
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15:56  
The PMO has identified four secretaries to the Government of India who are in constant touch with Congress leaders either through phone calls or courtesy calls over dinners.

The PMO is believed to encourage rivalries amongst IAS batchmates. 
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15:38   Benedict Cumberbatch, Sophie Hunter announce engagement
And an announcement...

MR B.T. Cumberbatch And Miss S.I Hunter
The engagement is announced between Benedict, son of Wanda and Timothy Cumberbatch of London, and Sophie, daughter of Katharine Hunter of Edinburgh and Charles Hunter of London.

That's the advertisement in the Times, London, that's got fans goggle-eyed and happy -- Benedict Cumberbatch appears to have announced his engagement to rumoured girlfriend Sophie Hunter. The two have been quietly dating for months, and the couple have made just a handful of public outings together.
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15:33   Will Goa CM Manohar Parrikar be the new defence minister?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon reshuffle his Cabinet. The move has been necessitated due to many reasons, mainly the overburdening of some ministers.

The key portfolios of defence and finance are handled by Arun Jaitley, which is considered an impossible task. CNN IBN reports that the PM is keen to move Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to Delhi to be the defence minister.

Ravi Shankar Prasad (information technology and law) and Prakash Javadekar (information and broadcasting, and environment) are also handling two ministries each.

Modi is looking for more energy quotient in his ministry. The image has been gaining ground that Modi is struggling to bring in change without the backing of a strong council of ministers.

Except for Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj (external affairs) and Rajnath Singh (home), there are no political heavyweights in Modi's Cabinet.

Also, Sushma's political mandate is limited while Rajnath has Ajit Doval, national security advisor, overlooking his tasks. Read more
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15:08   One phone call and 40 files are cleared
Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not mince words. He has been calling up senior union ministers and telling them to perform and perform quickly, we hear. 

Modi also called a union minister and said that he had received reports that the said minister was neither attending office nor clearing files.

Within 120 minutes of the call, this is what happened:

1. The minister rushed to his office in CGO Complex.
2. A meeting of senior officials was called.
3. Forty files were cleared.

That's what a single phone call can do.
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14:40   Kejriwal: We offered Kiran Bedi CM candidature five times!
More on Arvind Kejriwal's interview to ANI: "We offered her (Kiran Bedi) the CM candidature for AAP, five times but she declined it.
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14:37   Of an RBI chief who does not speak Tamil and Pepsico chief who does
RBI governor Raghuram Rajan is a Tamil Brahmin, an Iyengar, but he does not speak in his mother tongue whenever he meets union minister Nirmala Sitaraman or politicians from Tamil Nadu or for that matter Tamil-speaking babus.

That's a departure from Pepsico chief Indra Nooyi who always sends text messages or emails in chaste Tamil and speaks in a typical Mylapore Brahmin accent to Sitharaman, P Chidambaram or to APJ Abdul Kalam.

Nooyi was born in Tamil Nadu but is a naturalised US citizen.
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14:30   Bharti Airtel calls off Rs 700 cr deal to acquire Loop Mobile
Telecom major Bharti Airtel has called off its plans to acquire business and assets of Mumbai based Loop Mobile, for about Rs 700 crore, as the Department of Telecom is yet to clear the deal. "Loop Mobile and Bharti applied to DoT for approval of the business transfer in March 2014.

The approval for the transaction is still awaited from the relevant authorities as a result of which Bharti Airtel has withdrawn from the proposed transaction causing huge loss to the company," Loop Mobile spokesperson said.

DoT is yet to give clearance to the deal as it estimates that Loop Mobile and its sister concern Loop Telecom owe about Rs 808 crore in spectrum and other charges to the government.

Loop Mobile's permit in Mumbai is expiring on November 29 and the company did not purchase spectrum in February auction which was mandatory for continuing its operations.

Airtel had signed a deal with Loop in February this year to buy business and assets of Loop Mobile in Mumbai under a strategic agreement for about Rs 700 crore.

Under the agreement, Loop Mobile's 3 million subscribers (at that time) in Mumbai were suppose to join Airtel's over 4 million subscribers, making it largest network in the metropolitan city.
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14:20   Haven't performed badly as CM: Kejriwal
Kejriwal in an interview to ANI says, "I haven't performed badly both as a CM and a party convener, party should support me. AAP will go to polls with a CM candidate, who will be the CM candidate party will decide. I never commented on personalities of Modi-ji, Rahul-ji or Vadra-ji. I spoke on issues. People in Delhi need to understand that Narendra Modi will not be the CM of Delhi, it will be some Mukhi or Khattar."
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14:13   Kejriwal on resigning as Delhi CM: I have accepted I made a mistake
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on resigning as Delhi CM: We all make mistakes, we are humans. I have accepted I made a mistake by giving my resignation. AAP will go to polls with a CM candidate, who will be the CM candidate party will decide."
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13:52   Turkish ad mistakenly uses Al-Qaeda leader's photo to sell hair removal cream
A Turkish cosmetics company committed -- in nonadvertising speak -- a bit of a marketing no-no when it used a picture of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a recent ad campaign.

The company, in an attempt to hawk its hair removal products, repurposed a picture of the al-Qaida leader accompanied by a caption urging Turkish men to act now.

"The ad for the hair removal product reads, in Turkish, 'Waiting won't get rid of that hair!' or, more literally, 'The hair will not go away because you keep waiting!' ' according to Turkey's English-language paper, Hurriyet Daily News.

The image of KSM, as Vox points out, is ubiquitous, and the picture'"taken when KSM was captured in Pakistan in 2003'"was for many years the only known photo of the terrorist leader who is currently a prisoner in Guantnamo. Read more
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13:47  
A notification issued by the Home Ministry said that President Pranab Mukherjee has dissolved the "Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi with immediate effect" on November 4.

The Union Cabinet had yesterday recommended the dissolution of the Assembly following recommendation of LG Najeeb Jung after talks on Monday with BJP, Congress and AAP which expressed inability to form government and sought fresh mandate.

While fresh elections may be held early next year, the process for the November 25 by-elections to three constituencies, for which last date of nominations is today, was revoked by the Election Commission today.
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13:42   AAP hoarding torn in poll-bound Delhi
As the race for the Delhi polls hots up with the President dissolving the assembly today, AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal tweets this picture and says, "Our legal hoardings torn. Anyone's guess who wud have done it. Are they soooo scared?"
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13:33   Why Rudy has been packed off to the south
BJP MP from Chhapra, Rajiv Pratap Rudy has been sent to a punishment posting to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Here's the inside story. Rudy was the party's central observer during the Maharashtra elections, but his failure to get a majority for the party has been frowned upon by the powers that be. 

So, Rudy has got marching orders out of Maharashtra and was told to head to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

This is also believed to be a reminder from the party that they will not forget that Rudy was in the Advani camp and therefore needed to be cut to size.

After the Bihar elections in mid of 2015, Rudy will have to strive hard to keep his position in the BJP.
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13:16  
Rahul Gandhi denies naming Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler in Congress panel for upcoming Delhi elections: NDTV.
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13:12   Expect Insurance Bill to be passed in Winter session: Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today expressed hope that the long-pending and controversial Insurance Amendment Bill, that seeks to raise FDI in the sector from existing 26 per cent to 49 per cent, will get Parliament nod in the upcoming Winter Session.

"I do hope that the amended bill would be passed in the forthcoming session of Parliament later this month," Jaitley said at the India Economic Summit here. The month-long Winter Session of Parliament is scheduled to commence from November 24.
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13:03   Prez dissolves Delhi assembly
Stage set for polls as President Pranab Mukherjee dissolves Delhi assembly.
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12:52   Salman remains a convict in black buck poaching case, says SC
Black buck poaching case: The Supreme Court reserves the order on the Rajasthan govt's appeal against suspending conviction of actor Salman Khan. The SC questions if Salman deserved relief only to enable him to travel to the UK; the court says Salman remains a convict.

Reportedly, today was supposed to be the final hearing in connection with infamous 1998 case. Salman was convicted and sentenced to one year and five-year prison term in separate cases of poaching of two Chinkaras at Bhawad and one black buck at Ghoda Farm (Mathania) on the intervening night of September 26-27, 1998 and September 28-29, 1998 respectively.
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12:43   The incident that triggered GK Vasan's departure from the Congress
Buzz is that Rahul Gandhi got pictures of P V Narasimha Rao and GK Moopanar removed from the Congress Membership Identity card meant for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu Congress workers.
Vasan's supporters are angry with Rahul and see no reason why Kamaraj and Moopanar's photographs should have been taken off from the cards since they've been there for the last 20 years. 

And that, dear reader, was the straw that broke G K Vasan's back and prompted him to walk out of the Congress.

Congress leaders in Andhra Pradesh are also planning to break away from the Congress.
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12:27   Tight race between Ami Bera, Doug Ose
Meanwhile, in the US mid-term polls -- the only Indian American in the US Congress, Democrat Dr Amerish 'Ami' Bera, 49, was in a dead heat with Republican challenger, former US Congressman Doug Ose, leading by a few hundred votes by 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent with 56 percent of the precincts reporting in Sacramento's 7th Congressional District.

Another closely-watched race in California, in Silicon Valley's 17th Congressional District, the iconic Asian American incumbent Mike Honda, 73, was leading comfortably by 53.5 percent over Indian American challenger Ro Khanna who had garnered 46.5 per cent.
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12:12   1984 riots-tainted Sajjan Kumar, Tytler in Rahul's Delhi polls team
Here are the other names in Rahul Gandhi's panel for the Delhi polls. DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely, Ajay Maken, Shakeel Ahmed and Haroon Yusuf. Expect a huge, huge backlash from both the BJP and the AAP for the decision to have 1984 riots tainted leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler in the panel as well. What was he thinking?

Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader Haroon Yusuf said, "The BJP has to answer why the elections in Delhi were repeatedly re-scheduled in last five months."

The Congress party has also not named its chief ministerial candidate. The AAP has tried to pitch it as a direct fight between Arvind Kejriwal and senior BJP leader Jagdish Mukhi but the latter refused to bite the bullet.
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12:02   'India wants to normalize relations with Pakistan, does it want the same?'
Jaitley on Pakistan incursions: The kind of misadventure when you start killing civilians probably have consequences which will be unaffordable to Pakistan. India wants to normalize relations with Pakistan, does Pakistan want the same? Question is who decides these things in Pakistan? 
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11:56   Jaitley: Allegations of crony capitalism were true
Finance minister Arun Jaitley's address to investors at the World Economic Forum continues in Delhi. Big takeaways include...

-- Allegations of crony capitalism were true (under last government).

-- Element of fairness in the system was lacking. Reforms in developed society are different because people there have already tasted fruits of development. In a country where a very large number of people are so poor, for governments to push reforms is far more challenging. Our reform process cannot be one that simply confronts public opinion - doubts have to be cleared. Debate has to continuously go on.

-- Retrospective tax (Vodafone case) was a bad idea which damaged the economy.

-- Railways was almost close to private sec investment let alone foreign,if initial experiments succeed will enable us to open up more:

-- We welcome large investment participation, even international participation in area of infrastructure.

-- No quarrel with provision raising compensation to farmers in Land Acquisition Act but land acquisition procedure made complicated.

-- India not opposed to trade facilitation under WTO; a permanent solution should be found in stock holding in agriculture.
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11:40   Rahul chooses 1984 riots-tainted Sajjan Kumar, Tytler for Delhi polls team
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi chooses Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler in his core team for the Delhi Election. So much for the clean politics Rahul has promised voters -- both Kumar and Tytler are linked to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. 
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11:25   Finance minister admits: Will take a lot of time to rectify economy
Finance minister Arun Jaitley addresses investors at the World Economic Forum in Delhi.

Jaitley says that he is satisfied with the beginning the government has made, but admits that it will take a lot of time to rectify the economy.

"Reforms is not about one sensational idea. No step should be taken which sends a contrary signal, one has to pursue in one direction, and the present government is doing that.

"The pit was reasonably deep, rectifying that is going to take a lot of time, and a large number of steps is required," he said. 
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11:08   Warships leave Kolkata port after terror alert
The Indian Navy today pulled out two warships from the Calcutta port, citing "operational reasons', after an alert of a possible terror strike that could damage the vessels.

The alert is understood to have specified that militants in the guise of visitors or staff who have access to the port could threaten the security of the berths and assets on the waterside in Kidderpore.

Terror alerts are fairly routine but the Burdwan blast last month has added an edge to the latest intelligence input. Read
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11:00  
Who is he (Arvind Kejriwal) to decide about Cong or BJP? He should see his own house first: Satish Upadhyay on CM candidate for Delhi poll
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10:57   Manmohan receives Japan's highest civilian honour today
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received one of Japan's top national awards today, for his contribution to India-Japan ties, becoming the first Indian to receive the rare honour.

Singh was awarded 'The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers' for his "significant contribution to the enhancement of relations and promotion of friendship" between Japan and India for about 35 years.

Pic: Manmohan Singh receiving the award from Japanese emperor Akihito. 
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10:46   Sheila Dixit: Will help Cong in Delhi, but won't contest
As Delhi heads towards elections (dates not announced yet), former Delhi CM Sheila Dixit has said that she will not contest the elections, but will help the Congress.
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10:44   Sensex breaches 28,000-mark for the first time in early trade
Ignoring weak global cues, benchmark indices gained ground on Wednesday when the markets resumed for trading after a day's holiday on 4 November on account of Mohrrum.

The S&P BSE Sensex crossed the 28,000 mark for the first time ever - hitting a high of 28006.60 in morning deals. The CNX Nifty, on the other hand, is trading nearly 0.5% higher at 8,360 at 10:07 am after a technical glitch caused around 15-minute delay in stock feed updatation when the markets opened for trade at 9:15am.
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10:43   Same to same? Cong plans pledge on Nehru birthday like Sardar Patel's
The Congress plans a public pledge on Jawaharlal Nehru's birth anniversary on November 14 and stoutly denies that it is borrowing the idea from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who administered two public pledges last month on the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Read more
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10:38  
The election shaped by widespread voter discontent with Obama could complicate his last two years in office, reducing his room to maneuver but also potentially opening new areas for compromise. As polls close across the country, early results indicate a number of both Democratic and Republican Senate incumbents have held onto their seats.
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10:35  
Here's what the senate election results look like. Take a look.
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10:20   Sensex hits 28,000 for first tme as record rally continues
And back in India...The Sensex today breached the 28,000-mark for the first time in early trade. The Nifty too rose to 8,363, also a new high.

The Sensex and NSE Nifty have hit a new high for the fourth consecutive session, buoyed by growing optimism about Indian economy. The announcement of stimulus measures from Bank of Japan on Friday also boosted the sentiment.
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10:16   Republicans win United States Senate majority
CNN projects Republicans win United States Senate majority. This means they will control Congress during Obama's last years in office.

The thumping win upends the balance of power between the White House and Capitol Hill only six years after Obama's Democrats swept to power and marginalized Republicans in a rush to reform health care, Wall Street and pass a huge stimulus package.

Now, it's Democrats who will take the back seat on Capitol Hill, relying mostly on the power of the filibuster to stymie Republicans and keep Obama's legacy intact.

Image: Image: US Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky  waves with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and McConnell's wife, former United States Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, at McConnell's midterm election night victory rally in Louisville, Kentucky
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09:27   I will work hard and fight every day: Niraj Antani after Ohio win
Rediff.com's George Joseph reports:  "I am deeply honoured to have been elected the State Representative for Ohio's 42nd House District. I'll make you proud,' tweeted Niraj Antani, a 23-year-old law student at University of Dayton.

"I will work hard and fight every day for my constituents in the Ohio House of Representatives. Together, I know that we can create opportunities so all can achieve their American Dream. Thank you."

Antani, a Republican, trounced Democratic Party's Patrick Merris, a member of the city council in West Carrollton.The party central committee chose him in the fourth ballot against four candidates, older than him and well known in party circles.

The seat fell vacant after the three-term state Rep Terry Blair, 67, died in office in June. Since Blair had won the party primary in May, it fell on the party to select the next candidate.
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09:05   Republicans one seat away from a Senate majority
CNN reports: Republican Rep Cory Gardner has won the race for Colorado's US Senate seat, defeating one-term incumbent Senator Mark Udall, according to a CNN projection.

The win leaves Republicans one seat away from a Senate majority. 
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08:52   Rep. Sabi Kumar is first Indian-American in Tennessee House
With a resounding victory in the Republican Primary and later the withdrawal of the Democratic opponent from election from District 66, Dr Sabi Kumar of Springfield, was assured of a seat in Tennessee State House of Representatives weeks ago, reports Rediff.com's George Joseph.

Once the election is over, Representative Sabi 'Doc' Kumar looks forward to serving in the Tennessee Legislature. He is the first Indian to become a member of the House in Tennessee when the legislative session begins in 2015.

Kumar, a surgeon, has served in Springfield for 37 years. "It has been a remarkable journey. Considering that I came to this community as an adult immigrant, the mere fact that I could run for public office is a reward in itself. But, to win the election is indeed an honor. I am fortunate to live in a wonderful community. It is truly a great country that we live in," he said.
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08:40   Indian-American Dr Prasad Srinivasan unopposed in Connecticut
Rediff.com's George Joseph reports: Connecticut State Representative Dr Prasad Srinivasan, a Republican, won re-election for a third term to the State House, unopposed.

The Democrats choose not to put up a candidate against Srinivasan, a medical doctor, who has a proven track record for serving all people in the state. Even Democrats were supporting his candidacy. His strategy of starting an aggressive campaign early on in June itself sent a strong signal that he was not taking the election for granted. He greeted people at cross roads and knocked on the doors of many houses.

"I made it loud and clear that I was not taking any chances or sitting idle," Dr Srinivasan said.

He added that he was "extremely happy with what he could achieve in the last four years in the assembly". "When so many Democrats come to me to appreciate my work I feel touched. I worked for all and for the right causes for the people," he said. 
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08:35   US mid-term polls: Hindu American Tulsi Gabbard coasting to an easy re-election
Rediff.com's Aziz Haniffa reports from Washington, DC:  Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the only Hindu American in the United States House of Representatives and a darling of the Indian American community is coasting to a rollicking re-election victory in Hawaii's 2nd District.

She has been called up for active duty and will not be returning to Capitol Hill on November 12 when the US Congress reconvenes after the mid-term elections.Gabbard has been called up for activation by the Hawaii army national guard to support their assistance to Hawaii County's response to the ongoing Kilauea lava flow.

The first and only Hindu American in Congress, who was elected two years ago, serves as a military police captain.

Her office said that because of Pentagon rules, "During this time, she will be unable to accept media requests or make public statements related to her official Congressional duties."

"Her offices in Hawaii and Washington DC will remain open and serving her constituents during this period.  The duration of her duty is yet to be determined," a close aide to Gabbard told rediff.com.
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08:21   Nikki Haley beats Vincent Sheheen to win re-election
Indian-American Republican Nikki Haley was re-elected to a second term as South Carolina's governor.

Haley faced Democrat Vincent Sheheen at the polls, in a rematch of their 2010 race.

Haley was declared the winner based on projections from exit poll data that suggests the Republican will win by a wider margin than 2010, when just 4.5 percentage points separated her from Sheheen.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2014/11/04/3790219/nikki-haley-wins-a-second-term.html?sp=/99/132/312/169/#storylink=cpy

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04:01   Six wins key to US midterm election
Even before the polls close in the midterm election, President Barack Obama is sounding gloomy about the Democrats' chances of hanging onto the Senate.

"This is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower," Obama told WNPR radio in Connecticut Tuesday afternoon while polls were still open.

"There are a lot of states that are being contested where they just tend to tilt Republican," said Obama, seemingly reconciling himself to a grim night for Democrats that could turn his final two years in the White House into a painful experience.

But Vice President Joe Biden, ever the sunny optimist, isn't ready to give up just yet, and predicted Democrats would win enough crucial states to keep the Senate after a negative election campaign that cost almost $4 billion and soured an already angry public mood.

Read more HERE
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03:17   Ukrainian president sends more troops to the east
Ukraine's president has said that additional troops are being deployed to the east, where fighting continues to rage between government forces and pro-Russian separatist fighters. 

Petro Poroshenko said yesterday the units would defend cities still under government control against possible incursions.

His remarks came after Ukrainian security officials claimed over the weekend that Russia has intensified the transfer of troops and military equipment to separatist rebels. Moscow denies it aids the rebels.

"Several new units have been formed that will enable us to repel possible attacks in the direction of Mariupol and Berdyansk, Kharkiv, and areas north of Luhansk and the Dnipropetrovsk region," Poroshenko said, according to a statement on the presidential website. 

Tensions have spiked since the weekend, when rebels held an election that was condemned by the West and Ukraine as illegal and destabilizing.
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01:11   Plane turbulence injures 4 Air France cabin crew
Air France says that a flight bound for New York's JFK airport was forced to turn around shortly after leaving Paris after severe turbulence injured four cabin crew members.

According to a statement, the incident took place Tuesday afternoon when flight AF006 encountered bad weather "at the beginning of the cruise phase." 

The plane turned back and landed at Charles de Gaulle airport, where medical assistance was provided to the crew
members. It wasn't immediately clear how serious their injuries were.

No passengers were injured.
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00:41   Wall Street welcomes Alibaba results
Chinese online commerce giant Alibaba met Wall Street expectations today in its first quarterly report after completing the world's biggest stock offering, propelling its stock to record territory.

Alibaba said its adjusted third quarter net profit rose by 15 per cent to $1.1 billion. But using standard accounting practices that include depreciation and one-time costs, profits fell 39 per cent to $494 million.

Revenue jumped 53.7 per cent from the same quarter last year to $2.7 billion.

"We delivered a strong quarter with significant growth across our key operating metrics," Alibaba Group chief executive Jonathan Lu said in a statement. 

Shares in Alibaba jumped to new record highs, adding 2.2 per cent to $104 after the news.

Alibaba operates China's most popular online shopping platform, Taobao, which is estimated to hold more than 90 per cent of the country's online market for consumer-to-consumer transactions.

As it does not sell products directly, but acts as an electronic middleman, Alibaba has been able to generate enviable profit margins. The company also seems to be managing well the transition to mobile devices.
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00:39   Rolls-Royce says to axe 2,600 jobs
Rolls-Royce, the maker of aircraft engines, said today that it plans to shed 2,600 jobs, mainly at its aerospace division, over the next 18 months to cut costs.

The British company said headcount reduction was necessary following the completion of development programmes for engines used to power Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 passenger planes.

It also hinted in its statement at further cuts to a global workforce currently at 55,000. 

The announcement to reduce staff numbers by almost five percent comes after Rolls had last month slashed its earnings forecasts partly as a result of Western trade sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

Meanwhile in May, Rolls-Royce shocked investors when it issued a profit warning at its marine division, which has been beset by production problems. The group has been hit hard also by adverse foreign exchange movements.
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00:21   7 things that could happen on US election night
Things have changed since the last time United States went to the polls. 

Then, Barack Obama was re-elected to a second four-year term. Now, he's been largely benched by his party, spending less time on the campaign trail than his much more popular wife, first lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton and potential future presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

Midterm elections are more local affairs and the issues vary from contest to contest.

But midterms have national consequences, and what happens Tuesday will help determine what President Obama can get done in his final two years in office. 

It will tee up the coming 2016 presidential contest and give Americans the chance to try on a more powerful GOP as they start to think about who should be the next president.

But first comes Tuesday and here is what's going to happen.

Read more HERE

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00:17   Not a US political junkie? 50 election facts to help
The main political result everyone in the United States is waiting for is whether Democrats keep control of the Senate, which they have held since 2006. 

While a shift in the balance of power is the big drama, there is more at stake in every state.

Here are 50 facts to help you understand what's happening in the election.

Read more HERE

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00:14   Will David Cameron's gamble take Britain out of Europe?
David Cameron is in danger of becoming the prime minister who takes Britain out of the European Union by mistake.

Cameron's looming confrontation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the European Union's principle of free movement of peoples could set off a chain reaction which sees Britain choose to exit the EU in a referendum Cameron has promised voters in 2017.

Just a few weeks ago it appeared that miscalculations by Cameron might have seen the breakup of the United Kingdom. 

In the referendum granted to Scotland on its continued membership in the UK, he was widely criticized for agreeing to the wrong question at the wrong time, with no qualifying majority built in and with no participation rights for Scots living elsewhere in the UK. 

That the Scots in the end voted to stay was widely reckoned to owe far more to the intervention of former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown than to anything Cameron did.

Now Cameron is under fire again for failing to do his homework, for entering battles he cannot win and for employing dangerous short-term tactics in the hope of averting further blows from the advancing United Kingdom Independence Party at a forthcoming Parliamentary by-election and in next summer's General Election.

Read more HERE