Wed, 10 September 2014
NIA arrests Sri Lankan passing secrets to Pakistan

Timeline  Refresh

23:24   700 shifted to camps in flood-hit East Godavari district
Nearly 700 flood-hit people in East Godavari district have been shifted to relief camps even as water level in Godavari river was receding gradually at Dowleswaram barrage.

Collector Neetu Prasad said, "696 flood-affected people have been shifted to four relief camps in the district. They are being provided with drinking water, food and other essential commodities."

Sixty-four country boats, 14 mechanised boats and two launches were pressed into service to shift the people from villages under Devipatnam, Ainavalli, P Gannavaram, Kothapeta, Mummudivaram, Skhinetipalli, Ravulapalem, Allavaram and Mammidikudur mandals to relief camps, she said.

Deputy Chief Minister N Chinarajappa visited Appanapalli village in Mamidikuduru mandal and supervised the flood relief works, Prasad said.
23:23   NIA arrests Sri Lankan passing secrets to Pak
A Sri Lankan national, who was found to be passing vital information to Pakistan, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in Hyderabad.

A'run Selvarajan is alleged to be part of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence's Colombo wing which was set up to target South India. Selvarajan, according to the NIA, was passing information about sensitive installations in Hyderabad.

In May, the NIA had arrested a Sri Lankan national, Sakir Hussain, who was plotting attacks in South India. Selvarajan's name cropped up following the NIA investigation into the Sakir Hussain case. 
22:54   Nearly 260 dead in rains, floods in Pak; over 1 mln affected
Nearly 260 people have been killed and more than one million affected due to rains and devastating floods in Pakistan with authorities racing against both time and tide to limit destruction, officials said today.

The rains lashed vast areas of the country last week and have now stopped but the floods triggered by the heavy showers are still out of control. Reema Zubari of the National Disaster Management Authority said 1,091,807 people have been affected by the floods in Punjab alone.

Another million people would be affected in Sindh province as the flood water has drained down to empty into the Arabian Sea, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said. NDMA has warned that high to very high level flood would hit Sindh in the south of the country on September 13.

Currently the floods have entered the southern part of Punjab after wreaking havoc in north-eastern and central parts of the province.
20:57   Blasts kill 19 as Kerry visits Iraq capital
Bomb attacks killed 19 people in Baghdad today as US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Iraqi capital for talks on combatting jihadists, officials said. 

They said a suicide car bombing followed by a car bomb struck near a police checkpoint in a crowded area of eastern Baghdad, also wounding at least 52 people. At least two of the dead were policemen.
20:28   Judgement day for 'Blade Runner' Pistorius
"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius appears in court tomorrow to face judgement over the killing of his model girlfriend, ending a six-month trial that turned the amputee's private life into a global spectacle. 

The 27-year-old celebrity athlete faces life behind bars -- and notoriety that would eclipse his athletic achievements -- if found guilty of deliberately killing lover Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013.
20:25   J-K floods: Google uploads over 3,200 people's database
Google has uploaded a database of over 3,200 people who could possibly be stranded in the worst- ever floods in Jammu and Kashmir. 

The Internet giant, in an attempt to boost the search capabilities of rescue teams in the state, had yesterday launched a time-tested application which was successfully used in Uttarakhand last year.
20:23   Obama to outline plans for Iraq, Syria
President Obama began putting the final touches Wednesday on a prime-time speech outlining expanded plans to battle the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The speech may include discussion of expanded airstrikes in Iraq and perhaps Syria, increased assistance to forces in Iraq and Syria that are fighting the Islamic State, and help from a coalition of other countries that are opposed to the insurgent group also known as ISIL or ISIS.
19:34   Officials provided with satellite phones, communication sets
To ensure that the state administration is able to communicate properly while dealing with flood situation and reaching out to people in Kashmir, the Army has provided officials with satellite phones and mobile communication sets. 

"In the effort to revive communication in the affected areas, the Army had already provided satellite phones to the civilian administration (to reach out to the people in distress due to flood situation)," an Army officer said today.
18:57   Cops asked to check slums around airport over terror threat
A terror alert has been sounded by the Maharashtra state intelligence warning of an attack on the Mumbai airport. The alert was sounded following inputs that suggested that some terrorists could have taken shelter in the slums around the airport. In the wake of this alert sounded by the intelligence, the aviation ministry has written to the Maharashtra Anti Terror Squad asking them to step up security. The ministry's letter also directs the police to conduct a complete check of the slums around the airport where the terrorists could have taken shelter.
18:37   We will will continue work through 'day and night': Army Chief
Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag today said the forces would continue to work through "day and night" to render relief to the affected people in Kashmir.

He said the flood situation in Kashmir is "improving" and stressed upon the need to supply affected people with food, water and medicine.

In the state capital to oversee the massive rescue exercise launched by the Army, he expressed confidence that situation will improve "quite a lot" in two to three days.

"It (situation) is improving. Water level is receding. I was here three days back and from then to now the water level has come down four to five feet or six feet at some places. So things are improving," he told reporters.

Suhag, however, emphasised on the need to carry relief material to the rescued people.

"What is required is we need to supply food, water and medicine to people who need that," he said, adding that Army was taking full care of people under its watch and augmented its medical facilities to meet the challenge.

Pic: J-K CM Omar Abdullah on an aerial survey of his state.
18:28   India, Afghanistan to intensify security, defence cooperation
India today assured all possible help to the Afghan people to realise their vision of a strong, independent and prosperous Afghanistan as the two countries agreed to intensify cooperation in areas like security, defence and reconstruction work in the war-torn country.
18:26   BJP MLA seeks ban on entry of non-Hindu youths in MP garba pandals
Amid a raging debate over 'love jihad', a Madhya Pradesh BJP MLA has asked organisers of a forthcoming Navratri festival to disallow entry of non-Hindu youths in pandals where 'garba' or a devotional dance is performed in the praise of goddess Durga.

Madhya Pradesh BJP vice president and MLA from Indore (3) seat, Usha Thakur told reporters today that organisers of 'garba' should only allow Hindu youths to enter the pandals and that too on production of their voter identity cards.

"It is not appropriate to let those people who do not believe in Hindu religion enter the pandals for 'garba' only for dancing and singing. I have appealed to organisers to allow only Hindu youths in pandals and that too on production of voter identity cards," the 48-year-old legislator said.

Thakur also asked the organisers to ensure that girls participating in garba festivities are "decently" dressed up.
18:16   Army chief: Trying to restore road communication by tomorrow
Dalbir Singh Suhag, Army Chief on J&K, on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. "We are trying to restore road communication by tomorrow, probably light vehicles will be able to come in. We are supplying all essentials like food/water/blankets etc, additional medical teams are there. Army is there, no doubt about that, rescue ops are on day and night."
We have not received any notice from the court that a chargesheet has been filed against Amit Shah: Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP
17:12   Sushma Swaraj, Hamid Karzai agree to intensify security, defence ties
As Afghanistan prepares for a democratic transition of power, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks on political and security situation in the war-torn country and agreed to intensify cooperation in areas like security and defence.

During the meeting, Swaraj expressed India's strong commitment to continue extending its all possible help to Afghanistan to meet various challenges and conveyed that it will remain engaged in the country's reconstruction activities in a significant way.
17:09   Global conspiracy behind 'love jihad': Shiv Sena
Backing BJP leader Swami Adityanath, the Shiv Sena today said 'love jihad' is part of a "global conspiracy" to destroy Hindu culture. In an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Sena cited RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's statement where he said that Hindu girls should beware of 'love jihad'.

"Hindus in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand are angry about this issue and he (Adityanath) is voicing their anger," the editorial said backing the BJP leader. It further said that those who have called for this kind of jihad should be taught a lesson.

"Terrorist organisations across the world have called for jihad against Hindustan," it said, adding, that terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba, SIMI, Al-Qaeda aim to destroy the secular fabric of the country.

"If Hindus are not going to wake up and if the governments are not going to act against those behind 'love jihad', it won't be long before the jihadis' plans succeed," the editorial said.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.
16:52   Over a 1000 migrant workers from Bihar stranded in J-K
Over a 1000 people, mostly migrant workers from Bihar, are stranded in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir,'s MI Khan reports from Patna . Their families have now appealed to the Manjhi government to rescue them.

"The Bihar government is serious about rescuing those stranded in J-K and we have approached officials in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Indian Air Force personnel," the principal secretary from the state disaster management team said.

A govt official said that the disaster control room had received information that more than a 1000 people from the state are stranded in flood-affected Jammu and Kashmir going by the number of calls they had received from family members in the last 24 hours.

According to department officials, the actual figure of those either stranded or missing in J-K from the state, may be higher as people tend to approach the control room only after they fail to get information from other sources.
16:23   The creative life of Arunava Sinha, translator
Q and A with Arunava Sinha. He who  translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and nonfiction into English. Eighteen of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar's Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri's Seventeen (2011), respectively, and the winner of the Muse India translation award (2013) for Buddhadeva Bose's When The Time Is Right, he has also been shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee. Besides India, his translations have been published in the UK and the US in English, and in several European and Asian countries through further translation.

That was the bio, now read the interview.
16:12   Muzaffarnagar police files chargesheet against Amit Shah
The Muzaffarnagar police, Uttar Pradesh, has filed a chargesheet against BJP president Amit Shah in the Muzaffarnagar court over his alleged hate speech during the campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

Sources claim that the chargesheet has been prepared under serious sections of the IPC, which has punishment up to life imprisonment.

Shah was the BJP in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, when the incident took place. The Muzaffaranagar police expedited the charge sheet after he became the president of the party on July 9.
16:08   Uttar Pradesh: 35-year-old woman kidnapped, gangraped in Meerut
A 35-year-old woman was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint and gang-raped by three men who also robbed off her valuables in Kharkhauda town, in Meerut, police said on Wednesday.

The incident took place on Tuesday when the woman, a mother of three, was on her way to a bank where the three accused kidnapped her at gunpoint, they said. They then took her to a nearby forest and gang-raped her, police said.
All hands to deck: Ministry of Railways @RailMinIndia The IR through its PSU IRCTC has made 3 lac Rail Neer water bottles available for flood affected ppl of J&K, sent through the IAF & Railways.
15:55   Shah's hate speech during the polls
Shah, during a rally at Bijnore and Shamli, in UP had allegedly exhorted Jats to "take revenge of the killings during the last year's riots by voting for the BJP candidates."

Though the FIR was lodged under sections similar to those lodged against Imran Masood - the Congress candidate from Saharanpur for his hate speech in which he had threatened to "chop Modi to pieces in case he tried to make Gujarat out of UP" -- legal experts believe that Shah's arrest may not be inevitable in the case as he is not a candidate himself.
15:50   Guinness World Records 2015 in pictures
The 60th-anniversary edition of the Guinness World Records book will reflect on six decades of record-breaking, whilst also featuring the latest additions to the oddball hall of fame. See
15:12   No need to panic, minister tells Kashmiris
Union Minister Jitendra Singh today assured the flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir of all help from the Centre to tide over the crisis which has hit their state.

Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, said there is no need to panic and promised every help to the relatives and kin of the people stranded in the flood-hit areas of J-K.

Singh, the MP from Udhampur constituency of J-K, said that over 76,500 people have been rescued so far by the armed forces and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The remaining affected and stranded persons are also in the process of being evacuated, he said.
14:50   Whatever happened to Haley Joel Osment?
Liked the cute kid in the Sixth Sense? Don't click here to see what he's become. 
14:46   Rolex watches, gold jewellery... gifts Manmohan, Sonia received
Rolex watches (Rs 9 lakh each), gold necklaces (Rs 7 lakh), Swiss watches, jewellery... are among gifts that former PM Manmohan Singh, UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and others received that were sent to the government treasury.  

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has released the latest installment of the declarations of gifts received by Indian officials from foreign dignitaries. In the past year, according to the MEA's disclosure of gifts deposited by recipient Indian officials, the most expensive items were presented to former Prime Minster Manmohan Singh, Vice President Hamid Ansari and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Take a look.
14:34   Vijayakant announces Rs 10 lakh for relief in Kashmir
DMDK founder Vijayakant today announced a sum of Rs 10 lakh towards relief efforts in the flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir.

The NDA constituent said that the unprecedented rains in the last 60 years has severely affected the people, creating fears about their livelihood. Vijayakant said he had made the contribution from his personal funds towards the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.
14:32   DGCA tells airlines to cap fares, collect fares after passengers reach Delhi
In yet another direction to help passengers trapped in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, DGCA today asked all airlines to cap the fares on Srinagar-Delhi and Leh-Delhi sectors to Rs 2,800 and Rs 3,000.

If an air traveller is cash-strapped due to the precarious situation prevailing in Srinagar and elsewhere in the state, the DGCA has asked the air carriers to collect fares only after they reached Delhi.

The airlines have also been asked to mount additional flights to clear the rush of outbound tourists from Srinagar. The decisions were taken by the aviation regulator in consultation with the airlines in view of the flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir and all airlines have agreed to the decision, official sources said.

With most of Srinagar submerged, passengers were finding it extremely difficult to reach the airport and those who were able to make it as well as incoming passengers were not able to leave the airport due to the rising water levels all around the capital city.

Following discussions with the airlines, DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar issued the instructions.

In letters to various airlines flying to and from Srinagar, DGCA's Joint Director General Lalit Gupta, "All airlines must ensure that they not charge the prevalent airfare and instead charge only fixed airfare, which in any case should not exceed Rs 2800 (all inclusive) on Srinagar- Delhi sector till the flash flood situation prevails."

"Airlines must airlift those passengers from Srinagar also, who do not have any money at this stage. Such passengers may be charged airfare upon arrival at Delhi," Gupta said.

Similar was the letter sent to those flying to Leh, where the all-inclusive fare was to be Rs 3,000. There are about 350 passengers who were stranded at Leh.

Meanwhile, emergency numbers are:
Emergency Army Helpline:(+91) 011-23019831
Home Ministry Helpline:(+91) 011-23093054 (+91) 011-23092763
NDRF Control Room:(+91) 011-26107953 (+91) 0-9711077372
14:23   Kumar Vishwas is just strengthening his own future: Cong
Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit on Kumar Vishwas praising PM Modi. "Kumar Vishwas is just strengthening his own future, he realizes that AAP has no future."
Union Cabinet to meet at 4:30 pm today, likely to discuss the Kashmir floods. 
14:16   On PM's order, 265 dropped from jumbo Asiad team
A jumbo 944-member contingent proposed for the upcoming Incheon Asian Games in South Korea has been pruned to 679 following guidelines issued by the prime minister's office (PMO).

PM Narendra Modi himself is known to travel light and it seems the principle is now being applied to sports contingents.

"Questioning the need for so many officials in the delegation, the PMO suggested that a minimum number of officials, without affecting performance of players, should be included,' a top government official told the Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity.

The initial figure of 944 -- 662 athletes and 282 coach/officials -- was proposed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), but hit a wall with the sports ministry wanting it cut by nearly a third.

The new whittled down 679-member contingent includes 516 athletes and 163 officials.

As a result of the cuts, India will participate in only 28 disciplines and won't take part in rugby 7s, 10-pin bowling, modern pentathlon, triathlon, soft tennis, fencing and beach volleyball.
14:01   AP Govt announces Rs 5 crore aid for flood-ravaged J&K
Andhra Pradesh Government today announced a financial assistance of Rs 5 crore to flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir. The state government also decided to send 300 metric tonnes of ready-to-eat food to J&K, official sources said. Already 145 tonnes of food packets have been dispatched through the Indian Air Force for distribution to the flood-ravaged people, they added.
14:00   'Have not been able to speak to 90% of my cabinet colleagues'
Kashmir floods: On the situation on the ground, J-K CM Omar Abdullah said there has been a complete breakdown of communication in the state after the floods.

"Any communication with the outside world has been through the handful of satellite phones that we have. The backbone of the communication has been what the Army and IAF have set up. Cell phones, landlines and Internet services are completely down," he said.

The state chief minister said BSNL has flown in equipment and engineers to establish a temporary telephone exchange to enable communication with the rest of the world.

"At this point in time, we have multiple focus areas, in those areas where people are marooned, our effort is to try and rescue them using helicopters and boats. Where rescue is not possible due to various reasons, we are trying to drop supplies. At the same time, work on restoring communication is on," he said.

Omar said he has not been able to communicate with people and, "I have not been able to speak to 90 per cent of my Cabinet colleagues."
13:35   1000 Army men, families stranded without food, water in Kashmir
Over 1000 Army personnel and their families are stranded in various camps in Kashmir without food and water even as Army personnel work on a war footing to evacuate civilians from their marooned homes.

"Many camps of Army located in South Kashmir and Srinagar have been flooded and over 1000 Army personnel and their families are stranded without food and water", an Army officer said.

Army personnel working round-the-clock to evacuate lakhs of people trapped in flood-ravaged areas are yet to reach to them.

With water, electricity, supplies and other services hit, Army personnel have adopted measures to conserve resources so that major share of supplies are made available for the civil population, he said.

There are over 20 small and big army camps located in Central and South Kashmir belts, which are affected due to floods.

On September 8, the Army had rescued 1400 of its personnel and their families including 120 children trapped in Kashmir's Army headquarter at Badamibagh cantonment.

The Badamibagh Cantonment, which houses the Kashmir's Army's headquarters and biggest Military hospital along with areas of Shivpora and Indranagar, got submerged as the water level rose alarmingly due to breach in Jehlum River on September 7.

Pic: The flooded Badamibagh Cantonment
13:24   People's anger justified, but they are alive to shout slogans, says Omar
Terming the flood situation in the flood-ravaged Kashmir Valley as "very serious", Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said he understood the anger of the people affected by the "unprecedented" catastrophe.

Omar also dismissed criticism of his government in the handling of the flood crisis, saying joint efforts involving various agencies including his administration are being made to help people tide over the crisis.

Over 200 people have been killed in floods, landslides and house collapses triggered by torrential rains. Four lakh people still remain stranded. Omar yesterday described the floods that has devastated the state as the worst in 109 years.

Asked about the criticism of the state government over the handling of the situation, Omar said if there was heckling, "People are alive to shout slogans, I have no problems."

"It means that these people have been rescued, they have been accommodated somewhere. Where they have been accommodated is not my concern," he said.
13:16   India is good at signing MoUs, but bad at following up on them
The high-ranking Japanese chief executive waited for an hour in a Tokyo holding room for Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe to finish their meeting before he could get into the state banquet at Akasaka Palace, where he hoped to have a word with Modi. Read
12:53   Kashmir floods: In numbers, what a relief effort actually means!
In Kashmir, the Army has distributed 8,200 blankets and 650 tents, 1,50,000 litres of water, 2.6 tonne of biscuit, 7 tonnes baby food and 28,000 food packets in the flood-affected areas.

Additional water bottles are being airlifted from Chandigarh and Delhi, he said.

More relief material including 2000 hospital bed sheets, blankets and tents, water bottles and cooked food are being airlifted today.

So far 613 sorties have been undertaken by helicopters and aircraft of Armed Forces and 715 tonnes of relief material has been dropped by the Indian Air Force, he said.

135 Army boats and 148 NDRF's inflatable boats are actively involved in the rescue operation.

To restore road connectivity, five task forces of Border Roads Organisation, which include 5700 personnel, have been pressed into service.
12:47   Why is media ignoring us, asks distressed Vadodara
And on Twitter, distress and disappointment at the focus on Kashmir and not flooded Vadodara.

Hiren @Laddoo7  News about floods in Vadodara are being reported in the media after the water levels have started receding in the city.   

@riddzij no national news channel covering misery of vadodara ppl..disappointed!!

@iShripalGandhi Is there no helpline for #Vadodara floods ? Reading quite a few messages of distress. @anandibenpatel

@vijaysankaran What is difference between "Flood like" and floods? RT @ANI_news: Flood like situation in Vadodara (Gujarat)

@paavansa Where's NDRF team, police force n CRPF! ?? Things are getting worsened. Creating mayhem in d city! Pray for Vadodara

‏@gurjaranand  #floods #vadodara i hope PM will help the people who made him won at a large scale few months ago...

@Fahad_A1 So Kashmir is not the only place with flood problems. Vadodara is also facing floods. Can @PMOIndia please help his former constituency?
12:39   NOT Kashmir, this is Vadodara. Torrential rain leaves 7000 homeless
Huge swathes of Vadodara have flooded after heavy rains in the central Gujarat region resulted in the level of Vishwamitri river rising menacingly last night. The river's water level was 29.6 feet and may cross 30 feet tonight if the rains continue, according to weather bureau reports.

While the entire region was lashed by heavy rains, the situation was particularly grim in Vadodara city where over 1,000 people were shifted to safer locations in the city.

Chief minister Anandiben Patel also rushed to the city to take a stock of the situation and preparedness of the administration to tackle any eventuality. Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Army have been kept on standby to deal with the flood situation in the city.

The release of water from the Ajwa reservoir since Monday evening had lead to a steady rise in the level of Vishwamitri. The level in Ajwa reduced to 214.4 feet by around 8.30pm. But the discharge resulted in Vishwamitri rising quickly and water inundating areas like Sayajigunj, Sanjaynagar in Sama, Kamatipura and Kalyannagar in Fatehgunj as well as parts of Kalali and Atladara.

Over 7,150 persons were shifted to safer locations in three talukas of Vadodara district on Tuesday. 
12:35   Injured Jwala Gutta pulls out of Asian Games
Ace Indian women's doubles player Jwala Gutta has pulled out of the prestigious Asian Games after sustaining a sprain in the right knee ahead of the multi-sport event in Incheon, Korea. One half of the World Championship bronze medallist pair, Jwala developed a pain in her right knee and decided to consult doctor, who advised her complete rest for the next two weeks, forcing her to miss the Asian Games.
12:25   Japan Inc cautious despite Abe-Modi friendship
Even as the friendship between Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi blossomed during the new Indian leader's first foreign trip, Japan Inc refused to get misty-eyed, wary of the pitfalls of doing business on the sub-continent.

A five-day tour that began with a bear hug and a day of sightseeing in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto worked itself up through a crescendo of mutual compliments that culminated in Tokyo's pledge to spend USD 34 billion in India over the next five years.

Companies love the idea of India, with its huge untapped market and its vast, cheap workforce. But they know there are potential problems; Japanese suitors have stumbled more than once before.

"India's very weak infrastructure adds to the cost of making and moving things there," said Takashi Kodama, head of Asian economic research at Daiwa Institute of Research.

"Unless you resolve that, the current hopes for India that the world has cannot spark an investment boom," he said. On top of dodgy roads, ramshackle railways and other weak infrastructure, there are complex local customs for multi-national firms looking for somewhere other than China to set up shop.
12:17   British PM begs Scots: Don't rip our 'UK family' apart in independence vote
In other news, British Prime Minister David Cameron implored Scots today to shun independence to keep the United Kingdom "family" intact as he scrambled to stem a steep rise in secessionist support ahead of the Sept. 18 vote. Read
12:14   Kashmir floods: 9500 in hospital, 57,000 rescued, 6 lakh stranded
Kashmir floods: Update from the Army, says that four Field Hospitals are now working at Awantipora, Anantnag, Pattan & Old Airfield, where over  9500 people are being treated.

Over 57,000 people have been rescued, while additional columns, boats and helicopters have been pressed into service to enhance evacuation. Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag says that the National Highway to Awantipora will be opened soon, but communication and connectivity remain the biggest challenge.
12:09   Sushma Swaraj arrives in Afghanistan to improve strategic ties
Seeking to enhance strategic cooperation and help Afghanistan deal with key challenges of security and stability, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Kabul today on a crucial visit as the trouble-torn country approaches the first democratic transition of power after fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Swaraj's visit also assumes significance as it comes amid rising fears of the reemergence of the Taliban and other al-Qaeda linked elements in the country following withdrwal of NATO forces by end of the year. Afghanistan also awaits eagerly the result of the disputed second round of the presidential election held on June 14.

An audit of votes of the election has already been completed and results may be announced in the next few days.
12:03   America is blowing up its own weapons in Iraq
According to a study released on Monday by the London-based small-arms research group named 'Conflict Armament Research', ISIS has captured "significant quantities" of US military weapons from Syrian rebels.  Read
12:02   Lessons to be learnt
Nearly nine months after the Ebola virus first struck in Guinea, grim statistics reveal that in the four West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the disease is far from being tackled. The Ebola outbreak has rather become the "largest, and most severe and complex" ever in its history.  Read
11:57   Dont drag me into Scottish vote on independence says the Queen
Meanwhile, in Britain, Buckingham Palace has taken the unprecedented step of warning politicians not to drag the Queen into the battle over Scottish independence. Read
11:52   Angry locals attack, heckle NDRF jawans during relief operations in Srinagar
An NDRF jawan today, was attacked by angry locals in Srinagar, Kashmir, while few other personnel of the force were heckled as they were rendering relief and rescue operations in the flood-hit areas.

Officials said a National Disaster Response Force trooper received severe injuries on his hand when the locals attacked him.

The locals apparently wanted the NDRF men to concentrate on a particular area and when the force personnel decided to go to a different marooned area, the locals attacked them.

"The jawan has been sent to Chandigarh for treatment and was accommodated on a scheduled IAF flight going to that city.

"Few incidents of our men being heckled are being witnessed since yesterday in the state," a senior officer said.

Worried by the development, the NDRF and senior Home Ministry officials have asked the Cabinet Secretary to devise some mechanism so that troops are kept safe while they render their duty.

"It has been decided that CRPF will guard rescue teams but we are still to find a way to implement this mechanism as there is limited space on the boat. Carrying security men on boat means reducing space for people to be rescued,' a senior official said. 
11:48   Jaitley skips G20 meeting, still in hospital
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will miss a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations in Australia next week as he is still in hospital undergoing treatment, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

Reuters reports that Jaitley was admitted to a private hospital in New Delhi on Sept. 1 for surgery to manage a long-standing diabetic condition, and had originally been expected to leave after a few days.
11:44   Catching up with Modis Himalayan sprint
In a brilliant editorial today, the Times of India newspaper has given some friendly advice to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on creative thinking in diplomacy. This bit advice should have come from the Prime Ministers Office, perhaps, since Indian diplomacy is on the cusp of change and unless the South Block moves in sync with the spirit of the times, it may get marginalized. 
Read MK Bhadrakumar's blog here.
If you want to make a donation to the victims of the Kashmir floods, here's where you can. Take a look. 
11:33   Kashmir floods: Phone lines in some parts of Srinagar restored
Kashmir floods update: Phone lines in some parts of Srinagar have been restored. Both the IAF and the Army are helping BSNL to restore mobile services, which are expected to be partially restored today.

Meanwhile, the Army has foiled and incursion attempt in Keran. Many Army bunkers along the LoC have been inundated with water and an almost impermeable covering of mud and slush.

Soldiers here have been trying to protect their weapons, ammunition and rations. The nearly 1,700-kilometre-long Line of Control is one of the world's deadliest and most heavily militarised borders.
11:21   A clean-up under scrutiny
It is not surprising that the Supreme Court has taken a dim view of the Central governments long-running plan to clean the Ganga. More than 28 years after the government launched the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in 1985, nothing seems to have worked.

In 2013, estimates by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said that from Gangotri to Diamond Harbour faecal coliform levels were above acceptable levels on all stretches of the river, except for the upper reaches.

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11:18   Kejriwal meets LG, submits CD of sting operation
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal today met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and submitted a CD of a sting operation which purportedly showed a senior Delhi BJP leader trying to poach an AAP MLA.

AAP also urged the Lt Governor to revise his September 4 letter to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking permission to invite the single largest party (BJP) to form government in Delhi.

"We have submitted the CD of our sting operation which shows BJP trying to buy our MLA for Rs 4 crore. We requested the LG to watch the video. We also asked him to revise the September 4 letter he sent to President Mukherjee in which, in a way, he has sought permission to invite BJP for government formation," said senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia who accompanied Kejriwal during the meeting.

The AAP leader accused BJP of indulging in horse trading to form government in Delhi.
11:12   Former union minister Saifuddin Soz heckled at relief camp
Former union minister Saifuddin Soz heckled when he went to visit an IAF relief camp in Kashmir. Soz said he came here to establish conact betweeen people and the government.
11:07   Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh to visit Kashmir today
Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag is scheduled to visit the city on Wednesday to review the flood situation and take stock of the rescue and relief operations by the armed forces in the flood-ravaged Kashmir Valley.

The Army chief will visit the summer capital and will review the flood situation with top level Army and NDRF officials, Defence sources said.

He would also take stock of the relief and relief operations being conducted by the Army, IAF and NDRF and will be briefed by GOC-in-C Lt Gen D S Hooda.

Devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir have claimed over 200 lives. 
The submerged Army Cantt in Badami Bagh, rescue efforts continue. Death toll has climbed to more than 200. 
11:02   Sensex down 130 pts on profit-booking, global cues
The benchmark BSE Sensex extended yesterday's losses by declining over 130 points in opening trade today as funds and investors indulged in booking profits in recent gainers amid a weak trend overseas. The 30-share barometer, which had lost 54.53 points in the previous session, fell by 130.78 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 27,134.54.
10:53   Heavy cancellation from Kolkata for Kashmir tours
Thousands of tourists who had planned their Durga Puja vacation in the Kashmir Valley next month are now rushing to cancel their trips due to the devastating floods in the state.

Tour operators said because of discounts being provided by various airlines, the number of bookings for travel to Kashmir from West Bengal was as high as 60,000 during the Puja season.

"But around 70-75 per cent of travellers to J&K have cancelled their trips. The rest are thinking twice now. Even we don't encourage people to travel during or immediately after a natural calamity," Anil Punjabi, chairman (east) of the Travel Agents Federation of India, said.

He says people are worried about what situation the tourists spots will be in the post-calamity scenario and whether the infrastructure will be good enough for travelling and a pleasant stay with their friends and family.

The J&K tourism department has already issued a flood advisory for tourists advising them to postpone their travel plans to the state in view of the prevailing flood situation.
Obviously, not even a tragedy of the magnitude of the Kashmir floods can unite the opposition and the Centre.

Congress leader Manish Tewari tweets: "Kind of emergency & dispatch shown by prev Govt during U'khand floods, should be demonstrated by current Govt."
10:36   Delhi govt formation: AAP asks LG to withdraw letter to President
Aam Aadmi Party leaders led by Arvind Kejriwal met Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung today, asking him to withdraw his letter to the President recommending that the single largest party (Bharatiya Janata Party) should be invited to form government in Delhi.

The AAP also demanded for the dissolution of the assembly and called for fresh elections. It submitted a CD of a 'sting' operation which it says shows the BJP's Sher Singh Dagar trying to offer money to its legislator Dinesh Mohaniya.
10:23   All you need to know about Scotland's vote on independence
On September 18, Scots go to the polls to vote on the future of their country. Here's what you need to know about the landmark referendum.
10:17   Army chief to visit flood-hit Kashmir today
Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag is scheduled to visit Srinagar today to review the flood situation and take stock of the rescue and relief operations by the armed forces in the flood-ravaged Kashmir.

The army chief will visit the summer capital and will review the flood situation with top level army and NDRF officials, defence sources said. He would also take stock of the relief and relief operations being conducted by the army, IAF and NDRF and will be briefed by GOC-in-C Lt Gen D S Hooda.
10:08   Telangana CM's warning to news channels
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has threatened to "bury alive TV channels that have dared to insult the Telangana assembly, its MLAs, and Telangana's self-respect."

He did not name them but seemed to refer to two Telugu channels -- TV9 and ABN Andhra Jyoti -- that have been protesting against what they call an unofficial ban on their transmission in Telangana, reports NDTV.

"We will bury them some 10 km. We won't hesitate to break their neck and then throw them out," the CM said, adding that those who want to continue to operate in the state "should learn to respect the people of Telangana."
09:29   NDRF workers attacked in Srinagar
Two workers of the National Disaster Response Force was attacked by angry locals in Srinagar this morning as 4 lakh across the flood-hit state wait to be rescued. One relief worker was injured and has been rushed to a hospital in Chandigarh.

Over 200 people have been killed in the worst floods in J&K in six decades.
09:04   Obama picks another India-American to key administration post
US President Barack Obama has appointed another Indian-American to a key administration post as member of prestigious J William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Obama announced Maneesh K Goyal's appointment and other key administration posts yesterday, the White House said in a statement.

"These men and women have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers. I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come," Obama was quoted as saying in the statement.

The 12-member J William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board oversees the State Department's Fulbright scholarship programme. The board members also select students, scholars, teachers and others who participate in the Fulbright exchange program.
09:00   3 terrorists gunned down in J&K
An infilitration bid was foiled in Jammu and Kashmir. Three terrorists were killed in the Kupwara district amid flood tragedy.

More details are awaited.
08:53   Apple's 2 new iPhones will be available during Diwali
In one of the most ambitious product launches in its history, Apple unveiled two new iPhones, a smartwatch and a mobile payments platform on Tuesday.

While Apple was silent on the availability of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus beyond US and other launch countries, in a surprising development Apple's India website says that the iPhone 6 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variants will be available in the country starting October 17, reports NDTV.

The October 17 launch date means the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in time for the festival of Diwali. The price of the phones is unknown.

The new handsets will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK from September 19.
00:29   Will bury news channels if they insult Telangana: Rao
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today stirred a controversy when he threatened to "bury" the media "ten feet under the earth" if they continue to "insult" the newly-carved out state.

Rao, at loggerheads with the Andhra Pradesh government over disbursement of assets and liabilities of the undivided state, also demanded that Telangana "must be respected".

"Those who insult Telangana, its existence and prestige, will be buried 10 feet under the earth," said KCR, as he is popularly known, while addressing a gathering after garlanding a statue of Kaloji Narayana Rao, a renown poet and literary critic, commemorating his birth cennetanry, at Nakkalagutta in the district. Slamming KCR's statement, senior Congress leader and former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury said that the chief minister should exercise restraint.

"He has a false sense of grandeur and has no clue about governance," she said. KCR's statement came close on the heels of the Association of Telangana Multiple System Operators (cable TV operators) blocking the transmission of TV channels ABN Andhra Jyothi and TV 9 since June 16, alleging that they had aired programmes "denigrating the Telangana dialect, sentiment and feelings" of the people of the state.
US President Barack Obama will address the nation tomorrow night to spell out America's policy on ISIS terror group which has gained control over large parts of Iraq and Syria, threatening peace in the entire Middle East region.

"What the President will talk about in the speech tomorrow is what that next phase entails. Generally speaking, at the core of that next phase is understanding and protecting the core national security interests of the United States and protecting the American people," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

"So there are a couple different ways in which the President will talk about this in ways that are important," Earnest said.

"The President is looking forward to giving an address to the nation at 9 pm Eastern time tomorrow," he said in response to a question, adding that Obama will talk about US' continuing efforts to support the Iraqis.