Wed, 05 August 2015
Malaysia confirms plane debris is from Flight MH370

Timeline  Refresh

23:36   2 aftershocks felt in Nepal
Two aftershocks of moderate magnitude jolted central Nepal today, almost 100 days after a devastating temblor killed about 9,000 people in the country.

However, no damage to life and property was reported.

A 4.3 magnitude aftershock was felt at 1.59 pm local time, with epicentre in Dolakha district, about 125 kilometres northeast of capital Kathmandu.

Another one of 4.1 magnitude occurred at 5.38 pm with epicentre in the same district.

A total of 366 aftershocks with 4 or more magnitude have been recorded since the 7.8-magnitude quake of April 25, according to Nepal's National Seismological Centre.

Nearly 9,000 people were killed and 22,000 injured in the devastating quake.
23:34   Malaysia confirms plane debris is from Flight MH370
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed on early on Thursday that a Boeing 777 wing segment discovered in the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is from the missing Flight MH370, the first real breakthrough in the search for the plane that disappeared 17 months ago.

"The international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370," Najib said in a televised statement.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared in March last year enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

Read more HERE,
23:20   Rescuers trying to save migrants after Mediterranean shipwreck
Rescuers are trying to save hundreds of migrants Wednesday after their fishing boat capsized off the coast of Libya, Cmdr. Filippo Marini of the Italian Coast Guard, which is coordinating the rescue operation, told CNN.

Ireland's Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said an Irish naval vessel is also involved in the rescue of approximately 600 people who were aboard the capsized boat. At least 165 people have been pulled from the water alive, but 17 bodies have also been recovered, he said, warning that the death toll is expected to rise.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost their lives, the survivors and the rescuers for whom this is an extremely difficult operation," Coveney said.

Two vessels operated by the medical aid group Mdecins Sans Frontires (Doctors Without Borders) are also assisting near the shipwreck, just 15 miles off the Libyan coast. The medical group confirmed that there are "many" deaths at the scene but could not say how many.

The ships were sent to the scene after a distress call from the fishing boat, Marini said.

The boat crammed with migrants capsized as soon as the Irish vessel arrived, he said, likely because all those on board moved to one side at the same time. Rubber boats were immediately put into the water to save people as the boat went down.

Read more HERE.
20:23   Stephen's alumni writes to UGC over Thampu's remarks
An alumni group of St Stephen's college today wrote to the UGC questioning the veracity of principal Valson Thampu's statement that the commission has expressed solidarity with him.

Against the backdrop of the St Stephen's molestation row, Thampu had last week met senior University Grants Commission officials and hailed their "support" for the institute.

The Old Stephanians Association, which is not a recognised body of the college, said in its letter to the UGC that Tahmpu in his posts on social network websites "has expressed that he has the full support of the UGC and even refers to comments by a lady official of the UGC."

It said such statements by the college principal affect the image of the UGC. It urged the UGC to take action against Thampu if his statements were found untrue.
20:20   Hundreds feared dead in migrant boat capsize off Libya
Hundreds of migrants attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean are feared to have drowned after their overcrowded fishing boat capsized offLibya, Italy's coastguard said on Wednesday.

The boat had run into difficulty 15 nautical miles off Libya and sent out a distress call, picked up by the coastguard in Catania in Sicily.

Image for representation.
Read this story HERE
19:51   Delhi teen stabbing: HC seeks reply of AAP govt, Delhi top cop
The Delhi high court today sought the AAP government's response on a plea seeking direction to restrain Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from "creating panic" in the minds of people through official advertisements related to the brutal stabbing of a 19-year-old girl.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also sought reply from the Delhi Police Commissioner over the allegation that police took no action in the matter, even when the girl's parents had lodged a complaint in January 2013, which "emboldened the culprits who kept on harassing victim". 

"Notice to the respondents (Delhi government and Delhi police commissioner). Reply be filed within four weeks. List it for September 15," it said. The court notice was issued on a PIL filed by lawyer S N Singh, who also sought direction to hand over the investigation into the case to the CBI.
19:49   Watch: How not to land a fighter plane
A viral video this week shows a Russian fighter jet almost crash in spectacular fashion '" and it's all because of some basic mistakes.

See it HERE
19:46   Asaram moves HC challenging holding of trial in Jodhpur jail
Self-styled Godman Asaram Bapu today moved the Rajasthan high court challenging the decision of the trial court to hold the trial of a case, in which he is accused of raping a girl, in Jodhpur Central Jail.

He moved the application in the high court soon after a similar petition before the trial court was turned down. Counsel for the girl said that Asaram's counsel moved an application in the trial court in the jail before the hearing could start, objecting to the order of the court to hold the trial in the prison premises.

Judge Manoj Kumar Vyas immediately rejected the same, following which the defence moved the high court challenging the trial court's order. Asaram's counsel Nishant Boda said that they have moved the high court which is expected to take up the plea for hearing on Monday.
18:40   Bihar is not Nitish, Nitish is not Bihar! NDA's open letter to Bihar CM
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been sent an open letter addressed to the people of Bihar by the NDA. This comes after the Nitish Kumar wrote a sharp open letter on social media to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the latter's comment about his DNA.

The NDA letter is written by LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, Rashtriya Lok Samata party leader Upendra Kushwaha, BJP leader and former Bihar deputy CM Sushil Modi and BJP leader Dr CP Thakur.

The letter titled, Bihar is not Nitish, Nitish is not Bihar, reads...

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Bihar,
The Bihar Chief Ministers letter this morning was terribly disappointing. It resembled a flop comedy film after being shown a much hyped and grand trailer. We were expecting he would raise issues pertaining to Bihars progress. Alas, were proven wrong.

We are deeply anguished that there is a clear, condemnable and calculated attempt to misappropriate the voice of Bihar as the voice of one man, the Chief Minister and his ambitions. 

Never has Bihar tolerated any attempt by any individual to appropriate the voice and conscience of the people of Bihar. We want to humbly state, Bihar is not Nitish Kumar and Nitish Kumar is not Bihar. The Bihar Chief Ministers letter is a perfect illustration of how greed for power compels an individual to do anything, even trample over the history of a wonderful state like Bihar.

Clearly, the actions of the Chief Minister are in direct conflict with the ethos of Bihar, which for time immemorial has been the land of democracy, tolerance, dialogue and visionary leadership. It is from Bihar that Lord Buddha preached his message of peace and tolerance, it is Bihar whose history is rich with democratic republics and it is Bihar that had the might to keep even a feared conqueror like Alexander away. Neither is it the culture of Bihar to insult the poor and downtrodden, the Maha Dalits, which Shri Nitish Kumar did.

It is evident that Shri Nitish Kumars advisors have failed him yet again. This is, however not surprising considering how he was tricked by a coterie into believing that he will be the Prime Minister of India, which led him to break the alliance with the BJP. The rest is obviously history.

One would have expected at least Shri Nitish Kumarto comprehend words and issues better. The Prime Minister, in his Muzaffarpur speech on 26th, made a very accurate and pertinent remark on Shri Nitish Kumarspolitical journey, which in our view (and that of several others) is characterized by deceit, treachery and ungratefulness.

The remarks of the Prime Minister pertained to Shri Kumars(and not that of Bihars) political DNA (and not your or Bihars DNA as he have mischievously misinterpreted). Mr. Nitish Kumar, before writing to the Prime Minister, please apologize to the people of Bihar for shamelessly distorting the words of the Prime Minister for petty political gains and humiliating Bihar in the process.

We want to assure the people of Bihar that in the last year the progress of Bihar has received a great impetus after the NDA assumed office. Be it representation in the Ministry, availability of resources, allocation and completion of development projects, the support has been phenomenal. Those who were pained that the Prime Minister never came to Bihar in these fourteen months may answer where that pain disappeared when his predecessor never found time to visit Bihar once during his ten year tenure except for an aerial survey.

The ABCD of Shri Nitish Kumars politics is Arrogance, Betrayal, Conspiracy and Deceit. No wonder, Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav said about him, Aisa Koi Saha Nahi Jisko Nitish Kumar Ne Thaga Nahi. Who knows him better than the dear Lalu ji. And curiously, did he ever write an open letter to him for saying this?

The learned Bihar CM quotes JP and Lohia but we shudder to think what they would say on hisnewfound friends and those he issupporting (first tacitly and now openly). How can he ever condone the cardinal sin of supporting one of the most corrupt and regressive governments in the history of Independent India, the UPA2.

When Shri Nitish Kumar broke the alliance with the BJP do you know what was the biggest casualty- development of Bihar and aspirations of the people of Bihar. You voted for the NDA with a ray of hope and promise of growth. That stands shattered in front of one mans personal ego and ambitions. The governance of Shri Nitish Kumar post the alliance with BJP ended (after June 2013 and after February 2015)clearly illustrates that the myth Shri Kumar created of being a Sushashan Babu was precisely that- a golden myth.

On a different note, we are very happy that the Bihar Chief Minister found a new vocation- of writing letters to Shri Narendra Modi. He has even created a special website for the same. Trust this is a first of many letter and rest assured, he will have all the time to write letters after November 2015. Incidentally, we were amused to see him share the letter first on precisely those mediums he consistently rubbished as trivial.

Sisters and brothers of Bihar, it is for you to decide. Do we want those who will divert from the real issues and focus on mindless politics or do we want a team that will spend every single moment for Bihars progress and to make Bihar the most developed state in India.

Bihar is yearning for development and good governance, not stale politics, ego battles and Jungle Raj.
Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Shri Jitan Ram Manjhi, Shri Upendra Kushwaha, Shri Sushil Modi, Dr. CP Thakur 
NDA leaders pen an open letter to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar titled "Bihar is not Nitish, Nitish is not Bihar"
18:07   BJP's Shatrughan Sinha clarifies tweets: 'Feeling happy or sad is not anti-party activity'
In an embarrassment for the BJP, its senior leader and MP from Patna Shatrughan Sinha on Wednesday tweeted out against the manner in which Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs for disrupting House proceedings.

"Feel unhappy about the developments in the Parliament..& the expulsion of 25 learned MP friends, including one who was not even present,' Sinha said, in a series of tweets about recent political developments including the upcoming Bihar elections.

"Good sense must prevail ..sooner the better," he tweeted, referring to the ongoing Parliament logjam following demands by the Congress party that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj resign over her alleged role in helping Lalit Modi obtain travel documents.

Sinha, in his tweets, also thanked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for what he termed were 'glowing compliments' by the JD(U) leader.

"Humbled and touched by Nitish ji's glowing compliments.. in calling me the pride of Bihar. I am fond of him as a friend and a much respected leader of the masses,' Sinha tweeted, adding that he hoped the exchange would not cause "too much concern or jealousy'.

Hours later, Sinha clarified his tweets saying he was in no way questioning the decision of the Speaker which was final and binding. "Sincere request. Please don't go overboard in reaction to what I have tweeted. I have only expressed my sadness that things have come to such a pass that the honorable and respected Speaker had to take such a strong decision,' he tweeted. The former Union minister also said that "feeling sad or happy about anything is not anti-party activity'. 
17:38   Pak terrorist's second attempt
The lone terrorist captured after the attack on BSF convoy in Udhampur has identified himself as Mohammed Naved from Faisalabad in Pakistan, who had a month ago entered Kupwara district in the Kashmir valley but retreated as he could not make any headway.

A resident of Ghulam Mustafabad (Faisalabad) in Pakistan, Naved, believed to be in early 20s, has two brothers and one sister. One of them is a lecturer while the other runs a hosiery business.

During questioning at a joint interrogation centre in Jammu region, he said he had initially made an attempt to enter the Kashmir Valley a month ago but had to return as their guide had not turned up to receive them, official sources said.

Naved identified the fellow terrorist killed today in the retaliatory fire by BSF as Noman alias Momin, who hailed from Bhawalpur in Pakistan. The duo carried out an attack on a BSF convoy at Simroli near Udhampur killing two constables.

In the gun fight, Noman was killed while he managed to escape before being nabbed by the Village Defence Committee members, they said
@ImranKhan tweets that he is "glad to know Wasim Akram is safe.
The two terrorists came from Tangmarg in the Kashmir valley. The killed terrorist has been identified as Noman, while the one caught alive is Mohammad Naved, both Pakistanis. Earlier reports named him as Qasim and then Usman. 
17:12   Former Pak skipper Wasim Akram's vehicle fired upon
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram's car was fired upon in Karachi's Karsaz area on Wednesday, the former cricketer told Geo News.

The fast-bowler however remained safe in the attack.

Confirming the incident, Akram said that he was on his way to the National Stadium to attend a bowling camp when a vehicle rammed into his car from behind.

He said that some guards and the owner of the other vehicle came out and shot at Akram, barely missing him. The bullet hit his car's tires but he is unhurt. 
The Supreme Court grants three months to the trial court to complete the trial in the Gulbarg case.
17:02   Smiling terrorist tells cops, 'I'm Pakistani, have been in India for 12 days'
Just in: Before he was hauled off by the police captured terrorist Usman Khan tells says in a videotaped interrogation on the hillside where he was taken alive that he was a Pakistani and was 20 years old and was in India for 12 days.

Calm and smiling at the cameras, Usman said who was surrounded by the police and locals said, "There was two of us. We've been here for 12 days."

Usman said they had "come through the jungles," and added, "No bus or train would come here, would it?" when asked how he had travelled.

He said their food got over in three days and that they had survived by raiding a house.

The Jammu and Kashmir policemen later led him down a hill, with his face covered and his hands bound behind his back with a rope.

The police later said said that Usman is from Pakistan's Faisalabad, which is where the the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, led by Maulana Masood Azhar has a base.
16:16   No need to hand over Louis Berger bribery case to CBI: Goa CM
Expressing satisfaction over Goa Police's probe into the Louis Berger bribery case, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today said he does not feel the need to hand over the inquiry to CBI.

"As our police officials are doing a good job, I do not feel that there is a necessity of giving the Louis Berger case to CBI," Parsekar said outside the state Legislative Assembly complex amid the ongoing session.

His statement came a day after former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat moved for anticipatory bail in connection with the bribery case. "I feel that a person goes for anticipatory bail when he feels afraid of being involved in the case," Parsekar said.
15:58   Pakistani terrorist Usman Khan may be from Jaish, interrogation on
The Udhampur police and the Intelligence Bureau are now interrogating Usman Khan, the terrorist believed to be from Paksitan, who was part of a group of three attacking a BSF convoy this morning.

Khan is believed to be in his early 20s and told the police that he is from Faisalbad in Pakistan. The terrorist was caught alive after he was overpowered by a group of villagers who he had taken hostage. The J-K police believe he may be part of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the terror group responsible for the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.

Early reports say that Khan may have infiltrated into India around 10 days ago with the intention of carrying out a major strike in Jammu and Kashmir and may in fact have been part of the team that launched the attack in Gurdaspur, Punjab.

The team was split into two -- one to carry out the attack at Gurdaspur, while the other was meant to target the Amarnath Yatra.
15:46   U'khand govt demolishes house of scribe who aired sting on CM's secy
The Uttarakhand government on Tuesday sent demolition squads to hammer down the house of the journalist who had "exposed" chief minister Harish Rawat's personal secretary Mohammad Shahid, a senior Gujarat cadre IAS officer, in a sting that purportedly showed him negotiating bribes for changes to the state's policy on sale of alcohol.

Read more
15:41   MP CM travels by train to restore confidence in railways
MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan says he is travelling by train to restore confidence in Indian Railways. Twenty-eight dead bodies have been recovered so far, the CM said. Several coaches of two trains, one heading to Mumbai and another to Varanasi, derailed over a railway bridge in Harda district and plunged into the swollen Machak river in Madhya Pradesh.
15:34   Probe initiated into editing of Nehru's profile on Wikipedia
A probe has been initiated to determine the source behind the editing of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's profile with objectionable comments on popular Internet site Wikipedia, government said today.

On July 1, it was published in various media reports that Nehru's Wikipedia profile was edited with some objectionable comments. Wikipedia had subsequently reverted the changes as per their policy.

"Actions have been initiated to investigate into the incident and determine the source of edit," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

The minister was responding to a query regarding action taken by the government on this issue. Prasad said as per the information published on Wikipedia website, it is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project supported by 'Wikimedia Foundation' based on a model of openly editable content.
15:25   Tharoor spends time with TMC
With Parliament adjourned for the day and the Congress boycotting attendance after 25 MPs were suspended, Shashi Tharoor gets some downtime. Tharoor tweets this picture: "With fellow MP MoonMoon Sen & her daughter, actress & model Riya Sen, after lunch. Kolkata comes to life in Delhi!"
Just in: Grenade blast in Manasbal area of Ganderbal district, J&K.
15:06   Ready to meet any aggression from India: Pak army chief
The Pakistan army has reviewed its operational plans and is "ready to meet any aggression from India".

The Dawn reports: "We are fully prepared to respond to entire spectrum of threat," Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif said while chairing a corps commanders' conference at the General Headquarters on Tuesday. The aggravating situation on the Line of Control and Working Boundary was high on the commanders' agenda, the Dawn reported. The Pakistan army had been accusing India of fomenting unrest in Balochistan, Fata and Karachi.

This morning terrorists attacked a Border Security Force convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Udhampur killing two soldiers of the BSF and injuring 11 others. While one of the two terrorists involved in the strike was shot dead in retaliatory fire the other was arrested.
15:00   Star Network sells entire 26% stake in Balaji Telefilms for Rs 108 crore
Star Network has sold its entire stake of 25.99 per cent in Balaji Telefilms through a block deal on Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) for price expected at Rs.108 crore. Read more
14:35   Japan PM calls for probe into WikiLeaks claims of US spying
Japanese leader Shinzo Abe told US Vice President Joe Biden he would have "serious concerns" if WikiLeaks claims Washington spied on Japanese politicians were true, and called for an investigation, a top official said today.
India -- Shoot First, Ask Questions Later. Read
14:33   Gujarat extends ban on Maggi noodles for one month
The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority has extended the ban on Maggi noodles for third time in a row for a month as its manufacturer Nestle did not furnish any safety data for the product.

"We have extended ban (on Maggi) for one more month as the company (Nestle) has not furnished any safety data for that product (Maggi), as per the Food Safety Standard Act and the rules regulations thereunder," Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority Commissioner H G Koshia said when asked about extension of ban on Maggi noodles.
14:25   Lawyer Janhavi Gadkar gets bail in drunk driving case
A sessions court on Wednesday granted bail to 35-year-old corporate lawyer Janhavi Gadkar, who was arrested for allegedly crashing her car into a taxi under the influence of alcohol and killing two persons in June.

In the early hours of June 10, an Audi driven by Gadkar rammed into a taxi, resulting in the death of two persons, including the taxi driver, on the Eastern Freeway in Mumbai. She was allegedly drunk at that time.

She had moved the sessions court after Kurla Metropolitan Magistrate Court rejected her bail plea twice. Gadkar, through her lawyer, had told the court that investigation in the case was over and no purpose would be served by keeping her in jail. 
MHA confirms that one terrorist has been caught alive and another terrorist neutralized in the terror attack near Udhampur today.
14:23   Meet Kasab 2: Usman Khan from Pakistan in India's custody
The name of the terrorist is Usman Khan. Not Qasim Khan, as mentioned earlier. He says he is from Faisalabad in Pakistan. 
14:15   'My name is Khan and I'm a terrorist from Pakistan'
ABP News: Security agencies confirm the youth has confessed that he's from Pakistan and is named Qasim Khan.

Khan who has been taken to hospital for a mandatory health check-up will be interrogated thereafter.
14:15   First terror attack in Udhampur in a decade
The militant strike was the first in Udhampur district in over a decade coming days after terrorists attacked Dinanagar Police Station in Gurdaspur in Punjab.

"There was firing on a BSF convoy on the highway near Samroli by militants early this morning," Deputy Commission, Udhampur, Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said.

Two BSF jawans were killed and 11 personnel were injured, IG, BSF (Jammu Frontier), Rakesh Kumar said. The militants hurled grenades and opened indiscriminate fire on the convoy when it reached Nassu belt on its way from Jammu to Srinagar, IG Jammu, Danish Rana said, adding that the BSF jawans retaliated, killing one of the two militants.

The injured jawans have been taken to a hospital, he said, adding a massive combing operations has been launched by the army and the police in and around the area which has been cordoned off.

Vehicular movement on the highway has been stopped due to the incident. Reacting to the attack, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Those behind such attacks very well know that their terror designs won't be running for long in India. That is why they are doing all such kinds of activities."
14:15   'Pakistani' terrorist who killed 2 BSF jawans in Udhampur caught alive
Udhampur attack: A militant named Qasim Khan, believed to be a Pakistani, has been caught alive, reports ANI.  The terrorist was caught after an attack on a Border Security Force (BSF) convoy this morning on a highway in Jammu and Kashmir, in which two soldiers were killed. The militant has been taken to a hospital.

Three civilians taken hostage by the terrorist are safe, say officials. The terrorists, who were reportedly wearing military uniforms, attacked the BSF convoy on the highway near Samruli, about 10 km from Udhampur.

It is a rare catch for the forces, especially in a region where terrorists come prepared to "kill and be killed," not "kill and escape."

Pic: Qasim Khan, the militant caught alive today. Courtesy: ANI
14:03   VK Singh on NSA level talks with Pakistan
Minister of Development of North-Eastern region, VK Singh, holds forth on NSA level talks between India and Pakistan.

"India expects Pakistan to abide by its agreement that it will not to allow its territory to promote terrorist activity against India. The Indian govt is committed to resolve all issues with Pakistan withing the Agra framework and the Lahore declaration. A meaningful dialogue is necessary and requires an environment free from violence and terror. 
13:34   Breakthrough in Nagaland
Good beginnings are no guarantee to good outcomes. India has taken a big step forward in ending the protracted Naga insurgency by signing a framework agreement with the largest and most prominent of the armed Naga groups, the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah). However, not all the major issues stand sorted out with this agreement, and some smaller groups have not been part of the decisive phases of the peace process. Read more

Also read: Nitin Gokhale's piece for Peace at last, peace at last. Thank God Almighty, peace at last.
13:21   Turban from UP or Bihar? PM undecided about I-Day attire
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has selected two turbans -- one from Bihar and the other is from eastern Uttar Pradesh -- when he addresses the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day. Which of the two will be the final choice has to be seen.

It may be recalled that last year, on the same occasion, the PM wore a bright orange and green bandhej saafa (turban), popular in western Rajasthan and Gujarat. The turban was specially ordered and sent to New Delhi for the occasion.

Known to be a sartorial trendsetter, the trail of the turban blowing in the wind, was a perfect photo-op for the press that went to town over his Independence Day address on the ramparts of the Red Fort.

It is protocol to wear headgear when you salute the tricolour while it is being hoisted. In fact, the home minister has to keep his head covered while taking salute from the paramilitary forces.

Modi is keen to wear turban on special occasions, even while he was Gujarat CM. During his 10-year stint as CM he has worn different kinds of turbans from Kutch, Bhuj and other parts of Gujarat.

During the US President's Republic Day visit to India, Obama, while raising a toast at a banquet hosted in his honour by President Pranab Mukherjee, said he wanted to wear a 'Modi kurta'.

He also recalled a headline back home which asked who is the new fashion icon other than Michelle Obama and said "I was thinking of wearing a Modi kurta myself."

Meanwhile, the Union government has issued a circular making it mandatory for its officers to be present at the Red Fort when the Prime Minister hoists the National Flag and delivers his address on Independence Day on August 15.
12:35   The rapper who is taking on Unilever
Sofia Ashraf's video Kodaikanal Won't, slamming Hindustan Unilever for alleged 'mercury poisoning,' has gone viral with 25,000 online petitioners demanding that the multinational clean up the mess as well as compensate those who worked at its thermometer factory in Kodaikanal. Prasanna D Zore/ spoke to the singer. Read
12:26   Suspension of Cong MPs wrong: BJP's Shatrughan Sinha
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha says the suspension of Congress MPs was wrong. Sinha, a star campaigner of the BJP for long and a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, has expressed unhappiness from time to time, saying the party is ignoring him. Sinha did not attend a function of BJP president Amit Shah in April in Patna, his Parliamentary constituency, noting that he was not invited.
12:10   Mumbai court issues non-bailable arrest warrant against Lalit Modi
Just in: Mumbai court issues non-bailable warrant against former IPL chief Lalit Modi for his role in a case of alleged money laundering.

According to reports, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has pushed for a non-bailable warrant even after the court asked it on what grounds it was demanding the issue of a non-bailable warrant without a charge sheet being filed in the case.

If the court upholds the request, it would not only lead to Modi's arrest as and when he returns from London, but also pave the way for the issuance of a Red Corner Notice against him, if he chooses to remain a fugitive from justice.
12:00   Cong adamant on day 2 of dharna, govt 'willing to go the extra mile'
Congress president Sonia Gandhi along with leaders of six other parties stage a dharna at the Parliament complex for the second day in protest against the suspension of Congress MPs. Sonia says she was not aware of any proposal from the government to end the logjam and the dharna will continue tomorrow as well.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi says the party has not liked the Lok Sabha Speaker's decision on suspension of Congress MPs "but we respect her position."

Twenty five of Congress party's 44 members in Lok Sabha were suspended on Monday for five days for causing disruptions, setting the stage for escalation in confrontation, as nine opposition parties decided to boycott the House for these days to express solidarity with the suspended members.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan took the decision, the first such major action in the present Lok Sabha, against the members for "persistently, wilfully obstructing" the House by displaying placards and shouting slogans.

The government, however, has expressed its desire to resolve the impasse as key legislation including the Land Bill and GST Bill  and a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Naga peace deal are pending. The government is willing to go the extra mile but we cant give in to unreasonable demands, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till noon after Congress members rush into Well raising slogans against the government's "dictatorial" attitude.
A boat said to have been carrying more than 200 people capsizes on Lake Victoria in western Kenya. Details awaited.
11:18   Chouhan on his way to accident spot
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweets: I am on my way to the train accident spot near Harda to personally oversee relief & rescue ops. along with CS & DG.
11:17   NSA Doval defends Memon hanging, counters Tharoor remarks
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, PM Narendra Modi's go-to person in the government today defended the execution of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon.

Doval said it the popular opinion that Yakub was hanged in the absence of his brother Tiger Memon, the mastermind of the attack, was wrong. Doval said this while delivering a lecture at Mumbai's Yashvantrao Chavan Centre, yesterday.

"It was completely wrong to say India could not catch Tiger and therefore caught Yakub. Yakub and Tiger are standalone. Inter linkage is incorrect," he said.

He also responded to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor's tweets in an indirect manner. "Someone tweeted me a statement by a leader in the evening, saying state-sponsored killing diminishes us all and reduces us to murderers. This argument means anyone acting in defence reduces himself to murderers," Doval said.

Doval pointed out that the state "had to protect itself"  "You cannot say someone has the freedom to carry out a terrorist act, but the state does not have the right to use its coercive instruments to deny him his life," he added.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Madhya Pradesh train accident.
11:02   List of trains diverted due to twin derailment
The twin derailment in Madhya Pradesh has forced many trains to be diverted:

Here is the list of such trains:

Via Bhusaval-Surat-Bairahgarh-Nishatpura
12147 Kolhapur-Hazrat Nizamuddin Express via Bhusaval-Surat
11077 Pune-Jammu Tawi Jhelum Express
12137 CST-Ferozpur Punjab Mail
11015 LTT-Gorakhpur Kushinagar Express
11057 CST-Amritsar Express via Jalgaon, Bhopal
12617 Ernakulam-Hazrat Nizamuddin Mangala Express

Via Bhusaval-Nagpur-Itarsi
12322 CST-Howrah Mail via Allahabad
12141 LTT-Rajendranagar Exp
11093 CST-Varanasi Mahanagari Express

Via Itarsi-Nagpur-Bhusaval
11078 Jammu Tawi-Pune Jhelum Express
12142 Rajendranagar-LTT Express

Via Bhopal, Nadiad, Bhusaval
12597 Gorakhpur-CST Express
10:56   The train started going down like a plane landing: Survivor
Santosh Singh, a passenger travelling in Kamayani Express who survived the train accident, recounted the ordeal and thanked god. 

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Singh, who is from Patna in Bihar and was travelling from Mumbai to Allahabad, said the train shook like a tree in a storm and then the bogie he was in fell off the tracks. 

Click HERE to read his account
10:19   Woman injured in Pak firing along LoC in Poonch
Violating the ceasefire for the eleventh time this month, Pakistani troops resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling on forward posts and hamlets along the LoC in Poonch district, leaving a woman injured. 

"Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire and resorted to unprovoked firing of small arms and mortar shells on forward areas along the LoC in Sabzian sector of Poonch from 0125 hours", a Defence Spokesman said.

They fired 81 mm mortars and from other automatic weapons on forward posts and hamlets.

Army troops guarding the border retaliated resulting in exchanges which ended around 0300 hours, the spokesman said, adding a woman identified as Naseema was injured and has been hospitalised. 

With today's ceasefire violations, there have been 11 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in August. 

A youth was killed and two others were injured, including a BSF jawan, when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by resorting to firing and mortar shelling on border out posts and hamlets along the IB in 4 sectors of Kanachak, Pargwal, Tawi and R S Pura in Jammu district yesterday. 
10:18   J&K: BSF convoy ambushed; 2 jawans and terrorist killed in ongoing encounter
Mukhtar Ahmad reports: Two Border Security Force jawans and a terrorist were killed in an encounter that began after a convoy of the paramilitary force was ambushed near Sannuli Chenani on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway on Wednesday morning.

A senior police officer told that terrorists opened fire on the BSF convoy that was on its way to Srinagar, injuring four jawans. 

Reinforcements have been rushed to the encounter site where firing is on intermittently. 

According to the police officer, an Amarnath Yatra convoy had passed just moments before the BSF vehicle was targeted.

The encounter has brought the traffic on the national highway to a standstill.
10:07   MP derailment: Drivers of earlier trains didn't detect any problem
Railways today ordered an inquiry into the twin train derailments in Harda in Madhya Pradesh which have left 27 passengers dead and ordered compensation for the families of the victims. 

Commissioner Railway Safety (central zone) will conduct an inquiry into the accidents, Railway Spokesperson Anil Saxena said.

He said though prime facie flash floods caused the derailment of these two trains, the real cause will be ascertained after the submission of the inquiry report. 

The official said just eight minutes before the accident, two trains had crossed that section and drivers of these trains did not detect any problem.

The spokesperson said that rescue operations at the site are almost over.

Appreciating the efforts of villagers near the accident spot, he said they reached the site first and assisted in the relief and rescue operations. 

Accident relief train equipped with doctors, paramedics and medicines is at the spot. As the condition of roads is bad due to incessant rains, it took some time for rescue teams to reach the accident site.
09:16   Flash flood that led to MP derailment came in 10 mins: Railway board chief
Ten minutes before the derailment (11:30 pm on Tuesday), train movement was normal; there was no problem. It appears the flash flood came suddenly in 10 minutes time, says A K Mittal, Railway Board chairman.
09:12   India needs better tracks and not bullet trains: Trivedi
Even as the death toll continues to mount following the derailment of the Kamayani Express and the Janata Express, the Centre has come under attack over the shoddy state of the Railways.

Former Union Railways Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi took a dig at the Narendra Modi government, saying the country needs better tracks and not bullet trains.

He also claimed that "there would hardly be any accidents in premium trains like Shatabdi, such incidents take place only in these trains." 

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, in a series of tweets, called for the resignation of Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Two separate train accidents in a single day in MP and before that break down of Signalling system in Itarsi resulted in utter chaos. What is happening Mr Prabhu ? We always considered you to be a good Minister. May I remind you? Shastriji resigned after a train accident," he tweeted.
Railways announces compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 to grievously injured and 25,000 for minor injuries.
08:47   Gurdaspur attack: India seeks US help in identifying Night Vision Device seized from terrorists
India has approached the US to help identify the Night Vision Device used by the three terrorists who carried out the Gurdaspur attack even as investigators did not rule out the possibility of a reconnaissance of target areas being carried out.

Besides the NVD, a request has also been routed through Union Home Ministry seeking details of Global Positioning System (GPS), used by terrorists in reaching the police station at Dina Nagar where they were engaged by Punjab Police. The manufacturer of the device is based in the US, official sources said today.

The NVD bearing a marking that it belongs to the US government was recovered from the terrorists, the sources said, adding it was used as a telescope with the assault rifle to help them in identifying the target in dead of the night.

Informally, the FBI has assured Indian investigators that all assistance will be provided in this regard and even indicated that the NVD could have been snatched from allied troops fighting war in Afghanistan, the sources said.
08:42   JNU students to hold 'Education Parliament' at Jantar Mantar
Jawaharlal Nehru University students are holding an 'Education Parliament' at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi today to deliberate upon the current reforms underway in the education sector, including the CBCS and Central University Bill.

Academicians and students from different universities and and institutions including JNU, DU, FTII, NCERT and ICHR will be participating in the parliament being organised by the JNU Students Union.

"The present government at the centre, along with massive fund-cuts, is imposing dangerous policies of CBCS, Central Univ Bill, RUSA, WTO diktats, saffronisation, Lyngdoh, to destroy the inclusive character of public-funded higher education in the country," the JNUSU alleged in a statement. 

"These policies will commercialise, centralise and saffronise education and severely jeopardise institutional autonomy and campus democracy. It is important to have a dialogue on them," it added. 

Amongt those who are expected at the parliament are former NCERT director Parvin Sinclair, JMI and former ICHR member secretary Gopinath Ravindran, former VC Lucknow University Roop Rekha Verma and representatives from teachers' unions DU, Jamia, JNU, IGNOU, Lucknow University and Aligarh Muslim University. 
08:19   Deeply pained over loss of lives: PM Modi on twin derailments
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets, "The two train accidents in Madhya Pradesh are deeply distressing. Deeply pained over the loss of lives. Condolences to families of deceased. My prayers with the injured. Authorities are doing everything possible on the ground. The situation is being monitored very closely."

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu ‏said the incident took place due to flooding of tracks after very heavy downpour. He will be making a detailed statement in Parliament on the tragedy.
05:54   Large explosion rocks southeast Missouri aluminum plant
A massive explosion has rocked a southeast Missouri aluminum plant, injuring some workers and creating a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles.

The explosion and fire occurred around 12:30 pm (local time) yesterday at the Noranda Aluminum plant near the town of Marston in New Madrid County, about 170 miles south of St Louis.

Noranda spokesman John Parker said all workers had been accounted for and there were no life-threatening injuries. He said some people suffered what appeared to be non-critical abrasions, dust irritation or smoke inhalation.

Parker said one of the injured workers was taken to a hospital for treatment. Others were treated at the scene.

Parker said a molten metal explosion occurred in the cast house of the plant, where the company produces extrusion billet, a length of metal with a cylindrical shape. Production in the cast house was suspended, Parker said, but work continued at the rest of the facility.
04:41   300 people rescued from derailed trains in Madhya Pradesh
Reports indicate that the relief operations have successfully aided the rescue of 300 passengers in the trains. 

Kamayani Express en route to Varanasi from Mumbai derailed near Harda, about 160 km from Bhopal, around 11.45 pm while the Janata Express derailed around the same time.

03:21   Rescue team from Itarsi commences rescue work
The rescue team dispatched from Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh have reached the spot and begun relief and recue work

Sr DCM Brijendra Kumar to ANI 1 NDRF battalion from Bhopal, Army unit stationed in Mhow is also en route to the site.
02:37   3 trains headed to aid rescue operations
The railways have dispatched three trains to aid in the rescue operations in the Machak River where two trains were derailed tonight.

Trains from Jabalpur and Bhusawal are headed to the site of the accident.

Several doctors and rescue and relief workers are on their way to the site as well.
02:26   "Will not spare any efforts," tweets Suresh Prabhu
Meanwhile, Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has tweeted about the rescue efforts.

"Rail Admn & MP govt working together to rescue passengers of Kamyani express accident.Directed GM, DRM,RPF  medical staff to rush. We r gearing up all possible help on basis of info,will not spare any efforts," he tweeted.

"Rushing emergency medical & other relief personnel to spot. darkness,water creating hurdles but ordered all possible help. Trying our best. Trying to pull back trains," Prabdhu added in his tweet.
02:23   2 dead while trying to evacuate derailed Janta Express train
According to ANI reports two people have died while attempting to evacuate from the derailed Janta Express train.

Reports indicate that the passengers were electrocuted while trying to evacuate the train.

The death toll could rise.
02:14   Another train to Mumbai derails at same spot as Kamayani Express
The Mumbai-bound Janata Express has also derailed at the same spot as the Kamayani Express.

Passengers on board the train have told ANI, that water from the Machak river overflowed onto the tracks.

Electrical lines in the area are down.

Water levels in the river were dangerously high due to the heavy rainfall in the area.

The train derailed while crossing the bridge and five bogies fell into the river. 

More details awaited.

Picture for representation only.
01:33   Varanasi-bound Kamayani Express derailed in Madhya Pradesh
According to reports the Varanasi-bound Kamayani Express has derailed in Madhya Pradesh.

Five bogies of the train have reportedly fallen into the Machak river some 25 kilometers away from Harda.

The Kamayani Express reportedly derailed near the Kudawa railway station in central Madhya Pradesh.

Reports suggest the derailment was caused by incessant rain when the train was crossing a bridge.

A special team with doctors and rescue personnel has been dispatched to the spot in another train.

The Kamayani Express was travelling from Mumbai in Maharashtra to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

More details are awaited.

Picture for representation only.
01:18   IS abducted teachers from Karnataka reunite with family
Two Indian teachers from Karnataka, kidnapped in Libya allegedly by Islamic State terror group and released subsequently, were reunited with their families as they arrived home today.

The two said they were treated with respect by the abductors and not tortured in captivity.

"They asked whether we are Muslim or non Muslim... as they came to know we were non-Muslims they detained us...they did not do any thing, they did not harm, even they did not touch me or any of us," Vijay Kumar on landing at Bengaluru International Airport told reporters.

"They respected us, they told us if you were teachers of the have taught our students, so we are releasing you. You can go to India and follow Islam," he said.

Thanking the Indian government, people and the media for their help and good wishes, he said, "Only sad thing is that two of our friends are still there. If they also come I will be happy."

Four Indian teachers working at University of Sirte in Libya, including two from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, were kidnapped in Libya allegedly by the ISIS while returning to India from Tripoli on July 29.