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Sun, 23 August 2015
Cops fear Bangkok bomb suspect may have left country

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21:30   Cops fear Bangkok bomb suspect may have left country
Nearly a week after a bomb killed 20 people in the Thai capital, the country's police said the main suspect in the blast might already have fled the country.

Police General Somyot Poompanmoung said that investigators "need some luck" if they are to catch a man with unkempt hair and wearing a yellow T-shirt who appeared to be shown planting the bomb in security-camera footage from site of the blast at the popular Erawan Shrine on Monday, August 17. "If the perpetrator is lucky, then he might be able to get away."

Another top policeman, Prawut Thavornsiri, told Thai television that he suspected that the main suspect might have already left the country. But we will keep searching, in case we can find others who may be in the country or find clues, evidence and witnesses who may have seen him, he said.
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20:52   Death penalty for heinous crime not barbaric, says Supreme Court
In the wake of the debate over the death penalty following the execution of Mumbai attack convict Yakub Memon, the Supreme Court has said capital punishment is not inhuman or barbaric and will not violate the right to life and liberty in heinous crimes. The bench of Justices TS Thakur, RK Agrawal and AK Goel said, "A sentence of death in a case of murder may be rare, but if the courts have found it is the only sentence that can be awarded, it is difficult to revisit that question... What was important, the top court said, was that the punishment should be should be proportionate to the crime."
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20:41   Pak says India's "fanatic approach" sabotaged NSA-level talks
Pakistan accused the Narendra Modi government of "sabotaging" the NSA-level talks with its "fanatic approach" and said its "negative attitude" was aimed at disrupting peace in the region. 

Upping the ante a day after Pakistan called off talks between National Security Advisors Sartaj Aziz and Ajit Doval, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said, "negative attitude of Modi government was to disrupt peace in the region," state-run Radio Pakistan quoted him as saying. 

In provocative remarks, he said, "India sabotaged the Pak-India talks scheduled to be held in New Delhi today due to its fanatic approach".
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20:18   Do you have experience of rape? Giriraj takes jibe at Mulayam
Known for his controversial comments, BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Sunday stoked a fresh controversy when he attacked Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav over the latter's gangrape' remark. 

Addressing a gathering at his Lok Sabha constituency Nawada, Giriraj slammed Mulayam Singh, stating, "He believes gangrape is not possible. Since he is an elderly person we can't even ask him whether he has any experience of rape?"

Mulayam Singh had a few days back stirred hornet's nest by making a remark on the issue of rape incidents taking place in the country, saying that while one person commits rape, four are named in the complaint even though rape by four persons is not 'practically' possible.
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20:10   Why India is already a loser in NSA talks
When India demonstrated its resentment against Pakistan's commitment to meet Kashmir's resistance leadership in New Delhi ahead of the national security adviser (NSA) level talks, little did it know about the consequences of this political miscalculation. Over the years, probably since the summer uprising of 2010, the Kashmiri resistance leadership has never been too significant in any political process concerning Kashmir. Such political obstinacy further delegitimises the authenticity of India's idea of Kashmir.

Read more HERE
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20:05  
JUST IN: Consolation win for Australia's Michael Clarke in his final Test. England lose by an innings and 46 runs, take Ashes 3-2. 
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19:15   Assam's Himanta Biswa Sarma to quit Congress, join BJP
Former Assam's State Education and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has announced on Facebook that he is quitting the Congress and will join the BJP on Monday. 

"Following massive calls over the past months from people across Assam hailing from all communities, will be formally joining the BJP for a resurgent Assam and Northeast under the vibrant leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Urging all of you here to join hands for a resurgent Assam and Northeast," he wrote. 
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18:57   World Athletics: Bolt wins 100m final in 9.79 seconds
Jamaica's Usain Bolt retained his 100 metres title at the IAAF World Championship in Beijing on Sunday. Bolt with a time of  9.79 seconds came first while Justin Gatlin came in second. The 100 metres world record (9.58 seconds) was set by Bolt in the Berlian edition in 2009. The Jamaican won the event in the both the subsequent editions -- Daegu in 2011 and Moscow in 2013 -- while also winning the gold in the same in the last two Olympics. 

The Jamaican, 29, has been beset by a pelvic injury for much of the season, producing only two sub-10 second 100m performances all summer. The controversial Gatlin, who arrived in Beijing on a 27-race unbeaten run stretching back two years, had underlined his status as gold medal favourite with the fastest time in the first round.   The American, who last won the world title in Helsinki (2005), eased through his semi-final heat in 9.77 secs.  
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18:35   Warm welcome to the club of the Retired: Tendulkar tweets Sangakkara
"Well played @KumarSanga2. You have been a terrific ambassador for the game & a thorough gentleman. Warm welcome to the club of the Retired," tweeted Sachin Tendulkar after Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara walked off the field for the final time. 
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18:31   Parrikar reviews security situation of J&K
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today arrived in Leh as part of his two-day visit to Ladakh region of Jammu and Kasmhir and reviewed security situation in the state. The defence minister held a high-level meeting of top commanders of the state and reviewed the security situation, cross border infiltration and border security setup.  
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18:01   2 guards deputed for Malalas security amid threats in UK
Pakistani nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2011 for championing the cause of girls education, has reportedly been given two 24-hour armed guards in the UK after she was made a key target by terrorists.

The guards have been tasked to protect the 18-year-old rights activist because spy chiefs warn that threats against her have been growing, The Sun reported. "Her life's been at risk since that failed murder attempt. But threats have grown significantly as her profile has become bigger,' a source was quoted as saying. "Being a Nobel winner and female education campaigner means she is seen as a global ambassador. Her elite police protection reflects this,' the source said.

The level of security given to Malala is usually accorded to ministers or other political VIPs.
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17:46   Maggi may be back by the end of this year: Nestle India
Bolstered by the Bombay high court order overturning ban on Maggi, Nestle India plans to bring back the popular instant noodles back in the market by end of this year subject to certain clearances.

The company, which has taken a hit of Rs 450 crore, including destroying over 30,000 tonnes of the instant noodles since June when it was banned because of alleged excessive lead content, says it will continue with the existing formula of the product and not change the ingredients.
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17:25   Britain reopens its embassy in Tehran after 4 years
The British embassy in Iran has reopened, nearly four years after it was closed. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond attended a ceremony in Tehran with Iranian diplomats to mark the reopening while Iran will reopen its embassy in London later. The UK embassy was closed in 2011 after it was stormed by protesters during a demonstration against sanctions. Hammond is the first UK foreign secretary to visit Iran since 2003. The visit comes weeks after Iran reached a deal with six world powers aimed at curbing its nuclear programme.
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16:52   Indian-origin doctor in US grows new ears for 8-year-old boy
An Indian-origin doctor in the US has successfully grown outer ears from rib cartilage in an eight-year-old boy after a series of 'miraculous' surgeries. 

Elijah Bell, a second-grade student at Frazer Elementary in Canton, Ohio, was born with bilateral atresia microtia, a rare birth defect where the outer ears are undeveloped, and, in Elijah's case, had no openings to the middle and inner ear. 

On July 28, Elijah completed a final round of surgeries at Akron Children's Hospital to craft a set of outer ears. Dr Ananth Murthy, director of plastic surgery at the hospital, made ears from Elijah's rib cartilage. "We consider it to be a miracle in our family," said Colleen Bell, Elijah's mom.
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16:50   World Athletics: Bolt, Gatlin in 100 metres final
Usain Bolt has scrambled into the men's 100 metres final.

The Jamaican stumbled out of the blocks and had to play catch up, eventually inching through his heat in 9.96 secs.

The 100 metres world record (9.58 secs) was set by Bolt in the Berlian edition in 2009.

Bolt's biggest challenger, American Justin Gatlin eased into the final, winning his heat with a time of 9.77 secs.

The controversial Gatlin, who arrived in Beijing on a 27-race unbeaten run stretching back two years, had underlined his status as gold medal favourite with the fastest time in the first round.
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15:56   J&K CM disappointed over cancellation of Indo-Pak talks
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed expressed disappointment over the cancellation of NSA talks between India and Pakistan and hoped that "the break in talks would be temporary". 

He said he was disappointed over the abrupt cancellation of bilateral meeting between National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan but hoped that break in talks would be "temporary and the thaw achieved at Ufa (Russia), where PMs of the two countries met and exhibited great camaraderie, will not be allowed to go waste".  

Hoping that India and Pakistan will "re-engage soon in a meaningful dialogue" and steps taken by New Delhi to remove impediments in normalization of relations will be reciprocated by Islamabad, Sayeed said he wants to see both the countries "walk the bridge of trust together".
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15:42   5.0 magnitude quake strikes Nepal, tremors felt in Delhi
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake has struck Nepal with tremors being felt in Darjeeling and Delhi. Reports say that the epicentre of the quake is Namche Bazar. 

This comes after the massive 7.8 magnitude quake hit the region in April killing over 9,000 people and injuring over 25,000. A total of 373 aftershocks were recorded since the April massive quake 
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15:21   I will come back and carry on cutting heads off: Jihadi John to Britain
Islamic State's Jihadi John has apparently threatened to come back to Britain and "carry on cutting heads". 

A man believed to be the sick fanatic - responsible for beheading at least seven hostages in Syria - was captured ranting to the camera in mobile phone footage. 

In the one minute and 17 second video the man, believed to be 27-year-oldLondoner Mohammed Emwazi, looks menacingly as he makes his sick pledge. He says: "I am Mohammed Emwazi. I will soon go back to Britain with the Khalifa' [the leader of Islamic State]. I will carry on cutting heads."
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15:09   Tianjin blasts: Death toll mounts to 123
The death toll from a warehouse blast in north China's major port city of Tianjin has risen to 123 while 50 people were still listed in the country's worst industrial tragedy, authorities said. 

The dead included 70 firefighters and seven policemen. All the victims have been identified, state-run Xinhua news agency reported citing officials. Fifty people remain missing, including 34 firefighters and four policemen, nearly two weeks after powerful explosions ripped through the warehouses storing dangerous chemicals in Tianjin on the night of August 12.
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14:59   Vadra welcomes govt move to remove him from 'no-frisking' list
Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, has welcomed the government's move to strip him off the privilege of not being frisked at airports, saying he had been waiting for this as he was "no VIP". 

"Finally!! I am glad and have been awaiting this so called and never used, Security Exemption Privilege to be removed at airports," he said in a statement. "I am and have been more than ready to give a written consent to remove my name from this VVIP list. I am no VIP and I have expressed my view on this subject in the past as well. Please stop wasting people's time with this news, every few days," Vadra added.
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14:54   France train attack: First picture emerges of Moroccan gunman
The suspect in the attack on a high speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris has been identified as Ayoub El-Khazzani, a 26-year-old Moroccan national who was living in Spain until last year. He emerged shirtless from a lavatory bearing an AK-47, a handgun, and a box-cutter knife. A French passenger then tried to tackle the gunman, resulting in several rounds being fired and one person being struck by a bullet.
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14:18   Not talking to Pakistan won't lead to war, says Yashwant Sinha
A day after pakistan called off National Security Advisor-level talks with India, former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha on Sunday hit out at the neighbouring country for misinterpreting the Ufa agreement.Sinha asked the Narendra Modi government not to talk to Pakistan and said, "Not talking to Pakistan will not lead to war. I believe we should not engage with Pakistan until we are absolutely sure about the outcome."
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13:32   Will try for cordial relations with Pakistan, up to them to decide: Rajnath
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the cancellation of Indo-Pak NSA-level talks were 'unfortunate', adding that India wanted it but Pakistan cancelled it. He added, "We will continue to try for coordial relations with Pakistan, it up to them to decide."
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12:56   How the D word gets our goat
It's permeated our psyche for almost two decades now - the 'D' word. It's Diabolocal, Dreadful, Dodgy, Detestible but De rigueur almost. Where there's big bucks, big politics, big crime -- the D word invariably crops up - albeit hush hush. It's the biggest 'Dhong' in our 'Desh'.

Read more HERE
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12:31   Swaraj leaves on a two-nation visit of Egypt, Germany
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today embarked on a two-nation tour of Egypt and Germany which is expected to see new vistas being opened in bilateral ties with particular focus on boosting trade and investment.  

During her visit to Egyptian capital Cairo, she will call on President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, hold bilateral talks with her counterpart Sameh Hassan Shoukry and meet Nabil ElAraby, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, besides other leaders.  

During her visit to Berlin from August 25-27, Swaraj will hold meetings with German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and a number of other leaders.
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12:27   Cops lathicharge as Geelani supporters protest outside residence
Violence broke out at hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani's residence in Hyderpora after cops resorted to lathi charge and tear gas at protesters. Group of supporters gathered outside the leader's home after he was placed under detention yet again. The protests soon turned violent and cops had to resort to lathi charge to dispel the commotion. In the chaos, four of Geelani's supporters were injured. 


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12:08   ED summons separatist Shabir Shah in terror financing case
The Enforcement Directorate on Sunday summoned separatist Shabir Shah in a terror financing case. The summons were served to him at the airport when Shabir Shah was asked to leave the national capital after being kept under detention by the Delhi police. shaShah came to Delhi to meet Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz.
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11:57   Hurriyat leader Bilal Lone released from detention
Hurriyat leader Bilal Lone who was under detention, has been released. On Saturday, the Hurriyat Conference leader was detained at Delhi airport to prevent him from meeting Pakistan's NSA Sartaj Aziz in the event of his arrival. Lone, who is the executive member of moderate faction of Hurriyat led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, was stopped at the ladder of the aircraft as he deplaned and was informed that he was under detention and would remain confined to his rented accommodation in South Delhi, the sources said.
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11:36   Union Minister General VK Singh's daughter joins OROP protest
While the Narendra Modi government is facing a lot of flak from defence veterans for delaying the implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme, it has been left red-faced now. 

Union Minister and former Army Chief General VK Singh's daughter on Sunday joined the protest and urged her father for a speedy resolution. Mrinalini Singh said, "I have come to express my solidarity. I thought if veterans can sit on hunger strike then I should also come and sit with them. I come from an army family. Even my grandfather was a soldier and may be my son would also become one. I hope the government will soon heed to this demand. It's long over due and I did take up the issue with my father. He has written a letter to the PM."
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11:21   After NSA-level talks fail, Congress attacks Modi sarkar
Criticising the ruling National Democratic Alliance regime over the collapse of the proposed National Security Advisor-level talks with Pakistan, former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said that it has a great inclination of pulling rabbits out of hats. 

Expressing his concern over the talks not taking place after so much hype post last month's discussions between the Indian and Pakistan prime ministers in Ufa, Russia, on the sidelines of the SCO Summit, Khurshid said that this was nothing but a case of constant flip flop by the Narendra Modi-led government that was almost always landing in a flop state on foreign policy since it came to power in May last year.

He said: "Flip flop, flip flop and finally flop, this is what our government has to show. The problem is, did you (Indian Government) not know that this would happen?"
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11:11  
JUST IN: 3 people dead, 2 injured and 1 reportedly critical after a gas cylinder exploded in a house in Telangana's Mahabubnagar district
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11:08   Hardline separatist Geelani put under house arrest AGAIN
Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has once again been put under house arrest. A heavy contingent of police is camped outside the 84-year-old separatist leader's Hyderpora residence. He was supposed to address a seminar today in Srinagar.

The action comes following Pakistan calling off National Security Advisor-level talks on Saturday night after refusing to accept to India's 'terms' of not meeting Hurriyat leaders and only wishing to discuss terror. 
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09:33   Three militants killed in J&K encounter
Three militants were killed today in an encounter with the army in Kupwara district of north Kashmir. 

The encounter began last night after troops launched a search operation in Khumhair forests of Handwara tehsil, 100 km from Srinagar, following information about the presence of the militants, an army official said. 

"Three terrorists have been killed while one soldier has sustained injuries during the operation," the official said. 

He added that the identity and group affiliation of the slain militants was being ascertained.
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00:20   Japan protests Russian PM's visit to disputed island
Japan lodged a protest over Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit to one of four disputed Pacific islands which have strained ties between the two countries since the end of World War II.

The decades-old argument over the territory, claimed by both states, could set back Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to court resource-rich Russia and keep the door open to dialogue, despite the Ukraine crisis.
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00:14   Terrorism not a major concern only for India: Rajnath
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said terrorism was a major concern not only for India alone, but for the entire international community. 

"I don't think that there are two different views on this issue. As far as terrorism is concerned, I think it is not only India which is concerned on the issue, the entire international community is concerned," Singh said at an event.
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00:08   Police say 7 dead after jet in UK airshow crashes into road
A military jet taking part in a British airshow crashed into a busy main road, killing seven people and injuring more than a dozen others, police said. 

The Hawker Hunter fighter jet, which was participating in the Shoreham Airshow near Brighton in southern England, hit several vehicles on the road as it crashed this afternoon. Witnesses told local TV that the jet appeared to have crashed when it failed to pull out of a loop maneuver.