Thu, 12 February 2015
Shashi Tharoor questioned by SIT for second time today

Timeline  Refresh

23:08   Shashi Tharoor questioned by SIT for second time today
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has returned to the Special Investigation Team office in Vasant Vihar for a second time today for questioning.

Earlier in the day he was quizzed by the SIT for over four-and-a-half hours at the Anti Auto Theft Squad office in South Delhi in two sessions. 

The SIT is investigating his role in the IPL controversy as also various aspects leading to the mysterious death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. 

Tharoor's driver Bajrangi was also quizzed along with the Congress MP.
22:36   French TV, radio rapped for Charlie Hebdo attacks coverage
France's major TV and radio networks were formally rapped by the French broadcast regulator today for serious "breaches" in the way they covered last month's Charlie Hebdo attack and subsequent bloody events. 

The warnings were issued for violations including: showing the moment two of the Islamist gunmen cold-bloodedly shot dead a policeman; identifying the two gunmen before police did so publicly; reporting that people were hiding in a Jewish supermarket taken over by a third gunmen; and providing live video feeds of the deadly police assault on the supermarket.
22:15   AAP not to send invites to any political party for oath ceremony
The Aam Aadmi Party will not send invites to the leaders of any political parties or chief ministers of any state to attend Arvind Kejriwal's oath taking ceremony on Saturday.

The party said it had invited only to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and seven MPs representing Delhi in the Lok Sabha for the ceremony at Ramlila Maidan.

"Although we have invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu for the oath-taking ceremony, these ministers are from the Central government. The Delhi government wants cooperation from the Centre for smooth functioning. "Apart from it, we will not extend invites to any political party or chief ministers of any other state. The seven BJP MPs will be invited as per the protocol," said a senior AAP leader.
22:06   'AIB Knockout': FIR against Karan Johar, Deepika and others
Mumbai Police today registered an FIR against 14 persons, including Bollywood personalities Karan Johar, Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhat, organisers and participants of the controversial 'AIB Knockout' show, a day after a court here ordered such an action. 

"An FIR was registered against 14 persons including actors Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhat," said an officer at Tardeo police station in South Mumbai.
21:26   'Pak needs to follow its words on terrorists with action'
Observing that the common threat of "violent extremism" may serve as a catalyst for improved security ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a top American general based in Kabul today told US lawmakers that Islamabad now needs to follow its words against terrorists with action. 

"The common threat of violent extremism may serve as a catalyst for improved cooperation between the two countries, and we have already seen progress in the Afghanistan-Pakistan military-to-military relationship," said General John F Campbell, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

"Senior Pakistani military officers have said that they can no longer discriminate between 'good and bad' terrorists. It is important that their words are followed by action," General Campbell said in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, wherein he conceded that the terrorist safe havens continue to exist in Pakistan.
21:08   9 out of 27 Peshawar school attack conspirators killed: Pak
The Pakistan army today said that out of 27 Taliban militants involved in the Peshawar school massacre nine have been killed and 12 others arrested. 

Military spokesman Major Gen Asim Bajwa said 27 militants were involved in the planning and execution of the attack on the army-run school on December 16 that killed 150 people, including 136 students. 

"Nine of them have been killed, 12 arrested and efforts are going on to nab the remaining culprits," he said while briefing the media about offensives to eliminate militancy.

Bajwa said the school carnage was ordered by Tehreek-i- Taliban Chief Mullah Fazlullah who divided his force into two groups.
20:42   JD-U directs ministers in Manjhi govt to resign
In a terse message to the seven ruling party legislators who have sided with Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and continued to remain ministers in his minority government, the JD-U today asked them to quit immediately and return to the party-fold.

"We direct all of you to immediately sever ties with Manjhi and resign as ministers in his government otherwise the party will crack whips against you all," state unit JD-U president Bashistha Narayan Singh told media persons.

Singh said that he has written letters to all seven JD-U legislators asking them to resign from the Manjhi government and expected they will comply with the directive.
20:40   Salman case: Analyst says he received less blood than stated
A chemical analyst today deposed before the sessions court here, which is hearing the 2002 hit-and-run case allegedly involving Salman Khan, that he had received a vial purportedly containing 6 ml blood of the Bollywood actor but found it had only 4 ml of the sample.

The blood sample of the actor, who was allegedly drunk when he rammed his SUV onto a pavement, killing one person, had been sent for chemical analysis after the incident.

Replying to a question by Salman's lawyer Srikant Shivade, Balashankar, the analyst, said he was not aware where the 2 ml of the sample blood disappeared. Balshankar had earlier told the court the sample had 62 mg of alcohol, double the permissible limit.

A person who consumes alcohol would normally have 30 mg per 100 ml but it may increase by 40 per cent if the person is on medication.

To another question, the analyst said the sample bottle had a label which read `Salman Khan' and not `Salman Salim Khan' as put by police in the court case papers.
20:07   India, US to work together to combat terror funding
To combat terror financing, India and the US today committed to work together to check illicit money transfers for terrorism and other illegal activities, even as the two countries discussed ways to boost trade ties.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the visiting US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew also discussed a range of other issues, including on taxation and long-term investment strategies, during the 5th Indo-US Economic and Financial Partnership meeting in New Delhi today. "

"We have had a close cooperative relationship with India. We share a common commitment to working together to try as much as we can to shut down the flow of funding to those who commit terrorist act and other kinds of activities," Lew said at a post-meeting joint press conference.

"We discussed money laundering and funding of terrorism, since a large number of these funds come through concealed identities. This issue has been brought to out notice and the concerned authorities, including central bank, has taken appropriate action in this matter," Jaitley said.
20:03   Mumbai court charges AIB for criminal conspiracy
Just in: A Mumbai court has ordered a criminal conspiracy case against comedy group AIB and Bollywood personalities for controversial roast.  The court has ordered the police to register a first information report. An FIR has already been filed in Pune, while the Maharashtra government has announced an inquiry.

On Monday, the Bombay high court had directed the government and the I&B ministry to respond to a petition seeking action against organisers.

The show was a comic 'roast', also called insult comedy, a format borrowed from the US. It attracted over four million views in less than four days on YouTube.

The show held in Mumbai saw the participation of Bollywood's Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone among others.  
19:57   Sachin picks semi-finalists for World Cup
Sachin Tendulkar today tipped India to make it to the semifinals of the cricket World Cup which begins in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday and said that captain Mahendra Singh could play a key role in the country's fortunes in the showpiece event.

"According to me, the top four teams that I would put them in the semis would be Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India," Tendulkar, who played six World Cups, said when asked to name the four top teams.

He said the whole team will have to perform if India have to defend the title they won at home in 2011 but felt that Dhoni's experience and calm leadership would play a key role.

"Yes, I think M S Dhoni is the guy because he has the experience of competing at this level for close to 10 years and he is calm and composed. You know, even on the biggest of the stages he is calm and composed and that is what you expect from a leader," Tendulkar, who won the 2011 World Cup under Dhoni, told Headlines Today.
19:53   Don't miss: British PM drives a train
British Prime Minister David Cameron tries his hand at driving a train. Watch the video here
19:49   Britain's Muslim population nearly doubles in a decade
The Muslim population of Britain is growing faster than the overall population of the country and has nearly doubled to 2.7 million in the past decade, according to the most comprehensive report on the community in UK, released today.

The analysis of 2011 census figures indicate that 2.71 million Muslims lived in England and Wales compared with 1.55 million in 2001 and one in 12 schoolchildren are now officially classed as Muslim.

The report compiled by the Muslim Council of Britain and presented to Parliament concludes that in the coming general election Muslims could play a decisive role on at least 26 parliamentary constituencies, which have a Muslim population of 20 per cent or more.

"There has been a spreading-out effect and this has accelerated in the past 10 years," said Sundas Ali, Oxford University sociologist and the MCB report's analyst.
19:26   NASA pacecraft captures giant filament on Sun
A NASA spacecraft has captured a giant solar filament which appears as a dark line snaked across the lower half of the Sun and is longer than 67 Earths lined up in a row.  An image captured by the NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on February 10 shows the filament of solar material hovering above the Sun's surface.

The SDO shows colder material as dark and hotter material as light, so the line is, in fact, an enormous swatch of colder material hovering in the Sun's atmosphere, the corona.

19:19   World Cup: 8 Pak players fined for violating team curfew
Eight members of the Pakistan World Cup squad have been fined for violating the team curfew hours ahead of their crucial World Cup opening match against arch-rivals India, to be played on February 15.

A Pakistan Cricket Board official confirmed to PTI that reports of the eight players being reprimanded and fined for a late night out were correct.

"Yes, manager Naved Akram Cheema has warned the players that no more transgressions of the code of conduct will be tolerated and they can be sent back home as punishment," said the official.

The eight players include senior all-rounder Shahid Afridi, opener Ahmed Shehzad, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail. The official said the players had gone out for dinner with a friend in Sydney before the warm-up game against Bangladesh.
18:54   Why this AAP veteran is angry
Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy, a founder-member of the Aam Aadmi Party, is unhappy that the party is deviating from its basic ideology. 

In a personal note to chief minister-elect Arvind Kejriwal, he has suggested six points for course correction. 

Chief among them is to remove the coterie around Kejriwal, and also to not go in for a confrontation with the Centre for at least two years.  

Chenoy, who authored the fledgeling party's political agenda in 2013,  is disgusted by what he says is the younger elements taking control of Kejriwal. 

At its first Cabinet meeting, Chenoy wants the first resolution to focus on land acquisition around Delhi.

A staunch CPI man, Chenoy left the communists to join AAP when it was formed. Today, he is a disgruntled man -- rather like Shanti Bhushan.   

But despite his angst, insiders say that AAP may field Chenoy for the Rajya Sabha next year.
18:42   Egypt court releases Al-Jazeera journalists on bail
An Egyptian court today ordered the release of two remaining Al-Jazeera journalists on bail after they spent more than 400 days in prison, pending their retrial for allegedly supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood.  

Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy was released on 250,000 Egyptian pounds (about $32,000) bail while local journalist Baher Mohamed was freed on his own recognisance along with other defendants.   

The case was adjourned until February 23, the court said.   

The Canadian ambassador was inside the courtroom before the start of the trial.   

Three journalists of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera English were arrested and jailed in July 2013 for 3 to 7 years on charges of supporting Brotherhood and spreading false information. The journalists deny collaborating with the Brotherhood after the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi by the military in 2013. They maintain they were jailed simply for reporting the news.
18:36   Modi tweets best wishes to Indian cricket team
As the 2015 Cricket World Cup begins, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his wishes to the Indian team.

"As the 2015 Cricket World Cup begins, my best wishes to the Indian Cricket Team," Modi tweeted followed by individual tweets for each of the players.

For Mahendra Singh Dhoni: "My best wishes to captain cool @msdhoni. Play hard, lead well & make India proud. Knowing you, I am sure you will."

For Virat Kohli: "I wish our flamboyant vice captain @imVkohli the very best for the upcoming campaign. The entire nation has a lot of hopes on him."

For Shikhar Dhawan: "Best wishes @SDhawan25! Give India a wonderful start every time you step on the pitch. Score many many runs, we are all there to cheer you."

For Rohit Sharma: "The only batsman to score 2 double centuries in ODIs, @ImRo45's talent has millions of fans. Make us proud once again!"

For Ajinkya Rahane: "I wish you the very best my young friend @ajinkyarahane88. Have a wonderful World Cup. Make the most of this great opportunity."

For Suresh Raina: "Suresh Raina has always been agile on the field & hard-hitting with the bat. Hit them out of the park, including the bouncers :) @ImRaina"

For Ambati Rayudu: "Have a great tournament @RayuduAmbati. I am sure you will keep the runs coming & play a key role in the tournament."

For Ravindra Jadeja: "Who is not a fan of Sir Jadeja? We all look forward to seeing your all round performances take India to victory! @imjadeja"

For Ashwin Ravi: "I am sure your spin blowing will surprise the batsman & give us victory. Play well @Ashwinravi99! My good wishes."

For Axar Patel: "The young Axar Patel can trick the batsmen with his sharp spin & bounce. Give your best & play without pressure!"

For Bhuvneshwar Kumar: "Best of luck @BhuviOfficial! Swing every match in our favour. Your breakthroughs will determine how fast we will win those matches!"

Mohit Sharma: "Our young fast bowler Mohit Sharma can bowl a great line & length. He is a great asset to the team. Best of luck."

For Mohammed Shami: "I wish my young & extremely talented friend, Mohammed Shami the very best for the World Cup. Play well & get those wickets."

For Stuart Binny: "Stuart Binnys recent all round performances have impressed all. We wish him all the best for the World Cup."
18:28   BJP-PDP to form government in Jammu & Kashmir
Sources confirm that the BJP and the PDP have agreed to government formation in Jammu& Kashmir with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as the next CM of J&K and Nirmal Singh likely to become the Deputy CM. 

"CMship was never bone of dispute," sources say.

Sources confirm that the PDP & BJP have reached an agreement on a common minimum programme including contentious issues such as Article 370 & AFSPA. Government formation likely to take place by next week.

Sources also said that, "Formal talks between BJP & PDP will precede formal announcement of alliance set for on Tuesday/Wednesday. These talks will be helmed by 5 member teams from both sides."

The PDP has 28 and the BJP 25 seats in the state assembly. The National Conference won 15 seats and its former ally, the Congress 12. Seven seats went to independents and smaller parties.
18:11   Long-held Al Jazeera journalists freed, pending retrial
Egyptian authorities have released Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed -- though they still face court proceedings -- after they served more than 400 days in an Egyptian prison.

At the start of their retrial Thursday, a court ordered Fahmy be released on a 250,000 Egyptian pound bail ($32,750); Baher Mohamed was not required to post bail. Court has been adjourned until February 23.

Their release comes less than two weeks after their colleague, Al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste, was released and deported to his native Australia.

Read full story HERE.
17:29   JLo arrives in Udaipur for Hinduja wedding
Jennifer Lopez has arrived for the Sanjay Hinduja-Anu Mahtani's wedding
which is set to shake Udaipur.

According to NDTV, other VIP's on the list include Bollywood star Akshay Kumar.

UK-based billionaire Sanjay Hinduja is marrying designer Anu Mahtani tonight. Udaipur is crowded with A-listers right now.

Festivities, which began on February 10, have already included a performance by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.

Read full story HERE.
17:19   ISIS magazine claims Hayat Boumedienne is in Syria
The widow of Paris kosher supermarket gunman Amedy Coulibaly has linked up with ISIS, the terror group claims.

The second issue of an ISIS French language magazine, which began circulating on pro-ISIS Twitter accounts Wednesday, contains a purported two-page question-and-answer story with Hayat Boumedienne, who is believed to have disappeared into Syria before the attack.

The magazine, entitled Dar al Islam, claimed Boumedienne safely reached the Islamic State, but offered no pictures or any other proof to corroborate the claim.

Read full story HERE.
16:39   SIT questions Tharoor; sends viscera samples in Sunanda case to FBI forensic labs
After over four hours the Special Investigation Team has finished their quizzing of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in the Sunanda Pushkar murder case. This was the second time Shashi Tharoor was questioned in the last two weeks. 

Going a step further, the SIT has sent Sunanda Pushkar's viscera samples to the FBI labs in the US. 

The SIT also questioned six people, including two members of the Tharoor household's domestic staff, on Thursday.

The session was held in order to get some clarifications on various facts. It has been told that some of the witnesses have been examined more than three times now.

Tharoor was asked Wednesday to join the probe by the SIT investigating Pushkar's death. 

Tharoor's domestic help Narayan Singh also reached the SIT office where he was interrogated by the cops.

Police have in questioned Singh twice in recent past. 

Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi had said Wednesday that Tharoor will be questioned Thursday.
The wife of the Indian national Sureshbhai Patel, who was attacked and left paralysed in the US, broke into tears while talking to media.

Sureshbhai had come to the US two weeks ago to stay with his son in a suburb of Huntsville, Alabama. Last week, while walking down the sidewalk in the neighbourhood he was stopped by the police.

Since he did not know English, he was unable to respond to the questions asked by police except for saying "no English' and in between he put his hand in one of his pockets.

The policeman on duty forced him on the ground, injuring Patel, who is now partly paralysed and undergoing treatment in a hospital.

The policeman responsible for injuring Patel has been sent on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
15:56   Breather for activist Teesta after SC stays arrest order
In a sigh of relief for activist Teesta Setalvad, the Supreme Court has stayed the arrest order for a day. Earlier in the day, her arrest was imminent after Gujarat high court rejected her bail plea in the alleged Gulbarg society embezzlement case. She has been accused of misusing some Rs 1.5 crore allegedly collected for a museum at the Gulbarg Society where over 60 were killed during the Gujarat riots in 2002.  
15:44   AIB roast: Mumbai court orders FIR against Deepika, Karan
A Mumbai court has ordered that a FIR be registered against Bollywood's Deepika Padukone, Karan Johar and 14 others for the AIB roast. The comedy show, which went viral on YouTube has created quite a lot of controversy with many calling the jokes in the show crass and objectionable. The AIB roast event, staged in Mumbai in December, was attended by 4,000 people and the audience included Johar's mother, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone among others.
15:33   Defeat in Delhi will not slow down economic reforms: Jaitley
The defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Delhi assembly elections will not slow down the pace of economic reforms, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserted today.   In his first comments after the near-whitewash of his party in the Delhi polls, he said the government was determined to go ahead on the path of economic reforms. "The fact that four (state assembly) elections have been won and one has not been won is absolutely no ground for believing that there will be any slowdown on the path which we have undertaken,' he said. Jaitley's comments assume significance against the backdrop of experts raising questions whether the government would resort to populism in the wake of electoral reverse.  
15:09   Vivek Srivastava's tenure extended in SPG
Senior IPS officer Vivek Srivastava's tenure has been extended till October next year in the post of Inspector General in the Special Protection Group. Srivastava, a 1989-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, was in December last year inducted into SPG on deputation from the Intelligence Bureau. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved an extension for Srivastava till October 6, 2016, said an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.
14:59   First look from 24th James Bond film released
In the first photo released from Spectre, Daniel Craig is seen holding a gun on the Austrian set of the 24th James Bond movie. A behind-the-scenes video was also released showing the scale of the action scene being shot in the Austrian Alps. 

The film's associate producer Craig Wilson said they were filming one of the major action sequences in Austria which will be "a jewel in the crown, so to speak" for the Sam Mendes-directed 24th Bond movie. 

The cast of the upcoming project also includes returning Skyfall stars Naomi Harris (Eve Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q) and Ralph Fiennes (M), as well as Bond newcomers Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott and Monica Bellucci. 

The film, which began shooting in December in London, is slated to hit theatres on November 6. 
14:58   Russian President Putin announces Ukraine ceasefire
A ceasefire will begin in eastern Ukraine on 15 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He made the announcement following marathon talks involving Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, as well the leaders of France and Germany. Further details of agreement are still emerging
14:53   Inside Delhi's first family
In his first stint as Delhi's chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal would rarely leave his house without a carefully prepared basket of food prepared by his wife Sunita. Married nearly 20 years ago, she has been his constant companion from his days as a fighter on the streets to the hallowed portals of the Delhi secretariat that houses the chief minister's office.

Read more HERE
14:46   Coal auction: 134 out of 176 applications shortlisted
As many as 134 applications have been found technically qualified and shortlisted out of the 176 preliminary bids received for the coal blocks on offer in the first tranche, a top coal ministry official said today. 

"Out of the 176 applications we received, 134 are found to be technically valid," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told reporters. 

He said the ministry will go ahead with the auction of mines as per schedule though there have some court cases as a consequence of which there have been some changes.
14:39   Inside Delhi's first family
In his first stint as Delhi's chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal would rarely leave his house without a carefully prepared basket of food prepared by his wife Sunita. Married nearly 20 years ago, she has been his constant companion from his days as a fighter on the streets to the hallowed portals of the Delhi secretariat that houses the chief minister's office.

Read more HERE
14:24   Activist Teesta Setalvad's bail plea rejected, faces arrest
The Gujarat police have reached the Mumbai home of activist Teesta Setalvad after the Gujarat high court rejected her bail application in the alleged Gulbarg society embezzlement case. 
The court has also rejected the bail plea of her husband and three others involved in the case. 
Setalvad, who has for years fought for the victims of Gujarat riot victims, has been accused of misusing some Rs 1.5 crore allegedly collected for a museum at the Gulbarg Society, where over 60 were killed during the riots.  
13:54   Ajay Maken to quit the Congress?
According to sources, Congress's Ajay Maken is all set to quit the Congress. Sources said that Maken is hurt by the recent comments made by Sheila Dikshit. Earlier in the day, Dikshit said that as the campaign head, Ajay Maken should have been aggressive. She further added that the party's embarrassing rout was owing to a lack in strategy and the fact that the party was demoralised.
13:38   Cricket World Cup starts off with a sixer!
Cricket fans get ready. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 has kicked off in style at Christchurch with a traditional Sri Lanka dance piece before some Scottish bagpipes, and Bollywood and Irish dancing. Australia and New Zealand welcome the ICC cricket World Cup after a gap of 23 years. 
India will start off its campaign to defend its title on Sunday against arch rivals Pakistan. 
13:01   Modi's special jacket to be auctioned, proceeds to go to NGO
The buzz in the corridors of power is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to auction his much-commented-upon bandhgala with 'Narendra Damodardas Modi' monogrammed all over the fabric as pinstripes. 

Specially tailored for Modi's interactions with US President Barack Obama  last month, the jacket received a fair bit of criticism in the media, which reached a crescendo following the BJP's Delhi electoral debacle when even party leaders spoke of the expensive jacket sending out a negative signal to the voters.

The suggestion to auction the piece came from a senior Union minister and is under active consideration, according to a highly placed source.

If accepted, the proceeds from the auction will be gifted to an NGO in Varanasi, with which gesture the government hopes to erase the negative impression created by it.

Image left shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi wearing the bandhgala, with US President Barack Obama.
12:58   After Uddhav, cousin Raj pokes fun at BJP for poll defeat
After Shiv Sena targeted ally BJP after the massive drubbing it faced in the Delhi polls, it was Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's turn to take a dig at the BJP. MNS president Raj Thackeray, who is also a political cartoonist, has sketched a cartoon on the Delhi poll result. The cartoon shows PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah as twin towers under attack by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. 

Click on the picture for a larger image.
12:54   SPG cover for Dr Singh Sonia, Rahul to be extended
One of the issues that will soon come up for consideration before the government is extending SPG cover for former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leaders Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi. 

As per the provisions of the SPG Act, security cover is to be reviewed every year.   

The Cabinet Secretariat is currently processing a note on this for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's okay. 

The government is expected to 'automatically approve' the proposal, it is learnt, as it does not want to appear petty by even discussing it.
12:23   Kejriwal invites former friend-turned-foe Kiran Bedi for swearing-in
Delhi CM-designate Arvind Kejriwal has sent an invitation to his former India against Corruption colleague Kiran Bedi for the swearing-in ceremony at the Ramlila Maidan on Saturday, said sources. 
Bedi and Kejriwal worked together with Anna Hazare during the anti-corruption crusade but parted ways when Kejriwal formed AAP. Ties further strained when Bedi joined the BJP and became the saffron party's chief ministerial candidate. 
11:40   After furore, temple maker cancels inauguration
After PM Modi said he was appalled and saddened that a temple had been built in his honour in Rajkot, Ramesh Undhad, the man behind the temple has decided to cancel the inauguration slated for Feb 16 and said that he will now build a Bharat Mata temple. "PM Modi remains in our heart, will take part in Clean India movement," Undhad said. 
11:15   Sunanda murder: Tharoor arrives for second round of questioning
JUST IN: Shashi Tharoor reaches Sarojini Nagar police station. He will be questioned by the cops once again in the murder of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. 
Tharoor has already been questioned in the case but the second round of inquiry comes after Pushkar's son Shiv Menon met the cops and gave his statement to them. 

11:06   PM Modi to give Kejriwal's swearing-in a miss
It has been revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be attending Arvind Kejriwal's swearing-in ceremony to be held at Ramlila Maidan on Saturday. Manish Sisodia, who accompanied Arvind Kejriwal to the PM's residence said that the PM would not be able to attend the event. 

He added that the two -- Kejriwal and Modi -- shared pleasantries and had a good talk wherein it was discussed that this was a golden opportunity for the Centre and state to work in unison for the progress of the nation's capital.   
11:03   Modi has 'chai pe charcha' with Delhi CM-elect Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister-elect Arvind Kejriwal met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter's residence -- 7 RCR. The AAP chief extended an invitation to Modi for the swearing-in ceremony, which is scheduled for Saturday noon at the Ramlila Maidan. 

On Wednesday, Kejriwal had met Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Rajnath Singh at their residences where he made the demand of full statehood for Delhi. Later, he also met President Pranab Mukherjee. 

Image: Kejriwal arriving at PM Modi's home in New Delhi. 
10:23   Parents, don't hold wedding on result day
Amit Shah was so "mortified" by the scale of the Bharatiya Janata Party's Delhi debacle that he barely smiled, seldom spoke, cut out the ceremonial fripperies and did away with the music and the firecrackers, said guests who went for his son Jay's wedding in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. 
The BJP president was so preoccupied with the election results that, on the sidelines of the celebrations, he even went into a huddle with some BJP guests who had flown in from Delhi.

Read more HERE
10:12   Taiwan prison siege ends after hostage-takers commit suicide
Six inmates who seized weapons and took a warden and guard hostage at a prison in Kaohsiung, Taiwan have killed themselves after a 14-hour stand-off. The inmates had all been convicted of murder, drug-related offences, burglary and a range of other crimes. They were protesting against their sentences, alleged mistreatment and unfair trials. Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang said four of the prisoners had killed themselves first. The other two then fired at their bodies, before shooting themselves as well.
Here's a tweet about the Modi temple issue. @DeepalTrevedie tweets, "There are over 4 temples in India named after him.Why did #Modi not object at temples dedicated to him in UP or South before the #AAPSweep?"

Now, that really makes you wonder, doesn't it?
09:47   The AAPs second coming
What does the AAP's second coming in Delhi '" a microcosm of India, with its privileged, powerful urban centre widening out into a hinterland of migrants '" mean for the traditional opposition parties? Is it an opportunity or a challenge, as they read it in 2013?

Read more HERE
Here's a funny take by popular cartoonist Manjul on the BJP's loss in the recently-concluded Delhi elections. 
09:24   PM Modi 'appalled' by temple in his honour
After hearing of the temple built in Rajkot in his honour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reacted, saying he was appalled by this development. I have seen the news about a temple being built in my name. I was appalled. This is shocking and against India's great traditions. Building such temples is not what our culture teaches us. Personally, it made me very sad. I would urge those doing it not to do it," the PM said. 
He said that instead if people had time and resources, they should devote the same to fulfilling the dream of a Clean India.The temple, which is set to be inaugurated on Sunday, has an idol of Modi, which cost Rs 1.65 lakh to build. 
08:30   Arvind Kejriwal swearing-in ceremony at 12 noon
Delhi CM-elect Arvind Kejriwal will take the oath of office at the Ramlila Maidan on Saturday at 12 pm, according to sources. There will be no road show, sources added. Along with Kejriwal, AAP's Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Adarsh Shastri, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Jitender Tomar, Kapil Mishra, Sandeep Kumar and Asim Ahmed Khan are likely to be inducted into the Delhi cabinet.
08:12   Manish Sisodia to be Delhi's deputy CM?
If sources are to be believed, Aam Aadmi Party's Manish Sisodia, a close confidante of Arvind Kejriwal, is all set to be the next deputy chief minister of Delhi. 
The Aam Aadmi Party is set to form government after its Delhi assembly election win. The party may keep three of its former ministers out of its new cabinet and is likely to give a "more prominent" role to senior party leader Manish Sisodia, sources have said earlier.
03:59   Costa Concordia captain Schettino sentenced to 16 years in prison
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that hit rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio in 2012, was jailed for 16 years on Wednesday for his role in the disaster.

Dubbed "Captain Coward' by the Italian media, Schettino, 54, was found guilty of multiple counts of manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a maritime disaster
03:58   Leaders in Minsk for crucial Ukraine peace talks
The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine engaged in crucial peace talks today in the Belarusian capital as fighting still raged in eastern Ukraine. 

The talks, brokered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, aim to negotiate a deal to end the hostilities between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists that have killed more 5,300 people since April.
03:58   Ukraine rebel stronghold hospital shelled, one dead
One person was killed in the shelling of a hospital in the Ukraine separatist stronghold Donetsk at the same time as a peace summit was held in Minsk, authorities said. 

"A shell hit hospital number 20, setting it on fire," separatist spokeswoman Yuliana Bedilo told AFP, adding that a pedestrian had been killed outside the hospital.
02:30   Like Chinese, Tibetans too love their culture: Dalai Lama
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said that as Chinese love their culture, the Tibetans too love their culture and seek to preserve it, while expressing hope of "returning to homeland". 

"Just as the Chinese love their culture, we Tibetans love our culture and language and seek to preserve them... The Chinese also follow the Nalanda tradition, but not as rigorously as we do.
01:33   Iraq: Clashes, attacks kill at least 31 people
Clashes between Iraqi government forces and militants along with attacks in the capital Baghdad killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens today, officials said. 

Heavy clashes erupted in three areas outside the city of Tikrit, which is controlled by the Islamic State extremist group, killing 12 security forces, Shiite militiamen and civilians, and wounding 37 others, a police official said. He added that three suicide truck bombers attacked security forces during the fighting.
01:32   Lanka to release 87 Indian fishing boats
Sri Lankan Government has decided to release all the 87 fishing boats in its custody following New Delhi's intervention, Fisheries Department officials said here today. 

The island government had asked Indian officials to produce the documents of the boats for verification in Sri Lanka.
00:21   Militia seizes 30 US vehicles as diplomats quit Yemen
Shiite militiamen seized some 30 vehicles used by US embassy staff from Sanaa's international airport shortly after their departure from Yemen, diplomatic and airport sources said. 

The vehicles were taken from the airport by Huthi fighters following the evacuation of the US embassy in the capital, the sources said.
00:20   Italy cracks down on foreign fighters after Paris attacks
Italy's government is cracking down on foreign fighters in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, passing a decree that allows police to mount surveillance operations for suspected jihadis and provides stiffer jail terms for recruits. 

The decree passed late Tuesday also targets the so-called "lone wolf" terrorists who train themselves, since current legislation punishes only fighters trained by third parties.
00:20   Obama seeks authorisation for use of force against IS
President Barack Obama today sought a three-year authorisation of forces against the Islamic State group, saying if it is left "unchecked" it will pose a threat beyond Middle East, including the US homeland. 

The White House, however, ruled out any long term, large scale commitment against ISIL and reiterated its focus on training and increasing the capabilities of the local forces.