Tue, 09 June 2015
15 dead as Boko Haram attacks village in NE Nigeria: residents

Timeline  Refresh

23:16   15 dead as Boko Haram attacks village in NE Nigeria: residents
Fifteen people were killed when Boko Haram attacked a remote village in northeast Nigeria, opening fire and burning homes to the ground, three residents said today. 

The attack happened at about 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) yesterday in Huyum, in the Askira-Uba district of Borno state which locals say has been hit repeatedly in recent weeks by the Islamist militants.
22:51   French mother sues government for letting son join Syria jihad
A French mother took the government to court today for failing to stop her teenage son from leaving the country to join jihadists in Syria. The boy, identified only as "B", was 16 when he left with three others from the town of Nice in southern France on December 27, 2013, giving no warning to his family. 

A recent convert to Islam, he took a plane to Turkey before continuing by land to Syria. His mother, who spoke to him recently by phone, says he is still there.
22:17   After arrest, Delhi Law Minister Jitender Tomar resigns
Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar who was remanded to 4 days police custody in the fake degrees case has just resigned from his post as law minister. Earlier in the day, the Saket court had sent him to 4 days in police custody for holding fake degrees. 

The capital saw high drama as Tomar's party, the Aam Aadmi Party, claimed that it was a conspiracy by the Centre against the government for working against corruption. 
22:03   Pakistan's U17 wrestlers denied Indian visa
Pakistan U17 wrestling team's hopes of competing in the annual Cadet Asian Wrestling Championship were dashed after the Indian high commission denied them visas for the New Delhi event. 

The Dawn reported that the development comes just days after foreign ministries in both countries were embroiled in a verbals over the non-issuance of visas to official missions.

According to the Indian authorities, however, the Pakistani team has been the denied visas because "they failed to submit their paperwork on time".
An official of the Pakistan Wrestling Federation, though, responded by claiming that the India-bound squad had sent in all required documents on time and that their applications were sitting with the Indian high commission for days.

The Cadet Asian Wrestling championship will be held from June 11-14, with more than 20 countries taking part in the tournament.
21:55   Namaz is nothing but yoga: BJP leader's comment draws ire
Maharashtra's Minorities Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse courted controversy after comparing yoga with namaz, evoking a sharp response from the opposition. "Namaz is nothing but Yoga. All actions that one does inNamaz is done in Yoga as well. So only Yoga has been renamed a Namaz, but we have not forced anybody to do Yoga. If somebody wants to do it, they can do it. It is an individual choice," Khadse said. 

The Congress said that the BJP-led government is only "saffronising" the ancient practice of Yoga and that comparing it to a religion is uncalled for.
21:49   Jackie Chan distributes relief items to Nepal quake victims
Action hero Jackie Chan distributed relief materials to earthquake victims in Nepal. The Hollywood star visited Lalitpur district near Kathmandu where he distributed relief materials to earthquake victims who were physically-disabled at a programme organised by Nepal Red Cross Society.
21:41   US treats patient with rare TB, authorities tracking those exposed to virus
Health authorities are working to identify people who may have been exposed to a patient with a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis.

The patient travelled in April from India to the United States, through Chicago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Seven weeks after arriving, the patient -- who also spent time in Missouri and Tennessee -- sought treatment and was diagnosed with active tuberculosis.

She has an extensively drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, or XDR-TB, which is a relatively rare form of the disease that is resistant to at least four of the core anti-TB drugs, according to the World Health Organization.

Read more HERE
21:28   We will cross over and hit militants wherever they are, says Rathore
Congratulating the Indian Army for their aggressiveness and the gunning down of militants responsible for the Manipur ambush,  Rajyavardhan Rathore, MoS, I&B Ministry, said, "We will cross over and hit militants wherever they are, we were supported by Myanmar Army."

He added, "Army did carry out surgical strike targeting terror camps. Government won't tolerate any action against India."

The remarks come after the Indian Army with the cooperation of the Myanmar Army gunned down militants along the Myanmar border. Sources from the army said that the insurgents were those who were responsible for the Manipur ambush, which was one of the worst attacks in recent times. 
20:56   Sadhus threaten stir if surya namaskar not in Yoga Day event
Sadhus and seers of Haridwar threatened to launch a countrywide agitation if 'Surya Namaskar' is not included in the set of yogic postures to be performed on International Yoga Day slated for June 21. "We would not tolerate any compromise with Surya Namaskar which is integral to yoga. Those trying to play with Hindu religion will not be forgiven," Swami Harichetanand said. 
20:41   Government cancels registration of 4,470 NGOs
The crackdown on NGOs in India has become even more severe after the government cancelled the registration of 4,470 NGOs. In the recent past, the Modi government has tightened the nooze around NGOs. Last Tuesday, the home ministry was asked to scrutinise foreign-funded NGOs based on recommendations of Intelligence Bureau.

The move comes amid criticism faced by PM Narendra Modi over his clampdown on foreign-funded NGOs. The US-based Ford Foundation, one of the biggest non-profit organisations across the world, was put on a watch list by home ministry.
19:56   Participation in Yoga Day celebrations voluntary: Swaraj
India will lead 191 nations to mark the 'International Yoga Day' on June 21, highlighted by a mega event here on Rajpath, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today and made it clear that participation in the events was not "compulsory".

Briefing reporters on the elaborate arrangements made by the government for the occasion, Swaraj, who would be at the UN in New York for an event there on IYD, sought to quell controversies surrounding the events. 

"I want to specifically mention that this is a voluntary programme and nobody should be forced into this," she said.

The day will be observed in over 251 cities in 191 countries across the world and the Indian missions and diplomatic posts have made arrangements for the celebrations and other related events, she said, adding a grand event will be held on Rajpath in which over 35,000 people are expected to take part.
19:53   Delhi Law Minister JS Tomar sent to 4-day police custody
Delhi Law Minister JS Tomar sent to 4-day police custody on charges of cheating and fraud in obtaining his law degree.

Forty-nine-year-old Tomar, member of Legislative Assembly from Trinagar and a first time minister, was arrested around 11 am following investigation into a complaint by the bar council of Delhi that he had obtained a fake law degree from the Institute of Legal Studies College in Munger in Bihar.

The Delhi police had sought in a court five-day custody remand of Tomar.
19:44   Asaram bail plea: His counsel Swamy fails to turn up in court
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today failed to appear before a local court here for the third time to argue for the bail application of imprisoned Asaram Bapu in connection with a case of sexual exploitation of a teenaged girl.

The trial court now set June 16 as the new date for the hearing on the sixth bail application in any court by Asaram, who is lodged in Jodhpur jail for one-and-a-half year. Swamy, a BJP leader, had moved a bail application in the trial court on May 23 and the court had listed the matter for May 26. 

But Swamy did not appear in the court for arguments on his bail application on that day and the court then posted the matter for June 2, said P C Solanki, counsel for the victim girl. He did not turn up on June 2 either, after which the court listed the matter for today.
19:43   US man freed after 43 years' solitary confinement
A judge in the US state of Louisiana has ordered the release of an inmate who has been in solitary confinement for more than 40 years.

Judge James Brady also banned prosecutors from trying Albert Woodfox, 68, for a third time.He has been in solitary confinement since April 1972, after a prison riot that resulted in the death of a guard.

Read this story HERE
19:16   Manipur Ambush: 'Chinese Army officials in touch with NSCN(K) leaders'
Days after the deadly attack in Manipur's Chandel district, it is now emerging that India gave Myanmar phone intercepts and location details of at least two officials from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), who were reportedly in touch with the top leadership of insurgent group, NSCN-Khaplang, suspected to be behind the killing of 18 Armymen. Officials said the information was shared two months ago, and that the matter would be taken up with Myanmar again.

19:12   JK Rowling confirms American Hogwarts in cryptic Fantastic Beasts tweets
JK Rowling has confirmed what many Harry Potter fans have long suspected to be true, that there is an American Hogwarts.The British author revealed the news on Twitter at the weekend while answering questions from her millions of followers about upcoming spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Read more
19:06   Dear Modi fans, PM will NOT be performing yoga on Rajpath
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not perform yoga at the mega event on Rajpath to mark the 'International Yoga Day' on June 21, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.

Swaraj, who was briefing the reporters on the arrangements to mark the Day, said "he (Modi) will grace the occasion and address the gathering but he will not perform yoga."

She was asked if the Prime Minister will perform yoga at the mega event on Rajpath which is expected to be attended by 35,000 people. Modi, an avid practitioner of yoga for years, has been tweeting various 'asanas' and talking about their benefits in the run up to the International Yoga Day.

The UN General Assembly had in December adopted an India-led resolution declaring June 21 as 'International Yoga Day' three months after the Prime Minister had proposed the idea.

Describing yoga as the "soft power" of India, Swaraj said "the initiative India had taken there was a reason behind this...that the world which is now engulfed in violence should be taken to a path of peace.

"Yoga is India's soft power. Through that soft power, our goal is the world attains peace also bring down violence in the world."
19:04   Monsoon Sale: Air India offers ticket at Rs 1,777
National carrier Air India today rolled out a limited period sale, offering all-inclusive fares as low as Rs 1,777 for travel on its domestic network, days after private airlines lowered their post-peak season ticket prices.

Discounted tickets can be booked between June 10 and June 12 through various channels such as online, Air India's website and its toll free number and authorised travel agents, Air India said in a release.

Tickets bought against the Monsoon Sale will be valid for travel from July 1 to September 30, it added.

Private carriers including Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo, AirAsia India had announced similar low-fare offers last week. The July-September and January-March quarters are considered lean season as against the rest two quarters in terms of travel demand.
18:36   Militants in Manipur ambush killed, says army after week-long ops
Army ops against militants suspected of the Manipur ambush: "Today we inflicted significant casualties on militants along the Indo-Myanmar border who were involved in the Manipur ambush recently. We also had "credible and specific" intelligence that they were planning to carry out more attacks in our territory," army spokesperson Major Gen Randhir Singh said today.

"We are in communication with Myanmar authorities and we've traditionally had a close relationship with the Myanmar army. We look forward to working with them to combating terrorism in future too," the army said.

In the worst such attack in two decades, insurgents last week ambushed a military convoy in Manipur's Chandel district killing at least 18 army personnel and injuring 11 others. Army and civilian authorities suspect the involvement of Manipur rebel outfit Peoples Liberation Army and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, a Meitei revolutionary organisation, who used landmines, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

18:13   Tomar's law and BSc degrees fake: Delhi police
The Delhi police says that two teams were sent to UP and Bihar for verification of documents and it has been revealed that Tomar's law and BSc degrees are fake. "We received a complaint from the Bar Council of Delhi that documents presented by Tomar seem forged," says R Bhagat of the Delhi police.

"From the University he (Tomar) claims to have a degree, but there is no entry on the roll number he mentioned. The Controller of Examination has also verified this fact that no degree or mark-sheet has been issued on the name of J S Tomar," says Bhagat.
17:41   Kiran Bedi justifies Tomar's arrest
BJP leader Kiran Bedi on Tuesday said the Aam Aadmi Party Government might be crying foul over the arrest of Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Tomar, but arrest was based on solid evidence.

"Since the matter has been in the news, they (police) must have collected appropriate evidence to make the arrest. The AAP will cry foul, but the police are not involved in politics. They are accountable for their investigation to the court. The court will decide what to do next. He always said that he does," said Bedi.
17:40   Why Tomar and Smriti Irani's case is different, says the BJP
Also read: 'People should know that the so-called honest Kejriwal's desperation to win seats was so high that he ignored the cheating done by his candidate,' says senior BJP leader.
17:37   Delhi police asks for 5-day custody of law minister Tomar
The Delhi police has asked for five days custody of Delhi law minister Jitendra Singh Tomar.

Forty-nine-year-old Tomar, a member of Legislative Assembly from Trinagar and a first time minister, was arrested around 11 am following investigation into a complaint by the bar council of Delhi that he had obtained a fake law degree from the Institute of Legal Studies College in Munger in Bihar. Tomar's lawyer has maintained that the arrest was illegal as the probe by the bar council is still pending.

The arrest came in the midst of a raging battle between the AAP government and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over the powers of the city government, giving a new political twist to the murky fight.
17:32   Rahul: Centre gives with one hand, takes away with the other
Rahul Gandhi's meet the press after the meeting with CMs in Congress-ruled states.

"There's a big difference between Congress and BJP; our CM's are independent, we do not give them orders as to what is to be done.

"CM's ne 'Make in India' ki baat ki; kehte bahut accha logo hai, bahut bada sher hai, magar sher ki awaaz sunayi nahin de raha.

"All CMs universally raised the point that although Modi Govt says that they are giving grants to the CMs, as a matter of fact, they (Modi Govt) give money with one hand, take it back from the other."
Delhi: Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar reaches Saket Court.
17:13   What does surya namaskar have to do with religion, asks Ramdev
Yoga guru Ramdev will bring 5,000 of his followers to Rajpath on June 21, International Yoga Day, to perform yoga with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and about 30,000 others at Delhi's Rajpath.

NDTV reports that their 35-minute early morning demonstration will not include the famous sun salutation or Surya Namaskar and not just because it is one of the harder yoga routines to perform.

The Surya Namaskar has not been included for the Yoga Day event in view of objections voiced by Muslim groups. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has said, "It is against our religious beliefs and should not be forced on our children."
Arun Jaitley kii kaitley garam ho gayee hai, says AAP's Ashutosh.
What's left of Kejriwal's effigy after protestors left. 
16:06   Kejriwal vs Jung: Now, Delhi govt transfers Home Secretary Dharam Pal
The Delhi government on Tuesday transferred Home Secretary Dharam Pal, escalating the tussle between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. The Aam Aadmi Party government has asked Pal to report to the Home Ministry.

The slugfest between Kejriwal and Jung over appointment of secretaries had begun on May 15 over the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as the chief secretary in-charge, who the Delhi CM accused of lobbying for power distribution companies.

The development comes on the day when Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar was arrested over his alleged fake law degree. The AAP cried foul and linked it with its anti-corruption campaign.

The Delhi Police, which does not report to the AAP government but to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the Union Home Ministry, said that Tomar was arrested on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery.

Today's arrest peaked a simmering row between the central and AAP governments over the powers of the Delhi government over the posting and transfer of senior officials. This dispute too is also now facing judicial scrutiny.
15:55   MK Sharma replaces KV Kamath as ICICI's non-executive chairman
ICICI Bank appoints M K Sharma as Non-Executive Chairman for five years in place of K V Kamath.

Kamath, who was ICICI Bank's non-executive chairman, was appointed the first head of the $100-billion New Development Bank of the BRICS countries, to be based in Shanghai.

India will hold the presidency of the bank for the first six years, followed by five-year terms each for Brazil and Russia, under an agreement reached after intense negotiations among the five countries in the BRICS group - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - last year.
15:52   Don't make it in India, cautions Cambodia
What is being built is bigger than the original - and it is being "Made in India". But for a Bihar temple trust, these very characteristics - which may appear in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's manufacturing drive - have drawn the charge of doing a copycat.

Cambodia has asked the Modi government to stop the construction of a gigantic shrine a little over 100km from Patna that Phnom Penh alleges is a "copy" of that country's national symbol: the Angkor Wat temple complex. Read more
15:29   Prez to administer oath of office to CVC, CIC tomorrow
President Pranab Mukherjee will administer the oath of office to newly appointed Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K V Chowdary and Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Vijai Sharma in New Delhi tomorrow.

The President will administer the oath of office to Chowdary as CVC and Sharma as Chief Information Commissioner at a function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow, a statement issued today by the President's secretariat said.

Their appointments were approved yesterday by the President, a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge recommended their names.
15:05   Round 1 to AAP: Kejriwal appointee to remain ACB chief
Following the Director Vigilance's order sending MK Meena back to Delhi Police, SS Yadav will remain ACB Chief. Amid its bitter confrontation with the Lt Governor, the AAP government today refused to allow Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police M K Meena, an LG-appointee, to take charge as chief of the elite Anti-Corruption Branch.

The Delhi Government informed Meena that he cannot join the ACB as there is no sanctioned post of Joint Commissioner in the probe agency but the defiant official said he will follow the Lieutenant Governor's order.

The AAP government's decision not to allow Meena to take charge came on a day Delhi Police arrested Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar on charges of cheating and fraud in obtaining law degree.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung yesterday had appointed the joint commissioner of Delhi Police as the head of the Anti-Corruption Branch superseding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's hand-picked chief S S Yadav.

Earlier, an Additional Commissioner-level officer used to head ACB but the LG yesterday had elevated the rank of head of the probe agency from Additional Commissioner to Joint Commissioner.

Meena is currently serving as Joint Commissioner of New Delhi range and the LG's order said he has been given additional charge of ACB. The Arvind Kejriwal government has slammed LG's move to appoint Meena. The AAP government and Jung had last month locked horns over the appointment of Delhi's Acting Chief Secretary, sparking a turf war. "There has been illegal attempts to create the post of a new chief of the Anti-Corruption Branch by creating an Emergency like situation. They are creating such a situation in order to bring the ACB under their jurisdiction. This is unconstitutional," Deputy Chief Mnister Manish Sisodia said today "What is behind the conspiracy to create a new post of joint commissioner and appoint your own officer? "Has it been done due to fear that ACB will probe the CNG fitness scam," he said yesterday. He alleged that the officer appointed by the LG to head the ACB had tried to make suicide of a farmer in rally in Jantar Mantar in April as a murder "to fix" him.
14:46   Invites for 2015 Shakti Bhatt prize opens
The Shakti Bhatt Foundation is inviting entries for the 2015 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. The prize, which is in its eighth year, comes with a cash award of Rs 2 lakh and a trophy.

Submissions in the following genres are invited: poetry, fiction, graphic novels, creative non-fiction (travel writing, autobiography, biography and narrative journalism), and drama.

The deadline for publishers and individuals to send in first books is July 15, 2015. Books published between June 2014 and June 2015 are eligible. The winner will be announced in November and the prize presentation will take place in Delhi, December 2015. Authors from the subcontinent are eligible but books must be published in India. Publications must be in English or translated into English from an Indian language.

This year's shortlist will be put together by poet and author Jeet Thayil, and author Arshia Sattar, who runs the Sangam House international writers' residency program. Three judges (to be announced) will pick the winning entry.Books (one copy each) should be sent to the following addresses: The Shakti Bhatt Foundation, C-6/36, First Floor, SDA, New Delhi 110016; The Shakti Bhatt Foundation, 011, Maangalya Residences, 6/1, Benson Cross Road, Bangalore 560046. For further information, mail

Lahore-based author Bilal Tanweer won the 2014 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for his novel The Scatter Here Is Too Great. Read about the win here.
When Obama sat down on a bench and became a meme. Read
14:23   Rajnath: MHA not involved in Tomar's arrest
Home minister Rajnath Singh denies that the Centre was in any way involved in Delhi law minister Jitendra Singh Tomar's arrest. "There is no question of MHA's interference in any matter, law takes its own course. MHA kisi ko giraftaar karne ke baare mein, koi kaaryawaahi karne ke baare mein nirdesh nahi deta."
Meanwhile, AAP govt refuses to allow Joint Commissioner of Police M K Meena to take charge as Anti-Corruption Branch Chief.  The Delhi govt informs Meena that he cannot join the ACB as there is no sanctioned post of Joint Commissioner.
14:11   Ex-PM on PM: My successor is a more adept salesman than me
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today ripped into the Narendra Modi government's claims on economic revival. Dr Singh said the Congress must not be defensive about its tenure at the Centre, since many of its initiatives are being repackaged by the NDA government.

Speaking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Singh said, "I have to acknowledge that my successor has been a more adept salesman, event manager and communicator than me."

The former PM was addressing a meeting of the Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states, which was headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Speaking on the economy, Dr Singh said, "There is somewhat of an euphoria that our GDP growth since 2014-15 has started accelerating once again. But doubts have been expressed both within and outside Government about the validity of the new GDP numbers." 

14:02   Why did Lalu Yadav surrender to Nitish Kumar?
If Nitish Kumar along with the Congress presents a combative spirit to take on Narendra Modi, then, Lalu calculated, his Muslim-Yadav combination will weaken if a large chunk of Muslims shifts to the stronger fighter who can take on Modi. That is why Lalu said that he was ready to "drink poison" to crush the "cobra" of communalism.

Sheela Bhatt/ explains the compulsions that forced Bihar strongman Lalu Yadav to play second fiddle to Nitish Kumar. Read
13:54   Ambush officer vacuum
The army is taking a look at its own operational lacunae after the attack that killed 18 soldiers of the 6th battalion of the Dogra Regiment in Manipur.

For the battalion (900 to 1,100 troops), the attack came at a moment of change. Did the attackers know it? The answer is up in the air. The battalion's commanding officer - a colonel - was on leave to his hometown at the time of the incident. He returned yesterday, but was too late.

13:39   Rebel Yogendra Yadav baits AAP: Make Tomar's law degree public
Former Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav today reacted to the sudden arrest of Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar, saying that if his law degrees are indeed genuine, the AAP should make them public instead of hiding behind court procedures.

Yadav took to Twitter to share his views on the matter.

Tomar was arrested today by the Delhi Police in connection with an alleged fake degree case.

The BJP has in the past alleged that Tomar's undergraduate certificates from the Bhagalpur University in Bihar were "fake and forged'.

Tomar, however, dismissed the charges against him as "baseless' and said that it is a political conspiracy by the BJP.

Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh, who broke the news of the arrest, pointed fingers at the BJP-led Centre, under whose jurisdiction the Delhi police falls, and said that the police did not give prior notice or intimation before the arrest.

However, Yadav, who was expelled from the AAP for 'anti-party activities', wrote on Twitter that the real issue is not the technicalities behind Tomar's arrest, but simply the 'govt's and party's refusal to come clean.'

He added that he, along with Prashant Bhushan, had raised this issue four months ago.
13:29   Indian consulate in Australia to organise Yoga events
Ahead of the International Yoga day on June 21, the Indian mission in Melbourne has organised a curtain raiser for the event in front of Victoria's Parliament house where several people gathered and performed Sun salutations.

"Yoga is the most beautiful and inspiring gift by the Indian civilisation to the world. To live in peace with each other and themselves was the guiding words of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the historic resolution to celebrate this day was accepted," the Consul General Manika Jain said.
13:24   Emergency-like situation imposed on AAP govt in Delhi: Sisodia
Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia holds a quick presser on Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar's arrest: "Is he (Tomar) a terrorist, has he set off a bomb in Delhi to be arrested? Tomar has been arrested to deter Delhi government to act against corruption. There's an emergency-like situation in Delhi.

"We won't spare anyone who tries to stop us from fighting this war against corruption in Delhi. This college affidavit clearly states that Tomar has passed his law degree. We have been elected to work. Those who stop us, we will fight them," says Sisodia. 
12:54   Those who oppose yoga should leave India: BJP MP Yogi Adityanath
BJP parliamentarian Yogi Adityanath waded into another controversy on Tuesday by saying that those opposing yoga and surya namaskar should either leave India or drown themselves in the ocean.

The 42-year-old MP from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh made the remarks while participating in a ceremony at a temple in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking about the importance and history of yoga, Adityanath said those opposing the spiritual and physical discipline and surya namaskar --  a set of 12 yoga 'asanas' (postures) that is a salutation to the sun -- should "leave Hindustan". 

According to Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran, Adityanath said, "Lord Shankar was the biggest Yogi who started Yoga. Mahadev lives in every particle of this country. So, those who want to avoid Yoga and Lord Shankar can leave Hindustan. He said that sun is the source of all energy in the world and Surya Namaskar is part of the Yogic act.

More than 43 countries will celebrate June 21 as Yoga day across the world.
12:41   Cong questions timing of AAP minister's arrest
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has refused to answer any questions on the arrest of Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar. The party however, has accused the BJP, especially the PMO for giving midnight orders to arrest Tomar. In fact, Sisodia was at FICCI when the news of Tomar's arrest was conveyed to him, but he refused to react to it.

Sources tell us that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal wants suspended BJP MP and Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani to fight Tomar's case and get him bail in the event he is jailed.

The Congress has also stepped in and demanded that the law minister must vacate his portfolio and that Kejriwal should dismiss Tomar from the ministry after this arrest.

Sources tell us that the Delhi law minister's arrest was so timed that the Congress Chief Ministers meeting organised by Rahul Gandhi is eclipsed in terms of news bytes. The Congress, we hear, is aware of this, and has has accused the BJP of hijacking the media and diverting attention from the CM meet.

But when does Rahul Gandhi get media coverage?
12:14   Singapore resumes sale of India-made Maggi noodles
Singapore has allowed the sale of Maggi noodles manufactured in India after safety tests by food authorities in Singapore found that the popular instant snack does not pose any health risk to consumers.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) informed local importers that sale of the brand's noodles from India may be resumed, The Straits Times reported.

AVA had last week advised importers to withhold sales while it conducted laboratory tests, following concerns over higher-than-permissible levels of lead in the product.

Results from AVA's laboratory tests, which cover "a wide range of hazards associated with food" showed that the India-made Maggi instant noodles meet local food safety standards, the report said.

The AVA had cleared the India-made Maggi noodles last night. The authorities also tested Maggi instant noodles produced in other countries and results revealed that these meet the food safety requirements too, the report added.

Food products that fail tests will not be allowed for sale, the AVA had earlier said. Singapore has imported "a small amount" of the brand's noodles manufactured in India.

On June 3, India temporarily banned the sale of the popular instant noodles after excess levels of lead were found in samples tested in New Delhi and in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Lead content in 14 of 27 samples in India was found to be 2.8 PPM to 5 PPM (particle per million), which is above the prescribed limit of 2.5 PPM. Presence of excess lead is harmful for health.
12:09   Militants kill hospital employee in Sopore
Militants shot and killed an employee of a government hospital in Sopore town in north Kashmir this morning, reports Mukhtar Ahmad/ from Srinagar.

A senior police officer said that militants fired at one Mohammed Altaf Sheikh from close range and later escaped. He was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Altaf was an employee of the Sopore sub-district hospital, the policeman added.
12:07   Yoga Day celebrations at UN to be broadcast at Times Square
The celebrations commemorating the first International Day of Yoga in New York to be presided over by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, will be broadcast at Times Square to a global audience.

The UN will commemorate the inaugural International Yoga Day on June 21 with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Sam Kutesa gracing the occasion.

The India-led celebrations will also feature a special lecture and demonstration by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

The celebrations at the world body's headquarters would be broadcast to an audience of thousands at Times Square, considered the global crossroads in the heart of Manhattan.

Another celebration of the Solstice Day would be observed at Times Square on June 21 with thousands performing yoga exercises, according to the Indian mission to the UN.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic address to the Indian-American community from the iconic Madison Square Garden last year was also telecast live on the giant electronic billboards dotting Times Square.
12:01   CBDT probes ex-UPA minister HSBC account link to trusts in London
Their denials notwithstanding, former Union Minister in the UPA Government Preneet Kaur and members of her family are facing official scrutiny by tax authorities who say they are probing the link between her HSBC Geneva account and trusts and companies -- as well as with properties allegedly owned by these entities in London and Dubai. Read more
The Congress CMs meet begins with a one-minute silence in honour of the jawans martyred in Manipur.
11:56   Why BJP's decision to arrest Tomar may backfire
It is surprising that the Delhi police under pressure from the Home ministry is arresting law minister Jitendra Singh Tomar. The Modi sarkar's HRD minister Smriti Irani is likely to come under bigger pressure once the case against her questioning her education qualification comes up. Read the details here.

The complainant Ahmer Khan has filed a case against her in Delhi and order for it is reserved by the magistrate in the Delhi court.

Khan's lawyer KK Manan while filing the case told the magistrate that, 'When she did BA part I, II or III even god does not know. The question is, what the society is asking today from a person who is holding the post of the minister."

Smriti Irani has fought the Lok Sabha elections twice and Rajya Sabha polls once.

All three times she filed three different affidavits before the Election Commission of India. None of them match.

In spite of being in a vulnerable position, the Modi government putting pressure on the Delhi police to prosecute Delhi's law minister is not just surprising, but it may also be self-defeating. It will create sympathy for chief minister Arvind Kejriwal who is facing ire of Delhi residents for messing up power supply in the scorching heat.
11:46   5.2 magnitude earthquake shakes Athens
A magnitude-5.2 earthquake rattled Greece's capital early Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Geodynamic Institute in Athens said the quake occurred at 4:09 am local time, Tuesday in the Gulf of Northern Evia, about 80 kilometers north of Athens in a narrow strip of sea between the island of Evia and mainland Greece.

Greece's Civil Protection Agency said police in the city of Halkida, near the quake's epicenter, and elsewhere in the surrounding region, reported no damage.

Earthquakes are common in Greece and neighboring Turkey.
11:44   Coast Guard undertakes massive search operation for missing aircraft
The Coast Guard assisted by the Navy has undertaken a massive search operation after its Dornier surveillance aircraft with three personnel on board went missing last night off the coast of Chennai.

"On receipt of the information, massive search and rescue efforts have been launched by utilising all available surface and air craft of the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy," the Coast Guard said in a statement today.

"Five Coast Guard ships, four Naval ships, along with Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy air craft and a long range maritime surveillance air craft P81 are undertaking search and rescue operation in the area", it said.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi arrive at the AICC HQ, will meet Congress CMs. 
Delhi police confirms that the law minister has indeed been arrested. 
Delhi Law minister Jitendra Tomar reaches Hauz Khas Police station, questioning underway
11:28   Police arrested me without warrant, says Delhi law minister
Tomar has been arrested on charges of cheating, forgery and getting a job on a fake degree. Tomar claims that at least 30-40 policemen reached his office to escort him to the police station. 
11:22   Police did not have arrest warrant. This is political vendetta: Tomar
Jitendra Singh Tomar speaking to CNN IBN says that he is on his way to the Hauz Khas police station and says he was called to the police station without any prior notice. "The police did not have any arrest warrant. The Delhi police acting at the behest of the Centre. This is political vendetta," Tomar says.  
Tomar has been facing charges that the academic certificate he submitted while filing nomination for the Delhi Assembly polls held in February this year were fake. Tomar has claimed that he had completed his law education from the particular university.
11:14   Delhi law minister arrested over fake degree
AAP's Sanjay Singh says the Delhi Law Minister has been arrested without any notice or prior information. "Modi-ji agar sochte hain wo jail bhej kar, laathi chala kar, aam aadmi ki awaaz ko daba lenge to ye nahi hone wala," says Singh.

The claim that Tomar has been arrested was made by Singh, there is as yet no official statement from the police.
11:06   Delhi law minister arrested
Just in: Delhi Law minister Jitender Singh Tomar arrested by Delhi police, being taken to Hauz Khas police station. Tomar was in the eye of the storm after an RTI inquiry revealed that his undergraduate degree was fake.
11:04   Mary Kom to feature as superhero in animated TV series
Olympic-winning boxer Mary Kom will be seen in an animated avatar on India's first girl superhero series, titled "Mary Kom Jr".

The 32-year-old boxer, who has signed up a licensing deal with production company ScreenYug Creations Pvt Ltd for the series, feels it would be an interesting way to motivate the girl child.

"I think it is time to take more responsibility for the girl child. I want girls to be confident, strong," she said.

The animation series will bring in a flavour of self-defence, which is very relevant in today's times, according to her.

"Parents are usually not keen on fighting games for their girl child but with all the crime going around, their eyes are now open and this will help," Kom said. ScreenYug and Aditya Horizons have will co-produce the TV series.

"We are creating India's first girl superhero animated series, which will be based on India's own super sport star Mary Kom. "While we have a Manipuri tinge by capturing the fiction life of a young Mary Kom while in school, we will have other characters with a more neutral tone in order to appeal to the global audience," producer Ashish S Kulkarni said. Kulkarni has created many big-ticket projects like "Little Krishna", "Shaktimaan", "Krishna Aur Kans" and "Big Bees" among others.
10:57   Surya Namaskar dropped from asanas for June 21 yoga day
Times of India reports: The Centre has decided to drop 'Surya Namaskar' from 'asanas' to be performed by people across the country to commemorate 'International Day of Yoga' on June 21. 

The trimming of the drill is aimed at catering to the sensibilities of the minorities in the wake of opposition from Muslim groups.

Launching a nationwide campaign against making what it dubbed "Hindu religious practices" compulsory in educational institutions, the All India Muslim Personal Board had demanded that the order making Surya Namaskar compulsory in schools be also cancelled.

Surya Namaskar, a yogic practice for comprehensive development of the body, is considered a crucial component for improvement of holistic health.

Earlier in April, the government had come under attack on the use of "Aum", a chant, while issuing a common protocol for celebration of the International Yoga Day.

Read more HERE
09:59   UP: Journalist burnt to death for alleged Facebook posts against SP MLA
CNN-IBN reports: In a shocking incident, Shahjehanpur based social media journalist Jagendra Singh has died after he was allegedly burnt alive for a Facebook post against Samajwadi Party MLA Ram Murti.

Singh's family has claimed that a police officer allegedly set the journalist on fire. he succumbed to his injuries while he was being taken to the hospital.

Singh had reportedly written about the MLA in newspapers accusing him of nefarious activities regarding illegal mining and forced occupation of land, etc. The charges are said to have angered the Samajwadi Party leader. He also allegedly implicated Jagendra Singh in a false case.

Read more HERE
09:53   Cash-for-Vote: ACB raids arrested TDP MLA's house
The Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau on Tuesday raided residences of Telugu Desam Party legislator Revanth Reddy and two others in Hyderabad in connection with the cash-for-vote case.

The ACB had on May 31 arrested Reddy for allegedly trying to bribe the nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson to vote for TDP nominee in the Telangana legislative council elections. A local court in Secunderabad will on Tuesday take up the ACB's petition seeking custody of Reddy for two more days.

Based on a complaint by Stephenson, ACB officials held Revanth, Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha after they were caught while allegedly handing over Rs 50 lakh to Stephenson.

As per the ACB, Revanth Reddy and his aide allegedly offered a bribe of Rs 50 lakh as advance as part of the Rs 5 crore deal.

The TDP MLA and his aide had gone to the residence of Stephenson at Lalaguda in Secunderabad to hand over the cash when the ACB sleuths caught them offering the bribe, an ACB officer said.

In audio and video tapes released by the ACB, Reddy purportedly makes repeated references to his "boss". Reddy allegedly also claims in the recordings that he was authorised to strike the bribe deal by "Babu Garu," which the TRS alleges is a reference to Naidu.
09:22   Coast Guard surveillance aircraft goes missing off Chennai coast
A Coast Guard Dornier surveillance aircraft with three crew members on board went missing on Monday night off the coast of Chennai, aviation sources said today.

The aircraft took off from Chennai at 5:30 pm yesterday and lost contact at around 10 pm in Tiruchirapalli, they said.

It went missing about 95 miles south off Chennai.

The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard have launched an extensive search and rescue operation in the area. 

Four Navy and five Coast Guard ships and one P8-I aircraft have been pressed into action to trace the missing plane.

Coast Guard sources said the aircraft was on a routine surveillance sortie over sea when it went missing. 
08:54   Cyclone Ashobaa: IMD warns west coast fishermen against entering sea
The deep depression over east-central Arabian Sea further intensified into a cyclonic storm "Ashobaa", the weather department issued a warning to fishermen along the Gujarat coast, which is expected to receive heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours.

The cyclone may not have much effect on Gujarat as it is now lying 470 km southwest of Veraval and gradually moving north-northwestwards, Jayanta Sarkar, Director of the Meteorological Centre said.

"The cyclone is gradually moving away towards Oman. Thus, it won't have much impact on Gujarat. However, strong winds and heavy rainfall would make the sea conditions very rough."

An IMD release said: 'Under the influence of this system, rainfall would occur at most places with isolated heavy falls 
over coastal Karnataka, Konkan & Goa and south Gujarat during the next 24 hours. Strong winds speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph would prevail along and off Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra coasts during next 24 hours and 90-100 kmph gusting to 120 kmph during subsequent 24 hours. Sea condition would be very rough to high along and off Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra coasts during the next 48 hours.'

'Fishermen along and off Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts are advised not to venture into the sea during next 48 hours. Fishermen out at open sea are advised to return to the coast."
08:42   Bihar MP Pappu Yadav set to announce new party
Expelled RJD MP Pappu Yadav is set to announce formation of a new political party today in his attempt to emerge as a third force in Bihar assembly polls where BJP and Lalu-Nitish combine seem locked in a straight fight.

Yadav said he will turn 'Jan Kranti Adhikar Morcha', an outfit he had floated recently, into a political party and may give it a new name. 

"We will be third force in Bihar. The state needs neither casteism nor communalism," he said, criticising BJP and the RJD-JD(U) alliance.

Yadav is likely to be patron of the new outfit, a move aimed to avoid his disqualification as an MP since he was elected on the RJD symbol.

Yadav turned into a bitter critic of RJD president Lalu Prasad over his support to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and was seen to be veering towards supporting BJP before he decided to fight on his own.

The Madhepura MP was expelled from RJD last month. His wife Ranjeen Ranjan is a Lok Sabha MP from Congress.
08:40   Congress CMs conference begins today
The Congress Chief Ministers conference will begin in New Delhi today and is likely to launch an all-out attack on the government over the agrarian crisis and the controversial land acquisition bill.

Being the first such meet after the worst debacle in the Lok Sabha polls last year, the day-long meet chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi is likely to sharply focus on the Narendra Modi government's economic policies.

Having repeatedly shown his aggressive side since his return from a 56-day sabbatical, Rahul Gandhi is likely to unleash a fresh assault on the government at the conclave. 

Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be other key speakers at the conclave. 

The meet comes at a time when the Congress Vice President has launched a sustained campaign against the NDA government over a range of issues -- from the land bill to the real estate bill to net neutrality.

A senior leader said that the economic "mismanagement" of government as seen in the alleged "neglect" of the social sector and its "failure" to address the problems of farmers will be focussed at the meet.

Congress is in power in nine states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
08:39   Swedish defence minister to fly in with fighter jet offer today
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist will arrive in New Delhi today on a four-day visit during which he is expected to offer Gripen NG fighter aircraft or a possible joint collaboration in manufacturing single engine light combat planes.

Hultqvist, who will arrive tomorrow night, will also visit the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited units in Bengaluru. 

He is scheduled to hold talks with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on June 10. 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had in April said his government was in talks with Swedish defence company Saab Group to set up a production unit in his state. 

During his trip to that country, Fadnavis had tweeted a photo of himself in the cockpit of a Gripen and said "it was great to be at the aerospace and defence company Saab at Linkoping, Sweden. Promised a defence manufacturing policy in Maharashtra soon."
08:23   12 Maoists killed in police encounter in Jharkhand
Twelve Maoists were on Tuesday gunned down in an encounter with the police in Palamau district in Jharkhand.

"The encounter took place in Bakoria village, about 140 km from Ranchi in the wee hours. All the bodies have been recovered," Superintendent of Police Mayur Patel said. 

Additional Director General of Police (Operation) S N Pradhan told PTI that the encounter took place around 1 am. 

Getting intelligence inputs that the Maoists were moving in the district, the CoBRA battalion and the district police rushed to the spot.

On seeing the personnel, the Maoists got down from the vehicle and started firing on them, Pradhan said.

In the retaliatory action, 12 rebels were gunned down, he added.
03:50   Jihadists' slave markets sell girls at any price: UN envoy
Teenage girls abducted by Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria are being sold in slave markets "for as little as a pack of cigarettes," the UN envoy on sexual violence has said.

Zainab Bangura visited Iraq and Syria in April, and has since been working on an action plan to address the horrific sexual violence being waged by IS fighters.

"This is a war that is being fought on the bodies of women," Bangura told AFP in an interview yesterday.

The UN envoy spoke to women and girls who had escaped from captivity in IS-controlled areas, met with local religious and political leaders and visited refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

Jihadists continue to run slave markets for girls abducted during fresh offensives, but there are no figures on the numbers enslaved by the fighters.

"They kidnap and abduct women when they take areas so they have -- I don't want to call it a fresh supply -- but they have new girls," she said.

Girls are sold for "as little as a pack of cigarettes" or for several hundred or thousand dollars, she said.

Bangura described the ordeal of several teenage girls, many of whom were part of the Yazidi minority targeted by the jihadists.
01:50   NASA tests 'flying saucer' device for future Mars landings
NASA launched a giant balloon Monday (June 8) carrying a kind of "flying saucer" that will test technologies for landing on Mars.

The aircraft is fitted with the largest parachute ever constructed.

After several days of weather-related delays, the helium balloon was launched from a military base in Hawaii and was to rise for about two hours.

It was the second test of the saucer-like device called the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator.

Read full story HERE.
01:06   Putin to seek friendly ear with pope visit
Increasingly isolated by the West, Vladimir Putin will hope to find a friendly ear in Pope Francis at their meeting Wednesday, but experts say the Russian President may have misjudged the mood.

The conflicts in the Ukraine and Syria are likely to dominate the talks, organised on the sidelines of a visit to Milan 2015 expo's Russian pavilion.

Putin, a champion of conservative values who denounces gay marriage and derides the West's ways, has been cold-shouldered by the United States and much of Europe over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis but seeks an ally in the Argentine pontiff.

It will be their second meeting. The first in 2013 was hailed a success by the Russian leader, who was chairing the G20 and was asked by Francis to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine situation without external military intervention.

But that meeting came before Russia's March 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and the subsequent conflict in the ex-Soviet country's east badly soured relations with Western powers.
00:59   UN, Iran head for showdown over nuclear inspections
The chief UN nuclear inspector said Monday that Iran has already committed to letting his experts see Iranian military sites and Iranian atomic scientists despite an alleged ban by Tehran, deepening a confrontation over how much openness Iran must accept under any nuclear deal.

Tehran is now negotiating a deal with six world powers that puts long-term caps on its present nuclear activities. The International Atomic Energy Agency, led by Yukiya Amano, will monitor Iran's compliance with the deal.

The US and its allies also say the IAEA must rule on whether or not Iran worked in the past on nuclear weapons before all sanctions imposed over Tehran's nuclear program can be lifted.

Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last month declared that "no inspection of any military site and interview with nuclear scientists will be allowed," and Iranian negotiators have since said Khamenei's ban is indisputable.

00:14   UN climate talks stall despite G7 push on carbon
Calls by the Group of Seven (G7) Monday to slash world carbon emissions did little to boost UN climate talks in Bonn, where frustration mounted over the snail-like progress.

Groups of countries pleaded for greater efforts to streamline a draft text for a climate pact due to be adopted at a conference in Paris in just over six months.

"We are very concerned about the pace of negotiations," said Amjad Abdulla of the Maldives, speaking for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) which are deeply exposed to climate change. "We have not made the big jump forward that we need," he told a stock-taking session.

Read full story HERE.