Sun, 28 June 2015
Netanyahu warns world powers not to rush into N-deal with Iran

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20:59   Minor Odiya girls sold by parents, police begins search
Two minor girls from Odisha were allegedly sold by their parents to two persons in Madhya Pradesh, following which a police team has been sent to the state to trace the girls.

A four-member police team has been sent to Madhya Pradesh to investigate into the allegation made by the elder sister and brother of the two girls, aged 12 and 13, sub- divisional police officer Utakala Keshari Dash said. Pushpa Saha, 20, who is married, and her younger brother Sanatan Naik have alleged that their parents had sold their two minor sisters in Madhya Pradesh.

They also lodged a complaint in town police station here yesterday. In their complaint, Puspa and Sanatan alleged that their poverty-ridden father Manbhola Naik, 45, and mother Prabhasini Naik, 40, of Modipara in Sambalpur city sold their sisters at Pathria in Madhya Pradesh.
19:32   MEA declines info under RTI on Lalit Modi's passport issue
At a time when Sushma Swaraj is under fierce opposition attack for "helping" Lalit Modi obtain UK travel documents, her External Affairs Ministry has refused to provide any information about the passport issue involving the scandal-tainted former IPL boss.

The Ministry has refused to answer an RTI application containing seven questions including who had taken a decision not appeal in the Supreme Court the Delhi High Court's decision restoring Modi's passport.

"Kindly note that the office of external affairs minister has informed that the questions in Serial 1 to 3 of your RTI does not seem to fall under the purview of the RTI act, 2005. As regards to queries Sl No 4 to 7, no information is available with EAM's office," the MEA said in its reply dated June 26.
19:25   EC orders repoll in a polling booth in R K Nagar
The Election Commission has ordered re-poll in one of the booths in R K Nagar constituency from where Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is seeking re-election after the EC observer reported that the presiding officer allowed some voters 'not duly enrolled in the electoral roll.'

According to an official release from Chief Electoral Officer, Sandeep Saxena, "The Election Commission has stated that the its observer deputed in the constituency reported that the presiding officer of polling Station No 181 in the constituency allowed some of the voters who were not duly enrolled in the electoral roll".

"The Election Commission directed that the poll taken on June 27 at the polling station 181 has been 'vitiated' within the meaning of section 58(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951," he said. A fresh poll would be conducted at the polling station on June 29 between 8am and 5pm, he said.
18:15   BJP MLA escapes unhurt after being shot by four men in MP
BJP MLA from Dharmpuri constituency in the district, Kallusingh Thakur escaped unhurt after he was allegedly shot at by four men under the Mandu police station limits, a police official said today.

The accused attacked the MLA when he was talking to people at the veranda of his house last night, police said. Accused Vishnu, Nankiya, Ravi and Vishambhar have been nabbed and are being interrogated after the MLA's personal assistant Shashikant Chauhan lodged a complaint, Mandu Town Inspector Anirudh Wadia told PTI.

He said that the accused have been booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and Section 34 (act done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

After the attack on him, MLA Thakur alleged that the accused were criminals hired by a person to kill him. However, District Superintendent of Police Rajesh Hingankar said that initial investigations into the incident indicate that the attack is the fallout of a property dispute.
17:58   Netanyahu warns world powers not to rush into N-deal with Iran
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today cautioned world powers not to rush into an agreement with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, saying the situation was getting "worse and worse" each day. 

"We are now witnessing a stark retreat from the red lines that the world powers set themselves only recently and publicly," Netanyahu told his ministers at the weekly cabinet here today, two days before the set deadline for clinching a deal is to expire.

"There is no reason to rush into an agreement with Iran as each day the situation becomes worse and worse," he added.
17:40   Chhattisgarh: 3 Maoists arrested in Dantewada dist
A husband and wife couple were among three Maoists arrested today from separate places in Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Dantewada district with police saying all three were carrying rewards on their head. Dantewada Superintendent of Police, Kamlochan Kashyap, told PTI that dreaded Maoist couple Mallesh alias Dhansingh and his wife Sukay Vetti were apprehended by a joint team of the district force and CRPF 195th battalion from Korlapal village forests under Geedam police station. 

A combing operation was launched based on intelligence inputs in the Korlapal region, located around 400-km away from the Chhattisgarh state capital of Raipur, to nab the duo, he said.

Mallesh was a prominent leader of CPI (Maoist) and was active as a commander of Section 'A' of military platoon No.1 which is part of military company No.6 of the outlawed outfit, police said.
17:15   UK warns of more terror strikes in Tunisia
Britain today asked its citizens in Tunisia to be on alert, warning that further terrorist attacks in the country are possible after the beach resort massacre by an IS militant that left 38 people dead, including 15 Britons. 

In an updated travel advice, the foreign office said, "Further terrorist attacks in Tunisia, including in tourist resorts, are possible, including by individuals who are unknown to the authorities and whose actions are inspired by terrorist groups via social media." Asking those who remained in Tunisia to be vigilant, it said, "You should be especially vigilant at this time and follow the advice of Tunisian security authorities and your tour operator."

At least 38 people were killed after an Islamic State militant opened fire on a beach in front of hotels in the Tunisian resort of Sousse on Friday. 

The victims include 15 Britons, though officials have warned that the toll is expected to rise. Another 39 people were injured, including 25 Britons, in the attack.
17:06   43 officials in Indian diplomatic missions to face action
Government is taking action with regard to complaints against 43 officials of Indian diplomatic missions in 17 countries facing a variety of charges including corruption and dereliction of duty, top External Affairs Ministry sources said today.

Action is being taken in all 43 cases as per established procedure," Spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said. Some of the complaints are against low-ranking officials and locally-hired staff and the cases are being dealt with as per laid down procedures, he said.
16:51   Disney World bans selfie-sticks from parks
It may be a rage to click selfies at amusement parks but Walt Disney World is in no mood to oblige and has banned selfie-sticks from its theme parks across the world, citing safety concerns.

Under a new policy, which takes effect from Tuesday, the poles will not make it past the bag check at any Disney World theme park. The sticks also will not be allowed in Disney World water parks or DisneyQuest, a gaming attraction at Downtown Disney. Selfie-sticks are metal rods that can extend up to about 40 inches, to which smartphones or compact cameras can be fixed.

They allow people to take wider-angle pictures of themselves that can include more people and incorporate more background in the shot.

"We strive to provide a great experience for the entire family, and unfortunately selfie sticks have become a growing safety concern for both our guests and cast," Disney World spokeswoman Kim Prunty was quoted as saying by the Orlando Sentinel.
16:39   Prez to visit Tirupati during 10 days of southern sojourn
President Pranab Mukherjee will visit 'Rashtrapati Nilayam' in Secunderabad for a ten-day southern sojourn beginning tomorrow. During his sojourn, he will visit Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on July 1, a press release issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

On July 3, the President will receive first copy of the book 'Uniki' written by Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre in Telangana.

The President will also inaugurate a 'Nakshatra Vatika' at Rashtrapati Nilayam, Bolarum on July 6. The sojourn will end on July 8.
16:36   Fire UK launches anti-trolling site to help victims of online abuse
The UK has launched an anti-trolling website that offers practical tips to victims of online abuse, particularly women and members of the LGBT, on how to report the offence and where to seek help.

The site was developed by the government in response to research highlighting the scale of online abuse experienced by women and LGBT people.

Launched yesterday, the Stop Online Abuse site is accessible at and offers help to people facing online harassment, revenge porn, hate speech, sexual harassment and blackmail. 

It provides legal advice and practical tips on how to respond to derogatory and abusive comments online besides explaining how to identify abuse and get offensive content removed
16:26   PM helping Lalit Modi in ED cases: Digvijaya
Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being silent on Lalit Modi row and other controversies, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh today alleged that he was helping the former IPL chief in Enforcement Directorate cases against him.

"Every Sunday he (Narendra Modi) talks about 'Mann ki Baat', but doesn't answer the basic questions which have emerged over the past fortnight ever since the Lalit Modi controversy came up. My charge is that Narendra Modi is helping Lalit Modi. My charge is that he has promised Lalit Modi that he will be bailed out of all the cases in which he is being investigated by the ED," Singh told reporters 
16:17   Yatra to Badrinath, Hemkund remains disrupted for fourth day
The yatra to Badrinath and the Sikh shrine of Hemkund Sahib in Chamoli district remained disrupted for the fourth consecutive day today even as the administration continued to evacuate pilgrims stranded on way to the Himalayan shrines in Uttarakhand.

Pilgrimage to Hemkund Sahib is suspended after a bridge near Bhyundar village along the trek route was washed away in rains and a substitute for it is still under construction.

Pilgrims stranded in Ghanghariya on way to Hemkund sahib and those in Badrinath are being evacuated under the supervision of Chamoli District Magistrate Ashok Kumar who is camping in Govindghat for the last three days. Chamoli's Disaster Management Officer Nand Kishor Joshi said vehicles are ferrying stranded pilgrims from Badrinath to Benakuli and Lambagad to Joshimath.

About one thousand pilgrims have so far been evacuated to Joshimath today, he said. Pilgrims are also being airlifted in two choppers from Ghanghariya en route to Hemkund Sahib and ferried to Joshimath, he said. About 350 pilgrims have been brought from Hemkund Sahib in choppers to Joshimath.
16:00   IMF approves $506 mn for Pakistan under bailout programme
The IMF has approved over $506 million loan tranche to cash-strapped Pakistan as part of a three-year bailout programme to support the country's economic reforms and growth.

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund took the decision in Washington after the seventh review of Pakistan's economy for the period of January-March, 2015.

The Express Tribune reported that it paved the way for release of the eighth loan tranche of $506.4 million that will be made available to Islamabad this week. In September 2013, the IMF had approved a three-year Extended Fund Facility amounting to $6.6 billion.

With the fresh approval, the IMF's total disbursements since September 2013 have reached $4.1 billion. So far, the focus of the IMF remained on quantitative targets, but now the monetary body wants to shift to critical structural reforms.
15:56   Sanskrit should be propagated to purify minds of people:Swaraj
Sanskrit scholars from 60 countries began a five-day conference here today with an inaugural speech by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who suggested that Sanskrit should be propagated so that "it purifies the minds of the people and thus sanctifies the whole world." 

Speaking entirely in Sanskrit to over 600 Sanskrit experts, Swaraj called it a "modern and universal" language and said its tradition is comparable to the river Ganga.

"The Ganga remains sacred from Gomukh, its source, to Ganga sagar where it enters the ocean. It sanctifies the tributaries, which attain the very nature of Ganga. Similar is Sanskrit; sacred by itself, it sanctifies all that come into its contact.

"Therefore, Sanskrit should be propagated so that it purifies the minds of the people and thus sanctifies the whole world. You Sanskritists do bathe in the sacred Sanskrit Ganga and are blessed," she told the gathering.
15:30   Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest as PM candidate
Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa plans to return to mainstream politics as the prime ministerial candidate of the main opposition party, his close associate Kumar Welgama said today.

"He will be the prime ministerial candidate of either the Sri Lanka Freedom Party or the United People's Freedom Alliance," Welgama said. President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the leader of both the groups, has resisted calls to allow Rajapaksa to contest.

However, a six-member committee appointed to have talks with Sirisena and Rajapaksa has clinched the candidature of Rajapaksa, Welgama said. Sirisena, who was Rajapaksa's health minister, joined the main opposition UNP just ahead of the January 8 presidential election.
15:24   Woman finds 8.52 carat diamond in Arkansas park
A lucky woman in the US has found an 8.52 carat white diamond at Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park after only 20 minutes of searching.

Clear white and icicle shaped, the gem is the fifth largest diamond found by a park visitor since the state park was established at Arkansas's diamond site in 1972. Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, found the diamond on June 24 in a couple of scoops she had dug from a small mound of dirt.

Oskarson was in the southwest corner of the park's over 37-acre search field in an area known as the Pig Pen, aptly named because it is the muddiest part of the search area after a good rain.

At first she thought it might be a quartz crystal due to its elongated shape, but park staff later confirmed that she had found a diamond. She named the gem the Esperanza Diamond, both her niece's name and the Spanish word for "hope." Oskarson plans to keep the gem.
14:37   Burger King keen to replicate its Indian veg menu globally
Global fast-food giant Burger King, which especially formulated vegetarian options in the country to suit the Indian palate, is keen to introduce them in other vegetarian-friendly markets like the UK.

Burger King India introduced as many as six vegetarian snacks, sandwiches and entry-level burgers in the menu when its tarted in November, 2014.

"Looking at the response here, the global management is evaluating introducing some of these options going forward to other vegetarian-friendly markets like the UK," Raj Varman,chief executive officer of Burger King India told PTI.

Private equity firm Everstone Capital, which is the master franchisee for Burger King here, has been given full control over the menu, and built a product line to suit the Indian market that was different from the standard menu,Varman said.
14:06   Burger King keen to replicate its Indian veg menu globally
Global fast-food giant Burger King, which especially formulated vegetarian options in the country to suit the Indian palate, is keen to introduce them in other vegetarian-friendly markets like the UK.

Burger King India introduced as many as six vegetarian snacks, sandwiches and entry-level burgers in the menu when its tarted in November, 2014.

"Looking at the response here, the global management is evaluating introducing some of these options going forward to other vegetarian-friendly markets like the UK," Raj Varman,chief executive officer of Burger King India told PTI.

Private equity firm Everstone Capital, which is the master franchisee for Burger King here, has been given full control over the menu, and built a product line to suit the Indian market that was different from the standard menu,Varman said.
13:50   Narasimha Rao's life history to be taught in Telangana schools
The state government today announced on the 94th birth anniversary of P V Narasimha Rao that the late former Prime Minister's life history will soon be taught to students in Telangana's schools.

"The life history of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao will be introduced in the syllabus for school students in Telangana state," Karimnagar MP B Vinod Kumar said.

 He was addressing a gathering on the campus of Karimnagar Milk Producer Company Limited (Karminagar Dairy) here this morning after garlanding a statue of the late Congress leader on his 94th birth anniversary.

The economic reforms introduced by Rao have developed the country, the TRS MP said, adding that the earlier Congress-led government had neglected the late leader. A statue of Rao will also be installed at a circle in Karimnagar town soon, Kumar said.
13:43   Kuwait detains driver of vehicle that took bomber to mosque
The police have arrested a number of people, among them a Kuwaiti citizen, suspected of being behind a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque that killed 27 people, Kuwait's interior ministry said early Sunday.

The announcement came just hours after thousands of people took part in a mass funeral procession on Saturday for those killed in the country's first terror attack in more than two decades.
12:58   Moo-ving tribute paid following death of Blosom, the world's tallest cow
She was a giant cow.We're not speaking ill of the dead. Blosom, who measures 6ft 2in from the hoof to the withers was declared the world's tallest living cow last year.

That's the same height as Will Smith, or Donald Trump.

Read this HERE

12:43   Train climbs onto platform after dashing into dead end at Churchgate
A fast train from Bhayander went over thebuffer at platform number 3 of Churchgate station and climbed onto the south-end concourse.

The incident happened around 12 noon on Sunday. According to Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager Western Railway the passengers inside had minor injuries.

Read this story HERE

12:29   Dog's photo on ITI entrance admit card!
An ITI aspirant was in for a shock when he found a photo of a dog on his admit card. Soumyadip Mahato, 18, downloaded the admit card for the ITI entrance exam from the official website to find the dog's photo on it with his address and other details yesterday.

Mahato, who passed higher secondary examination this year, soon contacted the nodal officer for conducting the examinations in the area and was assured of assistance. Later in the evening the dog's photo was removed from his admit card. 

Mahato could appear for the Common Entrance Test under West Bengal State Council for Vocational Training with the new admit card today. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident, the nodal officer said.
12:24   Quake rocks Assam, Meghalaya, Bengal and Bhutan, 3 injured
An earthquake of moderate intensity of 5.6 on the Richter Scale rocked Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal besides Bhutan today leaving three injured and a lion sculpture of an ancient temple damaged.

India Meteorological Department officials said the quake shook Assam, including its capital Guwahati, Meghalaya, West Bengal and neighbouring Bhutan at 6.35 am.

The epicentre of the tremor was in Kokrajhar at a depth of 10 km on latitude 26.5 degree north and longitude 90.1 degree east, they said.

"We have got information that three persons sustained minor injuries when an old wall collapsed near the Kokrajhar Railway station," Assam State Disaster Management Authority Chief Executive Officer Pramod Kumar Tiwari said.

All the injured were vegetable vendors and being treated now, he said.
12:01   Two militants killed in Meghalaya
t least two armed suspected militants were today killed in a gun battle with security forces in Meghalaya's North Garo Hills district.

Acting on intelligence inputs given by the armed men in the area, a special police team and troops from Assam's 19 Dogra regiment raided the hideouts at Rari last night, district SP Ramesh Singh said.

At around 4:40 am today, the militants opened indiscriminate fire after spotting the security forces, with two killed militants killed in the retaliatory attack, he said.

Their identity is yet to be established, but it is suspected that they belong to the A'chik Matgrik Elite Force, he said.
11:53   500 injured in explosion at Taiwan water park
At least 510 people were injured -- 183 of them hospitalized in intensive care units -- after flammable powder apparently exploded in midair at a recreational water park in Taiwan, the East Asian nation's official Central News Agency reported.Eight of the injured were reported to be in critical condition Sunday morning. 

Forty-three people had been discharged from hospitals after treatment.
11:33   Modi on Mann ki Baat: Yoga connected people across the world
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation in his radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' today. It was the ninth edition of his radio programme.

Some quotes from the programme:
  • Yoga connected people across the world
  • In India, our Army men performed Yoga in Siachen, Navy in all ships while Rajpath became Yogpath.
  • On June 21, When I saw UNGS Ban ki-Moon doing Yoga, I felt elated.
  • In France, People chosen landmarks like Eiffel Tower, New in York Times Square was chosen as the spot.
11:18   Mild tremor jolts Meghalaya
A moderate earthquake jolted Meghalaya early today, but there was no report of loss of life or damage to property.

Officials at the Regional Seismological Centre here said the tremor, with its epicentre in Assam's Kokrajhar district, was also felt in other North-Eastern states. Assam and all states in the North East are categorised under Zone-V in the country's Seismological Map, they said.

An earthquake of moderate intensity of 5.6 on the Richter Scale rocked Assam, including its capital Guwahati, at 6.35 am today.
11:17   Indian Railways, Army among world's biggest employers: Study
Two Indian organisations --the Indian Army and the Railways -- are among the world's biggest employers, together employing a whopping 2.7 million people, said a report. Though it is often said that Indian Railways is the largest employer in the world, but it seems it is not.

The organisation is ranked at the eighth place in the list of world's biggest employers. Immediately after Indian Railways in the 8th rank with 1.4 million staff is the Indian armed forces with 1.3 million people. 

According to a research published by the World Economic Forum, the US Department of Defense is the world's biggest employer which claims over 3.2 million employees on its roster.
11:16   UN accredited NGO to help 5,000 poor widows in Varanasi
A UN accredited global NGO, the Loomba Foundation, will provide vocational skills and training to 5,000 poor widows in Varanasi in an effort to create employment opportunities for them.

"The Foundation will provide vocational skills and training to the disadvantaged widows in garment making, hair and beauty, care nursing, hospitality and retail sector, which will create employment opportunities for them," NGO's founder Chairman Lord Raj Loomba CBE announced yesterday.

Cherie Blair, President of the Foundation, said that there were 258 million widows all over the world and 115 million of them lived in poverty. "Eighty-six million of them suffered physical abuse," she said, adding that it was a "global tragedy."
11:12   The 7th US-India-Japan trilateral dialogue
On June 26, the United States hosted the seventh trilateral dialogue with India and Japan in Honolulu to exchange views on a broad range of regional and global issues of mutual interest.

The discussion was co-chaired by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal, and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel.

Read it HERE
00:30   Photos show Charleston killers life
Dylann Roof is in jail, accused of killing nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. There are no images of him there -- at least not any that have been released to the public.

But before Roof, 21, disappeared behind bars, he left a trail of images that help to tell his story.

HERE is a look at some of those photographs
00:19   US protester removes Confederate flag from state house
A protester scaled a flagpole on the grounds of the South Carolina legislature on Saturday and removed the Confederate flag, officials said, amid fierce debate about the racially charged symbol.

The black woman climber was arrested as soon as she came down from the 9m-high pole, and a new flag was restored to the original position within an hour.

Pictures on social media showed a woman, named as Bree Newsome, 30, being escorted by an officer, her hands behind her back.

#FreeBree was trending on Twitter within hours of the dawn incident.

Read more HERE.
00:18   More than 225 injured in explosion at Taiwan water park
More than 225 people were injured -- about 100 of them seriously -- after flammable powder apparently exploded in midair at a recreational water park in Taiwan, the East Asian nation's official Central News Agency reported.

The flames erupted when the unknown substance blew up over a stage around 8:30 p.m. Saturday (8:30 a.m. ET) at Formosa Fun Coast, firefighters said, according to the CNA report.

CNA reported that "the fire was quickly brought under control," but not before at least 229 people suffered injuries -- 97 of them were in serious condition.

Video showed a massive fireball suddenly engulfing the stage, followed by screaming people running for their lives through flames.

Some people used large, inflated inner tubes as stretchers to carry out the injured, CNA reported.

Read more HERE.