Sat, 28 November 2015
Priya Parmar's novel in NYT's 100 most notable books of 2015

Timeline  Refresh

21:54   Aamir Khan deposits 'lagaan' on ancestral land
Asked by authorities to pay rent on agricultural land held by him and his family, actor Aamir Khan has deposited the revenue for the property in his ancestral village of Akhtiyaarpur.

"A call was received today from Aamir Khan Productions about depositing the 'lagaan'. The permission was granted, although the authorisation letter has not been submitted," said Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Shahabad), Ashok Shukla. 

Earlier, the local administration had directed Khan to deposit Rs 817.95 as revenue for the agricultural land held by him and his kin here. 

Shukla said that 'Lagaan' star Aamir and his family members have ancestral land in Akhtiyaarpur village and the 'lagaan' was deposited every year. 

However, till September this year, rent of Rs 118.20 payable by Khan, Rs 606 (sister Nikhat) and Rs 93.75 (Tahir, Raees, Bilkis Mansoor and others), totalling Rs 817.95 was not deposited, he said. 

'Lagaan' was one of the biggest box office hits of 2001 and had received critical acclaim and awards at international film festivals.
20:15   Priya Parmar's novel in NYT's 100 most notable books of 2015
Indian-origin author Priya Parmar's novel about acclaimed painter Vanessa Bell and her more famous sister English writer Virginia Woolf has been named by the New York Times in its annual prestigious list of 100 most notable books of 2015.

Vanessa and Her Sister, a novel on Woolf and Bell, constructed around an invented diary and letters, has made it to the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2015, with the influential publication calling Parmar's "fabricated journal" of the sisters an "uncanny success". 

NYT said, "Parmar's fabricated journal is an uncanny success. Its entries, plausible and graceful, are imbued with the same voice that can be found in letters by or about Vanessa." 

Parmar's portrait brings noted modernist English writer Woolf's sister "Vanessa out of the shadows, into fully realised, shining visibility," the influential daily said in its book review.

In the novel, "Parmar gives truth and definition to the character of a woman whose nature was as elusive as her influence was profound. She has caught the phantom," the NYT review of the novel said.
20:10   Team Rahul member's dig over Modi invite to Sonia, Manmohan
A key member of Team Rahul today questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for waiting 18 long months before meeting opposition leaders. 

"Dear PM Modi, U didn't need 18 months, 3 land ordinances, Bihar defeat, sluggish economy to meet Opposition Leaders," Kaushal K Vidyarthee said on micro-blogging site Twitter. 

Shortly after it was announced yesterday that Modi had invited Congress president Sonia Gandhi and his immediate predecessor in the prime minister's office, Manmohan Singh, for discussions over tea, Rahul Gandhi had said that the government had been forced to take such a step. 

"This meeting is happening after public pressure. This is not the way he functions," the Congress Vice President had said.

Hopes of a thaw on the GST Bill emerged last night with the prime minister reaching out to the Congress leadership, which is to discuss the government's response to its three objections vis-a-vis the measure. 

The tea invitation yesterday was the first direct outreach by Modi to the principal opposition ever since he came to power last year and is being seen as part of an attempt by the prime minister to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament during Winter session.
18:46   Nearly 1,000 'security risks' denied entry to France
Nearly 1,000 people thought to pose security risks have been denied entry into France since stepped-up border controls were imposed ahead of the COP21 climate talks on November 13, just hours before the Paris attacks, the interior minister said today. 

They were prevented from entering France "because of the risk these people could represent for public order and security in our country," Bernard Cazeneuve said during a visit to the northeastern city of Strasbourg. 

He said nearly 15,000 police, gendarmes and customs agents have been deployed to the borders. 

The aim of the boosted controls is to enable the authorities to reinforce security as the COP21 climate talks officially get under way in Paris on Monday and also to confront the high terrorist threat level facing the country, Cazeneuve said, adding that they would make any necessary arrests.

A few hours after the tougher border controls ahead of the climate talks took effect on November 13, extremists carried a series of attacks at several sites in Paris, killing 130 people.
18:06   MIG-27 to be phased out in the next couple of years: Raha
All the MIG-27 fighter jets, which have not been upgraded, will be phased out in the next couple of years and there are plans to introduce Rafale and Tejas, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha today said.

"Mig-27, specially the ones which have not been upgraded, are going to be retired from service. They have served well for the country. We have plans to retire them in the next 2-3 years time," he told reporters here. 

Some of the squadrons of MIG-27 wil be affected. 

"We are planning to induct many more aircraft. We have a roadmap," Raha said, adding there are plans to replace old aircraft with new ones like Rafale and Tejas. 

On inducting women pilots for fighter aircraft, he said the plan was being implemented now.

"Our Airforce academy has many women pilots under training now. We are going to select some pilots from them who will fly fighter aircraft after completing training," Raha said.
18:02   Modi govt 'promoting Brahmanism', says Arundhati Roy; ABVP protests
Noted author Arundhati Roy today alleged that the Narendra Modi-led government was "promoting Brahmanism" in the name of "Hindu Rashtravad", and word like "intolerance" is inadequate to describe the "fear" in which the minorities are presently living, prompting protest from right-wing activists, who dubbed her an "anti-national. 

Irked by Roy's presence at a function here, where she was presented an award instituted after social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, activists of BJP's student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad staged a noisy protest at the venue.

After receiving the Mahatma Phule Equality award, she claimed the word "intolerance" is inadequate to describe the "fear" in which the minorities in the country are now living. 

Slamming the Modi government, she alleged it was promoting "Brahmanism" in the name of "Hindu Rashtravad." 

Roy, a Booker Prize winner, also alleged that the BJP was trying to "glorify" social reformers in the country as "great Hindus" and cited Dr B R Ambedkar as one of them, though he had left the Hindu religion.
17:08   BJP slams Farooq for his PoK remarks, seeks apology
BJP today sought an apology from former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for his remarks that 'PoK is part of Pakistan', and said he was "deliberately raking up" the issue in order to remain in news for his political survival.  

"Probably Farooq Abdullah is either suffering from amnesia or deliberately raking up the settled issue in order to remain in news for his political survival," BJP spokesperson Virender Gupta said. 

Gupta said Abdullah must seek an apology from the nation for his this blunder and set things in the right perspective. It looks like that the leaders of National Conference have been so much demoralised and frustrated that they have lost their wit and giving such irresponsible statements, he alleged.
16:25   MP youth held for making 'threat call' to AI; says did it for fun
A 20-year-old youth from Madhya Pradesh has been arrested in connection a threat call made to national carrier Air India's Thane call centre last week, threatening to hijack an AI flight on November 28, and claimed that he did it "just out of fun". According to preliminary investigations, the youth, who is a class XII student, had made the call "just out of fun", though state ATS and Intelligence Bureau were also roped in to look into the matter taking into consideration the gravity of the call.
16:11   Number of teens dying of AIDS tripled over 15 years
The UN children's fund says the number of adolescents dying from AIDS has tripled over the last 15 years, most having acquired the disease when they were infants. AIDS is the leading cause of deaths among adolescents in Africa, with six countries --South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Mozambique and Tanzania --accounting for half of those living with HIV, said UNICEF. The disease is the second leading cause of deaths among adolescents around the world with 26 new infections occurring every hour.
15:57   Bhushans should join BJP,says AAP after criticism of Janlokpal
Hitting back at Shanti and Prashant Bhushan, AAP today claimed that they were opposing the Janlokpal Bill at the behest of BJP and asserted that the proposed legislation was similar to the one tabled by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during his previous 49-day tenure. 

Rejecting criticism by Bhushans who termed the anti-graft legislation as 'Maha Jokepal' and alleged that the provisions had been diluted and tweaked to "provoke" the Centre, the ruling party in Delhi said the father-son duo should now join the BJP.

"This is the same bill which was introduced by the AAP government (during its 49-day rule). Prashant ji was fine when the same bill was introduced during the AAP's last government," AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said.
JUST IN: Peter Mukerjea undergoes a polygraph test in Sheena Bora case in Delhi
14:51   Cop who had spat with Haryana minister transferred
Fatehabad SP Sangeeta Kalia who had a spat with Haryana Minister Anil Vij yesterday, has been transferred. On Friday, Haryana's outspoken Health and Sports Minister Anil Vij ordered Kalia to "get out' of a meeting. When she refused, he himself stormed out in a huff. The outburst came after both were locked in an argument over liquor smuggling in Fatehabad district.
13:38   When Islamic State fighters turned into rubber ducks
Using the controversial message board 4chan, people have come together to photoshop images of Islamic State jihadis into yellow rubber ducks.This is not the first comic attack on the hated terror group. Hacktivist group, Anonymous, pranked  Isis by 'rick-rolling' their propaganda videos and weblinks.

For confused readers, rick-rolling is when someone thinks they are about to watch or read something online and then the video of Rick Astley's 1987 hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up' starts playing.
13:34   Villagers in PM Modi's constituency blame Coca-Cola for water scarcity
Eighteen village councils in northern India are demanding a local Coca-Cola bottling plant be prohibited from extracting water from the ground, claiming its over usage has led to water scarcity in the area, said an environmental campaign group. 

The villages, which are located in Mehdiganj area of Varanasi district -- the constituency of Prime MinisterNarendra Modi -- claim they have been facing water shortages since 1999 when the plant began operations.

Coca-Cola paints a pretty picture of itself internationally as a responsible user of water, but the reality in India is that it exploits groundwater at the expense of the poor, the women, children, farmers and livestock who have to live with less water because Coca-Cola mines groundwater in a water scarce area for profit.
13:15   Journalists go ga-ga for selfies with PM Modi
Journalists jostle with each other to take a selfie with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Diwali Milan at the BJP party headquarters. 
12:47   New Delhi under threat of 'aerial strikes' from Islamic State
New Delhi is under a serious threat of aerial strikes from different terror outfits including the Islamic State, the ministry of home affairs said.The report said that security agencies have taken necessary steps to foil any such attacks and have prepared a list of 15 key areas in the Indian capital that they fear might be targeted.
12:14   Indrani's driver to CBI: She took 2-hr beauty break on day of murder
"Jagah dekhkar madam boli Sheena ke liye achha jagah hain (Seeing the spot, madam said this is a good spot for Sheena)'.

On April 23, 2012, Shyam Rai recalls a recce outing, cruising through Pen where Indrani Mukerjea asked him to stop at a point. Flanked by a hillock and a forest bush on one side, and a stream on the other, it was a calm Indrani who confirmed the location for Sheena, he says. 

Rai's nine-page statement purportedly gives a detailed narrative of the manner in which Indrani allegedly plotted the conspiracy to kill Sheena and Mikhail. She even took a two-hour beauty break at a parlour, just before picking up Sheena on the day she was murdered, Rai states.
12:10   North Korea's Kim Jong-Un issues bizarre diktat, asks men to copy his hairstyle
In a bizarre ruling, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has passed a new diktat which cautions men to keep their hair length to a maximum of 2 cm or face sanctions. North Korean men have been ordered to get their hair cut in the 'ambitious' manner of their leader Kim Jong-un. Men have been warned they face sanctions if their hair is longer than 2cm and not shaved along the sides
JUST IN: Macau Badminton Open: PVSindhu enters final after beating Japan's Akane Yamaguchi 21-8, 15-21, 21-16
11:38   AAP government's Lokpal Bill 'a big joke': Prashant Bhushan
Swaraj Abhiyaan leaders senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan and his father, former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan, trashed the AAP government's Lokpal Bill, describing it as 'shocking' and 'a big joke'. 

The two lawyers, who were among those who had founded the Aam Aadmi Party with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal other anti-corruption activists, demanded Mr Kejriwal's resignation saying he had come to power on the promise of providing a strong and independent anti-corruption watchdog but failed. "He came into power for the Janlokpal and has gone back on his words," the former law minister said. 

Prashant Bhushan said the proposed watchdog will not be independent and been kept under government, in the bill. He described the proposed body as a bigger joke than the centre's Lokpal that Mr Kejriwal had once dismissed as "jokepal."
11:19   Rupert Murdoch tweets that LA Times is about to be bought
Media baron Rupert Murdoch on Friday tweeted out, for unknown reasons, that he had heard the embattled Tribune Publishing Company could be bought by a "big Wall Street firm" and that the Los Angeles Times, one of the numerous papers owned by Tribune, could be bought by a philanthropist. 

Murdoch offered no other details, or in this case, tips, such as identity of the expected buyer of the newspaper group, which includes the Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentineland Hartford Courant.There was no immediate comment from Tribune on the report.
JUST IN: Mallikarjun Kharge meets Rahul Gandhi on GST issue, meeting underway.
10:26   Indo-Pak series proposal to honour 'Team Kasab': Sena
The Shiv Sena on Saturday launched a full-fledged attack on the Board of Control for Cricket in India for going ahead with the India-Pakistan bilateral series, saying that it was an event being conducted to honour terrorist Ajmal Kasab and his team for the horrific 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. 

The Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece Saamana, said that it was very sad that on Thursday, when the whole country was paying tributes to the martyrs of the serial attacks in Mumbai, the BCCI went ahead and declared the venue of the Indo-Pak bilateral series in December.
10:06   Drowned toddler Aylan Kurdi's relatives to be granted asylum in Canada
Some surviving relatives of drowned Kurdish toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose beached corpse became a global symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis, will be admitted to Canada. The three-year-old died after his family, sheltering in Turkey from the war in Syria, decided to make a desperate bid to reach Greece in a flimsy inflatable boat.

The sight of Aylan's body, face down on the Turkish shore, was captured by news photographers and galvanised public opinion around the world as hundreds of thousands of refugees arrived in Europe. Aylan's mother and brother died in the same accident.
09:38   Dolphin carcass washes ashore at Mumbai's Malabar Hill
The carcass of a six-and-a-half-foot Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin washed ashore near Bhagwanlal Indrajit Road, Malabar Hill, in Mumbai on Friday morning, making this the eighth such case this year. 

The carcass, wedged between rocks, was spotted around 11.30 am during high tide, said the members of the local fishing community. Sanjay Bhonsle, a resident, said, "The animal had injuries on the fin, back and tail. It may have died a few days ago as the carcass was partially decomposed.'
09:08   Writers withdraw from Bengaluru literature fest
Unhappy with the festival director's criticism of the trend of writers returning their awards to protest intolerance in India, two prominent Kannada writers have withdrawn from the Bangalore Literature Festival 2015 scheduled for December 5 and 6. 

Writers Dayanand TK and Arif Raja shot off angry letters to the festival organisers recently in which they questioned the political leanings of BLF director and author Vikram Sampat who described writers returning awards as "sheep' in a recent opinion piece in the Mint.
02:14   3 officers injured in shooting at US abortion clinic; gunman held
Three officers were injured in a shooting Friday near a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, though police said the shooter has since been contained.

Commander Kirk Wilson told KKTV that two of the officers were evacuated from the area Friday and authorities are still trying to reach the third.He couldn't immediately say how the officers were doing or how the gunman was stopped.

Read this story HERE
01:51   'Several wounded' in shooting at US abortion clinic
Police in Colorado Springs are responding to a call of an 'active shooter' at a family planning centre.

The gunman has shot multiple victims including three police officers and barricaded himself inside the Planned Parenthood facility, according to the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police executive director, Mike Violette.

The condition of those injured is not yet known. Initial reports that a police officer had been killed were later reported to be unconfirmed. Police have instructed employees at the restaurant next to the building, Jun Jun Japanese, to stay indoors and out of sight.

01:08   Maha cabinet expansion: 10 ministers of state to be inducted
The proposed expansion of the Devendra Fadnavis ministry in Maharashtra slated for the first week of December will see 10 ministers of state being inducted into the BJP-led government.

"BJP President Amit Shah has given clearance for the Cabinet expansion and formal approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to be taken. "Out of the 12 vacancies, 10 will be filled and all will be ministers of state," a BJP leader said requesting anonymity.

Four ministers from BJP along with an identical number from the NDA's smaller members -- Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Shiv Sangram, RPI(A) and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna -- and two Shiv Sena leaders will be included in the council of ministers.

"Two berths for BJP will be kept pending," the leader said. The smaller allies have demanded Cabinet berths and Sena, too, was keen for an additional Cabinet berth.
01:05   Chicago protesters take to streets to condemn police shooting
Protesters took to the streets in the midst of Black Friday shopping on Chicago's iconic Magnificent Mile as they continue to make their push for broad reforms in the Windy City in the wake of a police video showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times.

The latest demonstration comes after Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged on Tuesday with first-degree murder for the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and the release of the video on that same day. 

The video's release has set off days of largely peaceful but angry protests by young activists in Chicago's downtown, drawing national attention on the city.

Read this story HERE
00:45   Sean Connery's wife faces fraud trial in Spain
The wife of one of the world's favourite James Bond actors, Sean Connery, is to stand trial over tax fraud allegations involving the sale of a mansion the couple owned in Spain.

Micheline Roquebrune faces a prison sentence of up to two and a half years and a fine of more than 16 million pounds if found guilty of charges that she took part in a complex operation to defraud Spanish authorities of nearly 5.5 million pounds during the sale of the couple's home in the Costa delSol region in the south of the country.

Sir Sean, 85, was also investigated over the alleged fraud but was told last year that he would not face trial after declaring his innocence in a 56-page affidavit, The Daily Telegraph reported.
00:37   Man arrested for jumping White House fence
A man, draped in American flag, was arrested after he jumped a White House fence while President Barack Obama and his family were celebrating Thanksgiving, prompting a temporary lock-down.

The man identified as Joseph Caputo was immediately apprehended by the US Secret Service after he scaled the fence of the highly secure complex yesterday. 

"Today at approximately 2:45 pm, Joseph Caputo scaled over the north fence line of the White House Complex gaining access to the North Grounds. Caputo was immediately apprehended and taken into custody," the Secret Service said in a statement. 

"The north and south fence lines have been temporarily closed," the statement said. Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback was later quoted by media reports as saying that Caputo was charged with unlawful entry. 

A bystander snapped photos of Caputo, draped in an American flag, as he hopped the fence. A second photo shows the him with his arms raised as he walks on the lawn. He also had a binder of some sort clenched in his teeth as he made the leap.
00:05   Why so much hullabaloo over Aamir statement: Nagma
Actress and Congress member Nagma today came out in support of Aamir Khan over his comments on "growing intolerance" and said the superstar never thought of leaving India, as she slammed BJP leaders like Yogi Adityanath over their remarks.

She wondered why so much hullabaloo has been created over his statement on "intolerance" when similar sentiments have been expressed by some other prominent personalities.

Asked by reporters to comment on Khan's statement, the filmstar-politician shot back "kaun sa pahad toot gaya hai desh par (what big trouble his statement has caused)?"

The 40-year-old "Baaghi" actress criticised BJP leaders like Yogi Adityanath for targeting Khan.