Thu, 15 December 2016
Poonam Mahajan replaces Anurag Thakur as BJP youth wing chief

Timeline  Refresh

JUST IN: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi admitted to Cauvery hospital in Chennai.
23:39   Poonam Mahajan replaces Anurag Thakur as BJP youth wing chief
In first major reshuffle in the party since he took over as the Bharatiya Janata Party president for second time, Amit Shah tonight appointed first time Lok Sabha MP Poonam Mahajan as the party's youth-wing president, replacing Anurag Thakur who was at the helm for over six years.

Shah also named new chiefs for four other party wings -- SC, ST, OBC and Kisaan morchas.

Mahajan, 36, the new Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha President is daughter of late party leader Pramod Mahajan and currently a Lok Sabha member from Mumbai North-Central.

Vinod Sonkar, a Lok Sabha member from Kaushambi, Ramvichar Netam, a Rajya Sabha member from Chattisgarh, Virendra Singh 'Mast' and former MP Dara Singh Chauhan were named as new presidents of partys SC, ST, Kisan and OBC wings respectively.

Sonkar replaces Dushyant Kumar Gautam while Netam, Chauhan and Mast come in place of Faggan Singh Kulaste, S P Singh Baghel and Vijaypal Singh Tomar respectively.

Mast, 60, is a third term MP who represents Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh in Lok Sabha.

Chauhan has joined BJP last year after quitting the Bahujan Samaj Party.
23:02   Congress leaders to meet PM over loan waiver for farmers
Top Congress leaders led by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow and demand a loan waiver for 'distressed' farmers in the country.

Sources said the Congress leaders will put forth the demands of farmers from across the country before the prime minister.

The three main demands on the table are loan waiver for farmers, reducing their power bills by half, and helping them get remunerative minimum support price for their produce.

The Congress has collected over 2 crore 'kisan maang patras' from across poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and over 34 lakh from Punjab which also goes to polls early next year.

Azad will be accompanied by Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar, besides other senior party leaders.
22:24   Rs 14.75 lakh in new currency seized from Pune hotel
The police today seized Rs 14.75 lakh, all in new currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000, from five people at a hotel in the upmarket Koregaon Park area of the city.

"These five people were found at a hotel with Rs 14.75 lakh in their possession. On questioning they gave vague answers," said a police officer.

Police suspected that they were about to exchange the cash with defunct notes, he said.

Income Tax department had been notified about the seizure, the officer added.
20:52   RBI Governor Urjit Patel heckled at Kolkata airport
RBI governor Urjit Patel today faced political heat over demonetisation when he was heckled by a group of alleged Congress workers at the NSC Bose airport in Kolkata.

Chanting slogans like "Urjit Patel go back" and "Urjit Patel hai, hai", over a dozen protesters tried to block his way when he stepped out of a car at the airport on his way back to Mumbai.

The protesters came too close for Patel's comfort as he started walking towards the entrance of the airport terminal. 

Policemen accompanying him were seen pushing away the agitators and securing the way for the RBI governor, who earlier in the day attended a meeting of RBI board at the central bank's office here where TMC and CPI-M staged demonstrations. Even after he had entered the terminal building, the protesters were seen raising slogans. Police said he was also shown black flags by the protesters.

He also met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, one of the harshest critics of the demonetisation exercise, who voiced concern over the hardship faced by people and "political discrimination amongst states".
20:41   Suspicious deals: Axis Bank suspends 24 employees, 50 accounts
In the wake of disclosure of transgressions in its network, including a case in Noida which came to light today, private sector lender Axis Bank said it has so far suspended 50 accounts and 24 employees for suspicious activities.

Asserting that investigating agencies acted on tip-offs provided by the bank itself, it admitted that the adverse publicity was affecting its brand, but hoped this was

Axis's retail banking head Rajiv Anand said so far the investigating agencies had visited eight branches, including five in New Delhi, and the number of employees suspended has gone up to 24 from 19 last week. 

These suspensions exclude impact of the visit by Income Tax officials to its Noida branch this morning following a trail of Rs 600 crore deposit by a jeweller. The bank called it a "visit" by I-T officials who asked for details on 30 accounts.

"It is not that Axis Bank is under the scanner, but the person doing the transaction with us is," he said, adding at no point it has been asked to shut any branch.
20:40   Rahul Shivshankar appointed Times Now Chief Editor
Rahul Shivshankar has been officially appointed as the new chief editor of news channel Times Now. 

His predecessor, Arnab Goswami had resigned on November 1 after working with the channel for a decade.

According to a statement released by the the channel, in his new role, Rahul will lead the editorial team of Times Now and will work closely with the Business & Leadership teams to ensure that the channel grows significantly and profitably. 

M K Anand, MD & CEO of TimesNetwork said, "I am pleased to welcome Rahul as the chief editor of Times Now. We are confident that the vast knowledge and domain expertise which he brings with him will hold Times Now in good stead and reaffirm the channels leadership position in the market."
Commenting on his new role, Rahul said, "This is my second stint with Times Now and it is more like a homecoming. Leading a channel that has already set a very high benchmark is always a challenge. I look forward to taking on this mantle and hope to help Times network achieve our objectives." 

In a career spanning almost 20 years, Rahul has served as Editor In Chief of NewsX, Executive Editor of Headlines Today (TV Today Network) and as Senior Editor of Times Now. He has also worked for the editorial page of The Times of India.
20:24   Hookah bars to be banned in Gujarat
The Gujarat Cabinet has cleared an Ordinance, which seeks to impose a total ban on hookah bars across the state.

"The Gujarat cabinet today approved an ordinance to effect necessary amendments in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) of 2003," Minister of State for Home, Pradeepsinh Jadeja said in Gandhinagar.

Once it comes into effect, those found operating such hookah joints in violation of the law, would face stringent action, including imprisonment up to three years, he said. 

"To save our youths from this deadly addiction, our government has decided to shut all the hookah bars. Running a hookah bar will be considered as a cognisable offence which would attract a fine of Rs 20,000 to 50,000 and imprisonment from one year to three years," said Jadeja.

"Since hookah was not covered under the COTP Act, we have brought his ordinance to make necessary amendments in the act to cover all kinds of activities associated with hookah bars. Now, running a hookah bar will be considered an offence punishable under this Act," said Jadeja.
20:15   HAL floats radar tender for its Light Combat Aircraft
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has floated a limited tender for the purchase of AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars for an under-development Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' from global aviation firms. 

"The tender in the form of Expression of Interest (EoI) was floated on Wednesday to five of the global aviation technology firms," a top HAL source said. 

The EoI was floated by the Aviation Research and Design Centre (ARDC), one of the 10 design centres of HAL, which is engaged in the design and development of LCA 'Tejas', source added. 

The source said Israel is a front-runner in the race, along with a firm from the United States. 
19:58   Abandoned car triggers search but terror angle ruled out
With memories of January terror attack fresh in mind, detection of a suspicious car with Jammu and Kashmir registration number in a village near Pathankot triggered an alarm. But an investigation which concluded on Thursday sruled out a terror angle. 

The car was spotted by locals in Farfal village on Wednesday night following which they gave it a chase, Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kaushal said, adding the occupants of the car then locked the vehicle and fled.

Police launched a hunt for the occupants.

After the investigation, Kaushal ruled out terrorist angle and said "nothing suspicious" was found from the car after it was opened by police.

He said the car is registered in the name of Ghulam Mustaba of Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir. 

"Investigations revealed that Mustaba is a notorious smuggler," he said.

"It seems the car was being used for smuggling purpose," he said, adding Punjab police had got in touch with its counterpart in Jammu and Kashmir in this regard.
19:45   Jr Hockey WC: India beat Spain 2-1 to enter semi finals
India beat Spain 2-1 to enter semi finals of the Junior Hockey World Cup.

Marc Serrahima (22') put Spain ahead in the first half but two second-half goals by Simranjeet Singh (57') and Harmanpreet Singh (65') sealed the match for India, who will now take on Australia in the semis while Belgium will face defending champions Germany in other semi-final on Friday.

Indian players were on the attack right from the onset and they got their first penalty corner in the fourth minute of the game but was wasted as Harjeet failed to stop the ball properly.
19:37   SC threatens perjury, contempt proceedings against BCCI Prez
The Supreme Court today threatened to initiate contempt and perjury proceedings against BCCI President Anurag Thakur for asking the ICC CEO for a letter but denying it on oath, warning he may have to go to jail if found guilty. 

The court reminded the BCCI top brass that Thakur as President of the board had asked for a letter from ICC CEO Dave Richardson that the appointment of a CAG nominee in the cricket body would compromise with autonomy and amount to government interference.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, pulled up the BCCI for trying to mislead the court and warned Thakur that he may land in jail if the apex court pronounces its order in perjury proceedings.

"Why are you trying to mislead the court? If you want to escape perjury charges, you ought to apologise. At every stage you have been trying to obstruct. Everyone wants to go around and continue to hold the post even after 70 years. This is such a lucrative business that everyone wants to go on forever.

"Freedom of expression allows you to disagree with the order but you can't obstruct implementation of order. Once we pronounce the order (in perjury proceedings), you will have no other place to go except jail," the court said.
Congress releases list of 61 candidates for upcoming Legislative Assembly elections in Punjab: ANI reports
18:50   IT raid at Connaught Place branch of Axis Bank
The Income Tax Department is conducting raids at the Connaught Place branch of Axis Bank.
Opposition leaders to meet President Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow at 12.30 pm
18:45   Murdoch's Fox agrees deal to buy Sky for $14.6 billion
Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox said on Thursday it had agreed to buy European pay-TV firm Sky for $14.6 billion, sticking to its earlier offer despite complaints from some investors.

Fox said it would pursue a Scheme of Arrangement, meaning it would need the backing of 75 percent of Sky's independent shareholders who vote to secure a deal that values Sky at 18.5 billion pounds in total.

Seeking to consolidate his media empire across Europe and the United States, Murdoch is buying the 61 percent of Sky he does not already own to fully acquire its 22 million customers in Britain, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.

The two firms said last Friday they had struck a preliminary deal.

Read more HERE
18:43   Illegal construction at Jadeja's restaurant in Rajkot razed
Illegal construction at cricketer Ravindra Jadeja's restaurant in Rajkot was today razed during a demolition drive launched by the local civic body against unauthorised structures in the city.

Rajkot Municipal Corporation pulled down illegal houses, shops and an unauthorised portion of "Jadddu's Food Field", the restaurant owned by the 28-year-old all-rounder who is currently a member of India's Test team.

"A team of RMC pulled down a store room and a kitchen constructed illegally by the management of Jaddu's Food Field restaurant located on Kalavad Road," Town Planning Officer M D Sagathiya said.

"The demolition drive was conducted in two areas -- Mavdi Road and Kalavad road. The corporation demolished 32 houses and pulled down illegal portion of commercial buildings in both these localities," Sagathiya said.
18:20   26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed slams Aziz for visiting India
Jammat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed today criticised Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz for visiting India, saying he brought insult to the country and Kashmir.

"Aziz brought insult for Pakistan and Kashmir," the Mumbai attack mastermind said while addressing a gathering in PoK's Muzaffarabad. 

Saeed said Aziz should spend his time in telling the world about alleged Indian atrocities.

Aziz had visited Amritsar earlier this month to attend the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan. 

Saeed asked the people of PoK to stand by the "struggle" of Kashmiris. 

He also urged the government to fully support the Kashmiris as its duty. Abdur Rehman Maki, Syed Salahuddin, Abdul Aziz Ali and Jamaat-i-Islami secretary general Liaquat Baloch also addressed the gathering.
India's exports up 2.29 per cent to USD 20 bn in November
18:09   Brexit, YouTuber among 500 new entries in Oxford Dictionary
Brexit, the year's key political term, along with glam-ma and YouTuber are among the 500 new words, phrases and senses added in the Oxford English Dictionary's latest quarterly update released today.

Brexit's inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) December update within five years of being coined is highly unusual. 

"The speed with which it became widely used and recognised was impressive, fuelled by the fact it filled an empty space in our language, and the growing importance of the phenomenon it described," said Craig Leyland, Senior Editor of the OED.

"Foreign language newspapers used it on their front pages to report on the referendum, knowing that readers in Italian, French and Polish would understand, Leyland said. 

Just as Brexit itself had developed from Grexit, other words began to appear: Brexiteer, Brexiter, Brexit as a verb. 

Different forms of Brexit became key to the issue, with the addition of hard and soft creating new standalone terms.  
17:30   Now, focus is on printing more Rs 500 notes: Shaktikanta Das
Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das today said that the situation arising out of the decision to withdraw Rs500/1,000 notes will improve after December 30.

He also said that now the government's focus is on to print more new Rs 500 notes to ease out cash crunch.

Here are some highlights of his press conference: 

- Initial focus was to supply Rs 2000 notes to replace value that was taken out of the market. Now focus is on printing more of Rs 500 notes

- There are 2 lakh 20 thousand ATMs and more than 2 lakh ATMs have already been re-calibrated

- Possibility of counterfeiting new 500 and 2000 notes is very less

- First time notes were indigenously designed in house with security features, makes notes more secure

- Airlifting of currency to continue wherever necessary, emphasis on rural areas to ensure enough cash

- Situation will ease with more supply of Rs 500 notes; No significant change in winter crop sowing

- Actions taken by enforcement agencies on illegally accumulated money based on inputs, surgical action you may call it
16:35   Stalin demands details of Jayalalithaa's medical treatment
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam treasurer M K Stalin on Thursday demanded a white paper on Jayalalithaa's medical treatment. 

He also asked the Centre to make the team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to issue a white paper on how they treated the former chief minister.

Earlier, a Chennai-based NGO Telugu Yuva Sakshi had filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court for a CBI probe into the death of Jayalalithaa besides recovery of all medical documents.

Jayalalithaa died on December 5 after undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai for 75 days.
15:36   Now, 'Lucky Grahak Yojana' and 'Digi Dhan Yojana' to spur digital payments
In an effort to encourage digital payments, the government has launched a 'Lucky Graahak Yojana' and 'Digi Dhan Yojana'. 

The schemes, which will begin from Christmas will continue till April 14, 2017, said NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. 

Explaining the schemes, Kant said, "7,000 weekly awards and a maximum award of Rs 50,000 each for merchants will be awarded under the Digi Dhan Vyapari Yojna."

Also, daily prizes of Rs 1,000 for 15,000 consumers who use USSD/Aadhaar-enabled transactions from rural GSM phone have been announced. 

Kant added that the steps are being taken so as to encourage people, especially in the rural areas, to move towards digital transactions. 
15:13   SC: BCCI chief Anurag Thakur committed perjury
The Supreme Court is hearing the BCCI case against non-compliance of the Lodha Committee recommendations today.

The Indian cricket board has been stubborn in its stance by not willing to implement the full recommendations made by the Lodha Committee. The recommendations, if implemented fully, are expected to bring a sweeping change in the way cricket is being managed in India.

The Supreme Court asks Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramanium whether Anurag Thakur committed perjury or not in the case. The Amicus Curiae tells the SC: Anurag Thakur lied on oath to SC, in his affidavit he said that he sought Shashank Manohar's opinion as BCCI chairman.

Amicus Curiae says Anurag Thakur tried to obstruct the process of reforms and implementation of judicial orders. This is a prima facie case of contempt and perjury.
15:06   Domestic black money useful but stashed abroad treason: Doval, Gurumurthy
Domestic black money is at least productive, but black money stashed abroad is treason, and it doesn't benefit Indians '" thus went the strong argument in a 2011 research report commissioned by BJP and co-authored, among others, by two of the most influential people in the ruling political establishment, National Security Adviser Ajit K Doval and Swadeshi Jagran Manch co-convener S Gurumurthy. Read more
15:04   A minister tells a tale
Small scale industry owners in New Delhi met junior finance minister Arjun Ram Meghwal recently and raised several red flags over economic hardships faced by them after demonetisation. The minister told the businessmen to have faith in the PM and then went on to give them a lecture on how the PM took apart foreign leaders over the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity during the G20 meeting in September. Read what the minister said here.

However, when we looked for the PM's comments at G20, absolutely nothing came up on these democratic ideals. The PM spoke at length about trade, terrorism, security, but not a word on liberty, equality or fraternity. Read what he said here.

We would be happy to know where Mr Meghwal got this story from.

Image: PM Modi at the G20 summit
14:50   Dilip Kumar goes home
Veteran actor Dilip Kumar has been discharged from Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital. The actor who turned 94 on Sunday, was admitted to the hospital on 7 December after he complained of swelling in one of his legs. The lady in the pink (foreground, left) is his wife and actress Saira Banu.
14:30   'We fought the battle as if it was the last thing we'd ever do'
"Each soldier was my brother in arms.

"We fought together and achieved glory for India.

"We fought on with only one thing in the mind -- that that this is a national battle and we must not let the Pakistanis get the better of us," says Major General Shamsher Singh, who was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for fighting one of the bloodiest battles the Indian Army has ever fought.

Archana Masih/ looks back at the men and moments that forged India's greatest military victory -- the 1971 war. Do read
14:24   Roads, bridges, airports... Mr Modi, not bullet trains!
What is required is boring leadership that ensures that the basics are right and not genius leadership that dreams of bullet trains, says Aakar Patel. Listen up and do read the column here.
14:06   Gunmen loot bank in Pulwama, 3rd bank robbery in J-K since demonetisation
Unidentified gunmen loot bank in Pulwama in south Kashmir. This is the third bank to be looted since demonetisation was announced on November 8.

On December 8, around 4 to 5 gunmen, believed to be militants, barged into the J&K Bank branch, also in Pulwama, and looted around Rs 10 lakh. The gunmen also fired in the air after looting the bank. Searches were launched but the gunmen escaped.

Representational picture
13:56   Khalistani terrorist Mintoo sent to police custody
Nabha Court sends Khalistan Liberation Force terrorist Harminder Singh Mintoo to Punjab Police remand till December 20.  Mintoo, who along with five others escaped from Nabha jail in Punjab last month was arrested in Delhi a day later.
13:35   Wonder if I should quit, upset Advani says after Parliament disruptions
Unhappy with continued disruptions in Parliament, senior BJP leader LK Advani told party members that he felt like resigning from the Lok Sabha. Advani expressed his disappointment over the repeated disruptions in both the houses of the parliament and said, "I wonder if I should quit. If Vajpayee-ji was in Parliament he would have felt disappointed. Disruptions are so disappointing."

Advani also sought the intervention of Home minister Rajnath Singh to ensure that the Parliament functions on the last two days of the winter session.

The Lok Sabha has been adjourned for the day, while the Rajya Sabha will resume at 2 pm.

Parliament has been complete washout with the winter session ending tomorrow. There has been no substantial business because of the Opposition ruckus over demonetisation and other issues.

Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha continued to be deadlocked over the way a debate should take place on demonetisation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8.
13:02   Sasikala to head AIADMK
Just in: J Jayalalithaa aide Sasikala to head AIADMK as the party's next general secretary.

"It is the desire of the entire party that Chinnamma should become the General Secretary' Chinnamma has functioned as the conscience of Amma," C Ponnaiyan, AIADMK spokesperson told reporters at the MGR memorial on Marina beach, next to which Jayalalithaa was laid to rest.

The party has made it official now.
12:18   SC accepts Azam Khan's 'sincere, heartfelt' apology
The Supreme Court accepts SP leader Azam Khan's affidavit, saying he has expressed "sincere and heartful remorse".

The Supreme Court, which had earlier this month rejected Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's "unconditional apology" for his alleged remarks on the Bulandshahr gang rape case, today heard the matter afresh.

On November 18, the Samajwadi Party leader had told the apex court that he was ready to unconditionally apologise for describing as "political conspiracy" the gang-rape of two women near Bulandshahr in July.
12:05   Cong will win if general elections are held now, says party's internal survey
An internal survey carried out by the Congress Party reveals that it will do well if the Lok Sabha elections are conducted now. The survey estimates that the Congress will get more than 200 seats out of the 545 seats in the Lok Sabha. The Congress has just got 44 seats in the LS in the 2014 polls.

Overwhelmed by the survey, Congress VP Rahul Gandhi wants to ensure that the next Mood-of-the-nation survey reflects that the party may even touch 300 Lok Sabha seats. The next national elections are in 2019.

The sample taken by the survey was 350-400 per Parliament constituency and was primarily conducted on the phone and chosen from the Noida-Delhi area, which is where the poll company is head quartered.

But remember, this is the Congress party's internal survey. In the first polls conducted after PM Modi flagged off the demonetisation exercise on November 8, the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party in elections to 164 municipal bodies in Maharashtra.
11:48   Dance is my love, my mistress, my passion: Astad Deboo
Astad Deboo, the pioneer of modern dance in India, is touring India with his latest solo creation and leaving audiences mesmerised along the way. Titled Eternal Embrace, the elegant show is a collaboration with Japanese composer Yukio Tsuji.

After performances in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, Eternal Embrace will travel to Bengaluru and Ahmedabad on December 18 and 19 respectively. Deboo, India's best known contemporary dancer and choreographer, employs his training in Kathak and Kathakali to create a unique dance form. His next project brings together Kerala's Mridangam drummers and Korean drummers.

On the Chennai leg of the Eternal Embrace tour, Astad Deboo spoke to A Ganesh Nadar in between rehearsals about the sweat and the toil behind the beauty of dance. Do read
11:38   Parliament adjourned till noon
Both houses of Parliament adjourned till noon. The Rajya Sabha chair struggled to maintain order in the house, but had to adjourn after ruckus in the house, the running theme of the winter session of Parliament.

Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "Maine notice diya hai kisaanon ka karza maaf karne ke liye, BJP sarkaar kisaan virodhi sarkaar hai. This is for the first time in history of India that it's the ruling party that's not letting the House to function."

11:25   IAF personnel can't grow beard citing religious reasons: SC
Just in: The Supreme Court says officers of the Indian Air Force can't grow a beard citing religious reasons.

The court upheld the sacking of an Air Force officer for keeping a long beard and said that armed forces regulations are meant to ensure discipline and uniformity.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur added that regulations do not interfere with religious rights of individuals and that they have the sanctity of ensuring discipline.

Discharged from service, petitioner Ansari Aftab Ahmed had asserted sporting beard as a facet of his fundamental right to freedom of religion, and sought equality with Sikhs.
11:14   So, was Jayalalithaa a feminist?
The women of Tamil Nadu who wailed and beat their breasts last week when their icon and heroine died would be surprised if you went up to them and described Jayalalithaa as a feminist. They would not know what you meant. The State that had Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister for over 14 years is, contrarily enough, a deeply misogynistic and conservative place. Many years of having a woman leader has done little to dent this reality.

Equally, to describe Jayalalithaa as a feminist would be wrong. She was too clever to allow any ideology, however important, to become more important than her own persona. Because, ultimately, it was her person -- her beauty, glamour, power, charisma and intelligence '" that propelled her to power and kept her there. She was not driven by ideology, principles or any grand vision for the future.

Read more
Lok Sabha adjourned till 12 noon amid uproar.
11:08   No liquor shops on highways from April 1, SC orders
The Supreme court bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur directs a ban on liquor on all state highways. The apex court in its order said all the licenses of liquor shops in and around the national highways in all the states would be closed. The court, however, said that they can operate till the period they were having their licenses. All signages indicating presence of liquor shops will be prohibited on national and state highways.

Details awaited.

Representational picture
10:42   Ahead of Parliament...
PM Modi meeting with senior ministers. Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar and Manohar Parrikar present in the meet.

The Opposition has sought a meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee saying the government is not allowing them to speak in Parliament.
10:37   I-T officials unearth Rs 10 crore unaccounted money from lockers in Pune
Income Tax officials have unearthed nearly Rs 10 crore of unaccounted money from lockers of a Bank of Maharashtra branch in Pune. The search operation is under way. I-T officials have till now opened five lockers at the Parvati branch of bank of Maharashtra in Pune.Authorities are probing the involvement of bank officials in the illegal stashing of black money.The owners of the lockers are being tracked.
Such eloquence!
10:24   Azam Khan's 'unconditional apology' on Bulandshahr gang rape today
The Supreme Court, which had earlier this month rejected Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's "unconditional apology" for his alleged remarks on the Bulandshahr gang rape case, will today hear the matter afresh.

The apex court had earlier on December 7 asked Khan to submit a fresh affidavit.

An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had asked the Samajwadi Party leader to file a fresh affidavit after noting that the earlier one filed by him has errors in it.

The Attorney General also raised questions about the draft copy submitted by Khan in connection with the apology given by him.Earlier on November 18, the Samajwadi Party leader had told the apex court that he was ready to unconditionally apologise for describing as "political conspiracy" the gang-rape of two women near Bulandshahr in July.
10:09   2 Manipur Police personnel killed in ambush
Militants ambushed a team of Manipur Police personnel on road patrol duty in two different areas of Chandel district early today, killing two personnel and injuring eight others. Police said the first incident occurred at Lokchao, located some 21 km from the border town of Moreh, along the Imphal-Moreh route killing one personnel on the spot and injuring seven others. One wounded personnel succumbed to injuries later, a police officer said.

The ambush took place when the team was heading for Tengnoupal where Chief Minister O Ibobi was scheduled to inaugurate the newly created district of Tengnoupal, carved out from the existing Naga-dominated district of Chandel.

The two dead Manipur Police personnel have been identified as Md Ayub Khan and Hc Ngarei Marring, the police officer said. In the second ambush that took place at Bongyang area in the same district, one personnel of the state forces was also severely injured. The attack took place at around 8.30 pm.

Of the eight injured, three personnel who received critical injuries have been rushed to Imphal for further medical treatment, the police officer said.
Congress leader Anand Sharma gives notice in Rajya Sabha for discussion on Kiren Rijiju's alleged involvement in Arunachal hydro scam issue
10:05   3 dead in house collapse in Mumbai
Three people reported dead after a building collapsed in Mankhurds Maharashtra Nagar this morning. According to reports, 13 people have been rescued so far. Two fire fighting vehicles have been rushed to the spot. News agency ANI reported that an ambulance has also reached the scene.
09:55   Probe underway on 'mysterious' car in Pathankot
More details on the mysterious car in Pathankot.

An Alto car has been found under mysterious circumstances in Pathankot's Bamiyal area last night.

The car has a Jammu and Kashmir number plate. The people travelling in the vehicle escaped as locals stopped it.

The police have seized the car and an investigation is underway.

Earlier in January, an abandoned bag sparked a scare at the Pathankot railway station. However, no explosives were found in the bag
09:41   Bilawal Bhutto: The poster boy
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari met victims of the Quetta police training centre bombing on October 30. "I am no ordinary politician. I am the son of Benazir Bhutto. I am also a victim of this terrorism,' he said after the meeting. He wept as he spoke. An unusual display of emotion -- but, as he said himself, he is no ordinary politician.

The Dawn profiles Benazir Bhutto's son and a possibly a leader in the making.  Read

Image: Bilawal Bhutto with his father Asif Ali Zardari.
09:33   Sorry, but nobody takes Rahul Gandhi seriously: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Will Congress VP Rahul Gandhi speak in the Lok Sabha today, a day after he alleged that PM Modi was personally corrupt. The BJP has however rubbished the claims saying Rahul's comical quotient was growing as much as his political quotient was falling.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said he feels really sorry that nobody in this country takes the Congress vice-president seriously nor does anyone trust him, and thus, his remarks don't deserve any comment.

"I really feel sorry that nobody in this country takes Rahul Gandhi seriously. His talks are not serious and nobody trusts his words. So, how do you expect me to comment on his remarks," Chouhan said in an exclusive interview to ANI.

"As far as the Prime Minister is concerned, he is a 'yugapurush', 'nishkam karmayogi' and a patriot, and he never thinks of anything else except for the betterment of the country and welfare of the people. His personality is so enormous and his works are such that the entire nation is rallying behind him blindly, which is something that pains Rahul Gandhi a lot," said Chouhan, while commenting on Gandhi's statement that he has got "some explosive information on personal corruption by the Prime Minister".
09:15   Sasikala replaces Jaya on AIADMK calendars
At a time when the entire state was mourning the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, and scores of cadre were reported dead due to shock and grief, some sitting Ministers, MLAs and former MLAs had been busy cancelling their orders for printing 2017 calendar bearing the portrait of their beloved leader. 

"It was on December 6 that we got many calls from many party functionaries, including MLAs, former MLAs and former councillors to cancel the order," said a printer, on condition of anonymity.

These people had placed orders for printing over 25,000 'daily sheet' calendars with a bold image of the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. The orders were placed in the last week of November and on December 1.

However, those orders were cancelled and bolder images of VK Sasikala are replacing them. 
08:58   Powerless Chennai goes offline, Cyclone Vardah deepens cash crunch
Three days after Cyclone Vardah lashed Chennai, the city remained off the digital map with disrupted telecom and Internet services affecting operations at ATMs and rendering PoS swipe machines useless.

According to officials in leading banks, only 30 per cent of their ATMs were functioning while a majority of shops and business establishments, and essential services such as hospitals, were unable to process online transactions.

Given the cash crunch following the demonetisation move, minor scuffles were also reported from fuel stations in the city that were unable to process debit or credit cards.

Officials from four leading private hospitals said they had never faced such a crisis before.

A senior state government official said that relief work during the cyclone was facing hurdles as contractors are unable to pay workers their daily wages. Workers engaged in relief and cleaning work ask for cash to buy rations for the day, said officials.
08:19   Yahoo reveals new hack, this time a billion-plus users
Yahoo said personal data from over a billion users was stolen in a hack dating back to 2013 -- twice as big as another breach disclosed just three
months ago.

In a huge blow to the struggling internet pioneer, Yahoo yesterday said it made the discovery as it was investigating what was already the largest data breach of a single company.

"Yahoo believes an unauthorised third party, in August 2013, stole data associated with more than one billion user accounts," it said in a statement.

Yahoo said this case "is likely distinct from the incident the company disclosed on September 22, 2016" affecting 500 million users.

The news poses a fresh threat to Yahoo's deal to sell its core operating assets to Verizon for $4.8 billion.
JUST IN: One security personnel killed and three injured in ambush laid by terrorists in Lokchao (Tengnoupal) in Manipur
07:54   Suspicious car found in Pathankot, locals raise alarm
A suspicious car with Jammu and Kashmir number plate has been found in Punjab's Pathankot area. According to NDTV, occupants of the car escaped after locals blocked it. 

In January 2016, heavily armed terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Two security forces personnel were killed in the initial battle, with an additional security force member dying from injuries hours later. 

The gun battle and the subsequent combing operation lasted about 17 hours on 2 January, resulting in five attackers and three security personnel dead
00:53   Sonam Gupta 3rd top trending personality in India
A story of 'betrayal' which went viral on social media has earned its fictitious protagonist Sonam Gupta a leading spot in this year's list of top 10 trending personalities in India on search giant Google.

She features in the tally at the third spot, right behind US President-elect Donald Trump and Olympic medallist P V Sindhu.

Sonam Gupta's name first appeared on a torn Rs 10 note the image of which went viral online earlier this year. The words, written in Devanagari, said: 'Sonam Gupta bewafa hai' meaning Sonam Gupta is disloyal.

However, the phrase #SonamGuptaBewafa made a comeback on social media, and later became a rage after November 8, when the government announced scrapping of old Rs 500/1000 notes.

Images of currency notes from various countries with the phrase made an appearance across Internet with many users also jumping into the buzz defending the mysterious Gupta.

Others in the Google list include Dipa Karmakar, Disha Patani, Urvashi Rautela, Vijay Mallya, Pooja Hegde, Sakshi Malik and Arnab Goswami.

Photograph: Twitter
00:10   Ex-Pak soldier who crossed IB in Jammu handed over back to Pak Rangers
Border Security Force troops handed over a former Pakistani army man to Pak Rangers at a flag meeting at a border outpost along the International Border in Suchetgarh sector of Jammu district.

"Earlier, today in the morning, Pak Rangers contacted BSF via Flag Meeting and requested to handover to Mohd Baksh (70 years) son of Firozdin residen of village -- Gandiyal, Tehsil -- Pasroor, District- Sialkot (Pakistan), an ex-Pak Army man considering his old age and family commitments, on humanitarian ground," a senior officer said.

Considering the old age and also on humanitarian ground the said individual was handed over, during a Commandant level meeting held in cordial atmosphere in Suchetgarh sector to Pak Rangers, he said. -- PTI

Representative image.