Sat, 20 February 2016
Live! Jat protest: Section 144 imposed in Gurgaon for two days

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21:20   Famous Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans joins Congress
Famous Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans today joined the Congress party. He was inducted into the party by the PCC president Amarinder Singh here. Welcoming Hans into the party, Amarinder said, given his appeal that goes across all the sections of the society his joining the Congress will definitely benefit it.

He said people like Hans who enjoy a clean image and reputation are widely admired by the people. Speaking on the occasion Hans said, he had resigned from the Akali Dal about one and a half year ago as he had not found it coming to his expectations. Hans said he looked around and found that the Congress under Amarinder's leadership was best suited to rule Punjab.

He made it clear that he had not joined the party with any condition as his only aim was to see Punjab grow and prosper. About the Aam Aadmi Party, he said, there was a "great gulf" in what they preach and what they practice. He said, the AAP "balloon was deflating" in Punjab
21:01   Jat protest: Section 144 imposed in Gurgaon for two days
As violence spread to more areas in Haryana today due to pro-reservation protest by the Jat community, the administration clamped prohibitory orders in Gurgaon for two days.

Hundreds of Jat community members blocked Garhi Harsaru railway line, NH-8, Atul Kataria chowk, Iffco Chowk, and other city roads disturbing traffic through out the day. "We have imposed section-144 for two days. Schools will open from Monday which was earlier directed to be closed," Gurgaon District Magistrate T L Satyaprakash said.

The DM said they have been communicating with Jat leaders and headmen of Sukhrauli, Kadipur, Baktawarpur, Kasan ki Dahni and other villages to identify anti-social elements trying to provoke people to disturb harmony. Gurgaon police spokesperson Hawa Singh said over 500 police personnel, with 12 ACP rank officials, have been deployed to keep a tab on Delhi- Gurgaon border area, and the city's major intersections such as NH-8, toll plaza.

"They protested at places like Iffco Chowk, Garhi Harsaru railway line, Dalatabad, Sarai railway line, Bhagat Singh Chowk, Islampur chowk, Patli Railway station and other junctions," Hawa Singh said.
20:56   Peacock off proposed vermin list, Bison under review: Goa BJP
Ruling BJP today said Peacock has been removed from the proposed list of vermins in Goa while a decision on including Indian Bison in the category of nuisance animals is still under consideration.

The statement comes in the wake of a recent report that the national bird and Indian Bison (Gaur) were among animals proposed to be listed as vermins, making them easier to cull.

The government move had drawn flak from activists and environmentalists besides opposition Congress, which dubbed the proposal as "suicidal". "Peacock is deleted from the list but other names are being considered. Gaur is still on the (proposed) list and its deletion is being considered," BJP Goa unit president Vinay Tendulkar told reporters.

He said the government has listed out nuisance animals after receiving complaints from farmers about crop damage caused by them.
20:47   Afzal Guru row: Jamia students among those spotted in video?
Amid a raging row at JNU over an event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, a group of Jamia students have claimed that a few of the students spotted in a video are from their university and the administration should help identify them.

The Jamia Students Forum has written a letter to the Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmad in this regard. "We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the videos of recent incidents which took place in JNU and press club and were reported to be anti-national, have some Jamia students. We request you to identify them from the video and help the police in a fair enquiry," the letter sent said. Repetitive calls and text messages to varsity spokesperson Mukesh Ranjan, seeking the university administration's response on the issue, went unanswered.

The students agitating at JNU demanding release of their union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is in custody in a sedition case, in connection with an event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, have also said that there were certain unidentified people in the protest during the Februrary 9 event.
20:25   Britain to hold historic EU referendum on June 23
Britain will hold a historic referendum on whether to stay in the European Union on June 23, Prime Minister David Cameron announced today even as he warned that leaving the 28-nation bloc would be a "leap in the dark". Making the announcement outside his 10 Downing Street residence after briefing the cabinet on the EU reform deal he struck in Brussels yesterday, Cameron said,

"The vote would be one of the biggest decisions this country will face in our lifetimes." He said he would be campaigning to remain in a reformed bloc as the UK would be "safer and stronger" if it remained in the EU.

"The choice is in your hands - but my recommendation is clear. I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off by remaining in a reformed European Union," Cameron said in his direct appeal to the British public. The Prime Minister warned that leaving the EU would be a "leap in the dark" as he appealed to voters to back his reform deal.

"Those who want to leave Europe cannot tell you if British businesses would be able to access Europe's free trade single market, or if working people's jobs are safe, or how much prices would rise. All they're offering is a risk at a time of uncertainty - a leap in the dark," he said.
20:00   Jat protests: WR cancels eight trains; other services affected
As Haryana remained on the boil with sudden spurt of violence due to Jat agitation over quota, Western Railway today announced cancellation of eight trains that were scheduled to pass through the affected region. Also, fifteen mail services were short-terminated and five other trains diverted today, a statement issued by WR said.

The trains that were cancelled are: 12926 Amritsar-Bandra Paschim Express, 22926 Kalka-Bandra Terminus Paschim Express, 12472 Shrimata Vaishnodevi Katra-Bandra Terminus Swaraj Express, 12217 Kochuveli-Chandigarh Sampark Kranthi Express, 12450 Chandigarh-Madgaon Goa Sampark Kranti Express, 12920 Jammu Tavi-Indore Malwa Express, 12215 Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Bandra Terminus Garib Rath Express, 12957 Ahmedabad- New Delhi Swarna Jayanti Rajdhani Express.

The trains that were short-terminated are: 12925 Bandra Terminus'"Amritsar Paschim Express, which had set off on February 19 terminated at Sonipat; 22451 Bandra Terminus-Chandigarh Superfast Express was terminated at Narela; 12449 Madgaon-Chandigarh Goa Sampark Kranti Express terminated at Hazrat Nizamuddin and 12471 Bandra Ter
19:59   Kanhaiya's bail plea likely to be heard by HC on Tuesday
JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, charged with sedition, may have to spend another couple of days in prison as the Delhi High Court is likely to hear on Tuesday his bail plea in which he has contended that he was 'falsely implicated'.

His counsel said all defects in his petition pointed out yesterday by the Registry have been rectified and the legal team would press that he was wrongly arrested on the basis of an FIR which was devoid of evidence to book him under such a serious charge.

The counsel said the petition is limited to bail for Kanhaiya who was arrested on February 12. Kanhaiya has sought bail claiming he was falsely implicated as he had never raised any anti-national slogans during an event organised in Jawaharlal Nehru university on February 9. In the plea, he has also claimed that no case is made out against him as there was no evidence.

Kanhaiya had approached the high court after the Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear his bail petition on the ground that it will set a "dangerous precedent" and had asked him to approach the high court.

Escorted by the police, Kanhaiya's lawyers Sushil Bajaj and Vrinda Grover had thereafter rushed to the high court Registrar yesterday and mentioned the petition when certain deficiencies were pointed out in it.
19:17   Jat protests: WR cancels eight trains; other services affected
As Haryana remained on the boil with sudden spurt of violence due to Jat agitation over quota, Western Railway today announced cancellation of eight trains that were scheduled to pass through the affected region. Also, fifteen mail services were short-terminated and five other trains diverted today, a statement issued by WR said.

The trains that were cancelled are: 12926 Amritsar-Bandra Paschim Express, 22926 Kalka-Bandra Terminus Paschim Express, 12472 Shrimata Vaishnodevi Katra-Bandra Terminus Swaraj Express, 12217 Kochuveli-Chandigarh Sampark Kranthi Express, 12450 Chandigarh-Madgaon Goa Sampark Kranti Express, 12920 Jammu Tavi-Indore Malwa Express, 12215 Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Bandra Terminus Garib Rath Express, 12957 Ahmedabad --New Delhi Swarna Jayanti Rajdhani Express.

The trains that were short-terminated are: 12925 Bandra Terminus'"Amritsar Paschim Express, which had set off on February 19 terminated at Sonipat; 22451 Bandra Terminus-Chandigarh Superfast Express was terminated at Narela; 12449 Madgaon-Chandigarh Goa Sampark Kranti Express terminated at Hazrat Nizamuddin and 12471 Bandra Terminus- Jammu Tavi Swaraj Express terminated at New Delhi.
19:09   CWC to meet on Feb 22 to discuss current political situation ahead of Budget
Meanwhile, the Congress Working Committee will meet on February 22 to discuss current political situation ahead of Budget Session, party general secretary Janardan Dwived has said.
19:03   DM sends Kanhaiya Kumar video to forensic tests
A 'doctored' video allegedly showing arrested JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar as raising anti-India slogans has been sent to a forensic laboratory by the District Magistrate conducting a probe into the sedition row.

The video was broadcast by certain news channels. It also went viral on social media and was widely used to condemn the organisers of the controversial event in JNU campus. Later, another set of news channels started broadcasting different version of the same video, questioning its authenticity.

"We got to know about the video showing the JNU student leader raising anti-India slogans and we also came across allegations that the video was doctored. So, we have sent it for forensic examination," sources said.

Refusing to comment on the video clips which the police have probed so far, a senior official claimed that the charges in the case can be established with the help of the footage which the police have in their possession.
18:26   Dozens of people trapped inside J-K building as militant takes shelter
Dozens of people were trappedinside a government building in Pampore area on Srinagar-JammuNational Highway as a militant took shelter in the premises of Entrepreneurship Development Institute after opening firing on security forces.

Militants opened firing on a CRPF bus in Pampore town of Pulwama district, near the EDI complex, which was retaliated by the security forces, a police official said.

Six CRPF personnel were injured in the initial firing by the militants, the official said.

He said at least one militant while fleeing from the spot entered into the EDI complex where over 100 students were undergoing training in entrepreneurship when the incident took place.

The official said around 50 staffers were also present inside the complex.
18:21   1 CRPF trooper dead, 10 injured after militants attack convoy in Pampore
At least 1 CRPF trooper was dead on Saturday in a suspected militant attack on a forces' convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near EDI Pampore.

A CRPF spokesman Bhavesh Choudhury said that 10 others were injured in the attack.

He said that the convoy on its way to Srinagar from Jammu was attacked by the militants near the EDI building.

An employee of the EDI told Greater Kashmir over phone that at least hundred people, including staff and trainees, were trapped inside the building.

Hundreds of employees and trainees at trapped inside the EDI building in Pampore where a massive exchange of firing was reported between suspected militants and the paramilitary CRPF on Saturday.
An employee, trapped inside the building, told Greater Kashmir over phone that a massive exchange of firing is taking place outside.

17:44   People stranded in Jammu as Jat stir affects rail movement
A large number of passengers were left stranded here as several trains passing through Haryana were cancelled due to the pro-quota agitation by Jat protesters.

Several trains from Jammu were cancelled due to the protest by the community seeking reservation under OBC category in Haryana, causing inconvenience to passengers, specially those who had come on pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine. "We were told that our train was cancelled due to the agitation of Jats in Haryana and now we have been left stranded at Jammu railway station waiting for the rail traffic to start again," Sheetal Kumari, a pilgrim from New Delhi, said. The passenger said that she cannot even take a bus to Delhi as the agitating Jats have blocked the highway at several places. A railway official said that around 25,000 to 30,000 passengers have been affected due to the cancellation of 15-20 trains from Jammu.

"Around 25,000 to 30,000 passengers have been affected due to the cancellation of 15-20 trains from Jammu. All the trains, which go via Delhi and pass through Haryana, have been cancelled," Divisional Traffic Manager (DTM), Northern Railway Sudhir Kumar Singh said.
16:16   Non-bailable arrest warrant issued against Musharraf
A non-bailable warrant was issued against former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf today in connection with the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who was killed in a military crackdown in 2007.

A local court in Islamabad issued the order and directed the authorities to produce Musharraf before it on March 16.

The court also rejected Musharraf's plea seeking permanent exemption from appearing in the case and issued the warrants.

His counsel said they would challenge the order, Geo News reported.
The 72-year-old former president has never appeared before the court during the previous 55 hearings. This is the fourth non-bailable arrest warrant against Musharraf in the case.

The cleric's family filed a case in 2013 against Musharraf over his alleged involvement in the killing of Rashid during a 2007 operation when military commandos stormed the mosque in the heart of Islamabad on Musharraf's orders. 
15:46   49 killed in US airstrike targeting terrorists in Libya
American warplanes hit an ISIS camp in Libya where foreign fighters had been engaged in advanced training, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.

Noureddine Chouchane, a senior operative in the terrorist group from Tunisia, was believed to be among those from around Africa and the Middle East who had converged on the site. It was not immediately clear whether Chouchane was killed, Earnest said.

Chouchane is thought to have played an instrumental role in two terrorist attacks in Tunisia last year, one at Tunis' Bardo Museum that killed 23 people and another at a seaside resort in Sousse that left 38 people dead. ISIS claimed responsibility for both massacres.

Read more HERE,
15:21   Uproar over 'beef biryani' being served at AMU medical college canteen
The Aligarh Muslim University which has been battling to preserve its character as a minority institution now finds itself in another controversy this time over beef.
The issue broke out on social media yesterday when a WhatsApp post circulated a report that 'beef biryani' was  being served at the AMU Medical College canteen, an allegation promptly denied by the university.
The reports spread the impression that it was cow meat and not the meat of buffalo that was being served. A picture of the canteen's menu card also went viral on social media.

BJP Mayor Shakuntala Bharti, along with party leaders and several right wing activists, held a demonstration outside the office of Senior Superintendent of Police today, demanding registration of an FIR against the contractor of AMU medical college canteen for serving 'beef biryani'. 
14:54   Jat quota stir: Five Haryana towns now brought under curfew
As violence spread to more areas in Haryana over the Jat quota row, the district administration today clamped curfew in Sonipat city and Gohana
town of the district.
Curfew has now been imposed in five towns in Haryana including Sonipat city in the wake of incidents of violence during the Jat agitation.
"Sonipat city and Gohana town have been brought under curfew today," Sonipat's Deputy Commissioner Rajiv Rattan told PTI over phone.
Protesters have toay blocked the NH-1 near Nangal village in Sonipat district.
14:03   Ex-ABVP member appeals to PM to ensure respect for JNU students
Former ABVP member Pradeep Narwal, who resigned from the party earlier this week in protest against the handling of JNU row by the government, has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure "security" and "respect" to all the university students.
"What is the duty of the police? Is it to protect the people of this country or defend a particular ideology? Are they to help the people of nation or a particular political interest. I want to request you to intervene in this issue and ensure proper working of police system without any bias," Narwal, a history student at JNU, said in an open letter to PM.
"I want you to ensure zero political intervention in educational institutes, ensure respect for every JNU student, and ensure security to every JNU student considering the way it has been branded anti-national," he added.
13:48   Trump calls for boycott of Apple products amid FBI feud
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has called for a boycott of Apple products until the tech giant agrees to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attacks.

"Boycott Apple," Trump said at an election campaign rally in South Carolina yesterday, a day before the state holds its crucial Republican primary.

"What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such time they give that security number," he said adding, "How do you like that? I just thought of that!"

Trump's call for boycott came after Apple CEO Tim Cook resisted a US court order to help FBI unlock the phone as part of a probe into last year's San Bernardino attacks, escalating a legal showdown over security and privacy in the US. 

Cook describing the demand as "chilling" and called for a public debate over the issue of privacy and security.
13:28   JNU row: Look-out notice issued for 3 youths
Delhi Police has issued look-out notice for three youths in connection with the controversial event at JNU last week in which anti-India slogans were
allegedly raised. 

The police communicated the matter to the Foreign Regional Registration Office, asking them to alert airport authorities so that the three suspects, believed to be JNU students, do not leave the country.
Following this, the look-out notice was issued yesterday, a police source said.

The three have been identified as the main conspirators in connection with the event, over which a case of sedition was registered and JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested, the source said.
The police tracked the youths' call details post February 9 till the day their phones were found to be switched off. Investigators have also recorded statements of more than a dozen JNU students who were witnesses, he said.
13:05   40 fishermen arrested, 7 boats impounded by Pak Maritime Security Agency
As many as 40 Indian fishermen were arrested and seven boats impounded by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency from the International Maritime Boundary Line off Jakhau Port in the Arabian Sea late on Thursday night.

According to National Fish Workers Forum Secretary Manish Lodhari, many more boats might have been captured than reported so far.

According to reports, out of seven fishing boats, six were from Okha Port while one from Porbandar.

More than 60 Indian fishermen along with 14 boats were arrested by the Pakistani Marine Security Agency in January. 
12:37   Stones pelted at Haryana Minister Dhankar's house
A mob today pelted stones at the house of senior Haryana Minister O P Dhankar here as the agitation by Jats demanding quota spread to more areas in the state.

No one was injured in the incident.

"The mob threw stones at Dhankar's house, but no one was injured," a police official said.

Dhankar is among the prominent Jat politicians in the state.

The official said tension prevailed in the area and police and paramilitary forces were trying to bring the situation under control.

Jhajjar is among the districts worst hit by the Jat stir.
12:34   Kejriwal Govt. sends JNU video to forensic lab
The Delhi government on Saturday confirmed that it had sent video of the ongoing agitation in Jawaharlal Nehru University to a forensic laboratory for verification.

The Arvind Kejriwal led-government had on February 13 ordered a magisterial inquiry into the alleged sloganeering on campus on February 9.

According to media reports, the JNU video's audio was tampered with, and the actual video did not have any anti-national slogans.
12:19   'Snowden' to hit theatres on September 16
Open Road Films is pushing back the release of Oliver Stone's "Snowden" from May 13 to September 16.
The biopic stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as controversial NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, while Shailene Woodley plays
Snowden's girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, said the Hollywood Reporter.

It's the third time the release date of "Snowden" has been altered. It was originally set to open December 25, 2015, in time for consideration this awards season. 
12:18   'Situation will normalise soon' Haryana DGP says about ongoing Jat protests
"In many places jams have opened up at the behest of the police," Haryana DGP Y P Singhal said whilst speaking about the ongoing Jat reservation protests.

"10 companies of Paramilitary forces have reached, another 23 are on their way," YP Singhal, Haryana DGP.

"Want to appeal that the elderly advise the younger people to not take part in such protests," Singhal said.

"Flag match is underway in affected areas. I am sure the situation will normalise soon," Singhal added.

"Would request elders of the community to discourage the youth from protesting & stop them from moving towards cities," the DGP pled to the community members.

"Our priority is to bring the situation to a calm," he said.
12:08   Umar Khalid's father claims threat call by Ravi Pujari, files complaint
Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, father of Umar Khalid, a PhD scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, has claimed that he received a "death threat call from underworld don Ravi Pujari".

He has filed a complaint at the Jamia Nagar police station in this connection.

Khalid's father had yesterday expressed his disappointment over his son being branded as a 'terrorist' because of his past.

Rasool Ilyas had told ANI that it was extremely unfortunate that he was being singled out from among the ten organisers of the event at the JNU because he is a Muslim.

He further said that judiciary must decide whether his son is guilty.
11:45   Jat protest: Railway station set on fire in Jind
As the Jat stir for quota continued, some unidentified persons set on fire the Budha Khera Railway Station in this district today.
Furniture, record room and other articles were set on fire at the railway station, which falls on the Jind-Panipat rail section, police said.
Jind is among the districts worst-hit by the ongoing Jat stir. 

11:22   Jat quota stir: Death toll rises to three
One more person was killed by a mob last night, taking the toll to three in agitation called over the Jat quota issue in Haryana.

The mob also set ablaze a shopping mall despite curfew.

The protesters have also stopped water supply to Delhi.

The schools and colleges have been closed till Monday. Army has been called in nine districts of the state to control the situation. Internet and mobile service has also been blocked.

Haryana DGP Y.P. Singhal said arrangements have been made to deal with any untoward incidents.

10:55   Britain's Cameron wins deal for 'special status' in EU
British Prime Minister David Cameron has sealed a deal for "special status" in the EU after a marathon summit, paving the way for him to campaign to stay in the bloc in a historic referendum.
The unanimous agreement came after two days and nights of intense negotiations in Brussels, despite European leaders digging in their heels on all the major reforms Cameron sought.
The British premier will hold an emergency cabinet meeting today as he embarks on the difficult process of selling the deal at home ahead of the referendum, expected on June 23.

"I've negotiated a deal to give the UK special status in the European Union," Cameron told a press conference. 

"I will be campaigning with all my heart and soul to persuade the British people to remain in the reformed European Union that we have secured today."

He said the deal contained a seven-year "emergency brake" on welfare payments for EU migrants and meant Britain would be "permanently out of ever closer union".
10:34   Umberto Eco, famed author of 'The Name of the Rose,' dead at 84
Author Umberto Eco, famous for the novels "Foucault's Pendulum" and "The Name of the Rose," died Friday, said Lori Glazer, spokeswoman for his U.S. publisher.

Eco was 84.

"Umberto Eco was one of the great novelists and scholars of our time. Yet even more than for his timeless works, we will remember him for his exuberance, his vitality, his intense loyalties, and his wonderful company," said Bruce Nichols of publishing house Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
10:17   Situation tense in Haryana; Army conducts flag march
The Army conducted flag march in tense areas and used choppers to reach parts of Rohtak even as incidents of violence and arson by Jats demanding quota continued at several places overnight despite authorities
imposing curfew and issuing shoot at sight orders in two districts.
Normal life remained disrupted as protesting Jats continued to block roads and rail routes, affecting the supplies of essential commodities to Rohtak, Jind, Bhiwani and other parts of the state.
Haryana government had yesterday called the Army in nine districts of Haryana while curfew was imposed in Bhiwani and Rohtak districts along with shoot-at-sight orders after one person died and 25 were injured during the Jat stir which turned violent with mobs resorting to widespread arson.
The Centre has also rushed 3,300 personnel of paramilitary forces to control the rampaging mob.

Incidents of violence and arson continued at several places during the night even as prohibitory orders remained in place in many places including Hisar, Jhajjar, Jind, Kaithal and Panipat.
09:47   America becomes a greater nation when we say no to racism, hatred, and bigotry, Sanders tweets
Bernie Sanders just made a bold statement on inclusion: He tweeted in Arabic.

The Vermont senator and Democratic presidential nominee posted on Twitter Friday a graphic and message in Arabic. "America becomes a greater nation when we stand together and say no to racism, hatred, and bigotry," the translated message reads. The graphic says, "Not me, us."

The tweet is part of a larger initiative the Sanders camp rolled out this week: #AmericaTogether. 

"America becomes a greater nation when we stand together and say no to racism, hatred, and bigotry," Sanders tweeted.
02:18   US asks court to force Apple to help unlock iPhone in probe
The US Department of Justice filed a motion seeking to compel Apple Inc (AAPL.O) to comply with a judge's order for the company to unlock the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, portraying the tech giant's refusal as a "marketing strategy."

The filing escalated a showdown between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over security and privacy that ignited earlier this week.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the tech giant's help to access the shooter's phone, which is encrypted. The company so far has pushed back, and on Thursday won three extra days to respond to the order.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more HERE
02:16   France's Hollande warns of risk of Turkey-Russia war over Syria
French President Francois Hollande said on Friday that there was a risk of war between Turkey and Russia over Syria, adding that Moscow should stop backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia's foreign ministry said earlier on Friday that it intends to call a session of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the Turkish government's statements about a possible ground operation in Syria.

"There is a risk of war between Turkey and Russia," Hollande told France Inter radio. "There is an escalation."

"Negotiations must resume, bombardments must stop, aid must come," he said.

Russian warplanes entered Syria's increasingly complex five-year-old conflict at the end of September, backing the forces of their ally Assad, and bombing rebel positions.

The Turkish military shot down a Russian jet in November it said had breached its airspace while on a bombing campaign in neighbouring Syria.
02:12   Jat leaders reject Haryana govt offer, agitation to continue
Demanding the inclusion of the Jats in the OBC category, agitating Jat leaders have rejected the offer made by Haryana government and asserted that their agitation would continue till their demand is met. 

"There is no solid offer made by Haryana government. BJP government is just trying to befool Jats as its intentions with regard to giving reservation to Jats is not clean,"  All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti's national president, Yashapal Malik said. 

After holding an all party meeting here, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the state government will prepare a draft Bill for giving reservation to Jats and suggestions have also been sought from all parties in this regard.

Khattar, earlier in the day, said the Government has "positive approach" on Jats' demand and if all parties agree, then the government would bring a Bill in the ensuing session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha.
02:11   Biden hints of centrist pick for judge on US Supreme Court
Vice President Joe Biden today indicated of a centrist pick to fill up a key vacancy in the US Supreme Court for which Indian-origin judge Sri Srinivasan is being termed as front-runner. 

"There are a whole hell of a lot of people who Republicans have already voted for, who fall into that category, and also people they haven't voted for yet," Biden was quoted as saying by Politico in a joint interview along with The Washington Post.

He refused to discuss specific names like that of Srinivasan, who was confirmed as a Washington DC judge with an overwhelming 97-0 votes by the Senate and is considered among the top favourites for the post.

Biden, according to Politico, said he hasn't met with President Barack Obama to discuss the nomination yet, but he confirmed that there are plenty of available candidates without reputations as liberal advocates. 

"This is a potential gigantic game-changer. My advice is, the only way we get someone on the Court now or even later is to do what we have done in the past," Biden said. 
02:09   Vatican says chill, Pope not backing pill
The Vatican today moved swiftly to dampen claims Pope Francis had signalled a significant relaxation of the Catholic Church's ban on contraception in response to an outbreak of the Zika virus in Latin America. 

In an unusually extended explanation of Francis's comment that contraception was "not an absolute evil", Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the pontiff had been talking about the possibility of having recourse to birth control only in "emergency cases".

"That does not mean that this recourse is accepted and can be used without discernment," Lombardi told Vatican radio. 

Media around the world hailed Francis's comments, made on his return from Mexico yesterday, as potentially signalling a new departure on an issue that has long divided Catholics. 

"Francis says contraception can be used to slow Zika," trumpeted the New York Times, while an online headline in Britain's The Guardian said: "Pope suggests contraception can be condoned in Zika crisis."
02:09   Indian student found dead in Tel Aviv university
An Indian student has been found dead in a hostel room of Tel Aviv university in Israel. 

External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said the student was identified as Raj Kumar Raja aged 27 years, a resident of Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh. 

"There was a news item that an Indian student has been found dead in Israel. I asked for a report from the embassy. The report said an Indian student Raj Kumar Raja aged 27 and resident of of Chittor dist (AP) was found in a hostel room of Tel Aviv university," she tweeted. 

We will fly the mortal remains to his family and follow up police investigation. Our heart felt condolences to the bereaved family, she said.