Tue, 26 July 2016
Muslim leader mourns slain priest 'friend' in France

Timeline  Refresh

23:57   Muslim leader mourns slain priest 'friend' in France
The imam of the mosque in the northern French town where a church was attacked today said he was "stunned" by the murder of the local priest, who he described as a friend.             

"I don't understand, all of our prayers go to his family and the Catholic community," said Mohammed Karabila.             

Two armed men stormed the church during morning mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, taking at least five people hostage before slitting the priest's throat and leaving another person in a critical condition.             

The attackers, who the Islamic State group described as "soldiers" for the jihadist movement, were shot dead by police.             

Karabila said he was "stunned by the death of my friend. He was someone who gave his life to others. We are dumbfounded at the mosque."             

He said he and Jacques Hamel, who was in his eighties, had met on several occasions and had been part of an interfaith committee for the past 18 months.
23:31   22 Russian rowers rejected for Olympics
The worlds rowing federation has rejected 22 of the 28 rowers that Russia entered into the Olympics.

In an announcement Tuesday, the federation said none of the 28 rowers have tested positive in the last five years.

But the federation acknowledged the Disappearing Positive Methodology that independent investigator Richard McLaren found was used to make some positive tests go away. 

It analyzed the rowers international tests and determined that all but six failed to meet the criteria set by the IOC.
23:01   India not to issue visa to JuD members, says govt official
India will not issue visa to members of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, headed by Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, if they want to visit Jammu and
Kashmir to treat those who were injured in recent clashes with security forces.

"The question does not arise at all. No question of granting visa to Jamaat-ud-Dawah members," a senior government official said.
The official was reacting when asked about reports that 30 members of JuD comprising doctors and paramedical staff have applied for Indian visas to visit Kashmir for treatment of the injured there.
According to the report from Lahore, the applicants have taken a plea in the visa application that they want to go to Kashmir to treat the people injured in clashes with the security forces 'on humanitarian ground'.
The 30-member team includes 15 doctors and eye specialists, the report said. 
22:52   RSS to launch Tringa Yatra from Kashmir on I-Day
RSS will take out a "Tringa Yatra" which will start from Kashmir on the occasion of Independence Day with the aim of eradicating militancy in the Valley.

"On the occasion of 70th Independence Day on August 15, the nationalistic forces will hold a Tringa Yatra that will start from Kashmir and end in New Delhi. The motive would be to eradicate militancy from Kashmir," RSS leader Indresh Kumar told reporters in Udhampur district.
Kumar was in the city to take part in the Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations. 
22:43   Tata Steel fined for Northamptonshire workers' injuries
Tata Steel has been ordered to pay more than 2 million (approximately Rs 17 crore) after two workers suffered serious injuries at one of its Northamptonshire plants.

A 26-year-old employee lost the middle and ring fingers on his left hand while trying to clear a blockage on machinery at the companys site in Corby, Northamptonshire, in September 2014, while a 52-year-old lost part of his little finger when his hand was caught in a lathe at the same plant in February 2015.

The two incidents were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, which found the guarding on the two machines was inadequate.

Judge Rupert Mayo ordered the company to pay the fine, saying the injuries were the result of two subsequent and avoidable incidents.
22:24   Indian-origin gynaecologist jailed in UK for groping patients
An Indian-origin gynaecologist was today sentenced to eight years in prison in the UK for sexual assault against his female patients.
Mahesh Patwardhan was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court for four counts of sexual assault between July 31, 2008 and September 24, 2012.
Judge Alice Robinson told the court in south London that the impact statement from one of his victims was "one of the most harrowing Ive ever read". 

"You knew about the serious sexual abuse she suffered as a child," she told the 53-year-old medic, who was in court with his anaesthetist wife, son and daughter. 

Patwardhan was also convicted of two counts of fraud relating to falsely billing private medical insurers for work he did not perform.
The doctor had already been struck off by the UK's General Medical Council in October 2014 and publicity from that case prompted more victims to come forward, local newspaper 'News Shopper' reports.
22:09   Hardik fears execution in fake encounter
Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel has expressed fear that he might be killed in a fake encounter in Rajasthan, where he is staying.
"The police have confined me and I fear that I could be killed in a fake encounter while being termed a terrorist. Probably, the home minister of Rajasthan is acting (against me) at the behest of BJP president Amit Shah," he told reports on Monday.
The 22-year-old leader said the Gujarat high court has directed him to not enter the state for the next six months but the police has not allowed him to move out of the place where he is staying here in Rajasthan.
Patel also said he would support the communities which have raised reservation demands in Rajasthan.
"The demand for reservation has also been raised in TSP area in Rajasthan and by Gujjars and Rajputs as well and if necessary I will stand by them," he said.
22:01   Trump asked to stop using 'Air Force One' music for campaign
Donald Trump has been accused of "hijacking" the popular score from 'Air Force One' by its producer who has asked the Republican presidential nominee to stop using the movie's theme song during his high-profile
campaign events. 
Gail Katz, the producer of the 1997 Harrison Ford thriller says the Republican presidential nominee is using deceased legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith's music without permission and wants him to stop.
Katz told 'The Hollywood Reporter' that Trump never asked the filmmakers for permission to use the score.
She has written a letter to the Trump campaign requesting that it stop playing the score at future events.
Trump, 70, has been broadcasting the Air Force One theme for months at campaign rallies around the country. The most recent, and high profile, use of the score occurred on July 20 when it accompanied Trump's dramatic arrival via helicopter at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
"The music for Air Force One was composed and conducted by the legendary Oscar-winning film composer Jerry Goldsmith," writes Katz in the letter.
"Jerry's music was hijacked in a misguided attempt to associate Trump with the film and the President in that film."
Before his death at age 75, Goldsmith was one of the most admired and prolific composers in the film music world, with over five decades of film and TV work to his credit.
21:07   Irom Sharmila's family surprised by her decision
The sudden decision of civil rights activist Irom Sharmila to end her 16-year-old hunger strike against AFSPA next month has taken everyone by surprise including her associates and family members.
Irom's elder brother Singhajit, who has been with her throughout her struggle said he never knew she was going to terminate her fast.
"I haven't spoken to her in the last few days due to my bad health. I heard it from others about her decision," he told PTI.

Sharmila's long-time associate Babloo Loitongbam, Director of NGO Human Rights Alert Manipur, said he too was taken by surprise but can understand the reason behind her decision.
"If AFSPA has not been repealed in 15 years of her fast then it won't happen in another 30 years also," he said while admitting that he too was not kept informed about her decision.
In 2000 when the activist embarked on her hunger strike, she also had taken a vow to neither enter her house nor meet her mother till the government repealed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
Since then, she has met her mother Sakhi Devi only once when she was also admitted to the same hospital in 2009.
Her brother recalled that during the early years of her fast he regularly tried to convince her to end it.
"But she never listened to me. Finally I gave up and promised that I will be with her throughout her struggle. She used to say that she will break her fast only when they remove AFSPA. That was her promise," Singhajit said.
20:55   Miami police headquarters evacuated over suspicious package
Miami police headquarters was evacuated after a suspicious package found in front of it. 

Later, the bomb squad detonated the package, the police tweeted. 

More details awaited 
20:29   Gujarat has cleanest railway stations, Bihar dirtiest: survey
The cleanest railway stations in the country are in Gujarat and the dirtiest in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, according to a passenger feedback survey on cleanliness carried out by the Railway Ministry, which says lack of
sanitation at stations was the biggest area of concern for commuters.
Out of the 40 different cleanliness parameters passengers rated stench at stations as their top concern, followed by lack of dustbins and unclean platforms.
The survey was conducted at 407 major railway stations and nearly 1,30,000 passengers took part in it.
The report was released by the railway minister on Tuesday. Among the 10 cleanest stations in the order of ranking are Beas, Gandhidham, Vasco Da Gama, Jamnagar, Kumbakonam, Surat, Nasik Road, Rajkot, Salem and Ankleshwar. Five stations in Gujarat--Gandhidham, Jamnagar, Surat, Rajkot and Ankleshwar-- are among the top 10.
The dirtiest stations in order of ranking are Madhubani, Ballia, Bhaktiyarpur, Raichur, Shahganj, Janghai, Anugraha Narayan, Sagauli, Ara and Pratapgarh. Five dirtiest ones--Madhubani, Bakhtiyarpur, Anugrah Narayan, Sagauli and Ara--are in Bihar.
Every passenger was asked to rate the station's cleanliness on 40 different parameters. Out of these 'absence of stench in the station premises' was the most important for the passengers, this was followed by "adequate availability of dustbins".
'Condition of flooring surface at platforms', 'cleanliness of platform areas' and 'promptness in cleaning of extremes of dirtiness like nightsoil/vomit' occupied third place in the priroty list.
The primary audience for the survey were passengers. Porters and vendors on the platform or ticketed area and railway officials were also approached for their feedback.
20:20   AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan denied bail, sent to 14-day custody
A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan arrested for allegedly threatening a woman. Khan has been sent to 14-day judicial custody.

A woman had alleged that Khan tried to mow her down after she visited his residence to raise the issue of power cuts. He was sent to one-day police custody on Sunday.

Khan, also the chairman of the Delhi Waqf board, was first detained for questioning and then arrested, a day after he alleged in a press conference that the woman was 'pressurised' by police into giving a false statement against him.

According to police, on July 22, the woman had recorded her statement before the magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC.
20:03   'Jihadi Jack' denies joining islamic State
A British convert to Islam, dubbed 'Jihadi Jack' after travelling to Syria, has denied joining the Islamic State terror group. Jack Letts told a UK news channel that he had fled his home in Oxford to study in Syria but did not regret the move.

"I came here searching for the truth, and people of the truth, and I don't regret that I came," he told Channel 4 News. Asked if he is an IS fighter, he said: "Currently I'm not. I'm not and nor do I agree with lot of what they follow."

In a separate online statement in Arabic, which he said should be remembered as his final words if he is killed, he wrote: 'I oppose so-called Islamic State, but that doesn't mean I am with you, the dirty non-Muslims.'

Speaking from somewhere in Syria, Letts admitted to missing home comforts like 'kebabs and Krispy Kreme doughnuts' but said he knows he would not be welcome back in the UK.

His parents, John Letts and Sally Lane, are awaiting trial after being charged with terrorism offences relating to allegedly sending money to their son.

They have denied the charges of funding terrorism and are due to stand trial in January 2017.

Jack said in an online statement he 'hated his parents for the sake of Allah' because they are non-believers, and called on them to convert.

"They reject the religion of truth, so I reject them. I hate the kuffaar (non-believers), and am free from them. Die in your rage," he said.

Despite narrowly surviving an air strike with just a 'scratch', the 20-year-old said he is not afraid of death.
19:48   MHA forms panel to find alternative to pellet guns
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the constitution of a seven-member Expert Committee for exploring possible alternatives to pellet guns as 'non-lethal' weapons.

The Expert Committee will be under the chairmanship of T V S N Prasad, joint aecretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and will submit its report within two months.

The pellet guns were used to quell protests in Kashmir and were criticised of late for causing grievous injuries, mostly severe eye injuries, to young protestors and children. There were also cases of people, including children, who were not protesting but hit by pellet guns and lost eyesight.

The Director General of Central Reserved Police Force had yesterday regretted the injuries caused by pellet guns, but said that it was the 'least-lethal' mob-control option available to security forces.

19:13   Sensex slips from 11-month high ahead of Fed, BoJ meets
Market benchmark Sensex broke below the 28,000-mark today after sliding 119 points as investors booked profits in recent winners amid caution ahead of key meetings of central banks in the US and Japan.

The broader NSE Nifty also failed to maintain the key 8,600-level. Shares of the country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki plunged 1.44 per cent to Rs 4,485.25 despite reporting a 23 per cent jump in profit for June quarter to Rs 1,486.2 crore.

Drug major Dr Reddy's Laboratories plummeted 4.37 per cent to Rs 3,322.85 after its consolidated net profit declined by 80 per cent to Rs 126.3 crore for the June quarter. Offloading of positions by participants on upcoming July derivatives expiry on Thursday also influenced sentiment.
18:55   Unidentified gunmen kill two soldiers in Pak
At least two Pakistani soldiers were killed today after four bike-borne unidentified gunmen attacked their vehicle in one of the busiest commercial areas in the country's largest city.

According to initial details, four gunmen on two motorcycles opened fire on a military vehicle near the Parking plaza in Saddar close to the congested Empress market area.

Karachi police chief Mushtaq Mahar told reporters that the two security personnel were badly wounded in the firing and rushed to a hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

Mahar said that four men on two motorcycles had intercepted the vehicle as it slowed down to take a sharp turn. Television channels reported that the attack left the driver of the vehicle seriously wounded who lost control of the vehicle which hit a wall. The gunmen managed to flee from the scene.
18:45   How Priyanka Gandhi-Prashant Kishor are saving Congress from Rahul in UP
"When my own party has put me out to graze, what greener pastures do I look for?" So writes former Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit whose mother Sheila Dikshit, three term Delhi chief minister, is now the Congress face for Uttar Pradesh.

Dikshit's gutsy and soulful piece is a pointer to the sharp divide ripping the Congress party from within.Dikshit in his nuanced piece made the important point that a section of the Congress "is too busy capturing the Congress, while the 'other side' captures India and its mindset".  Read more
18:26   Germany: Doctor killing not terrorism, says police
Update on the shooting of a doctor in Germany. AFP says no sign of terror attack in Berlin hospital shooting, says police.

A doctor has died after being shot by a patient at a hospital in Berlin this afternoon.The doctor's colleagues tried to save his life after the shooting at the University Hospital in Steglitz, but police in Germany have said that he has now passed away.

According to preliminary information, a patient at the hospital shot a doctor and then killed himself, a spokesman said.

The spokeswoman added that there was no indication this was a terror attack.

17:55   Berlin doctor shot in 5th terror attack in Germany
Update on the attack in Germany: A shooter has allegedly shot himself after shooting a doctor inside the University Hospital Steglitz.

It is not yet known whether the doctor, who was critically injured, has survived the shooting.

Charit is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, based in the centre of the German capital.

The attack comes less than 48 hours after Syrian refugee Mohammad Daleel blew himself up in the German town of Ansbach, injuring 15 outside a wine bar after being rejected from a music festival in the town.

Earlier on Sunday another Syrian refugee killed a pregnant woman and injured another with a machete in the town of Reutlingen near Stuttgart.

Representational image.
17:24   Church attackers claimed allegiance to ISIS, says French prez Hollande
Updates at this moment: German media reports a doctor has been shot at and a gunman has shot himself at a clinic in Berlin. The shooting took place at 11:00 am (Germany time) in the Steglitz district, located in the southwest region of the city.

French President Francois Hollande says the two assailants in church attack claimed allegiance to Islamic State, reports Reuters.

n 86-year-old priest had his throat slit by two knifemen who cut his throat after bursting into a French church and taking nuns and worshippers hostage before being shot dead by police.

Five people, including the priest, two nuns and two parishioners were held by the assailants who raided the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy on Tuesday.

Image: Police and rescue workers at the scene after two assailants took five people hostage in the church at Saint-Etienne-du -Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy. Photograph: Steve Bonet/Reuters
17:04   Former diplomat Arundhati Ghose passes away
Eminent diplomat Arundhati Ghose, who was India's ambassador to the UN and played a decisive role in India's negotiations on Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), passed away late on Tuesday night at the age of 76. She was suffering from cancer and breathed her last at around 12:30 am at her residence in Palam Vihar in West Delhi, a family member said.During her illustrious career, Ghose had served in a number of positions including in Indian Missions in Austria, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, South Korea and Egypt. She was also the first Indian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Offices in Geneva.

Ghose was head of Indian delegation to the conference on the CTBT in Geneva in 1996 and she is hailed for strongly outlining India's position in opposing the treaty.
16:44   FIR filed against DCW chief for revealing rape victim's name
A FIR has been filed against Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal for revealing identity of Burari rape victim. The 14-year-old Dalit rape victim who was repeatedly sexually assaulted and was forced to drink a corrosive substance, died at a hospital in New Delhi on Sunday. 

Following the incident, Maliwal had expressed anger and also asked the Centre to set up a high-level ministerial committee on women safety under the leadership of Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
16:40   US sees an uptick in violent crimes in 2016
Violent crime is on the rise so far this year in major cities across the US compared to the number of homicides, rapes, robberies, assaults and shootings that occurred in the same cities by this point in 2015, according to a new report. 

The midyear violent crime survey released by the Major Cities Chiefs Association shows 307 more homicides so far in 2016, according to data from 51 law enforcement agencies from some of the largest US cities. 

In addition to a large increase in homicides, major cities in the US have witnessed over 1,000 more robberies, almost 2,000 more aggravated assaults and more than 600 non- fatal shootings in 2016 compared to this time last year.
16:29   Former Delhi principal secretary Rajendra Kumar get bail in corruption case
Former Delhi principal secretary Rajendra Kumar granted bail in corruption case.

Kumar was arrested by the CBI on charges of corruption earlier this month. He was granted bail today on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh. 

The special court, while granting bail, told Kumar that he cannot contact the witnesses, or tamper with evidence in the corruption case. 

The court also imposed travel restrictions on him and ruled that he cannot travel outside Delhi without its permission.

Kumar was suspended by both Delhi government and the Ministry of Home Affairs as the rules mandate that an government officer must be suspended if he/she has been under police custody for more than 48 hours. 

Home ministry officials claimed that only the Centre has the power to suspend the 1989-batch IAS officer and asked the Delhi government to withdraw its order.
16:24   Jumping into the well of Houses is not power: Jaitley in RS
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha:

"Powers of both the Houses cannot be redefined merely by jumping into the well. As far as bills are concerned, whether it's private or Govt there are certain constraints in the Constitution."

"If members want discussion on Andhra and what we have to do for state, we are open for discussion. Govt will respond."
15:54   The ultimate guide to who's talking to whom in Parliament
A new women's group is emerging in Parliament. Young women MPs have been meeting every day in the Central Hall of Parliament. Dimple Yadav wife (UP CM Akhilesh Yadav's wife), Misa Bharti (Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughter)  lunch together every day. Misa does not socialise with other MPs like Kanimozhi, Supriya Sule, Harsimrat  Badal, Poonam Mahajan or Meenakshi Lekhi, since they speak in English, we are told.  
15:53   Meenakshi Lekhi bereaved
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi has been bereaved. Her  dog died at the age of 13 and Lekhi observed three days mourning and was absent from Parliament. As any one lucky enough to have been loved by an animal can vouch, it's never easy saying goodbye. 
15:52   Mamata holds court in Parliament
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee entered the Central Hall of Parliament today flanked by her MPs.

She entered like a queen, walking ahead of the entourage and went to her usual corner seat in the last row of Central Hall.

Almost immediately 50-60 journalists and 40 MPs surrounded her and jostled to hear her.

She began by talking about GST - WB finance minster Amit Mitra meeting union finance minister Arun Jaitley.

She also accused Congress of stalling developmental bills and for more than one hour held court at Central Hall.
15:28   Missing IAF plane: NO positive clues found, MoD rubbishes rumours
There are 4-5 "small" leads with regard to the AN-32 aircraft of the IAF which went missing four days back with 29 people on board, the government told the Rajya Sabha as it faced questions over the issue.

The Ministry of Defence also tweeted saying, "Contrary to the report appearing in some TV channels, it is informed that no positive clues have been found till now."

A TV channel had reported that orange drums had been seen in the area where the plane is suspected to have gone down, which is not true.

During the Question Hour, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was asked about the status of the plane which disappeared during a flight from Tambaram airbase in Tamil Nadu to Port Blair on Friday last.

"There are 4-5 small leads and attempts are being made to verify them," he said, adding, however, that there has been no confirmed finding yet.

Asserting that the government had spared no efforts in locating the plane, Parrikar said the government had used satellite imagery and deployed 30 ships and submarines for the purpose.

Responding to questions about quality of AN-32, he said it is one of the safest aircraft and there have been reports of only two accidents in the last ten years. There have been some minor snags at times, he said.

Parrikar was also asked if the government was in talks with the US for conducting joint naval patrols in the South China sea over which China has laid a claim. He replied that there have been no such talks.

Image: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar oversees the search operation for the missing IAF AN-32 on Saturday.
Emirates flight from Dubai to Maldives with 309 passengers onboard, makes emergency landing in Mumbai. More details awaited.
15:08   France church hostage crisis: Priest killed, assailants shot dead
French media reporting #Normandy church hostage-takers killed priest before being shot in police raid.
14:58   Dealing with China needs scientific temper
The 4-day visit to China by the US National Security Advisor Susan Rice, despite the brouhaha over the arbitration tribunal award on South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines, is a diplomatic signal by Washington that life moves on. Read MK Bhadrakumar's blog here.
14:47   Hostage situation in France ends, both assailants killed
That was quick! Both the assailants who took people hostage in a church in Normandy have been neutralised. The two knife-wielding men were killed, it's unclear if any of the hostages were harmed. 
14:34   Armed men take people hostage inside church in Normandy, France
Just in: Two men with knives take several people hostage in a church in Normandy in France. At least four to six people are being held by the assailants in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Details awaited.

File picture of people being evacuated to safety during the terror attack in Nice last week.
13:57   Irom Sharmila to break 16-year-fast to contest elections in Manipur
Just in: Manipur's 'Iron Lady' Irom Sharmila to break her 16-year fast on August 9 and contest elections in Manipur, reports News18.

Manipuri rights activist Irom Sharmila has been fasting so that the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is scrapped.

In 2014, the Aam Aadmi Party had approached the activist to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat, but she had refused.

13:42   Kalam's unfulfilled dream of celebrating brother's 100th b'day
A P J Abdul Kalam had planned a "big surprise party" for his elder brother who would turn 100 this November by gathering all the family members at Rameswaram, putting up banners saying '100' and playing Tamil songs but destiny had other ideas.

Sixteen years older, A P J Maracayer was like a father figure to Kalam and counselled him on several important decisions and was also his spiritual guide. But as fate would have it, seven weeks after this planning session Kalam passed away on July 27 last year.

Kalam's aide Srijan Pal Singh presents a tribute to the late President on his first death anniversary in the form of a book "What Can I Give?: Life Lessons from My Teacher, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam."

The book, published by Penguin Random House, brings alive rare personal and unheard-of anecdotes as well as unseen pictures from Kalam's life. Taking Kalam's vision ahead, Singh has decided to donate all the royalties from the book to the charitable cause of providing free education to underprivileged children through an initiative called The Kalam Library Project.

On the grand plans made by Kalam for his brother's 100th birthday celebrations, Singh writes, "In 2015, in the month of May, Kalam's brother dropped by for a visit. It was a special moment as Janaab A P J Maracayer was about to turn 99 in a few months. His birthday was on the 5th of November. The day his brother was leaving for Rameswaram, Kalam met him over dinner. He said to me later, 'You fellow, listen. My brother will turn 99 years old in November. Tell me, now by the end of this year, how many orbits will he have completed around the sun?'

"This was the question he always asked on people's birthdays. A true rocket engineer, he loved equating years to the number of orbits the earth had made around the sun and the number of orbits the moon had made around the earth. I was familiar with this question by now."

"Hundredth orbit!" Singh replied.
13:25   Remembering Dr Kalam
Ahead of the first death anniversary of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on July 27, the temple town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, his hometown where he was buried, is already dotted with posters and banners commemorating the day. Rediff.coms A Ganesh Nadar, who is in Rameswaram, sent us this photograph.

13:11   India loses Antrix-Devas case at Hague; faces up to $1 bn in damages
India has lost the arbitration case between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Devas in the international tribunal and may face up to $1 billion in damages.

ISRO's commercial arm Antrix had cancelled a deal involving use of two satellites and a spectrum after which Devas Multimedia filed the case against the former.

According to the deal, signed when G Madhavan Nair was at the helm of affairs in the Department of Space, Antrix was to provide 70 MHz of the scarce S-Band space segment to Devas for its digital multimedia services.

This was to be done by leasing 90% of the transponders in satellites GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A that are proposed to be launched by ISRO. Devas, in turn, was to pay Antrix a total of $300 million over 12 years.

After reports about the possible revenue loss, the then Manmohan Singh-led government had in 2011 said the project was already under review and action has been initiated for termination of the contract.

12:52   Narsingh won't do this, Olympian Yogeshwar backs dope-tainted wrestler
Olympic medal winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt today joined the chorus of support for Narsingh Yadav, caught in a dope scandal, saying that the matter should be investigated throughly.

Narsingh's dope test came positive barely 10 days before the start of the Olympics and he cried foul, saying it was a conspiracy against him.

"Khusti ke liye bht dukhi hun. Iski janch honi bht zaruri hai. Mujhe vishwas hai narsingh aesa nai kar sakta (I am very sad about the state of wrestling. This matter should be investigated. I am sure that Narsingh cannot do something like this)," Yogeshwar wrote on his twitter handle.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) also strongly put its weight behind the 26-year-old grappler, insisting that it was a clear case of sabotage. WFI also urged with the Sports Ministry and top officials in the government to help Narsingh's case.

Narsingh will get a final chance to prove his innocence when he faces the NADA disciplinary committee tomorrow.
12:44   The person who wrote Michelle Obama's speech
Loved every word of the Obamas speeches over the years? Here's the woman who wrote them. Meet Sarah Hurwitz.
12:36   Rijiju lauds nabbing of terrorist in Kupwara
The arrest of a terrorist in Kupawara in Jammu and Kashmir is a "big success" for security forces as it brings in open the game plan of Pakistan, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju today said.

"Catching a terrorist alive is a big success as it brings in open the game plan of Pakistan. The arrest of terrorist in Kupwara is a big achievement of security forces," he said.

Four militants were today killed and another apprehended by security forces during an encounter in Naugam sector near the LoC in Kupwara district of Kashmir, an army official said in Srinagar. He said all the militants were foreign nationals.

File picture
12:20   Flipkart-owned Myntra buys Jabong
Flipkart-owned Myntra today said it has acquired Jabong from Global Fashion Group for an undisclosed amount, a move that will mark further consolidation in India's booming e-commerce industry.

Myntra, which itself was acquired by Flipkart in 2014 in an estimated Rs 2,000 crore deal, will have access to a combined base of 15 million monthly active users. No financial details were disclosed.

"The acquisition of Jabong further strengthens Flipkart Group's position as the undisputed leader in Fashion and Lifestyle segment in India. Jabong is among India's major fashion multi-brand e-store with more than 1,500 on-trend international high-street brands, sports labels, Indian ethnic and designer labels and over 1,50,000 styles from over a thousand sellers," Myntra said in a statement. No official statement was available from Jabong.

Some of global brands that will be exclusive to both the platforms include Dorothy Perkins, Topshop, Tom Tailor, G Raw Star, Bugatti Shoes, The North Face, Forever 21, Swarovski, Timberland and Lacoste.
12:13   Michelle Obama's stirring speech brings Democratic convention to tears
Michelle Obama, the first black first lady in American history, gave a 15-minute address to the Democratic national convention that drew cheers, left some delegates openly weeping and did more than any governor or congressman to unite and fire up the party for November's presidential election. It also added a chapter to the dynastic saga of the Obamas and the Clintons, coming four years after Bill Clinton gave an extraordinary speech to help Barack Obama get re-elected.

The former president was in the audience on Monday -- caught on camera mouthing the word "wow' as Michelle Obama delivered one of the most passionate speeches of election year. On Twitter, President Obama wrote: "Incredible speech by an incredible woman."

Here's what she said. Read
Huge blast heard near Somalia's Mogadishu airport, reports Reuters.
11:55   SC refuses to lift ban on Jallikattu, compares it to child marriage
Just in: The Supreme Court refuses to lift the ban on Jallikattu, likening the bull-racing sport to child marriage and criticises proponents who say it is a part of  Tamil Nadu tradition.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea against the centre's notification on Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The Animal Welfare Board of India had challenged a notification issued by the Centre lifting the ban on Jallikattu (bull fighting).

Justice Misra hearing the plea said, "Child marriage too is an age old tradition. Does that make it legal? In earlier times child marriage was common. Does that justify its practise."

The matter has now been posted for final disposal on August 23.

The four-year-old ban on holding of Jallikattu was lifted on January 8 by the Centre vide a notification. The notification had been criticised by animal rights' activists. The notification read :"Central Government, hereby specifies that following animals shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals with effect from the date of publication of this notification, namely bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls. Provided that bulls may be continued to be exhibited or trained as a performing animal, at events such as Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and bullock cart races in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat in the manner by customs of any community or practiced traditionally."

SC likens bull-racing sport Jallikattu to child marriage, criticises proponents of Jallikattu who say it is a part of TN tradition.
11:45   Rajinikanth's Kabali grosses a whopping Rs 230 cr in 4 days
Kabali hit the screens on July 22 and is smashing box-office records with its collection. Kabali earned Rs 48.95 crore on its first day of release in India, beating Salman Khan's Sultan by a huge margin.

Right from the 4am show to the surge ticket pricing, the world witnessed the invincible superstar that Rajinikanth is. On the third day of its release, Kabali is said to have earned Rs 35 crore in India.
11:42   Curfew lifted from all parts of Kashmir except Anantnag after 17 tense days
Curfew was today lifted from all parts of Kashmir, except Anantnag town, after 17 days of unrest in the Valley in which 47 persons were killed and 5500 others injured in clashes following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

"Curfew has been lifted from all parts of Kashmir except Anantnag town, today," a police official said. The official said there is no curfew or restrictions on the movement of the people in the district.

"However, in other parts of the Valley, restrictions on assembly of four or more people will continue to maintain law and order," the official said. Curfew was imposed across Kashmir on July 9, a day after killing of Wani, as a precautionary measure.

However, violent clashes between protestors and security forces saw 47 persons including two policemen killed while 5500 others were injured. Mobile telephony, mobile Internet services and train services remained suspended for 18th day while schools, colleges and other educational institutions also remained closed due to a strike called by the separatist groups. The separatist camp, which is spearheading the protests against civilian killings, has already announced a relaxation in the strike from 2 PM onwards today.

However, they have called for three days of shutdown from tomorrow to July 29. The separatist groups have also called for a march to Kulgam tomorrow.
11:35   All leads have turned out to be bad: Parrikar on missing AN-32
The search and rescue operation for the missing AN 32 aircraft entered its fifth day today even as hopes of finding alive the 29 defence personnel on board receded as all leads till now have turned out to be bad.

"A lot of resources are in place. All leads till now have turned out to be bad. We are trying to concentrate on some links or sound which has emitted from some area. Trying to find out, that needs to be ascertained but there were some false leads but false leads of similar type," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said today.

He said that a state of art ice-class research vessel, Sagar Nidhi, of the National Institute of Ocean Technology has been called for from Mauritius.

"That will reach but any deep vessel to operate, it will need specific area. "Because deep vessels which go inside cannot go and search per se unless you have some definite small area. So last time (Doriner crash), submarine had identified the location and then we had send it (deep sea vessel of Reliance). It is a secondary operation after initial identification," Parrikar said.

Sagar Nidhi comes with Dynamic Positioning System which keeps its position stable, which is required for oceanographic research.
Just in: Supreme Court refuses to lift ban on Jallikattu.
India loses major arbitration case in international tribunal involving space agency ISRO, may face up to $1 bn in damages. Details awaited.
10:50   Coal scam: CBI special court convicts Rathi Steel and Power Ltd promoters
CBI special court convicts Rathi Steel and Power Ltd and three promoters for criminal conspiracy and cheating in connection with the muti-crore coal scam.

The court will decide on the quantum of punishment against the convict at 2 pm, today.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Kesla North coal block in Chhattisgarh to RSPL. 

All the accused had denied the charges against them levelled by CBI. 

During recording of evidence, the CBI had examined 21 witnesses while the accused had called four witnesses. 

During recording of statements of the accused, the court had asked 98 questions each from the firm RSPL and its three top officials -- Managing Director Pradeep Rathi, Chief Executive Officer Udit Rathi and AGM Kushal Aggarwal. 

The court had earlier framed charges against RSPL and its three officials for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy read with cheating under the IPC, observing that they had conspired and furnished wrong information to get coal block and misappropriated nationalised natural resources.
10:43   I will fight for myself, says Shot-putter Inderjeet after dope test fail
Shot-putter Inderjeet Singh, who failed a dope test after his 'A' sample returned positive for a banned substance, has alleged that there's a conspiracy against him.

"I am not in a situation that I can even speak," the Haryana athlete told CNN-News18 over the phone.

"This is a conspiracy. Why and how this happened only doctors can tell. I don't want to say anything about it. I have given dope Tests everywhere and come out clean. It's a conspiracy to suppress Inderjeet or else he will again speak something," the 28-year-old, who was one of the first Indian athletes to qualify for the Rio Olympics, said.

"I was a contender for a medal [in Rio], and this was what disturbing many that if this guy wins a medal, he will expose us more. NADA [National Anti-Doping Agency] took 5-6 dope tests in the past few months, which caused me a lot of distress at a personal level. I am the one who will fight for myself and the country unto my death," the reigning Asian champion and the 2014 Asian Games silver medallist, said.

10:37   Former diplomat Arundhati Ghose passes away
Arundhati Ghose, former diplomat and Ambassador, dies at 76.

Ghose had earned the sobriquet 'Iron Lady' when she brilliantly led India's charge against the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva in 1996, earning the respect of her peers and opponents.
10:16   After Mukesh Ambani, VVIP security cover for wife Nita Ambani
After Reliance Industries Limited Chairman Mukesh Ambani was accorded a 'Z' category security few years ago, the government has now granted 'Y' category security cover of armed CRPF commandos to his wife Nita Ambani.

Nita Ambani has recently been provided a full 'Y' cover of about ten armed men who would be travelling with her every time she is mobile, officials said today.

They said a threat assessment report prepared by central security agencies reported requirement of a special security cover for her after which the Union Home Ministry sanctioned the protection.

As her husband was already a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) protectee, the new responsibility was entrusted to the country's largest paramilitary as "logistical arrangements" would be easy to do, they said.

"The security cover will be fully paid for, like in the case of her husband. A team of about 10 CRPF commandos with an escort vehicle will secure the new protectee," they added.
Four terrorists killed; one apprehended in an operation near LoC in Naugam sector of Kashmir, says Army.
Gujarati writer Amrut Makwana to return the Gujarat government's 'Daasi Jeevan Shreshtha Dalit Shahityakriti' literary award over Una violence against Dalits.
09:32   Maharashtra ATS dig up 270 websites showing IS activities
The Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra Police has stumbled upon 270 Uniform Resource Locators, commonly known as web addresses, that deal with terror group Islamic State's doctrine.

ATS Chief Atulchandra Kulkarni told reporters that they have rushed a proposal to the Union Home Ministry to block these URLs highlighting the IS activities, thoughts etc.

He said the special committee of the ministry will take the final call on the issue.

As per reports, such URLs can act as a catalyst in encouraging the youth to join the terror outfit and there is a need to block all these URLs as soon as possible.

Last year, the ATS had blocked 94 such websites. The Maharashtra ATS has resorted to many ways to thwart ISIS threats in the state.

It has roped in maulanas to create awareness among the members of the minority community.
09:30   India will never forget sacrifices of soldiers: PM Modi on Kargil Vijay Diwas
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday saluted and paid respect to the Indian soldiers on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas.

Expressing his views on Twitter, the Prime Minister wrote: "On Kargil Vijay Diwas I bow to every valiant soldier who fought for India till the very last breath. Their heroic sacrifices inspire us."

While recalling the might displayed by the Indian military, PM Modi said, the country will never forget the fearlessness with which the courageous soldiers fought aganst the intruders in the 1999 Kargil war.

"India will never forget the fearlessness with which our courageous soldiers gave a befitting & unforgettable reply to the intruders," he tweeted.

The PM also took the opportunity to praise the then Atal Behjari Vajpayee-led NDA government for displaying firm political leadership.

"We recall with pride, the firmness demonstrated by India's political leadership in 1999, which ensured a decisive victory in Kargil," the PM tweeted.
09:09   Nitish chief guest at BSP rebel's rally in Lucknow today
Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U president Nitish Kumar will be the chief guest at BSP rebel RK Chaudhary's rally in Lucknow today, fanning speculations of a tie-up between his party and the latter's Bahujan Samaj Swabhiman Sangharsh Samiti for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Chaudhary, a Dalit leader and once a close confidant of BSP supremo Mayawati, quit the BSP on June 30 accusing Mayawati of
"auctioning" tickets for the upcoming elections, a charge levelled by three other party leaders who too resigned, including Swami Prasad Maurya, an OBC leader. 

"At the time of elections, tickets are allotted to those who pay the highest amount," Chaudhary and Maurya had alleged.

Testing the political waters in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Kumar has been holding rallies in the state, particularly in the eastern parts, promising prohibition among other things to the voters.
09:05   More embarrassment: Shot putter Inderjeet fails dope test
Just a few days after wrestler Narsing Yadav was caught for doping, another Rio Olympics qualified athlete Inderjeet Singh, a shot putter, has failed a dope test as his 'A' sample returned positive for a banned substance.

28-year-old Inderjeet, the reigning Asian Champion, tested positive for a banned steroid and he has been informed by National Anti-Doping Agency. His out-of-competition test was done on June 22, sources told PTI.

The NADA has asked the Haryana athlete, who had won a silver in the 2014 Asian Games, if he wants to test his 'B' sample and if so, to do this within seven days. 

If the 'B' sample also tests positive, he will have to miss Rio Olympics beginning August 5, besides facing the prospect of being banned for four years under the new WADA Code.

Inderjeet is one of those athletes who does not train at the national camps. He normally trains on his own with his personal coach. He is one of the first track and field athletes who qualified for the Rio Olympics as he made the cut last year itself. He had a training stint earlier this year in the United States under funding of the Sports Ministry's Target Olympic Podium Scheme.
05:09   German public questions refugee policy
Questions over Germany's refugee policies have started to swirl following a suicide bombing by an asylum seeker outside a music festival on Sunday, the country's fourth attack in just over a week.

While none of the attacks are related, at least two appear to have been carried out by asylum seekers.

Sunday's bombing, which killed only the attacker but injured 15 others, was carried out by a 27-year-old Syrian national in the southern city of Ansbach. The attacker's application for asylum had been rejected but he was able to stay in the country anyway.

Just hours before, another 21-year-old Syrian asylum seeker killed a woman in Reutlingen, attacking her with a slicing knife nearly two feet in length.

The country was already reeling from a shooting spree in Munich on Friday by an 18-year-old German-Iranian that left nine people dead. That attacker was not an asylum seeker -- he was born and raised in Munich.
04:35   Bernie Sanders aims to cool tensions in Philadelphia
Bernie Sanders made a last-ditch effort Monday to quell anger among his supporters against party leaders and Hillary Clinton, as the Democratic convention opened amid new threats to party unity.

The Vermont senator, who was booed by his own supporters earlier Monday when he spoke about the need to elect Clinton, intervened amid fury over leaked emails showing party leaders hostile to his primary campaign.

"I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor. It's of utmost importance you explain this to your delegations," Sanders said in a text message sent to his floor supporters in Philadelphia.

The appeal came after Sanders deputy campaign manager Rich Pelletier and Clinton aide Marlon Marshall met in a bid to head off any floor protests that would shatter the image of Democratic unity as the convention opened, a party official said.

Read more HERE.
04:29   Gunman gets shot by Pokemon Go player he tried to rob
A gunman and his underage driver tried to rob a group of people playing the popular Pokemon Go game, triggering a shootout after one of the players pulled out his own weapon at a Las Vegas park that has become a hot spot for virtual creature hunting.
The incident early yesterday marked the latest illustration of unintended consequences in everyday life due to the booming popularity of the GPS-powered "augmented reality" game.
Las Vegas police spokeswoman Laura Meltzer said the shooting left a Pokemon player and the would-be armed robber hospitalised with non-life threatening injuries. Charges are expected against both that suspect and the juvenile who was driving the SUV.
04:16   Democratic Party says sorry to Sanders for emails
Democratic Party bosses have apologised to Bernie Sanders for "inexcusable" emails aimed at undermining his White House bid, as they tried to patch up an embarrassing party feud.
"We want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," the Democratic National Committee said in a statement on the opening day of the party's convention set to nominate Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

"These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process." 
03:54   Powerful car bomb blast hits Damascus: state news agency
A car bomb blast hit an upmarket area of Damascus housing several government buildings, Syrian state news agency SANA reported, saying there were "several wounded".
The explosion took place in front of a 10-storey building in the Kafar Sousse district in the southwest of the war-torn country's capital yesterday, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
Debris littered the ground, including pieces of metal apparently from the vehicle used in the blast, which the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said caused casualties, without giving details.
Since Syria's civil war erupted numerous attacks have hit Damascus, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad, though they have become less frequent in recent years.

Image for representation only.
03:34   Buddhist monk gets prison for stealing from temple to gamble
A Buddhist monk was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to embezzling more than USD 260,000 from the Louisiana temple he led and gambling most of the money at a casino.
US District Judge Donald Walter also ordered Khang Nguyen Le, 36, of Lafayette, to pay nearly USD 264,000 in restitution, US Attorney Stephanie Finley's office said in a statement yesterday.
Le pleaded guilty in March to one count of wire fraud, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a USD 250,000 fine.
Le served as presiding monk of the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Southwest Louisiana's Lafayette temple from 2010 through October 2014, when he stepped down amid the investigation. Le's indictment said he lived and worked at the temple and earned a salary of USD 1,000 per month.
03:18   19 killed, 45 injured in a knife attack outside Tokyo
At least 19 people have been killed and 45 wounded in Japan after an attacker armed with a knife went on a rampage.

The attack happened in the city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, where locals saw a man holding a weapon in the grounds of the Tsukui Yamayuri Garden.

It is thought that the building includes facilities for disabled people.

Four of the injured are said to be in a serious condition.

Police say they have arrested a man who was a former staff member and that he has confessed to the stabbings.

The suspect reportedly escaped the facility but then turned himself in.
02:42   Colombia declares its Zika epidemic over
Colombia has declared its Zika epidemic is over, but warned that the mosquito-borne virus, which is blamed for causing brain damage in babies, would continue circulating on a smaller scale.
Colombia has been the second hardest-hit country by the disease after Brazil, with nearly 100,000 cases and at least 21 babies born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads. 

But 10 months into the outbreak, the health ministry said the number of reported cases had dropped to between 600 and 700 a week.
"Colombia is the first country in the Americas to declare the end of the epidemic," Deputy Health Minister Fernando Ruiz told a news conference yetsterday. 

The virus "now enters an endemic phase, in which a very small number of cases will undoubtedly remain in the future," he said. "It's a virus that's here to stay."

Officials had initially predicted Colombia would register 450,000 to 600,000 cases of Zika before the epidemic was over. 

The number of babies affected could continue to rise, however.
01:49   Kashmir, and the inheritance of loss
Journalist and author of 'Curfewed Night' Basharat Peer, in a recent column for The New York Times, wrote of the terrible situation in Kashmir. 

'Wani had become an Internet sensation over the past year, first in Kashmir, then in India and Pakistan, after putting together a small band of Kashmiri militants,' Peer writes in the column.

'As Kashmiris seethed with desperate anger that day, Indian paramilitaries and police were deployed across the region. In hundreds of locations, people came out to mourn Burhan and raise their voices against the Indian occupation,' he states.

Read the entire column HERE.
01:19   Bernie Sanders says elect Hillary, gets booed
Bernie Sanders urged reluctant supporters today to vote for his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in order to bar Donald Trump's path to the White House, slamming the Republican as a "demagogue."

"We have got to defeat Donald Trump. We have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine," the Vermont senator told a rally held hours before the opening of the Democratic National Convention.

"Trump is a bully and a demagogue," said Sanders whose call to support party nominee Clinton in November was met with loud jeers and cries of "We want Bernie!" from the fired-up crowd.

The four-day confab in Philadelphia got off to a rocky start following a major internal row over leaked emails that showed party leaders sought to undermine Sanders in the party primaries. 
Many of the die-hard Sanders supporters who descended on Philadelphia loathe the party flag bearer Clinton so much they are unwilling to back her -- even if the cost is a Trump presidency .

Sanders has officially endorsed his rival and has been offered a prime speaking slot later today at the convention, during which he will stress that the party mission is to prevent Trump from becoming the 45th president of the United States.
00:58   Suicide bomber in Germany pledged allegiance to ISIS leader
The Syrian suicide bomber who injured 15 people in a Sunday night attack on a music festival in Ansbach, Germany, left behind a video pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said Monday.

The ISIS-affiliated media group Amaq also claimed the attacker was an ISIS "soldier" in a statement the group's supporters posted online Monday, but there is no evidence he was in contact with ISIS or directed to carry out an attack.

In the video left on a mobile phone, the 27-year-old Syrian announced his threat to carry out an attack "as an act of revenge against Germans, because they obstruct Islam," Herrmann told a press conference. The man said the attack would be committed in the name of Allah as retaliation for the killing of Muslims. The bomber, who has not been named, was killed.
00:17   FBI to investigate Russia's involvement in DNC email leak
The FBI on Monday confirmed they are investigating a hack into the Democratic National Committee, the first acknowledgment from the agency that they are probing the incident, which US officials suspect came from a Russian cyber attack.

Fallout over the emails led DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to announce her resignation Sunday.

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter," the agency said in a statement. "A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace."