Wed, 29 June 2016
Amit Shah meets Modi amid reports of Cabinet reshuffle

Timeline  Refresh

22:54   Amit Shah meets Modi amid reports of Cabinet reshuffle
BJP President Amit Shah today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid reports of a reshuffle in the Union Cabinet.

There was no official word on what transpired in the meeting, and party sources played down its significance,saying such an exercise, which is also attended often by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj,happens almost every month.

Top party leaders take stock of political affairs in the meet.        There has been a strong buzz in the party for some time about a reshuffle. 

Uttar Pradesh, which goes to the polls early next year,is likely to get more representation and besides Assam, whose Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was a Union Minister beforehe returned to lead the state government.

Some state ministers could also be elevated to Cabinet rank, sources said. 
22:00   Security shored up at airports in wake of Turkey attack
Security has been stepped up at airports across the country in the wake of the deadly terror attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport in which 41 people have been killed.
However, no alert has been sounded yet, sources said.
A triple suicide bombing and gun attack by suspected ISIS terrorists at the airport in Turkey has left 41 dead and 239 injured.
Security agencies had in March tightened security at sensitive airports in the country, with passengers made to take off their footwear and belts and go through detailed frisking, after the Brussels terror attack.
At major airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad, CISF and local police had shored up security apparatus and passengers were observed and screened minutely with risk-based Secondary Ladder Point Check which entails frisking people before they enter the aircraft.

Image: Security tightened up at Mumbai airport. Photograph: Sahil Salvi
21:48   French police probing new Charlie Hebdo threats
French police are probing new threats against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the target of a jihadist attack in January 2015 that left 12 dead, a legal source said.
The publication has received a series of threatening messages on its Facebook page since June 8, and on June 22 a hand-written letter was posted to the newsroom containing the same threats and the words "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest).
"No one has been arrested at this stage and investigations are ongoing," said the source.
Jihadist brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi gunned down eight Charlie staff as well as several others in and around the building in the attack on the magazine whose drawings of the Prophet Mohammed drew the fury of Muslims around the world.
An accomplice, gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed a policewoman a day later and then took shoppers hostage at a Jewish supermarket, shooting dead four.
All three jihadists were killed in police raids.
While the staff of Charlie Hebdo moved into new top-security premises, the magazine has continued to raise ire, refusing self-censorship in the wake of the attacks.
21:33   No hostile environment, India-Pak will hold talks: Pak envoy
Notwithstanding the chill in the ties over terror attacks, Pakistan on Wednesday insisted that there is "no hostile environment" with India and expressed confidence that the two countries "will talk".
Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit made the remarks to reporters at an Iftar party hosted by Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav which was attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Harsimrat Kaur Badal besides Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Naqvi, Minister of State for Minority Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, left immediately after Basit walked into the venue.
"There is no hostile environment, for God's sake. We are two neighbours. We have to talk and we will talk," the Pakistan envoy said while responding to questions over terror attacks in Kashmir in which Pak-sponsored terrorists are allegedly involved.
India-Pakistan relations have been witnessing a chill over terror attacks like one on Pathankot air base.
21:25   Poll shows Clinton ahead of Trump in key battleground states
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump across the board in a new poll of key battleground American states, US media reported on Wednesday.
According to Ballotpedia's battleground poll, Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, leads Trump 51 per cent to 37 per cent in Florida, 45 per cent to 41 per cent in Iowa, 50 per cent to 33 per cent in Michigan, 48 per cent to 38 per cent in North Carolina.
In Ohio, the 68-year-old former secretary of state is leading over her Republican presumptive nominee by 46 per cent to 37 per cent, 49 per cent to 35 per cent in Pennsylvania and 45 per cent to 38 per cent in Virginia, it said.
Her leads held at nearly the same margins when Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson was included in the poll.
Clinton led Trump 48 per cent to 37 per cent when all states were factored together. With Johnson included, Clinton led Trump 44 per cent to 34 per cent, with Johnson at 13 per cent.
Amid long-shot efforts by a handful of delegates to name someone other than 70-year-old real estate billionaire Trump as the Republican party nominee, Ballotpedia also polled Clinton against Ohio Governor John Kasich and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Kasich had a slight lead on Clinton and Ryan polled neck- and-neck.
Separate polling in three battleground states, conducted by Quinnipiac University, found a much tighter race: Clinton up eight points in Florida, but only one point in Pennsylvania and a tie in Ohio, CNN reported.
Each of the seven states surveyed is seen as a swing state where either party is normally seen as relatively competitive in presidential elections, though Michigan has gone Democratic in most recent presidential elections.
Ballotpedia surveyed roughly 600 voters in each of the states between June 10-22 for the poll and each survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
A Quinnipiac University national poll released has shows Hillary Clinton leading Trump by just two points, 42 per cent to 40 per cent, a much closer race than other recent surveys have shown.
20:39   Parrikar ticks off DRDO on ammunition depot blast in Pulgaon
Indicating that the deadly blast at the Central Ammunition Depot in Maharashtra last month that claimed 19 lives could be the result of defective anti-tank mines, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today ticked off the
Defence Research and Development Organisation for "not properly hand-holding" production agencies.
He said the anti-tank mine is under discussion because of the Pulgaon incident.
"Probably that product did not go as expected mainly because DRDO did not handhold the production agency, Ordnance Factory Board until they were quite comfortable and sure of them. Producing and developing agency should tie up with each other," Parrikar said.
He was addressing top naval and DRDO officers here at an event.
He said DRDO should not behave like a hospital where a baby is born and leave the rest to the parents. He said DRDO should stay around to ensure the child at least gets up and walk.
At least 19 defence personnel, including civilian staff, were killed in the massive fire on May 31 that broke out at one of Asia's biggest ammunition depot in Maharashtra's Pulgaon which houses the largest stockpile of weapons in the country. 
20:30   Come hell or high water I stand by Modi: Swamy
After going philosophical yesterday, Subramanian Swamy was today back in political mode asserting his faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, admiring his spine while taking potshots at journalists.

In the wake of Modis apparent snub on Monday in a television interview in which he had called Swamys attack on Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and top Finance Ministry officials inappropriate, Swamy yesterday had quoted Lord Krishna to say a small change in one parameter effects changes in all variables.

But today the Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha MP's quotes covered a variety of subjects including the one in which he said someone like former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai would be welcome as RBI Governor.

I have said before and saying now: Come hell or high water I stand by Modi. I admire his spine. No foreign power can buckle him, he said in one of his tweets.

Presstitutes are daily planting deliberately false stories hoping I will be provoked to reply. Ha! They have a hope!, he said in another tweet.

He also said that todays business and finance papers have confirmed the news that in effect his predictions about a banking crisis are imminent.

19:54   Bomb hoax at JFK Airport in New York forces evacuation
The New York Police evacuated a terminal at NY Citys John F Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday after a report of a suspicious package, the American media reported.

The JetBlue terminal at the airport, however, was re-opened hours later after the report was found to be a hoax.

Security was heightened at the airport in the wake of the bombing of Istanbuls airport.

A Port Authority spokesman said a suspicious package was found inside the terminal about 8.30 am local time. The terminal was evacuated -- and all surrounding roads were shut down.

A dispatched NYPD Bomb Squad determined that the contents in the bag were not explosives.

The terminal was reopened about 9.30 am, media reports said.

19:35   NIA arrests five of 11 'IS suspects' detained from Hyderabad
The National Investigation Agency has arrested five of the 11 people detained today morning in Hyderabad for suspected terror activities, NIA Inspector General Sanjeev Kumar said.

The NIA today claimed to have busted a terror module that is suspected to be linked to the Islamic State group and detained 11 youths including a techie and some graduates after conducting searches at different locations in the Old City in Hyderabad.

Searches were conducted by NIA over some suspected terror activities that were planned to be carried out in the city...11 youths including a techie have been detained and Rs 15 lakh cash besides some explosive material has been seized from them, a senior intelligence officer said.

19:20   HC refuses to stay DGCA order on lower excess baggage fee
The Delhi high court today refused to stay aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation's decision to lower the fee structure for excess checked-in baggage carried by fliers, with the government fixing a rate of Rs 100 per additional kilogramme.

As per the new regulation to be implemented from July 1, the airlines would now charge Rs 100 per extra kg till 20 kg instead of the current rate of Rs 300.

At present, all domestic airlines allow free checked-in baggage up to 15 kgs. Beyond that limit, the charge is Rs 300 per extra kg. Only Air India allows free baggage up to 23 kg.

A vacation bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao turned down the request made by Federation of Indian Airlines, which has Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir as its members, saying the issue before it required consideration and the authorities have to be heard on merit.

The court issued notice to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the DGCA asking them to file their reply by July 2. It, however, fixed the matter for July 8 while declining FIA's request to at least defer the date of implementation of the circular till next date of hearing on the grounds that it may create chaos among passengers putting them in difficulty.

The court said the charge will be restored, if the FIA succeeded.
JUST IN: The Enforcement Directorate attaches assets worth Rs 749.10 crore of Yuvajana, Shramika, Rythu Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy in connection with a money laundering probe.
19:01   It was like hell, says Istanbul terror attack witness
Terrified travelers tucked into alcoves and hid behind pillars.

As the attackers fired shots and detonated explosives at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Tuesday, people scattered to get away from the chaotic scene.

"There's been a bomb!" travelers warned each other.

"Someone's coming with a gun."

Three terrorists armed with bombs and guns killed at least 41 people at the busy airport in Turkey. Of the three bombers in the attack, two were at the international terminal, and the third terrorist was in the nearby parking lot, a Turkish official told CNN. All three detonated suicide vests.

There was little time to make sense of what was unfolding for the many passengers and staff at the airport."It was like hell," said Mine Iyidinc, a witness. "There was panic everywhere. We did not understand that it was a terrorist attack."

At the airport, Will Turner had been in the baggage area when he felt a shake, which he described as a "dull thud" from two loud explosions. Turner sensed something was off because a shock wave seemed to reverberate throughout the airport."It was loud enough to know something was not right," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

About a minute later, he felt the third explosion. This time, he saw "a flash of a fire ball" inside the terminal. Panic and screams engulfed the room as Turner and other passengers fled. Read more
Everyone hates the elites. Even the elites, writes Ishan Tharoor. Read
18:31   Islamophobic abuse up by 300% in UK
Islamophobic abuse and attacks in Britains public areas registered a whopping 326 per cent rise in 2015 with women in Muslim outfits emerging as the most vulnerable group, a new report claimed today.

Women were disproportionately targeted by mostly teenage perpetrators and more than one in 10 of all incidents took place in educational establishments and public transport and in city centres, another cluster area, Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) monitoring found in its research.

We simply cannot have such hatred fester in our communities and in our societies. With a 326 per cent increase in anti-Muslim hatred reported to us in 2015, we have to deal with this issue. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to tackle such hate from all extremist groups, Tell MAMA founder Fiyaz Mughal told the Guardian.

According to the report, the ability of Muslim women to travel on public transport free of fear and intimidation is being curtailed.

Women wearing the hijab or niqab were found to be especially vulnerable.

18:08   Probe into "fake claims" of Pune couple who scaled Everest
Days after a city-based couple claimed to have successfully scaled Mount Everest, a probe has been ordered to verify their claims after a group of mountaineers approached Pune Police alleging that the two have faked their expedition by morphing photographs at the peak, a senior police official said today.

Tarakeshwari and Dinesh Rathod, who are serving as constables in Pune Police, had claimed on June 5 that they became the first Indian couple to scale the Everest on May 23.

"Based on a complaint from some mountaineering organisations, an inquiry has been ordered, and till date the couple has not reported to duty," Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla told PTI. Asked whether the police will get in touch with Nepalese authorities to verfiy the couple's claims, she only said, "a probe has been ordered" and refused to elaborate further.

Surendra Shelke, one of the complainants and secretary of a city-based mountaineering association, had alleged that the couple had morphed pictures and there were several discrepancies in their version given about the summit, which can prove that they were making fake claims.

"If you see the individual photos of Dinesh, he is wearing a red and black down jacket at the summit and in the couple photo at the top, both are wearing orange down jacket and yellow and black shoes. "It is next to impossible to change clothes and boots mid-climb as there is a danger of frostbite and we are cent- percent sure that photographs were taken either at a base camp or at a studio and later it was meticulously morphed or cropped," Shelke said.

He added they even inquired with the mountaineers who were at the expedition between May 19 and May 24 and according to them nobody saw the couple beyond any of the base camps en-route to the summit.

Shelke further said they have nothing personal against the couple. However, if the issue is not brought to light, a wrong message will go and young aspirants in the mountaineering field will resort to such tactics.

Meanwhile, constable Dinesh Rathod told PTI that they have submitted all the certificates received from the Nepal government upon completion of the summit, along with other proofs to the investigating officer of Pune Police.
17:43   Was Gumnami Baba actually Subhas Chandra Bose? A probe will find out
A one-member judicial commission has been set up to probe the identity of 'Gumnami Baba', considered by many as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in disguise.

"Justice (retd) Vishnu Sahai will head the one-man commission, which is to submit its report in six months. The panel was set up after an Allahabad High Court order," a UP government official said.

A notification in this regard was issued by Principal Secretary Home, Debashish Panda yesterday.'Gumnami Baba' (anonymous sage) lived in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad till 1985, and many believe he was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

The high court in 2013 called 'Gumnami Baba' "an extraordinary person" and directed the government to set up a panel to end the controversy about his identity.Baba spent the last 10 years of his life in Ayodhya and Faizabad and during his lifetime people believed he was none other than Netaji himself.After his death in 1985, Netaji's niece Lalita Bose and Faizabad-based Subhas Chandra Bose Vichaar Manch moved court to ascertain his identity and protect his legacy.

The court had ordered that a memorial be constructed in three months to house articles left by Baba. It had also ordered setting up of a judicial commission.The official said that the commission will have its main office in Lucknow and camp office in Faizabad.

Image: A picture of Subhas Chandra Bose and 'Gumnami Baba'.
17:16   Malala becomes millionaire with book sales, lectures
Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai and her family have become millionaires as a result of income from her memoir describing life under Taliban rule in Pakistan's picturesque Swat valley and appearances on the lecture circuit around the world.

The 18-year-old Pakistani teenager who survived a shot to the head by the Taliban had relived the incident and her life in the Swat Valley in 'I am Malala', co-written with 'Sunday Times' journalist Christina Lamb.

A company set up to protect the rights to her life story had 2.2 million pounds in the bank by August 2015 and made a pre-tax profit of 1.1 million pounds.

Malala, her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, and her mother Toor Pekai are joint shareholders of the company, Salarzai Ltd, 'The Times' reports. They are now based in Birmingham, where Malala '" who became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 - attends Edgbaston High School for Girls.

Her autobiography, which documents her experiences growing up in Pakistan's Swat Valley under Taliban rule and being shot while travelling home from school on the bus with her friends, was published in October 2013 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK in a deal reported to be worth about 2 million pounds.
17:07   Will Subramanian Swamy join the Congress?
Apparently, nobody in the RSS or the BJP can rein-in Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subramanian Swamy. Two days after PM Narendra Modi disapproved of Swamys attacks on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and some top finance ministry officials saying they are inappropriate, Swamy has refused to back down.

Calling Rajan no less patriotic, he virtually ticked off Swamy saying if anybody considers himself above the system then it is wrong and said "if anybody considers himself above the system then it is wrong", the PM also said publicity stunts hurt the nation.  

Swamy today suggested that it is publicity which "relentlessly seeks" him as he wrote about hordes of media persons waiting outside his residence. He also said that he stands by Modi as he admires his spine but took a dig at journalists planting "deliberately false stories" to provoke him.

"New problem: when publicity relentlessly seeks a politician. 30 OVs outside the house, 200 missed calls from channels and paparazzis?" he tweeted.

Now, we hear that it is very likely that in six months Dr Swamy will head to the Congress Party and direct his ire at the BJP government.

At least, that's what former union minister and senior Congress leader how Jairam Ramesh has been telling his party colleagues. In fact,  Jairam Ramesh and Dr Swamy have been exchanging text messages. Wait and watch, Dr Swamy will be with us soon and attack the BJP government,  Ramesh has been telling senior leaders. He said that party has been enjoying the  great divide in the BJP.

Which is why Congress leaders on Tuesday decided to keep quiet over Dr Swamy's attacks on the media especially Times Now which was the only channel which got an interview with the PM.

The Congress MPs in Rajya Sabha who were attacking Dr Swamy till last month are now full of praise him. 
16:34   Amul offers Rs 1 crore sponsorship to IOA for Rio Olympics
Dairy major Amul on Wednesday announced that they would sponsor the Indian contingent to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, to be held in August.

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which sells its product under the brand Amul, will pay Rs 1 crore to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for the sponsorship.

The agreement for the official sponsorship of the Indian contingent in 2016 Olympic games, was signed by IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta and GCMMF Managing Director R S Sodhi.

"Amul is committed to strengthening the Olympic movement in India and encourage young generation from all over the country to take up sports,' Sodhi told reporters.Asked about the sponsorship amount, Mehta said, "Amul will pay Rs 1 crore for the sponsorship."

Explaining the reason behind this association, Sodhi said there is a synergy between Amul and athletes as milk is nature's original energy drink and plays a pivotal role in building the physical and mental strength of the athletes.

Sodhi added in the last edition of 2012 London Olympics games also, Amul had sponsored the Indian contingent.

Amul will launch a series of advertising campaigns for milk and various dairy products to promote this association in the coming months.Rio Olympics will play host to the largest Indian contingent ever, with more than 100 sports persons taking part in the event.

Image: The Amul ad on the controversy over Salman Khan's appointment as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian team for Rio Olympics 2016.
16:13   Istanbul suicide bombers came in taxi
Of the three bombers in the airport attack, two were at the international terminal, and the third terrorist was in the nearby parking lot, a Turkish official told CNN. All three detonated suicide vests.

The attacks happened on a warm summer night at the airport, east of Istanbul, which is the 11th busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic.

Ataturk Airport is "one of the most secure airports in the world," CNN senior law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes said. But the airport has been "very overwhelmed for several decades with terrorism from PKK."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"The terrorists came to the airport in a taxi and then carried out their attacks," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said. "The fact that they were carrying guns added to the toll. Preliminary findings suggest all three attackers first opened fire then detonated themselves."

Yildirim didn't clarify why, but said signs pointed to ISIS being behind the attacks.

The three bombers have not been identified, but there is a "strong suggestion that they are foreign," a senior Turkish government source told CNN.

Read more HERE.
15:31   AAP MLA in jail for molesting woman gets bail
FLASH: Saket Court grants bail to AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya, who was arrested by Delhi police for allegedly molesting a woman.

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Dinesh Mohaniya, arrested in a case of alleged molestation, was on Monday sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a Delhi court.

The MLA was booked on June 23 for allegedly misbehaving with a group of women who had approached him with a complaint regarding water crisis in their locality on the previous midnight. A first information report was lodged at South Delhi's Neb Sarai Police Station.
15:16   Salman asked to appear on July 7: MSCW
Salman Khan has been asked to appear on July 7 for the hearing as this is a concurrent subject and state commission has power to hear: MSCW
15:04   People share these pictures showing solidarity with Turkey
The Turkish president has urged the world to take a stronger stance in response to terrorism after a triple suicide bombing killed dozens of people at the Ataturk international airport in Istanbul.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the rest of the world to see the target could have been "London, Berlin, Chicago", amid suggestions the international response had been muted.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday that early signs suggested the Islamic State group was behind a triple suicide bombing at Istanbul airport, as he announced the death toll in the attack had risen to 36.

"According to the most recent information, 36 people have lost their lives," Yildirim told journalists at the scene of the attack, adding that "the evidence points to Daesh", using another name for the Islamic State.

The premier added that there were "many injured", without giving a figure.

Three suicide bombers opened fire at passengers with automatic rifles before blowing themselves up, Yildirim said. The toll stands at 36 dead, 147 injured.

Meanwhile, people have begun sharing these images on Twitter. This one was shared by Rav Billan @ravbillan who wrote, "Unfortunately this picture doesn't require a caption....but list of dates keep on growing #PrayForTurkey."
15:04   In solidarity with Turkey
This image was shared by Caitriona Balfe @caitrionambalfe "Sending love to all in Istanbul.... Hoping this madness will end soon. #peace."
14:47   Chetan Bhagat's next novel from a woman's point of view
For all Chetan Bhagat fans...

Chetan Bhagat's next fiction, his eighth, from the viewpoint of a woman is set to be released this Diwali, the banker-turned author has said.

"Wrapping up new book in female first person. Can't wait to share details with all of you. Releases this Diwali," Bhagat said in a tweet.

The 42-year-old author has been active on twitter posting developments from the sets of the upcoming film 'Half Girlfriend', based on his book of the same name. The Mohit-Suri directed underproduction film stars Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor and is scheduled for release next year. Bhagat's novels 'Five Point Someone', 'One Night @ the Call Center', 'The 3 Mistakes of My Life' and '2 States: The Story of My Marriage' have all been previously adapted for Bollywood.
14:33   Had govt reacted sooner, he could have stayed on as RBI Governor: Father
For all Raghuram Rajan fans (of which there are legions)...

The father of Raghuram Rajan and retired senior bureaucrat R Govindarajan has said that Rajan may have stayed on as RBI Governor if the government had reacted promptly when the attacks on him started.

Speaking to The Indian Express at their home in Adyar, Chennai, Govindarajan and his wife Mythili expressed pain at the attacks on him. "I feel if the government had responded promptly when the attacks started, possibly he wouldn't have come to this decision,' Govindarajan, who retired as a senior Intelligence officer, said.  Read more
14:25   It's not about me or Ravi, it's about players: Kumble
Graciously skirting the controversy surrounding the snub Ravi Shastri received during his job interview, the newly-appointed Indian coach Anil Kumble today said it's the players who are the most significant part of the system and no one else.

Sourav Ganguly, one of the three members of the BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), had absented himself when Shastri appeared for the interview, leaving the former Team India Director miffed.

Kumble, speaking to media on his first day as coach, said neither he nor Shastri or any other official is as important as the players. "I was the first one to call Ravi after chosen as the head coach. He did a wonderful job with the Indian team. And it's not about Ravi or me or anyone else. It's about the players, it's about the team," Kumble said during his first press conference as Team India coach.

"From my point of view, we all want Indian team to do well, and perform at its best. We all believe that India team has the potential to dominate all three formats. He was part of this journey and (now) I am part of this journey. That's all what I have to say. He congratulated me and I told him we have a fantastic team. "It could be somebody else tomorrow. I am not permanent here in this role. I have an opportunity to make a difference and I have an opportunity to be part of a journey. I am privileged and honoured to be part of this journey," he said.

After being overlooked for the job, Shastri had said Ganguly was disrespectful to him and the job he was entrusted with.
14:22   Nirbhaya rapist sparks fresh intel alert
The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has issued a fresh alert over suspected jihadi links of the youngest perpetrator of 2012 fatal gang rape in Delhi who was released in December as he was a minor when the crime was committed.

Authorities in Uttar Pradesh have been advised to keep a close watch on his movements as the man, now 21, hails from the state's Badaun district.

He ended his three-year term in a reform home six months ago after being held guilty along with five others for the brutal attack on a 23-year-old woman, dubbed Nirbhaya, in a case that prompted nationwide revulsion and turned global spotlight on crimes against women in India.
14:22   Hindu Mahasabha chief gets Z-category security after threats from 'D-Company'
Hindu Mahasabha chief Swami Chakrapani, who was recently in news for burning a car that purportedly belonged to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, has been provided Z-category security after four people were arrested for planning an attack on him.
14:21   YouTube takes down Kunder's Kriti over copyright claim
A legal spat has broken out last week between Bollywood director Shirish Kunder and Nepali director Aneel Neupane over the plot of Kunder's recently released short film 'Kriti'.

On Tuesday night, YouTube took down Kunder's film stating 'The video is no longer available due to copyright claim by Aneel Neupane'.

Neupane stated that the plot of Kunder's Kriti was lifted off his Nepali short film titled 'BOB'. He said that he had uploaded the film on Vimeo as a private video, only to be shared among close friends, before finally releasing it on YouTube on May 12 this year.

Kunder responded to Neupane's allegations with a legal notice on Monday. In the notice, Kunder stated that he could not have obtained a copy of BOB and alleged that since the script of Kriti was with several people, it was quite possible that Neupane came across it and then made BOB. The report further cited the notice to Neupane, saying, "Assuming your position is correct that the two films are so similar, then it is you who has infringed our client's copyright."
13:58   Salman replies to NCW notice over 'raped woman' remark, but no apology
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has sent his reply to the National Commission for Women over a notice sent to him last week. Salman had been served a notice and asked to respond and apologise within seven days over his 'raped woman' comment. NCW chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam sought a public apology from the Bollywood actor and asked for an explanation.

The actor has not apologised as yet, say reports.

The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has also followed up with another notice to the Bollywood actor.

Salman in a recent interview said that he "felt like a raped woman" during the shooting of the film, Sultan, drawing the wrath of fans and women activists alike.

Dubbing Salman's comment as 'irresponsible and careless', Kumaramangalam said that the actor would be summoned if his explanation is unsatisfactory.

Salman made the comments during an interview with entertainment website to promote Sultan that tells the story of an ageing wrestler trying to make a comeback.

"When I used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot, I used to feel like a raped woman. I couldn't walk straight," the 50-year-old actor said last week.
13:54   SC adjourns triple talaq hearing to Sept 6
Triple Talaq matter: The Supreme Court adjourns the hearing till September 6. The CJI has asked all concerned respondents to frame the legal issues concerning the matter; the CJI also observed that its a serious issue. The issue of triple talaq has to be examined on the touchstone of Constitutional framework and earlier verdicts, says the SC and lists matter for further hearing on Sept 6.
13:20   SC refers fresh PIL challenging Section 377 to CJI
The Supreme Court on Wednesday referred the fresh Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a group of LGBT celebrities challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur for appropriate orders.

Justice Thakur will decide if the petition is to be heard along with curative petition already pending in the apex court. Section 377 criminalises any 'unnatural' sexual contact by a person including acts of homosexuality. The Supreme Court, which reopened today after a summer break, had in February agreed to re-examine its December 2013 verdict that re-criminalised gay sex.
13:06   Kejriwal's Gujarat visit cancelled as BJP Govt. refuses permission
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's upcoming visit to Gujarat has been cancelled after the Anandiben Patel-led BJP Government in the state did not give permission for programme at the chosen venue.

Kejriwal, who visited Gujarat in 2014 in the run up to the general election, was expected to woo the Patidar community during his visit to the state.

The Patidar community, which is adamant on its demand for quotas in jobs and education, is gradually shifting from its traditional loyalty towards the BJP.

The AAP, which is keen to establish its base in the BJP-ruled state ahead of the assembly polls scheduled next year, is now looking to benefit from the discontentment of the Patidar community.

According to reports, the AAP supremo was expected to reach out to the farmers besides local businessmen and industrialists during his visit. Kejriwal, who has been extremely critical of Gujarat strongman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was also expected to meet Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel, presently lodged at Surat's Lojpore Central Jail on sedition charges.

The AAP chief had earlier this month dubbed the arrest of 23-year-old Patidar agitation leader as illegal. In a video message posted on the AAP's Gujarat Twitter handle, Kejriwal said Hardik, who has been in prison for more than eight months, had merely raised his voice for the rights of Gujaratis.

"Hardik Patel is in jail for the last eight months and he has been charged with sedition. People told me that they are very upset with this. What is the mistake of Hardik Patel? He raised his voice for Gujarati's and fought for their rights. He never raised voice against the nation. He never spoke of breaking the nation," he said. Asserting that Patel's demands were the same as that of lakhs of Gujaratis, Kejriwal demanded to know if the government would label all those as 'anti-national'.

Image: Kejriwal wore flowers in this head (and Twitter went mad) on his visit to Goa yesterday.
12:52   Monsoon session of Parl likely from July 18 to August 12
Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Venkaiah Naidu, on Wednesday said that the the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs has recommended holding the Monsoon session from July 18 to August 12. The government is also in favour of passing the GST Bill in the Monsoon Session.

He said that he would speak to all parties, if required, personally. There are indications that a number of regional parties have broken ranks with Congress on the issue of GST Bill and are willing to extend their support to this crucial economic reform measure.
12:19   SC refuses to ban WhatsApp
The Supreme Court has refused to ban WhatsApp and has asked the petitioner to approach the government.

A petition had been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on WhatsApp. The petition said that WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption poses a security threat to the country.

The petition, filed by RTI activist Sudhir Yadav, said WhatsApp and other messenger services violate provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and Information Technology Act, 2000.

California-based WhatsApp, acquired by Facebook Inc in February 2014, introduced end-to-end encryption on April 5, 2016, to its billions of users with an updated version of the application. In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorised parties can read it.

"From April, every message in WhatsApp uses 256-bit encryption. WhatsApp servers do not have access to the private keys of the users...which means it would be impossible to decrypt messages, chats, calls, videos, images and documents," Yadav said. The Gurugram-based petitioner claimed this posed a serious threat to national security as terrorists can plan attacks.

Thankfully, the court threw it out.
Supreme Court dismisses petition seeking ban on WhatsApp Messenger.
11:54   Cabinet clears salary hike, pension for 1 crore central govt employees
The Union Cabinet has approved a higher increase in basic pay than the nearly 15 per cent recommended by the 7th Pay Commission for over 1 crore (Rs 10 million) government employees and pensioners.

The pay panel had in November last year recommended 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay at junior levels, the lowest in 70 years. The previous 6th Pay Commission had recommended a 20 per cent hike which the government doubled while implementing it in 2008.

After considering the increase proposed in allowances, the hike in remunerations comes to 23.55 per cent. "Considering the tight fiscal position this year, the government may improve upon the Pay Commission recommendation for basic pay to 18 per cent or at best 20 per cent," a senior official said.

The 7th Pay Commission report will be effective from January 1, he said, adding that the Cabinet will decide if the arrears for the six months have to be paid in one go or in installments.
11:47   IKEA recalls over 35 million chests, dressers after child deaths
Furniture giant Ikea on Tuesday said it was recalling more than 35 million chests and dressers in North America after six children died in the United States when they tipped over, reports AFP.

The recall by the Swedish company, the world's largest furniture seller, affects 29 million units sold in the United States and 6.6 million units sold in Canada, according to Ikea and safety regulators in the two countries.

The recalled items are "unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children," Ikea North America said in a statement. "If you have, or think you have, one of these drawers... please act immediately," said Elliot Kaye, head of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). "We're imploring you."

Speaking at a news conference in Washington, Kaye illustrated the tip-over danger by having personnel from his office use a 28-pound (13-kilo) dummy dressed as a young girl hang from the top drawers of Malm furniture. The empty bureau tumbled down on the dummy in repeated demonstrations.

Eight million of the recalled items in the United States are Malm model chests and dressers, and 21 million additional children's and adult chests and dressers. All were manufactured between 2002 and June 2016.

Image: Ikea tweeted this picture of a defective chest of drawers that tip over.
11:36   Cabinet likely to take up Seventh Pay Commission's report today
The Union Cabinet is likely to take up the Seventh Pay Commission committee's report during its meeting scheduled for today. The recommendations submitted by the Empowered Committee of Secretaries, which was formed to look into recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, will result in a hike in salaries of over one crore government employees and pensioners.

The Centre had earlier in earlier in January set up a panel headed by Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha to process the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, which is expected to change the remuneration of 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners.

The Seventh Pay Commission in its report to the government had recommended an overall 23.6 percent increase in salaries and pension of all central government employees.
11:20   Publicity relentlessly seeks me, says Swamy in reply to PM's rebuke
BJP MP Subramnian Swamy, who had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's disapproval for his "craving for publicity", today suggested that it is publicity which "relentlessly seeks" him as he wrote about hordes of media persons waiting outside his residence.

He also said that he stands by Modi as he admires his spine but took a dig at journalists planting "deliberately false stories" to provoke him.

"New problem: when publicity relentlessly seeks a politician. 30 OVs outside the house, 200 missed calls from channels and paparazzis?" he tweeted.

"Presstitutes are daily planting deliberately false stories hoping I will be provoked to reply. Ha! They have a hope!," he said in another tweet. "I have said before and saying now: Come hell or high water I stand by Modi. I admire his spine. No foreign power can buckle him," he added.

The Rajya Sabha member, who consistently attacked RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and then took potshots at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has been lying low after the BJP leadership indicated its unhappiness and Modi voiced disapproval of his conduct.

Swamy tweeted last night, Subramanian Swamy ‏@Swamy39  "Friends tell me Arnab G is on his show nowadays foaming in the mouth chanting Muruga Muruga. Must have been bitten by a mad unelectable dog."

And then goes on to explain the tweet: @Swamy39  @MrsTrolluSharma : Unelectable is term in UK canine trade for unwanted dog.
11:10   Jay Leno survives accident
Comedian and TV host Jay Leno survived an accident while shooting for his show "Garage." The former "Tonight Show" host was riding his car with legendary drag racer Bob Riggle when the accident happened, reported Aceshowbiz. Leno, 66, was behind the wheel when his car jolted and flipped several times before landing on its wheels. The two men were shaken but escaped the crash uninjured.

"That was certainly exciting, It doesn't get more exciting than that. I actually do stuff like this every week. That's why Ihave so many cars. I roll half of them half the time." he joked.
10:57   'US should adopt policy of total isolation against Pakistan'
The US should adopt a policy of "total isolation" against Pakistan to send a signal that it faces the prospect of becoming a "second North Korea" if it continues destabilising Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban and Haqqani network, a former top American diplomat has said.

"In the aftermath of the US drone attack killing Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, this is the time to increase the pressure by suspending all assistance to Pakistan -- military and civilian -- and move towards isolating Pakistan internationally, including not supporting IMF renewal of
financial support," Zalmay Khalilzad, a former top American
diplomat in the Bush Administration, told PTI.
Khalilzad, who played a key role America's policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq after 9/11 terror attack, said the US should adopt a policy of "total isolation" against Pakistan.
10:43   Hrithik Roshan escapes Istanbul airport attack
Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan was stuck at the Istanbul's Ataturk airport, few hours before the terrorist attack that has killed at least 36 people.
The 42-year-old "Bang Bang!" star, who was vacationing in Africa with sons Hrehaan and Hridhaan, was on his way back to India when he missed his connecting flight at the Istanbul's airport.

"Missed connecting flight at Istanbul and were stuck at airport next flight was next day, but took economy and flew out earlier. #Prayers4istanbul," Hrithik tweeted. 

The actor thanked the airport staff for the assistance and also asked his fans to come together in the fight against terrorism.
10:37   Cameron tells EU free movement reform key to post-Brexit ties
Prime Minister David Cameron has told EU leaders they should consider reforming rules on freedom of movement, a Downing Street source said, after Britain voted to leave the bloc.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said Cameron told a leaders' dinner in Brussels yesterday that Britain and the EU should "have as close an economic relationship as possible and that the key to staying close is really to look at reform to free movement".
A British government source speaking anonymously added that Cameron believed free movement was "one of the driving factors in people voting to leave".
10:26   You have to 'fight fire with fire: Donald Trump on terror
Donald Trump on Tuesday prescribed fighting "fire with fire" when it comes to battling terrorism, seemingly making the case for using similarly brutal tactics as terror groups like ISIS have in the past.

The GOP's presumptive nominee has been outspoken on enhanced interrogation, telling Tuesday's enthusiastic crowd once again that he doesn't think waterboarding is "tough enough" and that it's "peanuts" compared to what terrorists have done in the past. 

Trump lamented being limited by laws when fighting terror, allowing that waterboarding is "not the nicest thing," but advocating for its use when "the enemy" is "chopping off people's heads."

"You have to fight fire with fire," Trump decided. "We have to be so strong. We have to fight so viciously. And violently because we're dealing with violent people viciously."

The entire speech can be read HERE.
09:54   NIA busts ISIS module, detains 11 from Hyderabad
The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday busted a suspected ISIS terror module and detained 11 people for questioning.

The agency conducted a series of raids in Hyderabad, and recovered arms, explosives and Rs 15 lakh.

The detained men were in touch with their handlers in Syria and were plotting attacks in India, NIA officials said.
09:25   No Indian casualty in Turkey terror attack
There has been no report so far of any Indian casualty in the terror attack at the international terminal of Turkey's Ataturk airport where three
suspected Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 36 people.
External Affairs Ministry also said that the Indian Consulate has been in touch been touch with Istanbul governorate and has given emergency contact numbers for Indians requiring assistance.
No reports so far of any Indian among the casualties, the ministry said. 
09:08   PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi condemn Istanbul airport attack
Meanwhile leaders from across the spectrum have show solidarity with the people of Turkey. 

'Attack in Istanbul is inhuman & horrific. I condemn it strongly. My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly,' PM Modi said on his twitter handle. 

'Shocked &deeply saddened by news of yet another terror attack in Istanbul.Strongly condemn this cowardly attack on innocents. My prayers are with the families of the victims & the ppl of #Istanbul,' Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

"Terrorism will not prevail. We stand with our ally Turkey in the face of this heinous attack," tweeted Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
08:54   MEA says no reports on Indian casualties in Istanbul Attack
The ministry of external affairs has posted emergency contact numbers of Indians requiring assistance in Istanbul. 

'No report so far of any Indian among casualties.Consulate in touch with Istanbul Governorate and Turkish Health Ministry hotline desk,' the MEA tweeted.

'Turkish Air flights to Delhi & Mumbai departed Istanbul last night as scheduled. Both leave Istanbul at around 8pm,' the ministry added. 

'Ataturk Airport operations at Istanbul have resumed but long delays are likely:MEA Many flights are reported to have been diverted to Sabiha Gokcen International Airport,delays are expected there as well,' stated the ministry's twitter feed.
08:16   Gunman shoots 1 at downtown Denver building; kills self
A gunman walked into a busy downtown Denver office building and shot a person multiple times before turning the gun on himself, police has said.
The gunman was found dead when SWAT officers arrived, police spokesman Doug Schepman said yesterday. The female victim was critically injured and was undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital.
Schepman said the gunman targeted the victim, and detectives are trying to determine the connection between the two. Police have not released any names. 

Officers went floor-by-floor to clear the Alliance Center, a building that houses several environmental organisations and provides shared workspaces. Other buildings were locked down, and people were asked to stay away from the area.
08:14   The moment Ataturk Airport terrorist detonated the bomb
Footage, captured and uploaded by a Twitter handle, outside Ataturk Istanbul Airport in Turkey, shows a man being shot before blowing himself up with a bomb.

The video begins with an eyewitness on an upper level of the airport looking down at the bodies on the street below.

Moments later a sickening blast rings out, shaking the ground outside the terminal as the person filming shouts aloud and ducks.

A second video, more disturbing than the first, shows CCTV from inside the airport at the exact moment of the explosion.

At least 36 people have been killed and 147 wounded in the Ataturk airport attack this evening.

While it's not yet confirmed who's responsible for the bombing, police sources suspect ISIS is to blame.

Early reports suggest up to three shooters stormed the airport security area with guns blazing before blowing themselves up.

Armed police at the scene reportedly opened fire in a bid to neutralise the gunmen, but were unable to stop them detonating their explosives.

The video can be seen HERE.
08:04   Must do everything possible to keep terror outside the US: Trump says after Istanbul attacks
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said the terror attack in Turkey is a reminder that the US can't retreat from this part of the world and needs to deepen co-operation with allies in the Middle East and Europe to take on this threat. 

"Today's attack in Istanbul only strengthens our resolve to defeat the forces of terrorism and radical jihadism around the world. And it reminds us that the United States cannot retreat," Clinton said in a statement yesterday. 

"We must deepen our cooperation with our allies and partners in the Middle East and Europe to take on this threat," she said adding that such cooperation is essential to protecting homeland and keeping the country safe. 

"Yet another terrorist attack, this time in Turkey. Will the world ever realize what is going on? So sad," Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted. 

"We must do everything possible to keep this horrible terrorism outside the United States," Trump said. 
07:48   US, UN condemn terror attack in Turkey
Condemning the terror attack at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport that killed 36 people and injured many others, the US and UN has called for stepped-up cooperation in fighting terrorism and has vowed "steadfast" support for Turkey.
"Ataturk International Airport, like Brussels Airport which was attacked earlier this year, is a symbol of international connections and the ties that bind us together," the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday. 

US President Barack Obama was briefed on the explosions by his Assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco.
"Our deepest condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured. We remain steadfast in our support for Turkey, our NATO Ally and partner, along with all of our friends and allies around the world, as we continue to confront the threat of terrorism," he said.

Condemning the terrorist attack at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, expressed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Turkey. 

"The Secretary-General hopes that the perpetrators of this crime will be identified and brought to justice. He stands firmly by Turkey as it confronts this threat and stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism," his
spokesman said in a statement.
03:46   Pak Muslim clerics approve transgender people's right to marry
Muslim clerics in Pakistan are usually known for issuing stern, conservative pronouncements on gender-related issues, mostly limiting the rights of women.

But in a surprising twist, a large group of clerics there has just issued a fatwa, or religious edict, affirming the rights of transgender people to marry.

The ruling, issued Sunday by 50 Islamic clerics in the eastern city of Lahore, said that transgender people may marry under Islamic law and that they have the right to be buried in Muslim ceremonies and to inherit property, according to reports from Reuters and the  Pakistani media.

The fatwa said the Pakistani state is responsible for protecting them.
02:25   2 explosions rock Istanbul airport, killing at least 10
AFP is reporting that at least 10 people were killed today in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. 

More details are awaited.
01:28   Tel judges stir: CM requests Centre to speed up HC bifurcation
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today urged the Centre to expedite the process of division of the present high court, saying the provisional allocation of judicial officers has created a discontent among them and lawyers belonging to the state. 

In a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, he requested appropriate notification to take up the exercise of allocating judicial officers and staff be issued only after the high courts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh start functioning separately. 

The letter came amid an ongoing stir by Telangana lawyers and judges seeking bifurcation of the high court (following division of undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2014) and also against provisional allocation of judicial officers between AP and Telangana. 

Rao said the tentative allocation of subordinate judicial officers has created discontent among the judicial officers and advocate community belonging to Telangana as many officers of Andhra Pradesh were allocated to Telangana.
00:16   Brexit shows Europe's need to 'lance the boil': French PM
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday that after Britain's vote to leave the European Union, the bloc needs to "lance the boil" and reform to remedy a pervasive malaise.
Valls said the shock vote proved that many citizens of the European Union had deep doubts about the bloc.
"They don't understand what it does, they cannot see what it brings them. To them, Europe is invasive on minor issues, and absent on the essential," he told the French National Assembly.
"Worse, they feel it imposes its choices and systematically acts against their interests. The pro-Brexit slogan 'take back the power' says things very clearly. And we cannot ignore it."
"We must lance the boil, this vote shows the malaise of the people," Valls said, adding that if Europe did not work with its people, it would "disintegrate".

"The alternative is simple: either we do as we have always done, avoiding the evidence and trying to plug the gaps ... or we finally pluck up the courage to go all out, turn this shock into an electroshock and an opportunity."
Valls said it would be a mistake to think that the referendum concerned only the British, saying the future of the entire bloc that is at stake.
"I refuse to see this great project veer off course. I refuse to see it founder and sink, pulled under by the growing weight of populism. I refuse to see us cede to fatalism, pessimism," said Valls, who was born in Spain and became a French citizen aged 20.