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Wed, 02 November 2016
'We don't operate on leaks': Obama criticizes FBI director

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23:18   'We don't operate on leaks': Obama criticizes FBI director
President Obama criticized what he called FBI "leaks" in his first direct remarks on Director James Comey's decision to notify Congress of the status of an investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"I do think that there is a norm that when there are investigations, we don't operate on innuendo, we don't operate on incomplete information, we don't operate on leaks," Obama said.

Obama's remarks were surprising, given the White House's previous position of neutrality in the politically charged issue. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that he would neither defend nor criticize the director's decision.

22:47   Am sacrificing my life for country & jawans: Veteran's suicide note
The ex-serviceman, whose alleged suicide led to a huge political showdown with detentions of Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and many other AAP and Congress leaders, had written in his suicide note that "he is giving his life for his country and his fellow jawans".

The 70-year-old ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal from Haryana's Bhiwani district had allegedly consumed poison behind the Jawahar Bhavan, which houses the Ministry of External Affairs, yesterday afternoon. 

Police said he along with three of his companions had come to the city apparently to submit a memorandum to the Defence Ministry over the issue of OROP. 

Grewal wrote his suicide note on a document he wanted to submit to the Defence Ministry. 

He wrote, "I am sacrificing my life for my country, my motherland and for my brave fellow jawans," police said.

In an audio clip of Grewal's last conversation with his son that was aired on news channels, he told his son that "he had consumed poison and was sacrificing for OROP and his fellow jawans who were not getting their due."

According to his friends, Grewal, who served in the Army and the Defence Security Corps for 30 years, had been "upset" over the issue for sometime.
22:07   Poll shows Clinton, Trump tied after new FBI email probe
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are deadlocked in the first ABC News/Washington Post daily tracking poll conducted entirely after FBI Director James Comey informed Congress about additional evidence related to Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, though the resurgence of Clinton's email scandal seems to have had little impact overall on the race.

The poll, which includes interviews conducted last Friday through Monday, shows Clinton and Trump both at 46 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson is at 3 percent, Green Party nominee Jill Stein is at 2 percent, and another 3 percent are undecided.
 
The race has tightened significantly since the tracking poll began last month. In the first four nights of the poll -- the four nights immediately following the final televised debate between the two major-party candidates Clinton had a 12-point lead over Trump, 50 percent to 38 percent.

But that narrowed almost immediately, and in the following four nights, October 24-27, Clinton's lead was down to just 2 points.

21:52   Maintaining credibility is a big issue for media: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said credibility is the biggest challenge for media in the age of technology and it is important for media establishments to maintain it.
Speaking after giving away the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards organised by The Indian Express, he said earlier people with certain training and qualification came to journalism but today anybody with a mobile phone can click a picture and upload it.
"People now have a lot of news. In this context, maintaining credibility is a big issue and the biggest demand of time," he said.
In a lighter vein, the prime minister said while media had full freedom to comment on everything and everybody, it does not like others' views on it.
Tongue-in-cheek, he said he must be the only privileged politician after Independence to have got so much of media attention and he is eternally grateful to it.
Setting two important matters before the media, Modi said he does not have any issue with the government being criticised by the media but there should be no mistake in reporting. National unity, he added, should be the priority as India is a diverse country.
"Any compromise is a news for you and you move on to the next news but such a compromise leaves behind deep wounds. We (politicians) may be making more mistakes than you but please strengthen forces of national unity.
21:50   Anna Hazare questions lacunae in OROP
Attacking the union government over the alleged suicide of an ex-serviceman, social activist Anna Hazare today asked why the Centre had devised an "imperfect" One-Rank-One-Pension scheme.

Ram Kishan Grewal, 70, a resident of Haryana's Bhiwani district, ended his life last evening by consuming poison on the lawns of a government building in Janpath in New Delhi.

"The Centre and leaders are speaking about bravery of soldiers with much pride. But then why the lacunae were kept in OROP for the past soldiers. Grewal's death has raised many questions and the Centre has to answer them," Hazare told PTI

Hazare, an ex-serviceman himself, reminded that he had demonstrated for One-Rank-One-Pension in the past. The veteran activist said that citizens of the country were "hurt due to the approach by the Centre".

The alleged suicide of an army veteran over the OROP issue today snowballed into a huge political showdown in the national capital with Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being detained by police.
21:17   Veteran who committed suicide received OROP: MoD
Ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide over OROP, was one of the recipients of benefits under the revised pension scheme, defence ministry sources said today as his death sent political temperature soaring in the national capital.
However, ministry sources said Grewal had received a lesser amount as part of the One Rank-One Pension scheme under the 6th pay commission due to an error in calculation by the SBI bank branch in Bhiwani district of Haryana, a matter which was being looked into.
They said the deceased former soldier had not sought an appointment with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar either at his office or home.
Meanwhile, Parrikar today asserted the government was committed to the welfare of ex-servicemen and said a total of Rs 5,507.47 crore has been disbursed under the scheme.
Giving details of the OROP implementation so far, Parrikar said there were 20,63,763 beneficiaries before July 2014.
He said 19,12,520 pensioners have been paid the first instalment and 1,50,313 cases are pending verification and authentication of beneficiaries.
20:44   I was just doing my job, why was I arrested: Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi, who was detained for a second time by Delhi Police today for trying to meet army veteran's family, was released. 

High drama unfolded on streets in Lutyens' Delhi after Congress and AAP workers staged protests over suicide of ex-serviceman. 

Gandhi told media persons, "As a political leader I was just doing my job, why was I arrested."

"Arrest me if you want, I said to the police. But why detain them? (family of ex serviceman) Whatever happened with them is wrong," said the Congress vice-president.

"Wanted to speak to bereaved family for 2 minutes but when family came out to meet me, they were beaten and dragged to police station," he said.

He further added, "When I asked the cop why was the family detained, I was told that orders have come from the top."
20:32   Rahul Gandhi released after second detention
Rahul Gandhi, who was detained for a second time by Delhi Police today for trying to meet army veteran's family, was released. 

High drama unfolded on streets in Lutyens' Delhi after Congress and AAP workers staged protests over suicide of ex-serviceman. 

Gandhi along with other Congress leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia and Ajay Maken were bundled into a police van and taken to the police station, sources said.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi was detained at the RML Hospital when he tried to meet the family members of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide last night over the One Rank-One Pension issue, and taken to Mandir Marg police station. 

He was detained for around 70 minutes before being released.
20:06  
Iowa shooting update: Suspect Scott Michael Greene, 46, was caught by Urbandale police after two Iowa police officers were shot dead in separate "ambush-style" killings as they sat in their patrol cars.
20:06  
Iowa shooting update: Suspect Scott Michael Greene, 46, was caught by Urbandale police after two Iowa police officers were shot dead in separate "ambush-style" killings as they sat in their patrol cars.
19:55   Terror accused fed chicken biryani for years, says MP CM
Batting for fast-track courts to try terror cases, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has vehemently defended police role in the killing of eight SIMI activists in an alleged encounter, has said the accused stay in jail for years before they are sentenced and "keep eating chicken biryani".

"It takes years to sentence them. They keep eating chicken biryani (in jail)... they escape and indulge in more crimes and attacks.... If we can have fast track courts for corruption cases, why can't we have fast track courts for sentencing terrorists," Chouhan said addressing a function on Tuesday.

Chouhan on Wednesday inspected the Central Jail from where eight SIMI activists escaped after killing a constable and were later gunned down by police on Monday. The opposition and families of the victims have questioned the police version. 

The chief minister was apprised of the security arrangements and he instructed the authorities to further tighten it.
19:50   Kejriwal formally detained; tweets: 'No idea where they are taking me'
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweets: "Formally detained by the police. No idea where they are taking me."

Kejriwal had, earlier in the evening, said that the police were not letting him go to a police station to meet the family of a retired soldier who committed suicide.

"My vehicle surrounded by police. Not allowing me to leave," the Aam Aadmi Party leader tweeted from outside the Lady Hardinge Hospital which had conducted the autopsy of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal.
19:43   US: 2 policemen shot in 'ambush-style attacks'
Two police officers in central Iowa were shot and killed Wednesday in a pair of "ambush-style attacks", the Des Moines Police Department said.

Police said both officers were sitting in their squad cars when they were shot and killed.

Authorities on Wednesday morning identified Scott Michael Greene, 46, as the suspect in the shootings that killed the officers from Des Moines and nearby Urbandale. They said Greene, an Urbandale resident, was last seen driving a blue Ford F-150 with a silver-colored topper.

"Greene is believed to be armed and should be considered dangerous," the Urbandale and Des Moines police departments said in a statement, urging people not to approach him but to call 911 instead.

Authorities in the Des Moines area appeared shaken by the double shooting, which came during a year that has seen bloody attacks on officers in cities like Dallas and Baton Rouge, assaults that fueled a sense of anxiety among law enforcement nationwide.

Read more HERE
18:55   VK Singh sparks row with remarks over Grewal's mental state
Union Minister VK Singh today triggered a controversy when he said the "mental state" of the ex-serviceman who committed alleged suicide over OROP needs to be probed before drawing conclusions about his extreme action.

"He has committed suicide. No one knows the reason behind it. OROP is being shown as the reason. What his mental state was we do not know. Let it be probed first. OROP should be kept above politics," Singh told reporters, while reacting to alleged suicide by army veteran Ram Kishan Grewal.

He went on to state that the Centre had accepted the long-pending demands of the agitating veterans and there was no need to get into "what one is saying for 4 paisa."

Singh's comments drew sharp reactions from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress. 

"Shame on u VKSingh. He twice got medals from President and once from COAS. He was a decorated soldier," Kejriwal tweeted.

Senior Congress leader RPN Singh said it was "unbecoming" of a former army chief to bring the mental state of a deceased veteran into question.
18:51  
India summons Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner; expresses "grave concern" over ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops on LoC
18:26   Rahul Gandhi detained again
Just In: Rahul Gandhi detained again after meeting the family of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal who allegedly committed suicide over the One Rank One Pension issue.

According to a Delhi Police official, when the leaders along with the crowd started gathering at Ram Manohar Lohia, medical services were getting severely affected and orderliness deteriorated. 

Despite several requests when they didn't move, leaders and protesting followers were removed to police stations and detained. They are being spoken to. Family members of the deceased are also being spoken to. Due Police procedure is on, the police official added.

Among those who were detained along with Rahul included Jyotiraditya Scindia. 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also been detained at Lady Hardinge hospital, he was moving out of hospital
18:20   Jet Airways facing acute shortage of pilots?
Naresh Goyal-owned Jet Airways is facing acute shortage of pilots amid the airline increasing its capacity in the fast growing domestic market, according to sources.

A number of Jet Airways flights have got delayed in the recent past as the airline has failed to provide pilots due to paucity of the flight crew, they said. 

The Mumbai-headquartered full service carrier is second largest airline in terms of number of domestic operations after no-frills IndiGo. 

As part of the winter schedule, which is effective from late last month, Jet Airways plans to operate 3,010 flights per week while its subsidiary JetLite 507 flights per week. 

"Jet Airways is facing shortage of pilots for quite some time now. While the airline has been increasing the number of flights in its both winter and summer schedules each year, the number of pilots is not increasing in the same ratio, leading to shortage of flight crew," a source said.

Jet Airways requires at least 200 more pilots to carry out its operations in a seamless manner, the source said, adding "shortage is more in narrow body, Boeing 737 fleet."
17:54   Pakistan may expel 2 Indian diplomats it thinks are 'spies'
Pakistan may ask at least two officials of the Indian High Commission to leave the country for their alleged involvement in subversive activities, a media report said on Wednesday. 

The two officials were identified and their photographs were being flashed by different TV news channels. 

Geo TV reported that commercial counsellor Rajesh Agnihotri and press counsellor Balbir Singh may be expelled. 

Citing sources, the channel claimed that Agnihotri was directly linked with RAW while Singh was working for Intelligence Bureau and they were allegedly using their
positions in Pakistan as cover to hide their real identities. 

It claimed Singh was also running a network of militants in Pakistan and expelled High Commission official Surgeet Singh was also part of his network.

The development came after reports that Pakistan may call back at least four officials at its High Commission in India after they were named in a recorded statement of Mehmood Akhtar who was briefly detained and then expelled by India.

They include commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal.

There were no immediate comments from the Indian High Commission about the reports. 
17:40   4 Pakistan High Commission officials leave India
Four Pakistan High Commission officials leave India, reports ANI citing sources.

Dawn News had on Tuesday reported that Pakistan was considering pulling out four officers posted at its High Commission in New Delhi, days after India declared one Pakistani official persona non-grata for espionage activities

The names of the officers -- commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal -- were made public after a recorded statement of High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar was released to the media, the report said.

Akhtar, who worked in the visa section of the Pakistan High Commission and had diplomatic immunity, was procuring critical details including those about deployment of BSF personnel along the Indo-Pak border from two other accomplices who were arrested in Delhi.

Akhtar and two others -- identified as Subhash Jangir and Maulana Ramzan-- were picked up from Delhi Zoo last week. Akhtar was released after around three hours of interrogation as he enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

A fourth person Shoaib, who is a Jodhpur-based passport and visa agent, was detained by Rajasthan police later.
17:31   Kochi lawyers prevent journos from covering court
In yet another incident of lawyers obstructing news coverage, a group of advocates at a sessions court in Kochi prevented journalists from reporting the commencement of trial of the murder case of a Dalit woman.

Five journalists were present in the court hall when the lawyers came and asked them to leave, said a journalist, who was assigned to cover the proceedings. Three of the five journalists were women. 

The incident occurred a day after the regional committee of Indian Newspapers Society and Kerala Television Federation wrote an open letter to Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, making an appeal to him to resolve the stand-off between media-persons and lawyers in the state.

Image used for representational purposes
17:18   Kamal Haasan disowns statement on split, says it wasn't his
Veteran star Kamal Haasan today claimed that a statement issued in his name, about his split from partner Gautami Tadimalla, did not belong to him. 

"At this point of time, I am not issuing any statement," he said, in an apparent reference to his split with Gautami. 

 The 61 year-old actor also said that someone was "playing" by issuing a statement in his name.

"It is indecent that someone is playing by issuing a statement in my name," the actor-producer said in a Tamil tweet. Haasan's response came in the wake of a statement doing the rounds in the social media in his name on the pair's split. 

Gautami yesterday announced she was parting ways with Haasan, her partner for 13 years, terming it as "one of the most devastating decisions that I have ever had to make in my life." She did not specify any reason for the separation. 

 Meanwhile, Haasan's daughter Shruti, who reportedly had a showdown with Gautami a few months ago, chose not to comment on the matter.

"Shruti has never commented on anyone's personal life and their decisions. For her, what matters most is standing by, loving and respecting her family -- her parents and her sister (Akshara), no matter what," a statement from her office said.
16:31   She survived a 'punishment' gang rape and has now walked the ramp in Pakistan
Gang-raped and paraded naked in public 14 years ago, Mukhtar Mai walked the fashion runway during Pakistan's fashion week on Tuesday. A red-carpet reception in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, attended by the country's fashion elite, served as the forum for Mai's symbolic fashion debut -- something she said she's doing as a model of courage and hope for other Pakistani women.


"If one step I take, if that helps even one woman, I would be very happy to do that," Mai told The Associated Press.


In 2002, Mai was sentenced by a local council of tribal elders to be gang raped and publicly humiliated as punishment for her brother's perceived insult to a rival family.


Rather than commit suicide, as many Pakistani women in her position have done, Mai went public and fought all the way to the country's Supreme Court to have her attackers jailed.


Fourteen men -- the alleged rapists and the tribal council members -- were put on trial, and six were handed the death sentence. But all of them were eventually released on appeal.


Nevertheless, Mai went on to become an international advocate for women's rights and founded a charity that sponsors a women's shelter and a girl's school in her rural hometown of Meerwala.


On Tuesday night, surrounded by Pakistan's top models and wealthy designers, Mai appeared slightly shy and nervous when faced with the blitz of cameras.


Mai, now 44, wore a light green embroidered bridal shirt and silver, silk salwar, designed by Rozina Munib, with a scarf covering her hair.Munib said she approached Mai to display her designs to send a public message that, "If you have a mishap, it's not the end of life."


Mai smiled as she walked the runway along with several other models in the concluding event of the three-day Fashion Pakistan Week event. Afterward she moved around freely through the crowds, chatting with well-wishers and allowing a steady stream of admirers to take selfies with her.
16:15   Burning of schools in Kashmir wrong, says Burhan Wani's father
Muzaffar Wani, father of terrorist Burhan Wani who was killed by the security forces in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir in July leading to violent clashes and unrest in the Valley that have continued to this day, has condemned the burning of schools in Kashmir.


"Whoever is doing this is wrong, burning of schools is unacceptable," Muzaffar Wani said.


Wani expressed "deep pain" over the burning down of schools in the Valley and made a fervent appeal to those behind it to refrain from targeting educational institutions.


Muzaffar Wani, a retired government teacher, told PTI over the phone from his residence in Tral of south Kashmir that "as a teacher, whenever a school is burnt down, my heart is set on fire."


"This is not right. Whosoever is responsible for this is doing no good to the society. A society without any education is lifeless. They do not have any identity," Wani said and made it clear that he was making this statement as a teacher and not as any leader.


"I appeal to all the people as well as agencies that whoever is doing this is not doing the correct thing. For God's sake, please refrain from such acts because education is the only thing which will help us in becoming good humans," he said.


Over 25 educational institutions have been burnt by miscreants in the Kashmir Valley since July 9, a day after Burhan was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir.
16:01  
Ex serviceman suicide issue: Cong VP Rahul Gandhi has been released from Mandir Marg Police station (Delhi) after being detained by police.
15:42   Rahul non-serious, part-time politician, says BJP on Cong VP's detention
An ex-serviceman allegedly committed suicide over the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, triggering a political row, with Rahul Gandhi and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia rushing to the hospital, where they were prevented from seeing the Army Veteran's body.


Gandhi was not allowed to enter the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where 70-year-old Ram Kishan Grewal's body was kept, while Sisodia was detained outside the hospital.


The ex-serviceman's son was detained for allegedly contacting the political parties.


Rahul Gandhi asked the police, "How can you arrest a martyr's kin? Aren't you ashamed for arresting him? What kind of a law is this?"


Congress workers protested outside Mandir Marg Police Station in Delhi as police detains Rahul. "The way the government is working since day 1 is anti-democratic, this is a well thought conspiracy to stop Rahul Gandhi wherever he goes," says Congress senior leader Ahmed Patel.


The Delhi police defended the move saying Rahul came to the hospital against their advice. The police said they wouldn't allow demonstrations at the hospital.


The BJP reacted saying Rahul was a non-serious, part-time politician.
15:21  
RML hospital: Congress' Randeep Surjewala and Kiran Choudhary also detained.
15:20   'This is Modi-ji's country': Rahul after high drama at hospital
Expressing ire over not being allowed to meet the kin of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide over the delay in implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over this strange behaviour.


"Let's see how long I have to wait here. I am certain that I will talk to the family. This is a strange behaviour. This is Modi's ji's country," he told ANI after being denied permission to visit the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.


Meanwhile, Special Commissioner Mukesh Kumar Meena told the media here that Rahul Gandhi has been detained for trying to enter the hospital despite being advised otherwise.


"It is a hospital and not a place for demonstration. Rahul Gandhi detained at Mandir Marg Police Station for 'disruption of duty'. Democracy doesn't mean creating obstruction. Leaders must also understand that hospital is not the place to hold any demonstrations," he added.


Grewal consumed poison last afternoon. However, the cause behind Grewal's suicide is yet to be ascertained. 
14:44   SIMI men were unarmed during encounter: ATS chief
Just in: ATS chief of Madhya Pradesh police, Sanjeev Shami, says the eight SIMI men who were shot dead by the police, were unarmed during the encounter.

Speaking to NDTV, the ATS chief says while the men had no weapons on them while the encounter was taking place, they were dreaded criminals and the police can fire if there is a possibility of escape. 

The eight men who were gunned down hours after they escaped from a jail in Bhopal were each shot at least twice, some of them in the back, according to post-mortem reports.

The reports reveal that the men sustained multiple entry and exit wounds on the bodies of the deceased and also that majority of the wounds were on the torso.

The clothes of the slain SIMI suspects killed in the encounter have been sent for forensic test to ascertain the distance from which they were shot.

On Tuesday, a united opposition sought an impartial probe into the death of the SIMI activists even as the government strongly defended the deaths of the "dreaded terrorists".

14:26   Kejriwal slams 'insecure' Modi after Sisodia is detained over hospital visit
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal slams PM Narendra Modi over deputy CM Manish Sisodia's detention, calls it BJP's insecurity. Sisodia was detained during a visit to the RML Hospital in Delhi where he had gone to meet the family members of an ex-serviceman, who committed suicide over the issue of One Rank One Pension scheme in the national capital. Kejriwal tweeted, "Manish Sisodia detained? He had gone to meet family of deceased Ram Kishan ji. He is elected Dy CM. Whats wrong wid u Modiji? So insecure?"

An ex-serviceman allegedly committed suicide over the issue of One Rank One Pension scheme at Jantar Mantar in the nation's capital, police said on Wednesday.

The 70-year-old ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal committed suicide by consuming poison at a park in New Delhi area on Tuesday evening.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was also stopped at the gate of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital when he went to meet the kin of the ex-jawan who committed suicide over OROP. "This is the first time we are not being allowed to meet kin of an ex-jawan. This is totally undemocratic," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
13:43   Gambhir retained, Ishant returns, Pandya new face
Indian Team for the first two Tests announced.


Fit-again pacer Ishant Sharma made a comeback when the national selection committee met at Mumbai on Wednesday to pick the India squad for the upcoming Test series against England commencing 9 November.


The team comprises: Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (v/c), R Ashwin, Saha (w/k), Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Shami, Ishant, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav.


So, Gambhir retained, Hardik Pandya gets maiden call-up for first Two Tests of a five-match series against England starting November 9.
13:30   'Pak will pay heavily, India has suffered enough in silence'
If Pakistan inflicts injuries on India, the costs are going to be far heavier for them, Union Minister Arun Jaitley has said, asserting that there is a shift in India's approach towards dealing with cross-border tensions as it has "suffered enough in silence" for Pakistan's terror export.


He also lashed out Pakistan for consistently violating the 2003 ceasefires saying the "de facto violation has become de jure violation".


Eight civilians were killed yesterday as Pakistan indulged in heavy shelling in an escalation of cross border military tensions since the surgical strikes by army targeting terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on September 29.


"The new normal is that India doesn't accept that Pakistan can keep sending terrorists and keep inflicting injury on India. If they do that then costs are going to be much heavier," Jaitley said.


He was asked about the "new normal" in Indo-Pak ties after the recent tensions. "2003 ceasefire was being violated by Pakistan. After all what is terrorism- you train people, you smuggle them in. Today, de facto violation has become de jure violation," he told NDTV.


"We have suffered enough in silence and we have been taking just some diplomatic initiatives. I think times have now changed and the Government of India has a more proactive approach.


"And, the proactive approach is if you indulge in terrorism in India and kill people across the border then there is a cost involved and you will have to pay a price for it. I think that policy of government of India is extremely clear."
13:22   Economy 'stable', GDP to grow to 7.9%: S&P's India rating
International rating agency Standard & Poor's has affirmed its 'BBB-/A-3' credit ratings for India. The outlook for country remains stable, the agency said on Wednesday. A BBB rating means the country has adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to meet its financial commitments.


"External position remains a credit strength," it said. "Eye India's current account deficit at 1.4% in 2016 vs 2.1 in 2015 and expect India's GDP growth at 7.9% in 2016," it further added.


It also said that it doesn't expect to change its rating on India this year or even the next year. The rating agency also said that downward pressure on ratings would reemerge if MPC is not effective in meeting targets.
12:54   8 civilian deaths in Pak firing: PM holds high-level meet
PM Narendra Modi chairs high level meeting to discuss border situation after the death and injury of several civilians in Pak firing. The fresh escalation along the Line of Control has cast a shadow on intra-Kashmir trade with authorities suspending the cross-border trade after two days of intense shelling that has left eight people dead in Jammu and Kashmir.


Tuesday's civilian deaths are the highest on a single day in the past 13 years, after soldiers from both sides traded fire at each other's locations across the border in Jammu region.


Both sides blamed each other for ceasefire violations as tensions grew in an increasingly hostile relationship between India and Pakistan.The shelling and sporadic firing, which started in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, continued throughout the day, leaving more than two dozen people injured.
12:12   EC slaps notice on another 27 AAP MLAs over office of profit
Just in: The Election Commission has issued notices to 27 AAP MLAs on Office of Profit issue based on directions from the President Pranab Mukherjee.


The EC received the communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan during mid October after which the EC has formally issued notices to these MLAs.

The notices issued to these 27 MLAs are different from the notices issued to 21 AAP MLAs earlier. The 21 lawmakers face disqualification from the Delhi assembly for allegedly holding 'office of profit' as Parliamentary Secretaries.
he 21 lawmakers have faced disqualification from the Delhi assembly for allegedly holding 'office of profit' as Parliamentary Secretaries.



Which means the EC has issued notices to a total of 48 MLAs on the office of profit issue, which is a major political setback for the AAP.


The party however is of the view that once the EC gives their verdict, the issue may be taken up for higher legal scrutiny.


In June 2015, a major row was sparked off on the issue of 'Office of Profit' after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected the Delhi government's bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the 'Office of Profit' definition.

The Delhi government sought through the bill an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, so as to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the definition of 'Office of Profit'.

11:56  
Indonesian police says at least 20 people dead after boat capsizes off island of Batam: AP
11:55   Clinton, Trump launch aggresive ad campaigns ahead of vote
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have launched aggressive advertisement campaigns running into millions of dollars, with the two rivals virtually carpet bombing key battleground states with their election rallies a week ahead of the US presidential polls.


The advertisement blitz came as the Clinton campaign battles to contain the fallout from her latest brush with the FBI after the investigating agency revived questions about her use of a private email server as secretary of state.


Latest polls have shown Trump gaining in the opinion polls he trailed until before the announcement by the FBI. Trump and Clinton now are neck-and-neck in several national polls, and in such a situation, the swing states hold the key for them.


Given the schedule of Clinton and Trump, along with President Barack Obama, Ohio and Florida states have emerged as the nucleus of the November 8 presidential elections.
11:43   Why Arnab Goswami inspires so many of us
This video of senior BJP leader Arun Shourie mimicking Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami's style of studio debates has been doing the rounds on Twitter, but it is only one of several about the phenomenon that is Arnab Goswami.Goswami, among other things, anchors 'The Newshour', a daily debate at 9 pm on the news channel, when he brings together between four and eight panellists to shout themselves hoarse at one other on a given topic. Goswami, of course, stars as the voice of the nation ("The nation wants to know!') and as arbiter of the debate.As the face of Times Now, he embodies his myth so wholly that the idea of an overblown television debate is inseparable from the idea of Arnab Goswami. As noted by The Caravan, this is a deliberate strategy. Read more
11:26  
Possibly the only journalist to get an Amul sendoff. 
11:16   Farmers, soldiers committing suicide in Modi rule: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the suicide of an ex-serviceman in New Delhi, saying both farmers and soldiers were ending their lives in his regime.


Kejriwal, a bitter critic of Modi, also alleged that the Prime Minister was "lying" that the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme was being implemented by the Centre, contending that ex-serviceman, Ram Kishan Grewal, would not have committed suicide if the scheme was being executed by the Centre.


"Both farmers and soldiers are committing suicide in Modi Raj. That means the Prime Minister is lying that OROP has been implemented. Why would Ram Kishan ji have committed suicide if OROP was being implemented?" Kejriwal said on Twitter.


The AAP leader also rued that it was "very sad" to see that soldiers have to fight against external enemy along border and "within" for their rights. The whole nation should stand up for their rights, he urged. Meanwhile, it is learnt that Kejriwal will the attend the cremation of Grewal later in the day.
10:45   Indira Gandhi's many battles
"Let's also acknowledge those Pakistanis who were compelled to think well of Mrs Gandhi for a range of reasons, occasionally despite themselves. Benazir Bhutto, regardless of her own pronounced opinion on Kashmir, could not have forgotten Mrs Gandhi as the one Indian who was outspoken in her petition to Ziaul Haq to spare Z.A. Bhutto's life. Mrs Gandhi was in regular touch with Benazir's distraught mother after Bhutto's execution, lending her shoulder for the healing that never came about."

Read the column in the Dawn.


Image: Indira Gandhi with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
10:35   Postmortem report of SIMI men says gunshot wounds were all above waist
A postmortem report on the eight alleged members of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India, who were shot dead by the police on Monday, is out.

The report says that all the men died of gunshot wounds above the waist. The bullet wounds suggest that they were fired upon from all directions. The proximity of the firing is to be determined for which the clothes they wore will be sent for testing.

The men were killed under suspicious circumstances near Bhopal, hours after they escaped from the city's central jail by killing a security guard.

Eight SIMI activists who pulled off a daring prison break and escaped in the wee hours after killing a security guard at the Bhopal Central Jail, were on Monday hunted down and killed in a police encounter on the city outskirts.

All the eight activists were killed by Bhopal Police at Malikheda on the city outskirts, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said.

Acting on the leads provided by locals, the cops tracked them down to Malikheda, where they were encircled and killed when they tried to challenge the police.

The activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India had managed to escape around 2-3 AM after killing a jail security guard and scaling the prison wall with the help of bed sheets, DIG Bhopal Raman Singh said.

The activists were identified as -- Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu, Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid, a police official said.

Soon after the incident, the state government released their sketches and suspended four officials including Jail Superintendent Akhilesh Tomar. It had also announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh each on the heads of the activists.

This is the second major jail break by operatives of banned SIMI in three years after the sensational escape by seven members of the group from a jail in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.

The Union Home Ministry has sought a detailed report from the Madhya Pradesh government on the jail break whether there was any lapse on the part of the jail administration and the steps taken to check such incidents.
10:15   Sensex plummets 288 pts on US poll fears
The benchmark BSE Sensex crashed by 288 points and the NSE Nifty dipped below 8,600 mark in early trade as investors cut down their bets, tracking a weak trend in global market after a new US presidential poll showed Donald Trump ahead of market favourite Hillary Clinton.


The 30-share barometer plunged 288.06 points or 1.03 per cent at 27,588.55 with all the sectoral indices led by metal, realty and oil in the negative zone, falling by up to 1.73 per cent. It had lost 64.90 points in the previous two sessions.


On similar lines, the NSE Nifty cracked below 8,600-level by dropping 94.75 points or 1.10 per cent to 8,531.50. Brokers said market mood took a hit largely in tandem with global sell-off sparked by an opinion poll that put Donald Trump slightly ahead of his democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race.
10:00   Delay in implementing OROP, ex-serviceman commits suicide
An ex-serviceman protesting against the delay in implementing the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme allegedly committed suicide on Wednesday at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Identified as Ram Kishen Garehwal, the former army jawan purportedly left a suicide note saying that he is taking his life due to the delay in implementing OROP.


Garehwals son told news agency ANI that his father had called them and informed about his deicsion to commit suicide because the government had failed to fulfill their demands related to OROP.


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is expected to visit the Garehwal family in Haryana. Ex-servicemen have been protesting at Jantar Mantar for over a year now, demanding the implementation of OROP scheme which was scrapped by the Indira Gandhi government.
09:39   How India can end terror strikes from Pakistan
Against the Pakistani doctrine of 1000 cuts, Indians are adopting the doctrine of exhaustion in a hope that one day Pakistan and Kashmiris will to resist will die down, so India must hold on the disturbed area with huge deployment of forces by total area domination. Such doctrine not only creates massive hardship to local civilian population but also keeps Indian Military under constant pressure. For sometimes it looked that situation has returned to the normalcy, elections were held with popular mandate and govts started functioning, but again Pakistan is able to fuel unrest bringing Indian govt and military on toes.

Will India ever win the every day war against Pakistan? This is a must Read for hawks.
09:32   Trump has a higher popular vote but...
As the presidential race tightens in the last week of the campaign, the prospect of a split decision between the Electoral College and popular vote appears to be growing.Trump earns 46 percent support nationally to Clinton's 45 percent, a difference within the margin of error, according to this morning's ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll.Looking at the ABC News electoral map, however, Clinton still has the lead when it comes to the Electoral College breakdown. Read more
09:24   With Bhopal encounter, all suspects of Pune blast case now dead
Three among eight members of SIMI who were killed in an alleged encounter by Madhya Pradesh police after they escaped from Bhopal Central Jail yesterday were the suspects in a 2014 bomb blast case.


Ahmed Ramzan Khan, Zakir Hussain alias Sadiq and Shaikh Mehboob alias Guddu alias Ismail who were killed in the encounter were wanted in a case related to the low-intensity blast on July 10, 2014 in the parking lot of Faraskhana police station here in which five people were injured.


The famous Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh temple is adjacent to this spot.
were killed in an encounter in Telangana last year.


An officer of Anti-Terrorism Squad which is probing the blast case said it was trying to get custody of the three SIMI members, but could not get it as the accused were facing several cases in Madhya Pradesh itself.


With all five suspects, including the three who were killed on Monday, now killed in encounters, the case is likely to be closed, said the ATS officer.


Had we got the custody of these three, we would have been able to establish the local links of these suspects. However, now that all three suspects are dead, it seems the case might be closed, he said.
09:17   Incorrigible Pakistan will face full might of PM Modi's political force: BJP
With eight people being killed and 22 injured by shelling and firing in Jammu and Kashmir from across the border, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday warned Islamabad that it faces the risk of confronting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's strong political will and force.BJP leader Shaina NC told ANI, "Our only reply to Pakistan would be that if they have forgotten the surgical strikes, they better be prepared to see the political will and conviction of Prime Minister Modi who will not take this lightly."


Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said "I am deeply pained over the fresh spate of civilian killings, including children and women, in border shelling and urge the political leaderships in New Delhi and Islamabad to take effective and urgent measures to de-escalate the situation and bring an end to the miseries of the hapless people of Jammu and Kashmir who are caught in the deadly crossfire."


She said the unabated border shelling has seen a tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, where innocent civilians and their properties are being targeted.


Eight people, mostly children and women, were killed and 24 injured when Pakistan troops resorted to heavy shelling on border hamlets and military posts with 82 and 120 mm mortar bombs along the IB and LoC in Samba, Jammu, Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.


Six civilian casualties took place in Ramgarh area of Samba while two women were killed in Manjakote sector of Rajouri.Pakistani mortar shells have been landing in residential areas causing civilian casualties.


The BSF along the International Border (IB) and Army along the Line of Control (LoC) have been giving befitting replies to Pakistani firings.
08:19   Indian-American publication endorses Clinton for president
For the first time in 30 years, an Indian-American monthly publication has endorsed a US presidential candidate as it asked its readers to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

India Currents, a monthly publication from Bay Area, said in an editorial that it endorsed Clinton as it felt "intense outrage" after the resurfacing of an old video of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"For the first time in thirty years, we are endorsing a presidential nominee-- Hillary Clinton to be the next president," said in a joint editorial written by the magazine's editor Nirupama Vaidhyananthan and publisher Vandana Kumar.

Founded in 1987, the monthly is also being published from Washington DC for the past few years.

According to the editorial, the news magazine decided to endorse a presidential candidate after a 15-year-old video of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump resurfaced in which he is seen making lewd remarks about women.
07:54   US embassy warns Americans in India of possible Islamic State attacks
The United States asked its citizens in India to keep high level of vigilance citing reports indicating that terror outfit Islamic State desires to attack "targets" in India.

An advisory issued by the American Embassy warned its citizens of an increased threat in places frequented by Westerners in the country.

"Recent Indian media reports indicate Islamic State's desire to attack targets in India. The US Embassy warns of an increased threat to places in India frequented by Westerners, such as religious sites, markets, and festival venues.

"All US citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as detailed in the State Department's Worldwide Caution of September 9, 2016," the advisory said.

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