Mon, 17 October 2016
Look for ways to resolve differences: US to India, Pak

Timeline  Refresh

23:51   Look for ways to resolve differences: US to India, Pak
The United States on Monday asked India and Pakistan to look for ways to resolve their deeply-held differences peacefully. 

However, it refrained from making any comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks at the BRICS Summit in Goa that Pakistan is "mothership" of terrorism. 

"I have to admit, I have not been briefed on those comments. What I can say in general is that we have encouraged India and Pakistan to look for ways to resolve peacefully their deeply-held differences on a range of issues," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
23:37   Nation first, says India's richest man over ban on Pak artistes
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Monday joined issue with those opposing the ban on Pakistan artistes in India, saying the nation should come first and not arts and culture.
"I am absolutely clear about one thing that for me it is always country first. I am not an intellectual so I don't understand all these. But undoubtedly like for all Indians, India is first for me," Ambani said.
The billionaire businessman was answering questions from the audience on ban on Pakistan actors and other artistes at the 'Off the Cuff' show organised by The Print, a digital media outfit owned by senior journalists Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt.
Asked whether he will join politics, Ambani replied in the negative, saying "I am not made for politics."
The statement from the richest Indian, a known movie buff, comes amid criticism from some quarters of the demand for a ban on Pakistan actors in the wake of Uri terror attack, blamed on the militants operating from the neighbouring country.
Tension between the two nations escalated after the September 18 terror attack on an army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, which killed 19 soldiers, and the September 28-29 surgical strikes by the army's special forces on terror launch pads in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The latest victim of this heightened tension has been the decision of the organisers of the Mumbai International Film Festival to drop Pakistani film "Jago Hua Savera" in its retrospective section amid threats of protests at its

The move comes after a city-based organisation, Sangharsh, threatened to stage protests at the screening of the movie made in 1958.
22:50   16 killed, several injured in fire at Bhubaneshwar hospital
At least 16 people were killed after a major fire broke out at the Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday evening.
The fire, suspected to have originated from the dialysis ward on the first floor, quickly spread to other areas, including the ICU on the same floor, of the four-storey hospital building.
The commissionerate of police and fire brigade personnel along with volunteers and hospital staff launched a massive rescue operation as more than 500 in-door patients were trapped in the fire, a hospital source said.
At least seven fire tenders were pressed into service to control the blaze and over a dozen ambulances had been deployed to shift the critical patients to other hospitals.
22:44   Chief economic advisor's Twitter account hacked
The Twitter account of Arvind Subramanian, chief economic advisor to the finance ministry, Government of India, was hacked.  

Subramanian posted this on the microblogging site: 'My twitter account was hacked. My profuse apologies for the nuisance/offensive tweets that were sent out as a result.'
22:36   Fire in Bhubaneswar hospital, many feared killed
Just In: A fire has broken out in the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital in Bhubaneshwar, and fire engines have been rushed to the spot. Reports put the death toll in the fire at anywhere between five and 11, but this has not been confirmed yet.
22:33   Pak balloon found in Gurdaspur
A balloon, suspected to have come from Pakistan, was found in a field in Dera Baba Nanak sector of Punjab frontier today. 

The balloon was found at Bhagtana Boharwal along the Indo-Pak International Border in the field of Simarjit Singh, who informed the police. 

A police party, jointly led by DSP Dera Baba Nanak Surinder Pal Bansal and SHO Jarnail Singh, visited the spot and took the balloon in its custody. 

A slip was found along with the balloon in which the names of two Pakistani nationals and three mobile numbers were written, police said. 

Police suspected that the balloon might have been sent by Pakistani peddlers to their Indian counterparts. However, police said they were investigating the matter.
22:25   Parents who abduct children to foreign land may be jailed
Parents who forcibly take their children to a foreign land following a marital discord can be jailed for a year, if Law Commission has its way.
In a proposed draft law on 'parental abduction', the commission, which advises the government on legal reform, has said, "When such a kind of diverse family unit breaks down, children (sometimes babies) suffer, as they are dragged into international legal battle between their parents".
The panel, which had already examined the issue of parental adbuction in 2009, has rewritten the draft bill prepared by the Women and Child Development Ministry after the Punjab and Haryana high court in February asked it to examine "multiple issues involved in inter-country, inter-parental child removal amongst families".
Inter-spousal child removal, it noted, can be termed as most unfortunate as the children are abducted by their own parents to India or to other foreign jurisdiction in violation of court orders.
The law panel said whoever wrongfully removes or retains a child either himself or through other person from the custody of a parent can be imprisoned for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to Rs 10,000 or with both.
For those who wilfully misrepresent facts or conceal information related to the location of the child will be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000 or with both, it has recommended.
22:24   Come out of family shadow, enforce prohibition': Nitish to Akhilesh
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday made an overture to his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Akhilesh Yadav, who is locked in a family feud, to enforce prohibition which he said will help him come out of the "family shadow" and win the state assembly elections.

"There is a saying in English--No risk, No gain... you are young... take a risk (of implementing prohibition) to come out of the family shadow and ensure victory in elections," Kumar said. 

"You take the risk and I will strongly back you," said Kumar, who has made eight trips to UP in recent months with the message of prohibition and wants to play a significant role in the crucial assembly polls there early next year by bringing together a strong grouping of secular forces.
Coming down heavily on Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kumar said "We had offered him the post of president in the reunited Janata Parivar and also the head of the group in Parliament. But, he walked out and the role he played in Bihar elections, it seems brought him a curse, which has been manifested in the intense feud in his party."

Kumar was speaking at the plenary session of the two-day JD-U national council meeting which ended on Monday. 

His appointment as JD-U president was ratified by the council in which over 170 delegates from 23 states participated.  
22:22   Aung San Suu Kyi meets Sonia
Myanmar Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi met Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday. 

The Nobel Laureate drove to 10, Janpath and spent sometime with Sonia Gandhi.In a speech four years ago in New Delhi, Aung San Suu Kyi recalled Jawaharlal Nehru, saying, '"Pandit-ji was a name known to me when I was little passed the toddler stage.'
22:10   Fire breaks out in Bhubaneswar hospital
Just In: A fire broke out in a private hospital in Bhubaneshwar today. 

Five fire engines have been rushed to the spot. The fire started in the Intensive Care Unit of the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital reportedly due to a short-circuit. 

It then spread to the Dialysis and Medicine wards.Patients have been evacuated, said the hospital authorities.

As many as 5 fire brigade teams have been rushed to te hospital and they have spread out to douse the fire before it engulfs the entire hospital.
22:05   Army to create separate & centralised fund to use donations
With the rise in number of queries to assist the next of kin of battle causalities with monetary assistance, the army has decided to create a separate and centralised fund for such a purpose, PTI reports. 
A defence spokesperson said a surge of such requests came after the Siachen avalanche where the Indian Army lost 10 brave soldiers. 
The Indian Army has opened a new bank account for the welfare of bereaved families of Battle Casualties named 'Army Welfare Fund Battle Casualties.'  
Organisations and individuals desirous of donating to the cause can transfer the contribution directly in the account of 'Army Welfare Fund Battle Casualties\' in the South Block Branch of Syndicate Bank. The Branch Code, IFSC and Account no of the bank is 9055, SYNB0009055 and Account No 90552010165915 respectively.
Alternatively, the amount can also be forwarded through Cheque/Demand Draft in favour of the 'Army Welfare Fund Battle Casualties' payable at New Delhi at the following address: 
Director Accounts Section,
Adjutant General's Branch,
Ceremonial & Welfare Directorate,
IHQ of MoD (Army), 
New Delhi-110011.
21:54   Russian devotees shoot video of Rameswaram temple using UAV
The police today deleted video footage of Dhanushkodi and the ancient Rameswaram temple areas, shot by visiting Russian devotees using an unmanned aerial vehicle, in view of the sensitivity of the locations. 

The police said over 80 Russian devotees visited Dhanushkodi on the eastern tip of Rameswaram island and the Ramanathaswamy temple today and had taken videos using an UAV. 

The devotees, followers of a spiritual organisation, were told by the police that (in view of the sensitivity of the locations) taking video footage by using UAV was not allowed. The police then deleted the video footage and returned the UAV. The videos found copied to a laptop were also deleted, they said.
21:51   Airtel among top firms pulled for misleading ads in June
Advertising watchdog ASCI has pulled up several companies, including Bharti Airtel, Tata Teleservices, Mahindra & Mahindra and Himalaya, for misleading advertisements in June.

During the month, the Customer Complaints Council of Advertising Standard Council of India upheld complaints against 134 misleading advertisements out of 183, which also included those of Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare, Gillette and Hindustan Unilever. 

Out of 134 complaints those were upheld, 44 each belonged to the healthcare and education category, followed by 24 in the food and beverages category and 8 in personal care. 

The ad regulator has found that claims of leading telecom services provider Bharti Airtel as the 'best network' as "incorrect and is misleading by implication" as it connotes many parameters associated with the performance for which different service providers have to compared. 

"'Transparency' of communication providing input for improvement does not necessarily make any network the best," said ASCI in its order.
21:36   BSE, NSE announce 'muhurat' trading on Oct 30
Leading bourses BSE and NSE will conduct special 'Muhurat' trading session on Diwali on October 30. 

The 'Muhurat' trading, which is conducted on the auspicious occasion of Diwali, would be held between 1830 hrs and 1930 hrs, the stock exchanges said in separate circulars. 

The BSE would conduct the special session in equity derivatives, currency derivatives, equity and SLB segment while the NSE would conduct the same in currency derivatives, futures and options and capital market segment.
21:34   China to host next BRICS summit in coastal Xiamen
China will host the ninth BRICS annual summit in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen in September next year as it takes the rotating chair of the influential bloc. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping made the announcement on October 16 during a small gathering prior to the main conference of the 8th summit in Goa, and expressed his intention to open a new chapter for BRICS in the following year, State-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

Xiamen, also historically known as Amoy, is a major resort city in Fujian province on the Taiwan Strait. The city is well known for its amiable climate, Hoklo influence and picturesque scenery. It was ranked as China's "most romantic leisure city" in 2011, State-run Global Times reported.
21:27   Navdeep Suri to be India's new envoy to UAE
Senior diplomat Navdeep Singh Suri was on Monday appointed Ambassador to United Arab Emirates, a strategically important nation country which is major supplier of oil to India and is home to around 2.6 million-strong Indians.
Suri, a 1983 batch Indian Foreign Service official, is expected to take up the assignment shortly, the External Affairs Ministry said.
He is currently serving as Indian High Commissioner in Canberra.
Suri had served in India's diplomatic missions in Cairo, Damascus, Washington, Dar es Salaam and London and as India's Consul General in Johannesburg.
He has also headed the West Africa and Public Diplomacy divisions at the Ministry of External Affairs. He was India's Ambassador to Egypt prior to his posting to Canberra.
UAE is a strategically important country for India in the Gulf region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid a visit to UAE in August last year during which both sides had decided to significantly expand bilateral ties, particularly in areas of trade and investment.
21:15   B'desh arrests killer of gay rights activist, secular blogger
Bangladesh police have arrested the main suspect in the murders of a gay magazine editor and a secular blogger who were brutally killed by militants for writing against radical Islamists in the Muslim majority country.

A joint team of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit and Detective Branch of Police arrested Rashidun Nabi from a bus station in Sayedabad area in the capital last night, a police spokesman said.

Nabi is the main suspect in the murder case of Julhash Mannan, the editor of 'Roopban' -- the only magazine in Bangladesh advocating gay rights, and blogger Nazimuddin Samad who were killed in April, the spokesman said.

Police claimed that Nabi is an operative of Ansaral al Islam or Ansarullah Bangla Team, which is said to be ideologically inclined to al-Qaeda.

Nabi was sent on three-day remand by Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Maruf Hossain after police produced him in court with a 10-day remand prayer.

Mannan, 35, a cousin of former foreign minister Dipu Moni and ex-protocol officer of the US embassy, was killed by armed assailants who entered his flat impersonating as courier company officials on April 25.

Nazimuddin, 28, who was a masters student of the state-run Jagannath University's law department, was hacked by machete-wielding militants before being shot dead on April 6. 

A day before the murder, he had expressed concerns over the country's law and order in a Facebook post.
21:13   1 dead, at least 6 hurt in blast at BASF plant in Germany
Authorities say that one person was killed and at least six injured in an explosion at a facility belonging to chemical firm BASF in southwestern Germany. Another six people have yet to be accounted for. 

The blast occurred on Monday at a river harbor in Ludwigshafen that is used to unload flammable liquids and liquefied gas. 

BASF executive Uwe Liebelt said a fire in a pipeline was followed by the blast. 

A large column of black smoke rose over the site. Residents in parts of Ludwigshafen, where BASF is based, and Mannheim, on the other side of the Rhine river, were advised to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.
20:59   I have experienced depression, says Hrithik Roshan
Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan says he has gone through a lot of ups and downs in his personal life and been through depression, but it is something which should not be stigmatised. 

The "Bang Bang!" star says issues relating to mental health must be spoken casually and not as if it is something which can't be cured.

"I've been through my ups and downs. I have experienced depression, I have experienced confusion, as we all do. It's a very normal thing. We should be very casual about it when we speak about it. It should be spoken about casually," he told reporters. 

The 42-year-old actor was speaking at the launch of M Power's 'Everyday Heroes' campaign which urges people to accept and fight with mental illnesses. 

Hrithik said the high and lows that he has experience were necessary as it helped him evolve as a person. 

"I have experienced issue in my own personal life, we all go through ups and downs. The ups are important, the downs are (also) important because you evolve through both of them."

"When you go through a down then the most important thing is clarity of thought. Sometimes your brain takes over, feeds you with unwanted thoughts. 

"That's the time you need objectivity, a third or second person to look at you and say 'this is what is happening to you'," said the Bollywood star.
20:56   Terror threat in Denmark, airport, mall evacuated
Just In: Danish police evacuates an airport, public square and a shopping centre following terrorist threats. 

While the airport and public square were in Roskilde, west of capital Copenhagen, the shopping centre was located in Slagelse. 

More details awaited.
20:42   Uniform Code, triple talaq raked up to polarise country: Congress
The BJP and the RSS have raked up issues like Uniform Civil Code and triple talaq to "polarise the country" by making Hindus and Muslims fight each other, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
The leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha asked the BJP-led Central government to let Muslims decide on the matter of 'talaq'.
"The BJP and RSS want to make Hindus and Muslims fight each other. Issues like triple talaq and Uniform Civil Code are being discussed and debated on television channels. This (TV debates) is not being down due to any sympathy (for Muslim women), rather done to polarise the country through a well-planned strategy," he said addressing a conference of Scheduled Caste and Minorities.
"Their (BJP-RSS) strategy is to make Muslims fight Muslims on triple talaq while Hindus fight Muslims on Uniform Civil Code. Let the matter of talaq be decided by the minorities themselves," he said.
Azad, who inaugurated the conference organised by Bihar Congress, claimed that BJP and RSS were raising these matters to divert attention from issues plaguing common people like price rise, unemployment, bringing back black money etc. 
He dubbed the BJP government's regime worse than the British Raj, saying the latter never inspected the fridge or kitchen of an individual to check meat and or see what one ate in a university.
20:31   Katju back in Supreme Court
'Markandey Katju J. has been asked to appear in the Supreme Court (No, its not what you think),' notes Bar and Bench in an interesting post, which you can read HERE
20:29   Pakistan has adopted terrorism as state policy: Rajnath
Mounting a scathing attack on Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said its entire establishment is engaged in fuelling terrorism in India making management of the Indo-Pak border "challenging" and warned that "those who breed snakes get bitten by them".
He slammed Islamabad for adopting a "very flexible" approach to deal with terrorism and said if it wanted, India can help it carry out an anti-terror campaign in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Singh asserted that India is against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and does not breed any hatred towards Pakistani people.
Addressing a two-day Regional Editors Conference from north and northeast states in Chandigarh, he said, "Pakistan is so much obsessed with Kashmir that it cannot see the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist. When there is a talk about state and non-state actors, the argument put forward is that Pakistan is a non-state actor.
"The truth remains that the entire establishment in Pakistan is engaged in fuelling terrorism in India. And that is why managing our borders with Pakistan, as compared to other countries, has become a challenging task."
Pakistan has adopted terrorism as its state policy and is getting isolated in the entire international community, the minister said.
"Pakistan is so obsessed with some issues that it cannot do any good, nor can it see its own good. By adopting terrorism as state policy, it is isolating itself not only in south Asia, but in the entire international community.
"In BRICS' Goa declaration, terror was strongly condemned. It was stated that no state should allow its territory to be used for terror activities," he said.

He also denounced Pakistan for adopting a "very flexible" approach to deal with terrorism.
19:08   Match-fixing was at its worst in 1996: Akhtar
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar on Monday claimed that match-fixing was at its peak in 1996 and said the environment in the dressing room was far from conducive. 

"Trust me it was the worst possible dressing room environment at that time ," Akhtar said on Geo News channel. 

 "There was a lot going on than just cricket and it was difficult to focus on cricket in the dressing room. It was a bad environment," he added. 

The controversial pacer's claims have come just two days after Pakistani stalwarts -- Javed Miandad and Shahid Afridi -- settled a dispute which had the potential of once again bringing up the match-fixing allegations and scandal in Pakistan cricket. 

The 'Rawalpindi Express' made it clear he was glad that the Miandad and Afridi dispute had been resolved. 

"I tell you if this matter had gone to court there would have been more dirty linen washed in public and lot of names would have again come up," he said. 

 He said Miandad had perhaps gone overboard with his allegations against Afridi but felt that Afridi should have avoided making disparaging remarks about a senior player. 

Akhtar also said that in 2010 he had also advised left-arm pacer Muhammad Aamir to keep away from questionable characters in England.

"I told him he had a big future ahead of him and he should be careful about the company he kept. Unfortunately it all led to the spot-fixing scandal in 2010," he said. T

The former fast bowler also conceded that spot-fixing and corruption remained a menace in international cricket. 

 "I tell you that in the nineties we had one of the greatest teams and we should have won. The 1999 World Cup final against Australia. If we had done that we would have also gone on to win in Australia," he said. Following the fixing allegations in the mid-90s, the Pakistani Cricket
18:58   Rijiju takes dig at Anurag Kashyap over Modi tweets
Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju on Monday took a potshot at filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, saying people use Prime Minister Narendra Modi's name to get into news.
"A new fashion has developed in India. A student or a film person can put a question or speak against PM without any logic to get into news," Rijiju tweeted.
Kashyap, in a series of tweets, had said that why should only Indian filmmakers be targeted for casting Pakistani actors when the PM also made a trip to Lahore last year.
"@narendramodi Sir you haven't yet said sorry for your trip to meet the Pakistani PM... It was dec 25th. Same time KJo was shooting ADHM? Why? @narendramodi why is it that we have to face it while you can be silent?" the director had written to show support for Karan Johar's upcoming movie "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil".
Kashyap was trolled on Twitter and also received criticism from some members of the film industry over his comments.
"Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" has landed in soup over casting Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. In the aftermath of Uri attack last month, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena issued an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave India.
18:43   I am a Dalit, said Rohith Vemula in a video days before he died

Days after the Ministry of human resource development one-man committee report claimed that Rohith Vemula was not Dalit, an old video of the Hyderabad University research scholar has emerged. 

In the video Rohit confirms that he was Dalit, however, took admission in the university in general quota.

"My name is Rohith Vemula... I'm a Dalit from Guntur district," asserted the PhD scholar in the video that his friends say they shot days before he hanged himself in his hostel room at the Hyderabad Central University in January this year.

Rohith Vemula, 26, killed himself days after he and four other students were suspended by the university and barred from its hostel. A month before his death, he had written to the university's vice chancellor Appa Rao about caste discrimination and said Dalit students should be given "a rope to hang themselves".

The Justice Roopanwal Commission report, submitted earlier this month, said there is no proof that Vemula's mother V Radhika belongs to the "Mala" Dalit community, with which the scholar identified.  
18:18   Will support India's entry into NSG: Brazil
Brazil on Monday said it will work with member countries of Nuclear Suppliers Group to facilitate India's entry in the elite grouping that controls global trade in the atomic field, according to the External Affairs Ministry. 

Brazil's support and its desire to help India was conveyed by its President Michel Temer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their talks in BRICS Summit in Goa. 

The prime minister conveyed to President Temer India's desire and its aspiration to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry Preeti Saran told reporters while briefing on the meeting.

Temer "conveyed the understanding of our aspirations and conveyed that Brazil will work with other countries of the NSG in helping India move towards this direction," she added.

This assumes significance since NSG is slated to meet in about a month in Vienna. 

At the Seoul meet of NSG in June, Brazil did not oppose India's entry into the club, but had called for common criteria for countries that have not signed the Non- Proliferation Treaty.
18:04   Pak has been isolated due to its own policies: MEA
In the wake of several SAARC nations coming out in support of New Delhi following the Uri attack and the subsequent cancellation of the bloc's summit in Islamabad, India on Monday said Pakistan has been isolated due to its own policies and it has nothing to do with it.
"If someone has been isolated, it is due to the country's own policies. India has had nothing to do with it," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said at a press briefing after the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa.
He was asked whether India had embarked on a drive to isolate Pakistan after the Pathankot attack as the decision to hold the BIMSTEC Summit alongside the BRICS Summit was taken in April itself.
"All SAARC nations unitedly said the SAARC Summit cannot take place in Islamabad in an atmosphere of terror," Swarup said.
India stepped up efforts to mount international pressure on Pakistan after the September 18 Uri attack, in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by terrorists with links to Pak-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Several SAARC member states subsequently decided to call-off the bloc's summit which was to be held in Islamabad last month.
Swarup said Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives were quick to condemn the attacks. They stressed that a "constructive dialogue" cannot take place in such an atmosphere.
However, he declined to comment on Sartaz Aziz's comments after the sharp criticism by the Prime Minister on Sunday, saying he will give a reaction at his weekly press briefing as India had not had a bilateral with Pakistan like with countries from the BIMSTEC bloc.
18:04   About 96% Indian travellers tip at hotel: Survey
Around 96 per cent Indian travellers give tips at a hotel, more so because of the room service and good housekeeping, a recent survey has found.
"About 96 per cent Indians usually tip at a hotel, 79 per cent tip because of the room service and 51 per cent tip after being impressed by the housekeeping," according to '2016 Hotel Etiquette Report' by full service online travel company Expedia.
About 39 per cent Indians tip the porter at the hotel whereas 24 per cent tip the valet, it found.
The survey, which is an analysis of behaviour and preferences of Indians while booking hotels, was conducted online in August by GFK Custom Research, North America, among 1,014 randomly selected adults, both men and women, who have stayed overnight in a hotel in the past two years.
When it comes to facilities, 75 per cent Indians want in-room features like Jacuzzi, tub or balcony, it said.
Location and price are the most critical for 96 per cent Indians and for 95 per cent family friends, food, beverages, room size is a major consideration, it said.
Things like complimentary Wi-Fi (93 per cent), reviews (89 per cent) and hotel brands (86 per cent) are also major attracting factors for Indians, it added.
"The survey highlights some interesting facts about preferences of Indian travellers while booking a hotel. According to the survey, the most preferred medium of booking a hotel amongst 35 per cent is a desktop or laptop followed by mobile app on smart phone while 14 per cent travellers book through mobile web using smart phone," Expedia Marketing Head, in India, Manmeet Ahluwalia said.
"It is interesting to note that 89 per cent Indians consider hotel reviews as very important while choosing a hotel," Ahluwalia added.
He said as Indian travellers are evolving, 77 per cent consider the ability to earn and redeem reward points on their bookings as important.

Representative image
17:07   Trump referred to Oscar-winning deaf actress as retarded
Remember that memorable 1986 film, Children of a Lesser God? And remember the fantastic actress -- Marlee Matlin -- who essayed the role of an hearing impaired person that won her the Best Actress Oscar?

Well, Matlin, who is hearing impaired in real life, was allegedly called 'retarded' repeatedly, by Donald Trump.

That's the latest installment of Trump, real person, by the Daily Beast, reporting on the Republican nominee's behavior on the set of the Apprentice, where he made a habit of calling a deaf actress on the show "retarded."

Matlin is the only deaf actress to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

This is what the Daily Beast reports:

[Trump] would often equate that she was mentally retarded, said one source, who described how kind Matlin and her interpreter Jack Jason were.

During the taping of the show, Trump would often scribble down notes while sitting at the table of the boardroomthe shows primary set.

A person familiar with the notes who helped clean up after tapings said that on one of the pieces of paper, Trump wrote: Marlee, is she retarded??

[Trump] would make fun of her voice. It actually sounded a lot like what he did [to] the New York Times guy, another person who worked on The Apprentice for years told The Daily Beast, referring to when Trump mocked a disabled reporter last year. The source said this incident occurred outside the boardroom, during a break from filming.

Like, to make it seem like she was mentally not there? [It] sounded like he got a real kick out of it. It was really upsetting

In the boardroom, he would talk to her like she was special, the source said.

Oh, Trump also reportedly made inappropriate sexual comments to Matlin on set, which hardly seems like news at this point. Matlin performed at the 2011 roast of Trump on Comedy Central, which is evidence she took Trumps comments pretty well or very badly.
16:44   AIADMK, DMK workers in TN fight over CMs health condition
An AIADMK councillor and DMK worker have been admitted to a hospital in Pollachi in the district in Tamil Nadu after they came to blows following an altercation over the remarks on the health status of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, police said on Monday.

DMK local functionary Lingadurai reportedly made critical remarks about the health condition of Jayalalithaa in an inebriated condition on Sunday night.

AIADMK Councillor James Raj, who was passing by, got angry over the remarks and entered into arguments leading to fisticuffs, police said.

Lingadurai was admitted to the Pollachi government hospital in the early hours of today, claiming assault by the councillor. Raj also was admitted to the same hospital, complaining that Lingadurai had assaulted him, police said.

Representational pic
India's star spinner R Ashwin Instagram's this cute picture: "Gym time with daughter!!growing stronger together."
16:12   After PM 'Mothership Of Terrorism' remark, China defends Pakistan
The day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi branded Pakistan a "mother-ship of terrorism", China sprang to long-time ally Pakistan's defence.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, when asked about PM Modi's comments, said China is against "the linking of terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity or religion."

"Everyone knows that India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Pakistan has made huge efforts and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism. I think the international community should respect this," the spokesperson added.

The PM's comment was made in Goa to the leaders of BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - as part of his government's diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan after the September 18 attack on an army base in Uri in Kashmir in which 19 soldiers were killed.China and Pakistan consider each other "all-weather friends" and have close diplomatic, economic and security ties.

Despite counties like the US and Russia supporting India's decision to carry out surgical strikes in Pakistan last month, China, which is building a $46 billion export corridor through Pakistan and parts of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir to the Arabian Sea coast, has been cautious in its comments.

PM Modi met one-on-one with President Xi Jinping in Goa, but China remains adamant on two issues crucial for India: China has not softened its stand against India entering the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group; it is also still blocking India's request for a UN ban on Masood Azhar, who heads terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
15:51   Subway, Saravanaa Bhavan food at Rashtrapati Bhavan soon
Food from Saravanaa Bhavan, the famous South Indian chain of restaurants, will be available to visitors to the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum. For those who'd rather bite into a tuna or chicken, there's Sunway on offer too. Bottles of water and cold drinks will be available as well.  This is the brainchild of Omita Paul, the secretary to the President of India.

The number of visitors to the newly-opened museum have been gaining in strength and as winter approaches, there is a possibility of more visitors to the museum.

The new venture is on a trial basis and if it's a success, other food outlets will be given space in the Rashtrapati Bhavan as well. 
15:03   Pak's entire establishment fueling terrorism in India: Rajnath
In a blistering attack on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said its entire establishment is engaged in fueling terrorism in India and warned that "those who rear snakes would be bitten".

India is against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, but does not hate" its people, the minister said and offered help to conduct anti-terrorism campaign in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir for the "closure of terror factories".

The Home Minister's attack on Pakistan comes a day after Prime Minsister Narendra Modi dubbed it as the mothership of terrorism.
14:41   Intel in Pak provided credible proof of threat to Arnab Goswami
It was the threat perception analysis by Intelligence Bureau tipped off by the Indian military intelligence from across the border that led to 'Y' Category security being provided to Times Now Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.

Two militant outfits in Pakistan have detailed a chat about Arnab Goswami and the eight-page conversation in Urdu was provided by Military Intelligence to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs according to highly placed Army sources in South Block, New Delhi. His security is likely to be looked after by the Maharashtra government.

Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry had sought help from DGP Maharashtra to provide 20  policemen to Goswami round-the-clock.
Four police guards will be posted at his house and four will be in his office. Goswami will now have to share his schedule  of engagements with the police and all visitors will be frisked. 

Goswami is not the first journalist to get security cover from the Centre. Before him, journalists such as Zee Newss Sudhir Chaudhary (X category), Samachar Pluss Umesh Kumar (Y category) and Ashwini Kumar Chopra (Z Plus category) have been provided security by the government.
14:21   SC committee on Cauvery
The Supreme Court committee report on the Cauvery issue: Situation grim in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. 42 of 48 talukas of Karnataka in Cauvery basin affected by drought. No water in Tamil Nadu for cattle. Standing crops in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu affected due to scarcity of water. Sugarcane farming in both states needs to be discouraged.
14:01   Has Chinese pressure forced Pak U-turn on anti-India terror groups?
China's disapproval of Pakistan's hosting of anti-India terror organisations has prompted Islamabad to quietly start working on plans to disarm these jihadist groups, amid an unusually public row between the civilian government, the all-powerful military and the media over the policy shift. Read more
13:59   Pak classic film dropped from MAMI over threats
After a Mumbai-based social organisation threatened to protest against the upcoming MAMI Mumbai Film Festival for screening Pakistani film "Jago Hua Savera", the organisers have decided not to showcase the movie.

The outfit, Sangharsh, had accused the organisers of playing with the nationalist sentiment of people of India, at a time of tension with Pakistan after the Uri terror attack. They had also sought police permission to protest over the screening of the 1958 Pakistani film at the 18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, which begins from October 20.

"Given the current situation, the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has decided not to programme 'Jago Hua Savera' as part of the Restored Classics Section," organisers of the festival said in a statement. Directed by AJ Kardar, "Jago Hua Savera" was selected as the entry from Pakistan for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 32nd Academy Awards in 1960.

The film was co-produced during the days of undivided Pakistan (now independent Pakistan and Bangladesh) and shot in Dhaka. It tells the tale of life in a small fishing village where everyone dreams of owning their own boat. The film was set to be screened in the 'restored classic' section of the festival, which is chaired by superstar Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao.

The 18th edition of the festival will be held from October 20-27 in which over 180 films from 54 countries would be screened at several spots across the megapolis.

Image: A still from the film, Jago Hua Savera
13:48   Bollywood Dancers outshine Trump at Republican Hindu event
In an understated neighborhood in northern New Jersey, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addressed thousands of Hindus. But, in a country where many people are following Trump's every move, the New York businessman was not quite the spotlight of the show Saturday night.

Women dressed in their best saris asked each other if anyone had confirmed which Bollywood stars would be in attendance. Children chased each other, screaming across the auditorium. Men ate Indian snacks provided at the venue and caught up with friends.

"I just came for the Bollywood show,' said Nilesh Patel. The evening, a charity event hosted by the Republican Hindu Coalition to give to refugees from Kashmir, had a star-studded list of dance performances. Read more

Never a truer word spoken...  @mehreenzahra As I watched videos of a Hindu-American event for Trump in Jersey, I thought to myself "So, this is how we were colonized."--@harikondabolu
13:35   Shahbaz Taseer's kidnapper among 6 terrorists killed in Pak
Six Taliban terrorists, including the alleged kidnapper of the son of slain governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer, have been killed in an encounter with security personnel in Pakistan's Punjab province.

Acting on a tip off, a team of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Saturday raided a house near Sheikhupura bypass where nine to ten members of banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were hiding. They tried to escape by using a car and two motorcycles and were chased up to a branch road where they opened fire at the cops, forcing the security personnel to retaliate, the CTD spokesperson said. "When the shootout ended, six of the terrorists were dead and the rest had fled," the spokesperson was quoted as saying by 'Dawn'.

Image: Shahbaz Taseer
13:23   We are on verge of global isolation, Pak media warns govt
International isolation "appears to be looming over" Pakistan all thanks to its inaction against terrorism, wrote Pakistani newspaper, The Nation, in what is its second hard-hitting editorial in two weeks, against the government and the security agencies there.

This is particularly significant, because The Nation is a newspaper considered close to the Pakistani government as well as the military establishment. And in the context of Prime Minister Narendra Modi sparing no efforts to continually highlight cross-border terror attacks - yesterday he alluded to Pakistan as the " mothership of terror " - Pakistan's own media stepping in to rap its government's knuckles could well be a sign that civil society there is rattled, following the Uri attack in India and its global condemnation.

Citing the fact that even Pakistan's so-called strategic ally, China, has expressed concern about inaction on terror, the editorial says that the government needs to indiscriminately crack down on all non-state terror actors, and back its words with action.

"Modi's statement shows just how committed New Delhi is when it comes to isolating Pakistan globally. From cancelling the Saarc summit to boycotting Pakistani artistes, the Modi regime is hell-bent on weakening Pakistan at every international forum... When and if isolated, the impact would be drastic, and Pakistan would never want that," says the editorial.
Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav admits in Supreme Court that he accepted a bouquet from Siwan journalist murder accused but denies involvement.
12:52   US presidential election stressing out Americans, reveals study
The 2016 US Presidential election is a significant source of stress for over half the Americans, with those using social media more likely to be affected, according to a new survey ahead of one of the most adversarial contests in recent history.

The survey was conducted online among 3,511 adults aged over 18 living in the US by the American Psychological Association.

About 52 per cent of American adults reported that the 2016 election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress.
12:43   Bengaluru tense after RSS worker hacked to death by 2 men
There are prohibitory orders in some parts of Bengaluru after a 35-year old RSS party worker was attacked and murdered in broad daylight on Sunday afternoon. 

Section 144 was imposed in Shivajinagar, Frazer Town, Commercial Street and Bharathi Nagar. The brazen attack took place near the Commercial Street area of Shivajinagar in Bengaluru.

The victim, Rudresh, was on his way home after attending an event organized by the RSS.

Eyewitnesses said that the assailants wearing masks came on a bike and attacked him with a machete. 

Tension prevailed in the area and shops and commercial establishments were asked to down their shutters as RSS and BJP workers took to the streets to protest the killings.

In view of the sensitive situation, a large number of police personnel including the Rapid Action Force have been deployed in the area.

Earlier last week, a RSS worker was hacked to death in Kerala's Kannur district. 

12:13   'Anything India does to protect its security, Bhutan supports'
Bhutan stands "shoulder-to-shoulder' with India in its fight against terror, said Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, adding that its decision to pull out of the SAARC summit came as an act of solidarity with India. 

"The security situation is deteriorating because of terror and terrorism which cannot be tolerated. And the worst form of terrorism is cross-border terrorism,' Mr. Tobgay said in an interview to The Hindu. 

Read the full interview HERE
11:55   Government to keep Aadhaar records for 7 yrs, prompts fears of surveillance
The government will keep a record of all the services and benefits availed using the Aadhaar number for seven years, say new rules, prompting fears that the database could be used for surveillance.

The Unique Identification Authority of India, which issues the 12-digit biometric identity to all Indian residents, will be required to preserve its record of verification of an Aadhaar number for the duration.

Read more HERE
11:39   Veteran Cong leader from UP Rita Bahuguna Joshi may join BJP
In what is likely to be a huge blow for the Congress ahead of the UP polls, senior leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi is likely to join the BJP, say reports.

She is the Congress MLA from the Lucknow Cantt constituency and was the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee from 2007 to 2012. She is also the daughter of Ex-UP CM HN Bahuguna. her brother, Vijay Bahuguna has joined BJP recently. However, he rubbished the reports saying, "These are just rumours, there is no truth in them."

In May too, there was speculation that she would be joining the Samajwadi Party after she met UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. She had denied any such move.

However, These are just rumours,no truth in them: Vijay Bahuguna,BJP leader on reports of his sister Rita Bahuguna Joshi joining BJP from Congress
11:24   Govt wants IITs, IIMs to go multidisciplinary for world-class institutions tag
The government's so-called world-class institutions plan may change the face of the country's two most premier institutions'"the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)'"by making them move beyond their respective areas of specialization (technology and management), and admit more students. Read more
11:12   Modi misleading BRICS with 'mothership of terrorism' attack: Pak
Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz has alleged that India has no moral ground to talk about counter-terrorism efforts and pointing fingers.

In a statement released by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aziz said that "Modi is misleading his BRICS and BIMSTEC colleagues", after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that Pakistan is the 'mothership of terrorism" Aziz alleged that the Indian leadership was desperately trying to hide what he termed as "brutalities" in Kashmir."

The UN and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) have rejected Indian attempts to equate Kashmiris' movement for self-determination with terrorism," the adviser remarked, adding that the United Nations has repeatedly emphasised that people fighting for their self-determination cannot be categorised as terrorists by the occupying state.

Aziz further said that Pakistan joins all the members of BRICS and BIMSTEC in condemning terrorism and reaffirms its full commitment to fight the menace of terrorism without discrimination.

He alleged that Pakistan is a victim of "Indian interference and subversive activities", which are aimed at destabilising the country.

Prime Minister Modi, while addressing the BRICS Summit yesterday, launched a veiled attack at Pakistan saying, "Tragically, the mother-ship of terrorism is a country in India's neighbourhood."

Image: Terror mastermind and JuD chief Hafeez Saeed
11:04   At least 30 killed as two buses collide in Pakistan
At least 30 people were killed in Pakistan when two buses collided in southern Punjab province, police said on Monday. Images from the crash site showed a bus on its side with its windows shattered, and another bus with its roof partly caved in.
10:50   Rwanda's last king, Kigeli V, dies at age 80
The last king of Rwanda, Kigeli V, who ruled the east African nation for less than a year before being forced into exile, finally settling in the United States, has died according to his official website. He was 80.
Two people arrested by Mumbai police in 72-year-old RTI activist Bhupendra Vira's murder case.
10:44   'Chinese goods sale to drop 30 per cent this Diwali'
Sale of Chinese products may decline by 30 per cent on this Diwali compared to last year as per the market report from various states, says traders body CAIT.

"As per indications available from the markets of different states, as of now there seems to be an expect decline of about 30 per cent in consumption of Chinese products on this Diwali in comparison to last year which in itself would be a strong indication to China and other countries as far as the consumption of Chinese goods in India is concerned," the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a statement. 
10:05   Mumbai RTI activist, who targeted illegal constructions, shot dead
An RTI activist in Mumbai was shot dead in his home at Vakola Saturday evening. Many of his applications had targeted a former corporator over alleged illegal constructions, police said.

The Indian Express reports: Police are probing the former corporator who, they said, had received an order from the Lokayukta hours before the murder that four of his properties would be demolished based on a complaint filed by the activist. Bhupendra Vira, 60, was at home watching TV around 9 pm when the killer fired from outside the house, the bullet piercing the right temple. Police said that the shooter fired at close range and at an angle between the open main door and the bedroom, where Vira was sitting.

"The bullet shot exited the other side of the head and has been recovered by the police,' a forensic expert said.
09:48   Battle for Mosul: Operation to retake Iraqi city from IS begins
A long-awaited offensive to seize back Mosul after two years of Islamic State control has begun with columns of armour and military starting to move on the Northern Iraqi city.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in a televised statement said, Our dearest people in Nineveh province, the victory bell has rung, and the operations to liberate Mosul have begun. I am announcing today the beginning of these heroic operations to liberate you from the brutality and terrorism of IS. God willing, we will meet soon on the ground of Mosul where we will all celebrate the liberation and your freedom. After a month-long buildup, the last urban stronghold of Islamic State in Iraq has for several days been almost completely surrounded by a 30,000-strong force.

IMAGE: 30,000 troops prepare to launch an attack on Mosul. Photograph: Azad Lashkari/Reuters
09:40   No medical bulletin on Jayalalithaa's condition for 6 days
As suspense continued about the health condition of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa admitted to Apollo Hospitals last month, there was no medical bulletin about her health from the hospital for the sixth consecutive day.

Apollo Hospitals, in its last bulletin issued on October 10, said Jayalalithaa is under constantly monitored by intensivists and other consultants.

Meanwhile Tamil movie actor Rajinikanth on Sunday visited Apollo Hospitals to enquire about Jayalalithaa's health. In the October 10 bulletin, the hospital said: "Necessary respiratory support, antibiotics, nutrition, supportive therapy and passive physiotherapy are being given.

'The 68-year-old Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital on September 22 for fever and dehydration. The doctors later said she needed a longer stay at the hospital as she was suffering from infection and put her on respiratory support.
09:35   Chhattisgarh: BJP leaders son accused of gang rape
Woman gang-raped by three men in a car in Mahasamund, Chhattisgarh. BJP leader's son is the accused and is absconding, two others held.

While two of the accused Devendra (23) and Farid Ali (26) have been arrested, Princely Saluja, the son of local BJP leader, is absconding.

On the night of October 11, the victim and her sister had stepped out of their home to relieve themselves. The three men were waiting for them, and forced the victim inside their vehicle. They took her to a secluded spot and allegedly raped her, a senior police officer told the Indian Express.

The victim works as a cook in a private school in Balodabazaar in Bhatapara district. She was visiting her parents home in Pirda village in the Basna area for the Dussehra festival and had stayed back. According to the police, the victim filed the complaint on October 14 and two of the accused were arrested next day.

09:32   Terrorists snatch 5 rifles from cops guarding TV tower in J-K
Separatist militants snatched weapons from TV tower guards in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, police said on Monday. The police said the militants attacked the guards posted at a Low Power Transmitter station of public service broadcaster Doordarshan in Dalvash village late Sunday night. They took away five service rifles.

The attack comes after a jawan died when Pakistan violated the ceasefire twice on Sunday by firing on forward posts along the Line of Control in Rajouri district. A senior army officer said there have been over 25 ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir after surgical strikes by army troops in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to dismantle terror launching pads.

Representational image
09:19   'Triple-checked' facts of civilian-army rift story: Pakistani journo
A prominent Pakistani journalist, who was briefly barred from travelling abroad over reporting a rift between the civilian and military leaderships, today stuck to his story, saying he had "triple-checked" the facts.

"Because nothing of the reaction had been unanticipated, nothing had been left to chance before the story was put out in print," Cyril Almeida, a columnist and reporter for the Dawn, said in his column 'A week to remember' published in today's edition of the newspaper.

He wrote: "The story had arrived fairly quickly after the fateful meeting on October 3, but it was only published on October 6. The gap was all about verifying, double- and triple-sourcing and seeking official comment.

In his story 'Act against militants or face international isolation', Almeida reported that the civilian government has warned the military leadership of a growing international isolation of Pakistan and sought action against banned terror groups, like Hafiz Saeed's LeT, Masood Azhar's JeM and the
Haqqani network, or face international isolation.
JUST IN: 72-year-old RTI activist, who worked against illegal encroachments and land mafia, shot dead in Mumbai. 
07:55   Omar Abdullah detained at US airport for 2 hours
Former Jammu-Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said he was stopped at a New York airport for two hours on Monday for extra immigration checks. "Another `random' secondary immigration check upon landing in the US. Thrice in three visits, the randomness is growing tiresome now," Abdullah, 46, tweeted shortly after midnight.

"I just spent two hours in a holding area and this happens EVERY time..." the National Conference leader said. "I'm here to speak at an event organised by NYU but I almost wish I'd stayed at home instead... That's two hours well and truly wasted!!" Abdullah said.

Earlier in August, actor Shah Rukh Khan had been detained at the Los Angeles airport. At that point, Khan too had tweeted that while he fully understood and respected security protocols, "to be detained at US immigration every damn time really really sucks".