Thu, 15 September 2016
Akhilesh Yadav rejects Shivpal's resignation

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23:29   Akhilesh Yadav rejects Shivpal Yadav's resignation
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has refused to accept the resignation of his uncle Shivpal Yadav. 

The drama happened on an evening that saw party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav get into firefighting mode in a bid to sort out the feud between his brother and his son.

Shivpal had resigned earlier this evening after meeting with SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh.
22:56   Shivpal Yadav resigns from Akhilesh cabinet
Newly-appointed Samajwadi Party state chief Shivpal Yadav on Thursday evening resigned from all the party posts and ministerial berths held by him in the Uttar Pradesh government. 

The announcement came within minutes after Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at his Lucknow residence.

Earlier today, Shivpal met Akhilesh in Lucknow, but the meeting lasted for only 15 minutes. 

Mulayam tried to broker a peace deal between his warring brother and son. 

His efforts, however, have failed to diffuse the tension as Shivpal handed his resignation from all party and government posts to Akhilesh.
22:33   Website, app for AIR's Balochi service to be launched tomorrow
Public Broadcaster Prasar Bharati will launch a website and mobile app tomorrow for All India Radio's Balochi service to reach out to the people who speak the language across the globe.
According to officials, the Balochi website and mobile app will be launched by Prasar Bharati Chairperson A Surya Prakash.
As part of its efforts to find additional platforms to supplement its existing shortwave transmissions for various language services, External Services Division of All India Radio is launching a multimedia website and mobile app for the Balochi language service being broadcast since May, 1974, an official said. 
22:14   Solution to pay panel issue soon, assures Parrikar

The current impasse over the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission award for the three armed forces will be resolved soon, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

Speaking to, Parrikar in his first public comments over the deadlock said, "I am aware of the anomalies and shortcomings in the award for the military. The service chiefs have also briefed me. I have assured them that I am confident of resolving issues very soon."

Parrikar said that the three service chiefs raising the issue with him is not being viewed as defiance. 

"I only told them that we care for the forces and all concerns raised by them will be addressed by taking them up with the prime minister and the finance minister," he added. 

"The only way to find a solution to these issues is discussion," Parrikar said. 

"The chiefs know that I am using all the strength at my command to find a way out. You must understand that I got the gazette notification announcing the 7th Pay Commission amended to make sure the military retains its edge over the Central Armed Police Forces. Such a step has never been taken ( to amend a gazette notification)," he pointed out.
21:48   India says it will continue to raise Balochistan issue
India on Thursday said it will continue to raise the Balochistan issue as long as repression and violation of the fundamental rights of Balochis exist.
The statement came a day after India for the first time raised the issue of Balochistan before the United Nation, accusing Pakistan of widespread human rights violations there as well as in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The issue is also likely to be raised during the UN General Assembly scheduled for later this month in New York. 
The Indian delegation to the 71st session of the UNGA will be led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and she is scheduled to deliver her address on September 26.
Asked if India will continue to raise issue of Balochistan, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "Till repression exists in Balochistan, till fundemental rights of citizens there are violated, India will raise this issue."
India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the UN in Geneva Ajit Kumar said while India's credentials as a peaceful, democratic, pluralistic society that is deeply committed to the welfare of its people are well established, Pakistan is characterised by authoritarianism, absence of democratic norms and widespread human rights violations across the country including in Balochistan. 
21:46   Ganga water has heavy metal, pesticide traces: Pollution monitoring body
\Water quality of river Ganga shows the presence of bacterial contamination besides traces of pollutants like heavy metals and pesticides, says the apex pollution monitoring body Central Pollution Control Board . 

In a detailed report covering various aspects of contamination in the river, the Central Pollution Control Board has informed the National Green Tribunal that the Ganga, spanning a distance of 543 km between Haridwar and Kanpur, was affected by 1,072 seriously polluting industries which are releasing heavy metals and pesticides.

"Before many years/centuries, the river was not blocked for any purpose and due to limited habitation on the bank of the river, hardly there was disposal of any waste into the river. Now, the River Ganga is blocked/dammed at many places (upper Himalayan stretches and on the plains such as Haridwar, Bijnor, Narora and Kanpur) and water has been diverted for various uses. As a result, the water quality and ecological sanctity is threatened. 

"Water quality of River Ganga is showing presence of bacterial contamination besides reporting of presence of trace pollutants like heavy metals and pesticides in some of the studies," CPCB said in the report filed in pursuance to the NGT's September 6 order.

At present, 823.1 million litres per day (MLD) of untreated sewage and 212.42 MLD of industrial effluent flows into the river while three of the four monitored Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) were non-compliant with the set standards, it said.  
21:01   Prince Charles in car crash with deer on Queen's estate
Britain's Prince Charles was reportedly involved in a car crash with a deer on his mother Queen Elizabeth II's estate in Scotland, a media report said on Wednesday.
The 67-year-old heir to the throne was unhurt in the Balmoral estate incident, which took place in recent days, 'Daily Mirror' reported.
While his Clarence House office has declined to comment on the incident, Charles is believed to have been driving an Audi A4 Allroad Estate when the accident happened.
He wasn't hurt but the vehicle was left so badly damaged that a specialist mechanic was despatched to the royal estate in the Highlands to repair it, the newspaper claims.
"Red Deer are a hazard on the roads up here and most drivers have had a brush with them at some point. Charles is a careful driver but sometimes they dash out on the road and theres little you can do. He'll have got a hell of a fright," the newspaper quoted a source as saying.
Balmoral, the British monarch's Scottish home where she usually spends the English summer, is playing host to a huge royal gathering this week.
Charles was pictured recently enjoying a drive in his new Audi recently as well.
China successfully launches space lab Tiangong-2 into space, paving way for its permanent space station by 2022.
20:17   Next set of smart cities to be announced next week: Naidu
The Centre will announce the next set of 27 cities for financing under the Modi-government flagship Smart City Mission next week, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

"I am happy to tell you that 20 cities were announced in the first and another 13 in the supplementary round. Now, I am going to announce another 27 cities in the next week," Naidu said while addressing the 12th Indo-US Economic Summit 

So far, the government has announced 33 cities that will be developed as 'smart cities' which would have facilities such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity and e-governance, among others.

The Modi-government aims to transform about 100 cities by 2019-20, with the Union government providing financial support of Rs 48,000 crore over five years.
20:14   World's oldest man turns 113
The world's oldest man turned 113 on Thursday and the Holocaust survivor living in Israel readied for the Bar Mitzvah he was denied a century ago, his family said.
Yisrael Kristal, an observant Jew from Zarnow in what is now Poland and currently living in the port city of Haifa, was born on September 15, 1903, three months before the Wright brothers' first successful powered airplane flight.
Guinness World Records in March recognised him as the world's oldest man.
While he turned 113 under the Gregorian calendar, his family will celebrate the birthday at the end of September according to the Hebrew calendar, his daughter Shula Koperstoch told AFP.
The festivities will include a Bar Mitzvah that will come 100 years late.
The Bar Mitzvah is one of the most important ceremonies in the life of a Jew.
Usually marked at 13 for boys and 12 or 13 for girls - a Bat Mitzvah in that case - it marks the transition into someone responsible for their actions.
19:52   Akhilesh replacing tyres of damaged cycle: Rahul
With Akhilesh Yadav at war with his uncle Shivpal Yadav, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a dig at him, saying the chief minister was trying to change the image of his government by "replacing tyres of his damaged cycle" but it was too late.
Making speeches during his yatra in Allahabad with an eye on next year's assembly polls, Gandhi said Akhilesh cannot accomplish much in the remaining few months.
"Akhilesh Yadav is trying to change the image of his government. He is trying to replace tyres of his damaged cycle," the Congress leader said, in an apparent referrece to the Samajwadi Party's election symbol cycle and removal of tainted ministers from cabinet by Akhilesh.
"But he should realize it is too late. Four-and-a-half years have been wasted," he added.
Akhilesh recently removed the state's chief secretary, who was considered close to his uncle Shivpal Yadav, on charges of corruption, leading to chain of unpleasant developments in the ruling family clan.
Contending that Akhilesh government had performed badly, he said, "here one does not need to worry while touching a damaged electricity cable since no current flows through these."
19:40   Parrikar to chair meeting of BJP workers in Goa on Saturday
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will chair a meeting of BJP workers here on September 17 in run-up to the 2017 assembly elections. 

Possible political implications of the rebellion by Subhash Velingkar, sacked as RSS Goa chief, could come up for discussion during the meeting.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and other leaders of BJP will participate in the conclave which is kept out-of-bounds for media, a senior BJP official told PTI

Velingkar was recently "relieved" of the charge as Goa RSS chief after his outfit, Bhartiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch announced a political foray against the ruling BJP over the issue of medium of instruction. 

Velingkar and the rebels who broke away from the 'RSS Konkan Prant' later floated 'RSS Goa Prant'. 

However, they have not officially severed their connection with RSS.
Interestingly, Velingkar had targeted Parrikar, former CM of Goa, for "reneging" on language issue and had blamed him for his ouster as Goa unit head of Sangh.  
18:52   Pak, US joint counter-terrorism exercise concludes
A joint counter-terrorism exercise between troops from Pakistan and US armies concluded on Thursday. The joint exercise called 'Inspired Gambit' was taking place in South Carolina, USA. The aim of the nine-day long exercise was to gain experience from each other in the domain of counter-terrorism and counter IED operations. Troops from Special Services Group and Aviation participated in the exercise.
18:28   Delhi sets up helpline for chikungunya, dengue patients
With the capital city witnessing a spurt in Chikungunya and Dengue cases, Delhi government launched a helpline to provide medical assistance to people and help them locate nearest fever clinics. 

Chikungunya is taking its toll in Delhi with the number of cases increasing to over 1,700 this season and fever clinics getting swamped with patients. 

A senior government official said people can call at 011-22307145 to get information relating to nearest fever clinics and also medical assistance. 

The Health Department of Delhi government has set up 355 fever clinics across the city to deal with dengue and Chinkungunya cases, the official said.
18:25   10-year-old dies after rod falls on at Attari Border
A 10-year-old girl who was witnessing the Retreat Ceremony at the Attari Border died today. The tragedy took place when a rod from an under-construction gallery fell on her. Reacting to the mishap, the BSF said, "It is an unfortunate and sad incident."
18:12   CBI registers case in murder of Siwan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan
The CBI registered a case against unknown persons in Siwan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan murder case.

Yesterday, four months after the murder of bureau chief of a Hindi daily 'Hindustan', it was reported that CBI would be be taking over the investigation in the case.

CBI sources were quoted as saying that RJD strongman Shahabuddin, who was recently released on bail, was under the scanner of investigation agencies in the case.
17:51   Heavy Mumbai rains reappear, more showers expected
Mumbai rains had taken a backseat and heavy showers had almost vanished from the city. 

However, rain gods seemed to have developed a liking towards Mumbai once again. In fact, parts of the city received heavy rains during the last 24 hours. In a span of 24 hours from 8:30 am on Wednesday, the Colaba Observatory in Mumbai received a whopping 49.4 mm of rainfall. 

Heavy rains are expected to continue till tomorrow evening. The rain intensity is expected to be moderate to heavy around September 17 and 18.
17:08   Cauvery protests: SC asks Karnataka, TN governments to prevent agitation
A single bench of the Supreme Court, which was hearing a plea seeking a direction to the Centre and to the state governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to maintain law and order in the wake of the massive protests over the Cauvery water distribution row, on Thursday expressed its dismay over people taking the law into their own hands, and insisted that the state authorities take immediate preventive action.

Justice Deepak Misra observed that "it is the duty of states to see that no agitation and no damage take place. We expect the people from both states to maintain peace, harmony and above all dignity and respect for the law. We sincerely hope wisdom shall prevail over authorities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu."

The top court has also asked the counsels of both states to go through the petition and file their responses by September 20.
JUST IN: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will address the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 26
16:30   Malaysia confirms debris found in Tanzania is from MH370
A large piece of debris discovered on the island of Pemba, off the coast of Tanzania, in June was from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370. A search of more than two years has turned up few traces of the Boeing 777 aircraft that disappeared in March 2014, with 239 passengers and crew on board, soon after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, bound for Beijing.

The debris, an outboard flap, will be examined further to see if it can yield any insight into the circumstances around the missing plane, the Malaysian transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said.

Investigators have previously confirmed a piece of plane debris found on the French island of Runion in July 2015 as being part of the MH370. 

They are examining several other pieces of debris found in Mozambique, South Africa and Rodrigues Island, a territory of Mauritius.
16:07   PDP MP Tariq Hameed Karra resigns from party and Lok Sabha
PDP MP Tariq Hameed Karra resigns both from party and Lok Sabha.

MP from Srinagar-Budgam constituency, Karra had threatened to resign if all his efforts of protesting or agitating against the government's failures on restoration of peace fail to change situation on the ground.

Stating that it is too early to comment on final outcome of the central government's proposed initiatives for restoration of peace and normalcy in the Valley, Karra, in a statement, reacting to suggestion of the joint resistance leadership that all elected representatives of the mainstream political parties including MLAs, MLCs and the Parliamentarians should resign, said he was very closely watching the situation and even protesting and agitating on it within available means.

"For the past 16 months, I have been asking for course correction. It is and it was an unnatural alliance with the BJP and it should have broken long long ago," Karra said.

Sensex advances 40.66 pts to end at 28,412.89; Nifty up 15.95 pts at 8,742.55.
Just In: SC directs Karnataka, Tamil Nadu to ensure there is no violence, destruction of property in both states following its order on Cauvery water sharing.
15:40   PDP's Tariq Karra resigns from party, Lok Sabha
Just In: PDP MP Tariq Hameed Karra resigns from both party and Lok Sabha.
15:31   India's online population to touch 500 million by 2020: Google
With the advent of affordable smartphones and growing reach of internet across the country, India's online population will reach 500 million by 2020, Google's Asia Pacific Language Head, Richa Singh Chitranshi said.

"India's online population will reach 500 million by 2020 with majority of them being local language users," Chitranshi said while addressing IT students at Rajiv Gandhi Proayogiki (Technology) Vishwavidyalaya in Bhopal.

The event was jointly organised by RGPV and MPPOST, an online portal, on Wednesday. 

Speaking about the future and present of the internet Chitranshi said it was mainly due to availability of affordable smartphones and data packs that have enabled millions in Indians to go online. 

She also informed that today over 65 per cent of India surf the internet through their phones with majority of the new users accessing it for the first time through phones. 

"Interestingly, not all of them are English speaking users," Richa said.

She said out of the 350 million, 150 million internet users are only comfortable with local language and those users will form the majority of the online population in India. 
15:21   Over 6,000 travellers arrived on e-tourist visa in August
Over 66,000 travellers arrived in India on e-tourist visa in August this year, recording a growth of about 197 per cent over the same period last year. 

Among the countries availing e-tourist visa facility, the UK occupied the top slot, followed by the US and China, the Union Tourism Ministry said in a statement. 

"During the month of August, 2016 a total of 66,097 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 22,286 during the month of August, 2015 registering a growth of 196.6 per cent," it said. 

During January-August this year, a total of 6,06,493 tourist arrived on e-tourist visa as compared to 1,69,976 during the corresponding period last year, witnessing a a growth of 256.8 per cent.

"This high growth may be attributed to introduction of e-tourist visa for 150 countries as against the earlier coverage of 113 countries," the statement said. 
15:21   L&T Tech IPO oversubscribed 1.43 times
IPO of L&T Technology Services, an arm of engineering giant Larsen and Toubro, got oversubscribed 1.43 times till afternoon trade on the last day of the offer today.

The Rs 900-crore IPO, received bids for 1,04,33,712 shares as against the total issue size of 72,80,000 shares, data available with the NSE till 1400 hrs showed. 

This is the second company from the L&T Group to hit the market with an IPO since July, when L&T Infotech had launched a public offer. The flagship Larsen and Toubro is already listed.

L&T Technology Services had last week raised over Rs 268 crore from anchor investors. 

The issue comprises an offer for sale of up to 10,400,000 shares by its promoter L&T. 

The price band is fixed at Rs 850-860. The firm, which provides innovative engineering as well as research and development services across sectors, has revenues of nearly $500 million.
Fire at Hiranandani Tower in Kandivali (Mumbai) is now under control, reports news agency ANI
15:03   Apple slashes iPhone 6s price by Rs 22,000
Apple India on Thursday announced it was slashing the prices of select iPhone models in India. 

Specifically, the 128GB models of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and the 64GB model of the iPhone SE. The announcement comes just ahead of the festive season, as well as ahead of Apple's October 7 launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in India.

The iPhone 6s 128GB model is now priced at Rs 60,000, a Rs 22,000 price cut from its earlier price of Rs 82,000. The iPhone 6s Plus in the meanwhile is now priced at Rs 70,000, seeing the same Rs. 22,000 price drop from its Rs 92,000 launch price.

As we mentioned, Apple's 4-inch iPhone SE smartphone, which was launched in March this year, also got a price cut. The iPhone SE 64GB model is now priced at Rs 44,000, seeing a Rs 5,000 price cut from its Rs 49,000 price.
14:35   Arunachal-bound helicopter with 8 on board makes emergency landing
K Anurag reports: A helicopter with eight persons on board was forced to make emergency landing on an open field near Nagaon town in Central Assam at around 10:15am on Thursday after it developed a technical glitch. The chopper was travelling from Guwahati to Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh.

An official in Nagaon informed that the helicopter of Skyone Airways with six airline staff and two passengers had a technical snag mid-air shortly after take off from Guwahati airport at 10:00 am. 

The district administration in Nagaon has provided accommodation for the airway staff at the government circuit house till the helicopter is repaired while the two passengers took a car from Nagaon towards Itanagar.
14:25   Mumbai: 20 fire trucks tackle Hiranandani Tower fire
The Hiranandani Tower fire in Mumbai's suburban area of Kandivali has been upgraded to level 3 fire as fire fighting operations continue.

20 vehicles involved in Hiranandani Tower fire fighting ops, including fire engines, water tankers and other vehicles.

Fire officials say that no one is trapped, building is fully evacuated, extinguishing and search operation is on.
14:14   31% 'urban India' may be an underestimate
According to the 2011 Census, 31 per cent of the country is 'urban'. 

Using definitions of urbanisation that are different from those used by the government, experts Komal Hiranandani, Mudit Kapoor and Vaidehi Tandel demonstrate that this figure may be an underestimate. 

It is important to recognise and fix the flaws in the current method of defining urban areas as it forms the basis for important policies such as eligibility for government schemes, they say.

Read more HERE 

ANI reports: 13 accused of links with Lashkar-e-Tayiba have been convicted by the NIA special court at Bengaluru.

More details are awaited.
14:00   DGCA bars clicking pictures near aircraft
Flyers will no longer be allowed to take pictures or selfies while boarding or alighting from aircraft.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has reinforced restrictions on "air side" photography by passengers in a new rule issued primarily to prohibit pilots from taking selfies in cockpits of airborne planes as the regulator has found the latter to be a major distraction that could affect safety.

A DGCA air safety circular issued on August 29 has asked airlines to ensure that "passengers do not indulge into photography while embarking/disembarking from aircraft."

Also, passengers will no longer be able to request crew to let them in the cockpit to click a quick selfie while disembarking.
13:53   Fire breaks out at Hiranandani Tower in Mumbai suburb
A major fire broke out at Hiranandani high rise building in Kandivali area of Mumbai, on Thursday.

According to reports, four fire engines have been rushed to the spot.

No casualties have been reported.

More details are awaited.
JUST IN: The Indian Air Force has sent a communication to the kin on board the missing IAF AN 32 flight, saying that the Court of Inquiry has recommended presumption of death. 
13:08   Second-hand car may be used for terror act in Pune: Cops
DNA reports: The Pune police have issued an order stating that there is confidential information that anti-social elements may use second hand (used) car to carry out attacks in the city in September, October and November. 

The police have also asked landlords of properties to give details of people staying on rent to their nearest police station. 
Strict instructions have been given to those who deal in new and old cars and estate agents in a letter copy that has been dispatched from Pune Commissioner's Office. However, deputy commissioner of police (Special Branch) Ganesh Shinde said that there is no specific threat to Pune city and that the said order was sent out for public awareness.

The order, that has been uploaded by the Pune police on their website and has been signed by assistant commissioner of police (Special Branch) Vikram Patil, states that checks should be put on landlords, tenants, custodians of private and public properties and at religious places, owners and purchasers/lessors of second hand (used cars) vehicles etc., so that terrorists/anti-national and anti-social elements in the guise of tenants, visitors or other residents may not cause disturbance of peace etc. and that immediate action is necessary for the prevention of the same.

Read more HERE

12:45   You are 28,793 in line! Coldplay tickets selling like hotcakes in Mumbai
Coldplay, the British indie band, are coming to Mumbai on November 19 as part of the Global Citizen initiative is old news. 

And days after the announcement was made, another decision was made that the tickets for the show, which is guranteed to bring in huge crowds, would be free!

All you had to do to get your hands on those prized tickets was participate in the activities chalked out by Global Citizen to bring social change in India as they launch a 15-year-long campaign in India.

However, for those who are impatient, BookmyShow began selling tickets today at 12 am. But, be ready to wait in queue as the tickets for the show are selling out. 

When we checked, the Rs 5,000 entry passes had already sold out and the window for the Rs 7,500 had started. 

But waiting is the name of the game as there were around 28,000 people ahead of us!

So, by the time you might get your pass, don't be surprised if it is as expensive as Rs 50,000. 

We advise you keep your credit card at the ready! 
Govt expects record foodgrain production in 2016-17 crop year: Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
12:06   Indonesia ferry blast kills two, injures 13
An explosion on a ferry carrying 35 tourists between the Indonesian resort islands of Bali and Lombok on Thursday killed two people -- an Indonesian and a Dutch national -- and injured 13, police said.

"Two of them died, 13 were injured," Bali police spokesman Made Sudana said, adding the explosion happened off the coast of Lombok.

"It seems there was some sort of explosion on the boat, so there was an emergency with the engine."
11:31   Restrictions continue in Kashmir
Normal life remained disrupted in Kashmir Valley for the 69th consecutive day today due to the separatist sponsored strike and restrictions imposed by authorities for maintaining law and order.

Restrictions have been imposed on movement and assembly of people in all parts of the Valley, except the Civil Lines area of Srinagar city, a police official said. 

He said the situation across the Valley was peaceful so far. 

Security forces have been deployed in strength at vulnerable places in the Valley even as aerial surveillance using drones and helicopters continued, the official said. 

11:30   Leadership erred by removing Akhilesh as SP chief: Ram Gopal Yadav
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who was rushed to Lucknow to resolve the ongoing crisis in the party, said on Thursday that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ahilkesh Yadav was not consulted by the central leadership before being removed from the post of state party chief, which hurt his image.

Addressing media persons, Yadav said: "Akhilesh's removal led to misunderstanding, the matter will be resolved."

Claiming that there was no crisis in the Samajwadi Party, Yadav said that the "party leadership made a mistake, though not deliberately, by removing Akhilesh Yadav as UP SP chief."

The SP general secretary also blamed media for fuelling the family feud.

Shivpal Yadav, who is also the younger brother of Mulayam, had reached Delhi yesterday to meet the party chief at his official residence.

During the meeting, Shivpal had reportedly expressing his inability to work under nephew and CM Akhilesh Yadav. 

Mulayam has reportedly called the party's parliamentary board meeting on Friday to end the crisis.
11:14   SC spares Soumya case convict from death penalty
Soumya rape and murder: Supreme Court sets aside the death penalty, reduces death penalty to life sentence.

The Supreme Court acquitted Govindachami of murder charges while upholding the conviction under Section 376 IPC for rape. 

Partly allowing the appeal preferred by the accused Govindachami, the Apex court bench comprising of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Prafulla C Pant and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit has set aside the death penalty and has sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for seven years.

The court had reserved its judgment in the case on September 8, with Gogoi J observing that though the offence of rape stood proved, the murder charge was based largely on circumstantial evidence. 

The prosecution case was that Govindachamy attacked Soumya and pushed her out of the slow-moving train. He then jumped off the train, carried the injured woman to a wooded area near the track and raped her. She later succumbed to her injuries.

Approving the death penalty awarded by the lower court, the Kerala high court had classified the rape and murder "among the rarest of rare cases in which the lesser alternative is unquestionably foreclosed."

However, the Supreme Court remarked that the charge of murder seems to prima facie rest on circumstantial evidence.
11:07   Priyanka among world's highest paid TV actresses
Priyanka Chopra has become the first Indian star to enter the Forbes list of highest paid television actresses in the world, after starring on American series Quantico

Priyanka ranks eighth in the coveted list, which has retained American actress Sofia Vergara at the first position fifth year in a row. 

The 44-year-old Colombian-American actress brought home a whooping $43 million before management fees and taxes, but not all came from her hit TV show Modern Family

Vergara has an impressive array of endorsement deals as well as her line of products.

Priyanka, meanwhile, has earned $11 million. She made her international acting debut last year with ABC's Quantico and now is gearing up for its second season. 

Back home, the 34-year-old actress has starred in two Bollywood films in the past one year -- Bajirao Mastani and Jai Gangaajal-- and will make her Hollywood film debut with Baywatch alongside Hollywood heavy-hitters including Dwayne Johnson, the world's highest-paid actor. 
10:19   SC to hear plea to control Cauvery violence
The Supreme Court will today hear a plea seeking a direction to the Centre and the state governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to maintain law and order in the wake of the massive protests over the Cauvery water distribution row.

Activist Shivkumar, who is a petitioner in the case, has sought the apex court's intervention.

Yesterday, Shivkumar had appealed to a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur to hear the matter related to the two states urgently, adding that on September 15, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu would be observing state-wide shutdowns.

He sought the apex court's direction to the Centre and both states to take strict action against those who are involved in violence and to provide security to private and public properties and citizens of both states.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had earlier urged the protesters not to damage public property, adding that the order of the Supreme Court is hard to follow, but "we will still follow it".

The apex court had on Monday modified its September 5 order, directing the Karnataka government to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. It directed the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government to release 12,000 cusecs of water for farmers.
10:04   'Nidhi, you are alive. Nidhi, it was a bomb'
Nidhi Chaphekar, the Jet Airways cabin manager whose photograph became the symbol of the Brussels airport bombing horror in March, has told The Guardian of the UK that among her first thoughts after regaining consciousness were her children's exams.

If terror could not suppress her maternal instincts, concerns about her career also weighed on her mind soon after she was airlifted to a hospital.

"I asked the nurse: 'Is my face burned?' She looked at me and said: 'Why?' I said: 'My job.' Because I knew, beauty is required, to be perfect is required, being physically, mentally fit is required. I didn't want to be someone who was dependent on anyone else," she told the UK newspaper at her home in Mumbai.

Chaphekar said that when she regained consciousness on the floor of the Zaventem airport in Brussels, she could hear her own internal voice saying: "Nidhi, you're alive. Nidhi, it was a bomb. Nidhi, you have to tell your family. The children have exams. Nidhi, come on, get up."

The Belgian airport was attacked by three suicide bombers, killing 32 people and injuring over 300, including Chaphekar.

Read more HERE
CNN-News18 reports: Ram Gopal Yadav reaches Lucknow to meet Akhilesh Yadav; Meeting called to iron out differences between Shivpal & Akhilesh
09:59   2 Indian teachers held captive in Libya rescued
T Gopalakrishna (Andhra Pradesh) & C BalaramKishan (Telangana) who were captive in Libya since July 29, 2015 have been rescued, tweets External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The two teachers of Sirte University in Libya were taken hostage by Islamic State militants, along with M S Vijaykumar and Lakshmikanth from Karnataka, on July 27. While the latter two were set free by July 29 noon, Krishna and Balaram remained in IS custody. 

At the time of his abduction, Gopikrishna, media reports said, was reportedly not happy with the conditions in Libya. After working as a lecturer in Hyderabad, he went to Libya in 2008 as he was offered assistant professor job with lucrative package at SIRTE University of Libya. He gets around Rs 1.7 lakh per month salary in Indian currency.

According to his friends, he had not been happy in Libya for the last one year with political disturbance and insurgency.

In fact, he wanted to shift his wife and daughter to Libya two years ago but dropped the idea with the dip in law and order.
09:39   Mumbai gears up to bid adieu to beloved Ganpati
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and city police have made elaborate arrangements for the immersion of Lord Ganesha idols today, which will draw curtains on the 11-day festival. 

"A total of 31 artificial ponds have been created for immersion while people can also immerse the idols of the elephant-headed deity in 68 natural ponds across the mega-polis," MCGM said in a statement.

Last year, the civic body had created 26 artificial sites for immersion while there were 71 natural sites. 

"607 life guards are being deployed, 58 control cells and 74 first aid centres have also been set up in the city. Moreover 81 motor boats and 60 ambulances have been kept ready," it said, adding 118 portable toilets have been set up. 

201 'Nirmalya Kalashas' are also being kept by the civic body. As many as 5,173 employees and 2,382 officers will be working to oversee the immersion. 

Prime locations for immersion include Girgaon Chowpatty, Juhu beach, Powai lake, Dadar Chowpatty, Madh jetty and Marve.

Mayor Snehal Ambekar and civic chief Ajoy Mehta in a joint statement appealed devotees to inform the civic authorities as and when they need any assistance or if they are stung by jelly fish or sting ray.

The immersion process is likely to begin since the wee hours and over 50,000 idols are likely to be immersed amid fanfare and tight security. 
09:31   Pakistan train crash kills 6, injures over 150: Geo TV
A Karachi-bound express train collided with a freight train in Pakistan's central Punjab region early on Thursday, killing at least six people and injuring more than 150, Geo TV said.

The Awam Express hit a stationary cargo train about 25 km from the city of Multan, Geo TV said, citing local officials. Four carriages were overturned.

There was a delay in the emergency response due to Eid holidays in Pakistan, a mainly Muslim nation of 190 million people.

About 10 people were badly injured.
09:30   Japanese firms crack down on 'smell harassment'
Firms in Japan are cracking down on 'smell harassment' by ordering employees to brush their teeth at lunch and use deodorant. 

Body odour and breath hygiene are being included in some companies' dress codes and workers are being sent to seminars to combat bad habits.

Some company officials said the increase to the sensitivity of smell can be attributed to more women being employed in Japan and energy-saving tactics like setting the air conditioning to a higher temperature. 

But body odour is not the only pitfall, with bad breath, lingering cigarette smell and excessive perfume is also being stamped out by companies. 

Read more HERE
08:49   Meghalaya govt faces no-confidence motion today
A no-confidence motion moved by three opposition parties against the Congress-led government headed by Mukul Sangma in Meghalaya will be taken up today in the state assembly.

Speaker A T Mondal said that the no-confidence motion at Noon on Thursday.

The motion was moved jointly by opposition regional parties comprising the United Democratic Party and National People's Party under the MPF and the Hill State People Democratic Party on September 12. 

During the discussion, Leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy and 13 other legislators in the Opposition bench rose up in support that the motion is in order. The motion was moved against the council of ministers headed by Mukul Sangma for "failing the people completely, including the safety and security of women and children". 
08:46   Shahabuddin's bail to be challenged in SC today
Chandrakeshwar Prasad of Siwan, whose three of four sons were murdered allegedly by gangster-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin, will today file an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging Patna high court's order granting bail to the former RJD MP.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan's office said they were giving final shape to the petition in which they are challenging how bail can be given to a "history sheeter". 

"We are filing the appeal today on behalf of victims' father Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chandra Babu. We are on way to give final shape to the appeal and it will be filed in which several grounds are taken. 

"We will be challenging how bail has been given to a person who is a history sheeter. Facts are being verified about the number of cases etc and convictions that have taken place against him," advocate Rohit Singh from Bhushan's office said.

Shahabuddin, who was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7, was released from Bhagalpur jail on September 10. He was in jail for 11 years in connection with dozens of cases against him.

Controversial RJD strongman Shahabuddin was granted bail in the 2014 murder case of Rajiv Roshan, son of Chandrakeshwar Prasad. Roshan was a witness to the murder of his brothers Gitish and Satish, who were drenched with acid in 2004. The trial for Roshan's murder is yet to start. 
08:41   Why Nepal PM Dahal's visit to India today matters
India is looking at a "substantive" outcome from Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's four-day visit starting on Thursday.

India, however, wants Nepal to take steps to address the concerns of its citizens, especially those in Tarai, over its newly adopted constitution, as it feels the more the process in this regard gets delayed, the situation will "worsen and can get messy again". 

The caution comes ahead of Prachanda's visit to India during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian leaders. 

"Atmospherics and vibes are positive after Dahal, better known as Prachanda, replaced K P Oli who was adamant about not supporting amendment in the constitution," government sources said, adding that Prachanda has spoken in support of addressing grievances in this regard. 

"There is still a lot of uncertainty. The longer the delay, the more complicated it will become," they said, even as they acknowledged the enormity of the task facing the Nepalese leadership, saying that it is not easy to come to common ground.

If all goes well, the Indian President may visit Nepal and the vice versa, they said, adding that "very, very intensive bilateral engagements" have been going and it reflects the desire of both the countries to step up relationship, putting behind the strain seen earlier.
08:38   China set to launch second space lab
China is set to launch its second experimental space lab as part of its efforts to build a permanent space station as part of its ambitious space programme that aims for a manned space station by around 2022. 

China will launch its Tiangong-2 space lab from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwestern China's Gobi desert today.

The ambitious space programme aims for a manned space station by around 2022. 

Engineers have begun injecting propellant into the the Long March-2F T2 rocket, which will carry Tiangong-2 into space, said Wu Ping, deputy director of the manned space engineering office. 

"All systems are ready for lift-off," she said. 

"The launch of Tiangong-2 will lay a solid foundation for the building and operation of a permanent space station in the future," state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

Once in space, the 8.6-tonne space lab will manoeuvre itself into an orbit about 380 kms above the Earth for initial on-orbit tests. It will transfer to a slightly higher orbit at about 393 kilometers above the Earth's surface before the Shenzhou-11 manned spaceship ferries two astronauts into space to dock with the lab.
08:34   Going to temple doesn't make me a non-Muslim: Soha
Actress Soha Ali Khan, who was attacked on social media by some people, who questioned her faith after she visited the Golden Temple in Amritsar and a Ganpati pandal, has hit back saying that India is a secular nation and going to a temple doesn't make her a "non-Muslim".

She had visited the Golden Temple and a Ganesh pandal to seek blessings ahead of the release of her thriller film "31st October". 

"I am all for freedom of expression, but being told how going to a temple makes me a non-Muslim is plain callous. No one has the right to say that. Whether I choose to do namaz or go to a Church, how does it affect anyone?," Soha said in a statement in Mumbai. 

"Nobody owns me. India being a secular nation, we have to respect all religions and each other's choices," she said. 

Soha is paired opposite Vir Das for the first time in "31st October" directed by Shivaji Lotan Patil. 
08:17   Congressman says Russia hacked Republicans too, later says he 'misspoke'
Republican congressman Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on Wednesday that Russians had hacked into Republican National Committee computers, but the RNC denied it and McCaul later told CNN he misspoke.

"The Russians... basically have hacked into both parties at the national level. And that gives us all concern about what their motivations are," McCaul told CNN in an interview.

The Republican National Committee's communications director, Sean Spicer, quickly pushed back on McCaul's comments, saying on Twitter that "there has been no known" breach of Republican networks.

Shortly thereafter, posted a statement from McCaul clarifying his remarks.

"I misspoke by asserting that the RNC was hacked. What I had intended to say was that in addition to the DNC hack, Republican political operatives have also been hacked," said McCaul, a US representative from Texas.
04:37   Typhoon batters Taiwan, barrels into mainland China
Typhoon Meranti struck China's mainland after pounding Taiwan, making landfall early Thursday near Xiamen in Fujian Province, according to CNN meteorologists.

The powerful storm first raked southern Taiwan, bringing winds of up to 230 mph (370 kilometers per hour) -- faster than a Formula One race car -- at one point and torrential rains.

Meranti is the strongest typhoon since Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in 2013.

When it made landfall over mainland China, the storm's maximum sustained winds were 145 mph (230 kph) with gusts of up to 175 mph (280 kph).
02:43   Hillary Clinton declared 'fit to serve' as president according to doctor
Hillary Clinton's doctor has described her as "healthy and fit to serve" as US president, as her campaign released updated medical information and attempted to stem the damaging insinuations about her fitness for the job.

Clinton's doctor, Lisa Bardack, diagnosed her with pneumonia on Friday - which she did not make public. On Sunday, while attending a September 11 memorial service in Manhattan, she was taken ill.
02:16   French police hold three teens over jihadist links
Three teenagers linked to an Islamic State group jihadist have been arrested around Paris in the past week as investigators probe the use of an encrypted messaging app to plot attacks in France, judicial sources said

Today, a teenager was arrested in a dawn raid on his home in northeastern Paris as part of an investigation into the network of French extremist Rachid Kassim.

Investigators said the youth, aged 14 or 15, was in touch with Kassim on the encrypted Telegram app and had "put himself forward for a terrorist act".

His arrest came four days after a 15-year-old picked up in the upmarket western Paris suburb of Rueil-Malmaison was remanded in custody on terror charges, a source confirmed to AFP.
The 15-year-old, who was already on a watchlist of known radicals, was also arrested over his links to Kassim, who is suspected of using Telegram to direct attacks on France from IS-controlled territory in Iraq or Syria.
01:51   Melania Trump releases more immigration details, no records
Melania Trump released a letter today from an immigration attorney that provided more detail on what she said was her legal pathway to US citizenship. 

But the Slovenian-born wife of the GOP presidential nominee did not publish any part of her immigration file official documents that would put to rest questions about whether she followed immigration law.
The two-page letter from New York attorney Michael J. Wildes, who has represented Donald Trump's companies, also advanced an alternate timeline for a nude photo shoot that had been cited in news reports as possible evidence of Melania working as a model in New York City without authorization.
At issue is whether the photo shoot occurred in 1995 before Melania has said she began legally working in the US or in 1996, as Melania and Wildes assert. 

The letter marks the first time that Melania has publicly identified the type of visas she held and gave specifics about her entry into the US.
Melania has often said she came to the US legally and used her story to defend Donald Trump's hard line on illegal immigration, an issue that he has made a signature part of his campaign.