Mon, 04 December 2017
US President Trump says he feels 'very badly' for Flynn

Timeline  Refresh

23:30   House of Cards final season won't feature Kevin Spacey, says Netflix
The final season of political drama House of Cards will be a mere eight episodes and will not feature Kevin Spacey, Netflix has announced.

A raft of sexual harassment allegations against Spacey had already put the series future in doubt.

The streaming content giant had cut ties with Mr Spacey in November, saying in a statement that Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey.

After actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making sexual advances when Rapp was 14, Spacey released a statement saying he did not remember the encounter but expressing his sincerest apology.

Since then other men have come forward to accuse Spacey of sexual misconduct, allegations he has denied. A representative for Spacey has said he would seek treatment.
JUST IN: Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar disqualified from Rajya Sabha
22:13   US President Trump says he feels 'very badly' for Flynn
US President Donald Trump said he feels "very badly" for Michael Flynn after the former national security adviser pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia's ambassador.

"I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He's led a very strong life, and I feel very badly," Trump told reporters.

Trump, in his first public comments on the matter, also echoed tweets he posted over the weekend in which he compared Flynn's situation to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. He suggested Monday that Clinton had also lied to investigators and decried the situation as unfair.

The FBI concluded that Clinton did not lie during her interview with investigators in July 2016. The FBI cleared her of criminal wrongdoing in July 2016 following an investigation into her use of a private email server, though then-FBI Director James Comey said she had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information. 

"Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI, nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life," Trump said. "It's very unfair."
21:29   Mumbai college students, study on!
Mumbai University and affiliated colleges will not be closed tomorrow. All exams scheduled to be conducted as announced earlier.
21:27   Fitch cuts India's FY18 GDP growth forecast to 6.7 pc
Days after India's economy showed signs of recovery, Fitch Ratings today cut the country's GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 6.7 per cent from the earlier projected 6.9 per cent, saying the rebound was weaker than expected.

It also cut GDP growth forecast for 2018-19 fiscal year to 7.3 per cent from 7.4 per cent predicted in its September Global Economic Outlook.

Fitch, however, expects GDP growth to pick up in the next two years on back of gradual implementation of the structural reform agenda and higher real disposable income. "The Indian economy picked up in 3 Q17 (July-September), with GDP growing by 6.3 per cent year-on-year, up from 5.7 percent in 2Q17.

"However, the rebound was weaker than we expected, and we have reduced our growth forecast for the fiscal year to end-March 2018 (FY18) to 6.7 per cent from 6.9 per cent in the September GEO," Fitch said in its latest GEO.

-- PTI
20:56   Black day in history of Congress: Poonawalla on Rahul's nomination
Congress leader from Maharashtra Shehzad Poonawalla today dubbed the imminent election of Rahul Gandhi as party chief as "Mughal style coronation" and said it is a "black day" in the history of the grand old party.

Poonawalla, who is in the limelight after he alleged that the organisational election in the Congress was "rigged" and gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi a stick to beat the opposition party with, called the polls "unconstitutional and illegal" that will be challenged "from Delhi to Amethi".

"My statement on Rahul Gandhi's Mughal style coronation - Black Day in history of my party... unconstitutional and illegal... will be challenged from Delhi to Amethi," he tweeted.

"Black Day - Rahul Gandhi is not the president of the Congress party but has been anointed like a Mughal king in a line of dynastic hereditory succession.

"As a member of the Congress party, I observe this as a Black Day in the history of my party," he said in a statement.

-- PTI
20:32   Winklevoss twins are now bitcoin billionaires
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the identical twins famous for their legal battle with Mark Zuckerburg over the ownership of Facebook, have become bitcoin billionaires following a surge in value of the currency over the past year. 

Read full story HERE
20:08   SC to commence final hearing in Ayodhya dispute from tomorrow
The Supreme Court is likely to commence final hearing in the long-standing Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute from tomorrow, a day before the 25th anniversary of the demolition of medieval-era structure.

A specially constituted bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer will be hearing a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad high court in four civil suits.

The high court had then ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acre area at Ayodhya among the parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Lord Ram Lalla.

A sect of Muslims, under the banner of Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh, had earlier approached the court offering a solution that a mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a "reasonable distance" from the disputed site in Ayodhya.

However, its intervention was opposed by the All India Sunni Waqf Board which had claimed that judicial adjudication between the two sects had already been done in 1946 by declaring the mosque, which was demolished on December 6, 1992, as one which belongs to the Sunnis.

Recently a group of civil rights activists also moved the apex court seeking intervention in the Ayodhya dispute and urged it to consider the issue saying it is not just a dispute over property but has several other aspects which would have far-reaching effects on the "secular fabric of the country".

-- PTI
19:51   Virat Kohli rested for T20 matches against Sri Lanka
The BCCI has announced the team for the upcoming T20 matches against Sri Lanka. Skipper Virat Kohli will be rested for the T20 matches. The team will comprise of: Rohit Sharma (Capt), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed  Siraj, Basil Thampi, Jaydev Unadkat.

The BCCI also announced the squad for the Test match against South Africa. It will comprise of: Virat Kohli (Capt), Vijay, Rahul, Shikhar, Pujara, Rahane (vc), Rohit, Saha (wk), Ashwin, Jadeja, Parthiv, Hardik, Bhuvneshwar, Shami, Ishant, Umesh, Bumrah. 
19:37   Shashi Kapoor passes away, but Shashi Tharoor gets condolence calls
Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor passed away at the age of 79 on December 4 in Mumbai. As fans and followers of the gentleman actor are still coming to terms with his demise, condolences have already began pouring in on the Internet. However, there was a goof-up when  politician Shashi Tharoors office started getting condolence messages. 

In his inimitable style, Tharoor said, that news of his death doing the rounds were if not exaggerated, at least premature.

In his heartfelt condolence message, the 61-year-old took to Twitter to post this: I feel a part of me is gone. A great actor, smart, cosmopolitan, impossibly handsome & w/a name that was often confused w/mine. (My office got two calls from journalists today about my reportedly serious ill-health!) I will miss #ShashiKapoor. Condolences2his family&all his fans. A minute later, he posted about how they have been receiving condolence calls at his office.
19:20   Shashi Kapoor's funeral to be held tomorrow morning
The funeral of legendary Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor, the romantic screen icon of '70s and '80s, who passed away on Monday, will be held on Tuesday morning. 

Randhir Kapoor, son of veteran actor Raj Kapoor, confirming the same, said, "Yes he has passed away. He had kidney problem since several years. He was on dialysis for several years."

Born on March 18, 1938, to the illustrious and formidable theatre and film actor Prithviraj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor hit the spotlight at the age of four, acting in plays directed and produced by his father. He started acting in films as a child artiste in the late '40s.

He was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2011 and received the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award in 2015.
JUST IN:  Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's former president, killed in Sanaa. Sources close to Saleh said that the head of the former president's security detail, Hussein al-Hamidi, was killed together with President Saleh 
19:06   His acting will be remembered for generations to come: PM Modi mourns Shashi Kapoor's demise
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sends his condolences to the Kapoor family after the demise of Shashi Kapoor. The PM wrote on Twitter, "Shashi Kapoor's versatility could be seen in his movies as well as in theatre, which he promoted with great passion. His brilliant acting will be remembered for generations to come. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers."
18:41   President, Rajnath, Mamata express grief at Shashi Kapoor's death
Expressing grief over the demise of the veteran actor, President Ram Nath Kovind underlined that Shashi Kapoor played a pivotal role in the theatre movement in India too.

He wrote on Twitter, "Sorry to hear of the demise of Shashi Kapoor, well-known actor, with a repertoire of Indian and international films. His support for meaningful cinema as a producer and pivotal role in the theatre movement in India too are cherished. Condolences to his family."

Home Minister Rajnath Singh too voiced his sorrow over the veteran actor's demise. "With his impressive talent and inimitable mannerism actor #ShashiKapoor charmed a generation of Indians. He was a fine actor and a wonderful human being. Saddened to learn of his demise. May his soul rest in peace."

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief at the passing away Kapoor, describing him as a legend.

The actor will be remembered for generations, Banerjee said in a tweet message. "Saddened at his passing away. Shashi Kapoor a legend and actor will be remembered for generations for his great work in cinema," Banerjee said.
18:33   Shashi Kapoor's funeral tomorrow morning
Actor Randhir Kapoor, son of veteran actor Raj Kapoor, confirmed the news. "Yes he has passed away. He had a kidney problem since several years. He was on dialysis for several years," Randhir Kapoor told PTI.

The funeral will be held tomorrow morning, he said.

"Shashi Kapoor expired at 5:20 pm on December 4 at Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai," Dr Ram Narain fron Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital told PTI.

Image: Shashi Kapoor with his daughter, Sanjana.
The iconic scene from the Yash Chopra directed film, Deewar.
18:22   A brief bio on Shashi Kapoor
Shashi Kapoor was the third and youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor. He made his Bollywood debut in 1961, as the lead actor, in the film Dharmputra.

Born as Balbir Raj Kapoor on March 18, 1938, worked in over 175 films as an actor. He also produced several hit films like Junoon, Kalyug, Vijeta, 36 Chowringhee Lane  and Utsav.

Apart from directing 1991 Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Ajooba, Shashi Kapoor also directed a Russian movie Vozvrashcheniye Bagdadskogo Vora in 1988.

Shashi Kapoor started his film career as a child actor. He worked in brother Raj Kapoors  Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951). Shashi Kapoor made his debut as hero in the 1961 film Dharmputra and then went on to rule the Bollywood from till late 1980s.

Shashi Kapoors pairing on the silver screen with megastar Amitabh Bachchan was hugely popular and is considered to be one of best till date. The two superstars worked together in some of the biggest hits of Bollywood Deewaar, Suhaag, Kabhie Kabhie, Trishul, Silsila and Namak Halaal.
18:13   'Shashi Kapoor didn't need to pretend'
In Shashi Kapoor: The Householder, The Star, Aseem Chhabra gives us glimpses of one of Bollywood's best loved actors. All  you wanted to know about one of the most gorgeous actor's in the Hindi film industry. Do read.

Image: An archival picture of Shashi Kapoor with his wife Jennifer and children.
18:09   Shashi Kapoor passes away
Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor passes away at Mumbai's Kokilaben Hospital after a prolonged illness. He was 79

Kapoor, who has appeared in a number of Hindi films and a few English-language films, was honoured with the Padma Bhushan for his contributions to Art-Cinema. In 2015, he was awarded the 2014 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, making him the third member of his family to receive the highest award in Indian Cinema after Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor. He has also won three National awards.

Image: Shashi Kapoor with his son Kunal.

17:53   Ashamed to see Lankan cricketers in masks: Mamata
"Ashamed" at seeing the Sri Lankan cricketers donning pollution masks while playing in the national capital, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said it is high time the Delhi government took a call on the situation.

"It's not a good scene that the a visiting team is playing an international game wearing masks. Pollution is worsening everyday. This is not earning a good name for the country. I think Delhi must control pollution. Delhi must sit together and decide on it (pollution issue)," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

Banerjee said she was speaking on it because the pollution in Delhi was a genuine issue.

"I felt very ashamed (seeing the Sri Lankan cricketers wearing masks) otherwise I would not have said this...This is not a political issue but a genuine issue," the Chief Minister said. The Sri Lankan cricket team yesterday took to the field wearing anti-pollution masks while fielding on the third day of the Kotla Test against India, complaining of poor air quality that forced the hosts to declare their innings. --  PTI
17:51   SC stays death sentence of convict Tahir Merchant
1993 Mumbai serial blasts case: Supreme Court stays the death sentence of convict Mohammed Tahir Merchant. Taher Merchant was charged with helping the accused travel to Pakistan via Dubai for training in handling arms and ammunition. Taher grew up with 1993 blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim and his brothers and had a predominant role in the blasts. He allegedly motivated associates to arrange men from Mumbai for training in handling of arms and ammunition in Pakistan. Khan has been charged with off-loading consignments sent by convict Mustafa Dossa.
16:58   My family wants Rahul Gandhi to lead Congress: Tehseen Poonawalla
Tehseen Poonawalla, brother of Maharashtra Congress Secretary Shehzad Poonawalla, on Monday came out in support of party vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying his entire family wanted him to lead the party.

Speaking to ANI, Tehseen said, "I would like to clarify that me and my family are completely with Shri Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party. We want Rahul Gandhi to take over as the leader of the party."

Tehseen further said that the Poonawalla family had cut off their relationship with his brother Shehzad. "We would just say if he had any issues with Congress, he should have raised it in the inter-party forum rather than the media," said Tehseen.

However, Shehzad Poonawalla, who had called out the party's president election 'rigged', called the entire procedure to be a coronation. "I have objection with this election procedure which is rather a coronation. I would like to tell Rahul to ask his people to wait with a crown and coronate him as soon as he reaches the place," said Shehzad. -- ANI
16:53   I pray for Rahul's success, says Omar
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today wished success to Rahul Gandhi as he prepares to take over the reins of the Congress party.

"As @OfficeOfRG files his nomination to take over the Grand Old Party of India, I wish him all the very best going ahead. Expectations are high, challenges are numerous & I pray for his success," Omar tweeted.

In an apparent reference to the BJP criticising Gandhi's expected elevation to the top post in the Congress party, Omar said, "On a lighter note, this is how we choose our leaders for our parties - we arm wrestle for the post. I'm off to the gym now".

Gandhi today filed his nomination papers for the post of Congress president, paving the way for a generational shift in the leadership of the party headed by his mother Sonia Gandhi.

File pic.
16:46   Thank you, Mr Shukla
The hero motorman Anurag Shukla was felicitated by the Central Railway for his prompt action of detecting the iron rods on the track between CST and Masjid stations on the suburban railway line. Officials said that the incident happened at around 7:30 am. Shukla spotted two rods lying on the track and stopped the train.
16:34   Rahul unopposed for party president
India Today reports that Rahul Gandhi is the only candidate for the post of Congress president. No other candidate has filed their nomination papers today. Filing of nominations for the post ends at 4 pm today.

The Congress vice president today filed his nomination papers for the post of party president, paving the way for a generational shift in the leadership of the party headed by his mother Sonia Gandhi.

He was accompanied by a host of senior party leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, as he filed his papers to become the party president. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, one of the leaders who proposed Rahul's name, was not present.

This clears the decks for his elevation to the party's top post, succeeding his mother, who has held the post for 19 years in a row.
15:58   The case against Hadiya stems from deep Islamophobia
There was a certain irony in the situation but the venerable judges of the Supreme Court seemed oblivious to it. On November 27, the now famous young woman from Kerala - Hadiya aka Akhila - stood before a bench of the chief justice of India, Dipak Misra, and his fellow judges, AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, to face yet another interrogation in her long ordeal for freedom. This was not her first encounter with the courts of law.

She first appeared before the Kerala High Court nearly two years ago in January 2016 after her father, Asokan KM, moved a habeas corpus petition. Her father refused to accept his daughter's decision to convert to Islam and alleged that she had been "brainwashed" into taking that decision.  Read more
15:54   Saved by the bell: Mallya's hearing postponed due to fire alarm
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, out on a 650,000-pound bail bond following his arrest by Scotland Yard over fraud and money laundering charges, today arrived at Westminster Magistrates' Court for the opening day of his extradition trial.

The 61-year-old tycoon looked relaxed as he was greeted by a swarm of cameras and reporters when he entered the court to stand trial on charges of fraud and money laundering related to his erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines owing several Indian banks around Rs 9,000 crore.

"Please hear the proceedings," Mallya told reporters outside the courtroom. "I have said repeatedly that the charges are false, fabricated and baseless. I have nothing to say, submissions in court will be self evident," he said.

However, the trial opening was delayed as the courtroom had to be evacuated due to a fire alarm going off. Mallya, who has been out on bail since Scotland Yard executed an extradition warrant in April this year, will be in the dock for the duration of the trial -- scheduled to end on December 14.  -- PTI
15:40   Charges fabricated: Mallya
Vijay Mallya arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London for his extradition trial. "I have said repeatedly that the charges are false, fabricated and baseless. I have nothing to say, submissions in court will be self evident," Mallya said appearing before the London's Westminster Court today.
15:20   Congress will cease to exist after Rahul's elevation: Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said that the Congress party will cease to exist if vice-president Rahul Gandhi is elevated as the party chief.

Taking a jibe at Rahul, who earlier in the day filed his nomination for the post of party chief, the chief minister told ANI, "The Congress party has become a burden on this nation and after Rahul ji's elevation this burden (Congress) would cease to exist once and for all," Yogi told ANI.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi congratulated Rahul for 'promotion without performance' and said that such an election was only possible in a feudal set up. -- ANI
15:14   Musharraf may ally with Hafiz Saeed for 2018 polls
Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, who earlier came out in support of terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jamaat-ud-Dawah has now said that he would welcome an alliance with global terrorist and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed for the general election in 2018.

Responding to a question about having an alliance with JuD chief Saeed, Musharraf in an interview to Pakistan based Aaj News channel said, "so far, there has be no talks with them but if they want to be part of the alliance, I would welcome them."

The former military ruler had last month announced the formation of a grand political alliance after a consultative meeting between representatives of around two dozen political parties, including the Sunni Tehreek, Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen, Pakistan Awami Tehreek and Musharraf's own All Pakistan Muslim League.

However, several parties dissociated themselves from Musharraf's Awami Ittehad alliance after he announced the formation of a "grand alliance" of 23 parties. -- ANI
@BollywoodGandu When your mother is the teacher and you top the exam.
15:00   Spotting rods on track, alert motorman stops train
A possible train mishap was avoided today after the motorman of a Panvel-CST suburban train spotted iron rods on the track and halted the train in time. Officials said that the incident happened at around 7:30 am.

Motorman Anurag Shukla spotted two rods lying on the track and stopped the train, officials said.

The CST railway police, which is investigating the incident, said it is possible that workers working along the tracks might have accidentally left the rods on the track.

An officer said there was also a possibility that metal scrap thieves might have left the rod on the tracks and fled. The officer said that a case had been registered and a team was scanning the CCTV footage to ascertain leads. He said that all angles, including sabotage, were being examined. -- PTI
14:06   Tibetans to Sri Lankans, India welcomed all. Why not Rohingya Muslims?
Both China and India may be soft-pedalling Myanmar's genocide out of geopolitical interests. But that doesn't explain Delhi's selective rejection of the region's most vulnerable refugees. Read more
14:02   Rahul must quit as Congress prez 5 years later
"He is 47 years old and not married. Since his son or daughter can contest for Parliament only 25 years after being born, the earliest, if he marries in December, would be 2043. So this, pretty much, is the end of the road for dynastic rule in the party," says T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan. Read the column here.
13:47   Terrorists attack Army in south Kashmir
Just in: Terror attack on the Indian army in south Kashmir's Qazigund. Three army jawans have been injured in the attack. Terrorists flee after firing at the jawans.
13:43   MSA clarifes on Aurangzeb
Mani Shankar Aiyar clarifies his comparison of Rahul's proposed elevation to the Mughals. "Can't compare both. During Mughal rule it was understood that after Jehangir, Shahjahan will be the leader but here anyone is free to contest against Rahul Gandhi, its a totally democratic process."
13:39   Modi compares Rahul's elevation to Aurangzeb Raj
Taking a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's expected elevation to the post of party chief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday 'congratulated' the Congress on their "Aurangzeb raj'.

Speaking at a rally in Valsad, the PM said senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar cited the example of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb to convey the power shift in Congress.

"Mani Shankar Aiyar, who never shies away from showing loyalty to one family, proudly said, Jahangir ki jagah jab Shahjahan aaye, kya tab koi chunav hua tha? Jab Shahjahan ki jagah Aurangzeb aaye, tab koi election hua tha? Yeh toh pehlay se hi pata tha ki jo badshah hai, uski aulad ko hi satta milegi (When Shahjahan came after Jahangir or Aurangzeb came after Shahjahan, were there any elections for that? This is already known that the one who is a ruler, his son would get the throne)", PM Modi said.

Modi added, "For us, the well being of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command. Earlier, Congress would go out of the way to show their secularism but now we are all seeing what they are doing in this election, where they are going. Unfortunately for them, Muslims know their real nature.

"Disinformation like BJP does this and that against Muslims has been spread. This family party made it their main agenda to spread disinformation about BJP. But Gujarat people are not so naive, they have now become sensitive and aware to disinformation," he said.

Aiyar scored a self goal when asked about the Congress presidential elections. 'Did elections happen during Mughal rule? After Jehangir, Shahjahan came, was any election held? After Shahjahan it was understood Aurangzeb will be the leader," he said. 

12:58   Australia's gay MP proposes to beau in Parliament
Australian lawmaker Tim Wilson on Monday popped the question to his long-term partner Ryan Bolger on the floor of Parliament, during a debate to legalise same-sex marriage in the country.

The proposal, which came shortly after the same-sex marriage bill was introduced to the Lower House of Parliament, was greeted with applause from all sides of politics and the public gallery.

Addressing the Parliament in favour of the same-sex marriage bill, Wilson turned to thank Bolger, who was sitting with marriage equality advocates in the public gallery, for his support.

"There's only one thing left to do," he said, choking up slightly. Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?", The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Wilson as saying.

And the answer came back fast and loud as Bolger responded with a clear "yes".
HC to decide at 4 PM whether Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction of AIADMK can use 'hat' symbol for R K Nagar bypoll.
I congratulate Rahul Gandhi for his promotion without performance, can only be possible in a feudal setup: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi,Union Minister
12:34   What's the action plan? NGT asks Delhi govt on smog
The National Green Tribunal today came down heavily on the Delhi government for not filing a comprehensive action plan on ways to deal with severe air pollution in the city and slammed authorities for holding the India-Sri Lanka cricket match despite bad air quality.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar took exception over the failure of the AAP government to file the report despite its specific order.

During the hearing, the Delhi government said it needed more time to file the action plan as the chief secretary and environment secretary have been recently changed.

The tribunal, however, directed the government to file the report within the next 48 hours. "Where is your action plan? Why have you not submitted it? What can we do if you keep on changing everybody? It's not our problem if people don't want to stick to you.

"You keep on doing meetings but tell us a single action or step you have taken in the last four days to combat air pollution," the bench said.

It said that the pollution in the city has already reached alarming levels yet the government was adopting a "lackadaisical" approach in dealing with the situation. The green panel was also irked by authorities for conducting the third Test between Sri Lanka and India yesterday which was disrupted due to the choking smog. -- PTI
12:15   Flower power
Former president Pranab Mukherjee blesses Rahul Gandhi ahead of filing his nomination papers today. 
11:58   A new era begins, says Congress
@INCIndia tweets: A new era begins, as Congress VP Rahul Gandhi prepares his nomination papers for the post of Congress President at AICC. #IndiaWithRahulGandhi

Image: Rahul Gandhi with Dr Singh, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Just in: The National GT slams authorities for holding India-Sri Lanka cricket match at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi despite hazardous air quality.
Former J-K CM Omar Abdullah on the Shehzad Poonwala issue. @OmarAbdullah What does it say about how things are going for the BJP in Gujarat that no lesser person than the PM of our country has to use Shezad as a campaign issue to target the Congress?
11:44   Shehzad Poonawala says Cong may field dummy candidate
Congress rebel leader Shehzad Poonawala on the elections: "Mere sources mujhe bata rahe hain ki darbariyon mein baat chal rahi hai ki ek dummy candidate utara jaye taake ye election lage, lekin ab logon ki aankhon mein dhool nahi jhonk sakte. My sources tell me that the courtiers have been talking about a dummy candidate being fielded, but you cannot pull the wool over people's eyes anymore."

Poonawalla, an office-bearer of the Maharashtra Congress, has said the process of organisational elections in the organisation is manipulated to favour Rahul Gandhi's election as the party president.

Poonawalla said he would also contest the election if it was conducted in a "genuine' manner. Last week, he has also wrote a letter to Rahul Gandhi in this regard in which he wrote, "We are not into some family business, are we?' He also took to Twitter saying, "Raising an issue nobody in my party - the Congress will have guts to raise -- my conscience will not allow me to stay quiet anymore on dynasty/sycophancy.'
11:38   Manmohan: Rahul Gandhi is a darling of the Congress
Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh who was one of the 10 proposers in the first of nine nominations to be filed by Rahul Gandhi, said, "Rahul Gandhi is a darling of the Congress and he will carry forward the great traditions of the party."
11:27   Congress future under Rahul is bright: Dr Karan Singh
Senior Congress party leader Dr Karan Singh said time has come for vice-president Rahul Gandhi to take over the commands of the party from his mother, Sonia Gandhi.

"Sonia-ji took Congress to new heights. She brought the party to Centre twice, we won many elections under her leadership and now it is time for Rahul Gandhi to take the party forward," Singh told reporters outside the party headquarters in New Delhi.

Confident of the party's future in the Gandhi scion's hands, Singh said, "A young generation is taking over, the future of Congress is bright."

Singh downplayed the allegations about the election being rigged in favour of Rahul Gandhi, saying that "questions are always raised in politics."He also dismissed the accusations of dynastic politics within the party.

"After Jawaharlal-ji, Lal Bahadur took office; he was not from Gandhi family. Narsimha Rao and Manmohan Singh were also not from Gandhi family," he contended.

Congress leader Kamal Nath also responded to the allegation. "Was Amit Shah elected in a non-rigged election? I want to know that. All the BJP presidents. Was Nitin Gadkari elected through a ballot process? That is the question?" he said. -- ANI
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah meets Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi at the AICC HQ.
11:19   No other Congressman files papers for party prez
The 47-year-old Gandhi scion is likely to emerge as the lone candidate in the fray and decks have been cleared for his election as the Congress president, succeeding his mother Sonia Gandhi, who has held the post for 19 years in a row now.

Today is the last date for filing nominations.

No one else filed papers till Sunday, according to Mullapally Ramachandran, the chairman of the party's Central Election Authority.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh are among the proposers for the candidature of Rahul Gandhi for the party chief's post.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 11, and the poll, if necessary, will be held on December 16 and the counting will take place on December 19.  -- PTI
11:15   The proposers for the first set of nominations
Senior party leaders including Kamal Nath, Sheila Dikshit, Motilal Vora and Tarun Gogoi filed the first set of nominations (as proposers) for Rahul Gandhi.
11:13   Rahul to file nine sets of nomination papers
Rahul Gandhi is set to file nine sets of nominations for the post of Congress president. Punjab CM Capt.Amarinder Singh who is one of the proposers is expected to be present during the course of the day. Speaking to ANI this morning, the Punjab CM said, "If you ask me, I think he will make a very good Prime Minister."

The two share a fractious relationship.

Amarinder Singh had told Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi in 2015 that he was ready to quit and float his own outfit, if he was not appointed state party chief.

An authorised biography of Amarinder Singh claims that even though Sonia Gandhi was open to bringing Singh back at the helm in Punjab, Rahul Gandhi was dead against taking away the baton from Pratap Singh Bajwa.  
11:03   Rahul gets a hug
After filing his nomination paper, the first set, Rahul Gandhi spoke with senior party leaders Mohsina Kidwai and Sheila Dikshit. Both the senior leaders greeted him with a hug.
10:56   Rahul files nomination for Congress chief
Rahul Gandhi files his nomination papers for the post of Congress president. He will take over from his mother, Sonia Gandhi, who has been holding this post for 19 years.

With him at the Congress HQ are former Delhi CM Sheila Dixit, former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Motilal Vohra, V Narayanswamy, Mallikarjuna Kharge, Ahmed Patel, Anand Sharma, Kamal Nath and the younger brigade like Jyotiraditya Scindia.

It is speculated that he will be running unopposed for the post of party President; the speculations can only be confirmed in a bit when the names of contenders are published after scrutiny of nominations.

The elevation comes with a fair share of drama as the Opposition has voiced their lack of confidence in Rahul's ability to hold them together, the way his mother did.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury recently said that Gandhi scion cannot replace his mother, Sonia who was "the glue" that held the Opposition together.

The party itself witnessed a much publicized discord recently, when Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla alleged that the party's presidential elections were rigged.

Nevertheless, various state units of the party have already expressed their support for Rahul's elevation.The process of nomination started on Friday, and today is the last date for filing nominations.

Rahul, who became Congress Vice-President in January 2013, will succeed his mother, who is the longest-serving chief of the party, having been at the helm from 1998.
10:45   Big day for Cong as Rahul readies to file nomination
Delhi: Congress workers and leaders enter the AICC HQ ahead of Rahul Gandhi filing his nomination for the post of Congress President.
10:40   BJP is a party that dishes out lies: Akhilesh
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has accused the BJP of "spreading lies", saying that while the party was patting its back for doing well in Uttar Pradesh's mayoral elections, it was silent about its defeat in the nagar palika and nagar panchayat polls.

"The BJP is a jhoot parosne wali party (a party which indulges in serving lies). It won 14 out of the 16 mayoral seats in Uttar Pradesh due to the electronic voting machines. But it is not discussing its defeats in the nagar palika and nagar parishad polls," he said yesterday. Akhilesh, said. "If countries more developed than India can use ballot papers in elections, what is the problem here? The Election Commission must clarify on how could it repair a faulty EVM. When a faulty EVM can be repaired, a properly functioning EVM can also be tampered with." -- PTI
10:26   Mallya's extradition trial to begin in London today
A team of Central Bureau of Investigation officers from India will be attending the extradition trial of embattled businessman Vijay Mallya, which begins later today.

The trial will continue on 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th of December.

Over the next 10 days, Chief Magistrate at Westminster Magistrate's Court Emma Arbuthnot will hear the case presented by Britain's Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of the Indian government, and the defence on which Mallya will hope to thwart efforts to return him to India to face prosecution.Mallya, who shifted to the UK, is wanted in India for financial irregularities involving a total amount of Rs 9,000 crore as well as money laundering.

One of the main arguments of the defence is that he fears for his life in India, so the prosecution is preparing a submission by the Indian government outlining the security measures that will be in place for Mallya, once he is extradited to India.

Outside the court, Mallya refused to answer questions especially about Diageos' new lawsuit and his fear of Indian jails.Mallya is out on a 650,000-pound bail bond following his arrest by Scotland Yard over fraud and money laundering charges. -- ANI
10:22   Will find common ground to work together with Pak in fight against terror: Mattis
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said he intends to work hard to find common ground with Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, which is necessary to restore the level of stability in South Asia to allow economic development.

Ahead of his visit to Islamabad, Mattis said he wants to work with Pakistan, listening to one another without being combative with one another, listening to others perspective, to address the problems. Mattis is on a five-day tour to Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait and Pakistan, since taking over the charge of the Pentagon. -- PTI
10:16   Shatrughan 'prays for ghar wapsi' as govt camps in Gujarat
Weighing in on the concern expressed by opposition parties on functioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), senior BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP Shatrughan Sinha yesterday said it had damaged the reputation of the BJP and urged the government to ensure that there were no malfunctioning EVMs.

Sinha, expressing surprise over the entire Government sitting in Gujarat to ensure the victory of the BJP in the assembly elections, hoped that the Ghar wapsi would be soon to take care of the country.

This is what the MP said in a series of tweets.

"While the entire Government sits in Gujarat to ensure our victory, in the larger interest of the election process, we must ensure there is no malfunctioning of the EVMs & VVPads which is blamed on us & does further damage to our reputation, he said.

Is it true that the entire Govt. of India, Central Govt. Ministries & Ministers are all sitting in Gujarat to take care of the elections & the election commission? Moot question is When is the Ghar Wapasi to Delhi to also take care of the country.

"Hope wish & pray that the Ghar Wapasi is seen & felt soon better late than never, he tweeted.

Parliament session is starting very late due to obvious reasons after 15th Dec. Remember sir we have ouselves disrupted parliament in the past for weeks & months on matters of convenience and blamed opposition for disrupting the smooth functioning of the Govt, Sinha said.
09:56   Sand-artist Sudarsan Pattnaik attacked in Puri
Renowned sand-artist Sudarsan Pattnaik was hospitalised with an injury on Sunday evening after a miscreant attempted to snatch his wrist watch, the Times of India reported.

According to the report, the incident took place at the venue of the International Sand Art Festival in Puri, Odisha, which started on 1 December. 

Pattnaik was rushed to the district headquarters hospital in Puri for treatment. 

He received injuries after being pushed by the miscreant at the crowded venue.
09:12   Rahul Gandhi to file nominations for top Congress post today
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh will be among the proposers for the candidature of Rahul Gandhi for the party chief's post.
Accompanied by his mother Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and other senior Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination papers for the election to the top Congress post today, the last date for filing of  nominations.
According to party sources, there were apprehensions among the party leaders earlier over the incumbent president being among the proposers to Rahul Gandhi's candidature.
The sources said that Sonia Gandhi will be the first proposer in one of the four nominations Rahul Gandhi will file.
The former prime minister will be the lead proposer in another set of nomination form.
There are going to be over 75 nomination forms in favour of Rahul Gandhi that will be filed today, the sources said.
Rahul is likely to emerge as the lone candidate in the fray and decks have been cleared for his election as the Congress president, succeeding his mother, who has held the post for 19 years in a row now.
The sources said that besides Sonia Gandhi and Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Sushilkumar Shinde, Ahmed Patel and party chief ministers will sign the papers as proposers.
No one else has filed papers till Sunday, according to Mullapally Ramachandran, the chairman of the party's Central Election Authority. -- PTI
09:05   Rashtrabhakti drove us to help people of all faiths: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said "rashtrabhakti" motivated him and his government to help people of various faiths, including Christians, and dubbed as "fatwa" a letter issued by Gandhinagar archbishop.
The prime minister was referring to the letter issued last month by Thomas Macwan, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, in which he had appealed to Christians to pray to save the country from "nationalist forces". 
"I was shocked to see a religious person releasing a 'fatwa' (diktat) saying uproot the nationalist forces. It is 'Rashtrabhakti' (nationalism) that guides us to help every Indian in any part of the world," Modi said.
The prime minister was speaking at a gathering after inaugurating a hospital on the campus of Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratisthanam.
He said it was a "matter of concern" if some people are opposing such values.
The priest had also said that "democratic fabric" of the country was at stake amidst growing "sense of insecurity" among minorities, which was viewed as a jibe at the ruling BJP.
Modi said his government had saved and rescued people of different faiths irrespective of their religion.
He also listed several examples wherein the central government had brought back Christian missionaries as well as nurses stranded in conflict zones across the world.
"Along with Indians, we have rescued citizens of almost 40 countries from Yemen, as they were stranded there due to war. We did not see their religion or language they speak. It was our nationalism and humanitarian values which guided us," the prime minister said.
Modi said he was raising the issue of nationalism because some people have challenged it.
"Our nurses from Kerala, mostly Christians, were stranded in Iraq. They were in the custody of terrorists. Can the prime minister or any citizen of India sleep in such situation, when our daughters are in custody of terrorists?" he asked.
In 2014, a total of 46 Indian nurses, who were held captive by the Islamic State militants in Iraq for about a month, were evacuated after the successful intervention by the Union government.
The prime minister also recalled how his government used "all resources" to bring back Keralite priest Tom Uzhunnalil who was freed after being kept in captivity suspectedly by the ISIS for 18 months in strife-torn Yemen.
"Father Tom (Uzhunnalil), also a Keralite, was abducted by terrorists in Yemen last year. He went their to spread the message of Jesus Christ. Again, we have employed all our resources to bring him back, as he is the son of this country. We successfully brought him back a few months back," the prime minister said.
He also gave the example of Father Alexis Prem Kumar who was rescued from the Taliban captivity in Afghanistan.
"Another Christian, Judith D'Souza of West Bengal, was kidnapped in Afghanistan. We applied every trick in the book and brought her back alive, that too from the clutches of terrorists. We were able to do all these humanitarian work because of our rashtrabhakti," he said. -- PTI 
08:29   10 naval ships deployed for cyclone relief work
The Navy has said that 10 of its ships and eight aircraft were involved in the continuing search and rescue operations in the southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands following Cyclone Ockhi.
The vessels included capital ships such as "Chennai" and "Kolkata" which were carrying relief materials, a defence statement said.
In addition, eight aircraft, including long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I, were deployed throughout the day.
"A total of 55 people were rescued on Sunday taking the total to 145. The weather conditions are still adverse at the L&M Islands," the release read.
Naval ships 'Chennai', 'Trikand' and  'Kolkata' were stationed around the Lakshadweep islands with relief materials.
The ships were equipped with desalination plants and will be able to provide the islands fresh water as and when required.
The total relief material carried would sustain approximately 5,000 people for over seven days.
Additionally, all naval units in the vicinity of the Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands had been directed to provide fresh water in consultation with the local administration. Additional units will also be deployed to augment water supply, the release said.
The other ships were continuing the search and rescue operations along the Kerala coast and around the L&M Islands in a systematic and planned manner to provide immediate aid to any person, vessel/boat in distress.
"The Indian Navy is relentless in shouldering the responsibility of providing relief from this natural disaster impacting the southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep islands," it said. -- PTI
08:13   Delhi hospital that declared newborn dead fires 2 doctors
Max Healthcare has decided to terminate the services of two doctors allegedly involved in the case of a premature baby being wrongly declared dead, hospital authorities said.
The decision was taken on Sunday after a meeting of the Max Healtcare authorities in connection with the incident.
"While the inquiry by the expert group which includes external experts from the IMA is still in process, we have decided to terminate the services of two treating doctors, doctors AP Mehta and Vishal Gupta in the case relating to the twin extreme pre-term babies," Max Healthcare said in a statement.
"The strict action has been taken on the basis of our initial discussions with the expert group and as a reflection of our commitment to higher standards of care," it said.
The case pertains to the birth of twins (boy and girl) on November 30. Both the babies were allegedly declared dead by the Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh. However, the family later found the boy was alive.
"We wish to clarify that this action should not presuppose finding of any lapse by the expert group and should not be construed in anyway to be anything other than an expression of our continued commitment to providing quality health care," the statement read.
Earlier in the day, the hospital had said two experts from the Indian Medical Association had been included in the probe team set up by the Max Healthcare authorities to investigate the case.
The Max Healthcare authorities had ordered an inquiry into the case on December 1. -- PTI