Fri, 20 January 2017
These 10 years haven't been about us, but you: Obama

Timeline  Refresh

23:46   These 10 years haven't been about us, but you: Obama
The Obamas at Andrews Air Force Base, where the former president is to deliver a thank you speech to staff.

Michelle and I weve really been milking this good-bye thing, he begins. So it behooves me to be very brief.

He says that when they started, they did so with an abiding faith in the American people.

All of you came together in small towns and big cities, a whole bunch of you really young, and you decided to believe. And you knocked on doors and made phone calls, and talked to your parents who didnt know how to pronounce Barack Obama.

"Throughout this process, Michelle and I, weve just been your frontmen and women. Weve just been your face and voice. But this has not been about us. It has always been about you. And all the amazing things that have happened in the last ten years have all just been about you."
23:37   What next for US President Trump
As President Trump begins his first day as the 45th President of the United States, he and the vice president along with their invited guests will attend a luncheon put on by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies at Statuary Hall in the US Capitol. 

The JCCIC has held the luncheon for newly sworn in Presidents and Vice Presidents since 1897, however, the current version of the lunch began in 1953 with President Eisenhower's inauguration. According to the Inaugural Senate webpage, Eisenhower and his wife dined on creamed chicken, baked ham, and potato puffs in the Old Senate Chamber. 

Following the luncheon, US President Trump and Vice President Pence will make their way down Pennsylvania avenue for the Inaugural Parade. A procession of bands, military regiments, floats and citizen groups will be led by Trump and his vice president as they make their way back to the White House. That tradition began in 1789 following George Washington taking the oath of office in New York City. 

Image: A head waiter puts name tags for US President Donald Trump and members of Congress before the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters
This from the Washington Post:

Trump's speech was about 1,400 words versus about 2,400 for President Obama's first inaugural speech. 

Obama's second inaugural address in 2013 was about 2,100 words.
23:30   And the US President tweets for the first time...
And the 45th President of the United States of America posts his first tweet. 

Donald J Trump writes, "Today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

"What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

"What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people."

Unfortunately, these tweets aren't being posted from his @potus account but from his previous account @realdonaldtrump. 
23:17   Obama helicopter departs
The helicopter winds up. And leaves. They're heading to the airport and thence to California, for family vacation.
23:16   Look forward to working with you, PM to Trump
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight congratulated Donald Trump on assuming the office as the US President and said he looked forward to working with him to further deepen the bilateral ties and realise the full potential of cooperation.

"Congratulations @realDonaldTrump on assuming office as US President. Best wishes in leading USA to greater achievements in the coming years," Modi tweeted immediately after the American leader took oath.

"Looking forward to working with President @realDonaldTrump to further deepen India-US ties & realise the full potential of our cooperation," he said in another tweet.

The PM said strength of the India-US strategic partnership "lies in our shared values and common interests".

Trump took over as the 45th President of the US.
22:49   As Trump is speaking, @POTUS becomes his
The official presidential Twitter account has been transferred to Donald Trump and scrubbed of the Obama administration's tweets.

"@POTUS hasn't tweeted yet", it says. 

But you can bet he will soon.
22:49   'America First': Trump bares his vision for future
After being sworn in, Trump addresses the people for the first time as the President of the United States. 

He says, "Thank you. 

"We the citizens of America are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people. Together we will determine the course of America and all of the world for many many years to come."

Here are the highlights of his address:

-- We are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you the people

-- For too long politicians prospered but jobs left and factories closed

-- This moment is your moment and it belongs to you, to everyone gathered here and to everyone watching across America

-- January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers once again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now"

-- "We've made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories have left our shores.

-- "The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and redistributed all across the world.

-- "From this day forward its going to be only America first, America first!"

-- "I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never ever let you down. America will start winning again, winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams."

-- We will unite the civilised world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth."

-- When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice"

-- We must think big and dream even bigger. l will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining, but never doing anything abut it. 

-- "The time for empty talk is over, now arrives the hour for action. Do not alow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done."
22:32   Donald Trump is sworn in as 45th US President
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to Donald J Trump. With these words, Trump is now officially the 45th president of the United States of America. 

Melania Trump holds the Bible.

He finishes. Congratulations Mr President, Roberts says. Cheering. Trump turns and bear hugs his family, standing behind him. Gun salute. Done deal.
22:27   Mike Pence sworn in as US vice-president
Mike Pence is sworn in as vice president of the United States. The Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States administered the oath of office to Pence. 

Pence hugs wife Karen members of his family. Proud smiles all around. Pence waves and there is cheering.
A choir from Missouri State university sings at the inauguration. The choir is singing an original 'Now We Belong', written by Michael Dennis Browne for the inauguration.
Missouri senator Roy Blunt, as chairman of the congressional inauguration committee, makes the opening remarks
22:06   Trump arrives on stage for inauguration
Donald Trump is on stage at the Capitol Hill for his swearing-in as the 65th US president

Trump pauses atop the stairs and gives a little first pump. He smiles. Walks down the stairs and shakes hands again with Obama and Biden. Crosses back over to his familys side. Ignores Melania Trump. Mouths thank you several times.

Trump waves to the crowd and cheers go up. Thank you, he mouths.
22:01   rump has been practicing his salute
CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports: In the days before he becomes commander-in-chief, Donald Trump has been practicing his salute, just as Barack Obama did eight years ago.

An adviser with military experience helped Trump, according to an aide, and he has been saluting a couple times in the last day.

Neither man had a military pedigree, of course, unlike many other presidents from our history.

By now, Obama has saluted countless times. But back in January 2009, saluting was a worry for him and he wanted to get it right, he told CNN at the time.
21:59   Obama greets Trump family on stage
President Obama arrives on stage for the inauguration. He then walks over to the Trump family and exchanges pleasantries with them.
21:39   Obama and Trump at Capitol Hill
After their tea reception, US President-elect Donald Trump and US President Barack Obama emerged from the White House. They will now head to Capitol Hill where the swearing-in ceremony will be held. 

This will be the last time Barack and Michelle Obama depart the White House. 
21:31   Protesters smash windows near Franklin Square
A group of self-described anti-fascist, anti-capitalist protestors marched from Logan Circle toward the Mall. Some in the group tossed bricks at cars and businesses, knocked over trash cans and smashed a limousine.  Earlier They yelled No more president.

Authorities used a chemical spray to deal with the crowds at Franklin Square.

Police were also seen chasing protesters near 12th Street and New York Avenue.
21:28   Michelle vs Melania: The fashion wars
Melania Trump made it very clear that she will be a fashion- forward First Lady, selecting a baby blue dress and jacket by Ralph Lauren for her husband Donald's inauguration ceremony.

Melania accessorised her outfit with a pair of heels, clutch and elbow-length gloves that were all the same hue of blue.  

The 46-year-old then made the decision to keep everything else simple, choosing to play up her natural beauty by sweeping her hair into a loose undo and wearing no jewelry other than a pair of massive diamond solitaire studs.

First Lady wore a belted tasteful tea-length maroon dress and pointy-toe heels. 
21:16   'Trump is emotional, it's finally hitting him'
A source close to US President-elect says that the moment is beginning to sink in for Trump.

"He was emotional. Can see it hitting him," the source said.

Trump hugged members of his cabinet on his way out. He was teary eyed.

Trump met the Obamas at the White House along with his wife at the White House and the families will enjoy a tea reception. 
Senators Bernie Sanders (left) and John McCain (right) are seen arriving at Capitol Hill. 
Former President Bill Clinton and Trump's democrat rival in the presidential elections, Hillary Clinton arrive at US Capitol for the inauguration.
Know all 44 US presidents that came before Trump?

Here's a quick history lesson for you!
20:45   'Trump will set a tone and a great content to unify America'
Donald Trump's inauguration speech would set the tone of making "America Great Again" and unifying the divided country to meet the challenges, his top aide said.

"I believe today, Donald Trump is our new president (and he) will set a great tone and a great content to try to unify the country and it's really up to all of us to meet that challenge along with him," Kellylanne Conway, counsellor to the Trump said. 

Conway said Trump will give an address that will be heard probably by billions of people around the world.

"He will flak about, also make very clear that America comes first. He wants to the protect the American worker, the American interest, that should not surprise anyone," he said.
20:39   Trump fans to the country: Give him a chance
Donald Trump is a true outsider and a successful businessman who will fix things, Greg Pressley said.

In less than a year, a lot of peoples minds are going to change, he added. People need to give him a chance. Just chill out and give him a chance.
20:21   Trumps arrive at White House, to tea with the Obamas
Donald and Melania Trump have arrived at the White House after attending a service at St John's Church. Barack Obama gives a hand to Melania Trump as she mounts the stairs. 

It is reported that Melania has presented the Obamas a gift, something in a Tiffany blue box.

Here's all of them posing outside the White House. 

The two families will now enjoy a tea reception, which will also be attended by VP-elect Mike Pence and his wife. 
The Trumps have just left church and hopped in a car. Next stop: White House.
20:05   Obama tweets goodbye: 'I'm still asking you to believe'
Barack Obama is tweeting some farewell notes.

"It's been the honor of my life to serve you. You made me a better leader and a better man."

"I won't stop; I'll be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by your voices of truth and justice, good humor, and love."

"I'm still asking you to believe - not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours. I believe in change because I believe in you."

From here on out, Obama's tweets from the @POTUS account will be preserved on @POTUS44 and
19:50   Ordinance cleared on Jallikattu
The Centre has bent to the wishes of the people and an ordinance has been passed on Jallikattu. The law ministry passed the ordinance with minor changes. 

Protests have been on for the past four days with people demanding that an ordinance be passed on the ancient custom practised by the Tamilians. 
19:44   First Look: Donald Trump's inaugural program photos
Take a look at Donald Trump's inaugural program photo. We don't know about you, but we do find the image to be a bit too stern. 
So, here's an update that might interest those who keep an eye on fashion. 

Melania Trump will reportedly be dressed in outfits by Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Lauren for her husband's inaugural celebrations, marking a departure from the traditional rule of the First Lady wearing only US brands for such an occasion. 

Fun fact: Michelle Obama opted for a yellow suit by Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo for Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration ceremony, and a one-shouldered white silk chiffon gown to the evening inaugural balls, designed by New York-based Jason Wu.
In 2013 she chose a belted blue-checked coat by Thom Browne for the daytime ceremony and a red halterneck gown for the evening, again by Jason Wu.
19:39   Trumps attend church service at St John's on Inauguration Day
Donald and Melania Trump, who was wearing a light blue outfit, similar to something that former First Lady Jackie Kennedy would wear, are leaving Blair House in Washington and getting into a large black car.

They are now on their way to St John's Church for the traditional pre-inauguration service. VP-elect Mike Pence is already present. 
19:19   Author returns award in protest over Jallikattu issue
Meanwhile, back in India in Chennai, Lakshmi Saravanakumar, who won the Yuva Puraskar award last year for his novel on tiger hunting, 'Kaanakan,' returned it at the Sahitya Akademi office protesting against the lack of "positive" action from the Centre on the Jallikattu issue.

In a Facebook page, the author had said Tamil society had been 'betrayed' for long by Centre on many issues and that the ongoing pro-jallikattu protest was a reflection of the "oppression" faced by it for many years.
18:36   'It all begins today': Trump fires first tweet on inauguration day
Donald J Trump has fired off the first tweet on the day hell be sworn in president. It all begins today, he said.

He also went into caps lock mode to say: THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES - THE WORK BEGINS.

Trump will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, and make his inaugural speech.

The ceremony will be attended by former presidents and first ladies, including Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, Trump's opponent in the recent election.

An estimated 800,000 to 900,000 people are travelling to Washington, although it is not clear how many are coming to celebrate the inauguration and how many to protest against it.
18:31   ED issues summons to Zakir Naik
The ED has issued summons to Zakir Naik as part of its probe against the controversial preacher and his Islamic Research Foundation under anti-money laundering laws.

Officials said today the agency has issued the summons to Naik under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and has asked him to appear by this month-end.

The agency wants to record the statement of Naik, who is abroad, and hence the summons were issued, they said. Separate summons have been issued against his organisation.

The Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case against Naik and IRF last month after taking cognisance of a complaint booked by the NIA under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against them.
18:00   All not well? SP names candidate for seat held by Congress
Amid talks of a possible alliance with Congress in Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Samajwadi Party has announced its candidate for Kidwai Nagar seat where the incumbent is a Congress MLA, thus raising some eyebrows.

In its first list of 191 candidates, Samajwadi Party has named Omprakash Mishra for the Kidwai Nagar seat. Congress' Ajay Kapoor was elected from this seat in the 2012 assembly elections.

And amidst all the drama, Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice president met his sister Priyanka at his home. 
17:55   Environment Ministry gives observations on jallikattu proposal
The Environment Ministry today gave its observations to the proposal sent by the Tamil Nadu government for lifting of the ban on bull-taming sport jallikatu and returned it to the Home Ministry for final decision.

"The proposal was submitted to the Home Ministry. The Home Ministry sent it to us for comments. We gave our comments and have sent it back to the Home Ministry for further vetting," a source in the Environment Ministry said.

The development came hours after Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said that the government wants a "permanent" solution to the jallikattu issue and a a final decision will be taken within a "day or two".

Dave said that his Ministry was "ready" and would take the "shortest" possible time to sent back the proposal to the Home Ministry after giving its comments.
17:47   Why PMO is cold towards Thambidurai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not too happy with Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, say sources, and there's a reason behind it.   

The PMO, say sources, has been receiving inputs that the senior AIADMK leader has been making not too flattering remarks about the PM, which have not gone down well.   

The sources said things escalated on Thursday when, on realising that he was not on the PMO's list of leaders to accompany Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to meet Prime Minister Modi, Thambidurai shouted in Tamil, 'Who is he to refuse me time?' -- using the Tamil third party singular reference avan (akin to 'tu' in Hindi).   

Even during the Lok Sabha debate on GST, Thambidurai made it a point to criticise the legislation, especially when the PM was in the House, and ruling party members point out that the task could have been assigned to a junior member.   

No wonder, they say, the PM is not too keen on meeting Thambidurai.
17:26   How the @Potus handover from Obama to Trump works
The presidential Twitter handle -- @Potus -- will be handed over later as Donald Trump becomes America's 45th president.

Outgoing US leader Barack Obama has promised followers that tweets from his eight years in office will be preserved.

It means if you currently follow the official account you'll be following an extra one this time tomorrow.

That's because Obama's tweets will be transferred to @Potus44.

Obama's White House team developed the strategy for the handover several months ago.

It seems clear there was a worry that tweets could otherwise be deleted.

"We are working to ensure these materials continue to be accessible on the platforms where they were created," an official blog states.

"Moving forward, the president and first lady can be followed on familiar handles: @BarackObama and @MichelleObama."

The same handover rules will apply to Joe Biden's @VP account and to @Flotus.

Michelle Obama's tweets as first lady will be preserved as @Flotus44 and Melania Trump will inherit her followers as @Flotus.
17:06   After Obama's exit, Modi to be crowned 'Most Followed Leader'
As Barack Obama makes way for the 45th President of US Donald Trump, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the world's most followed leader on social media.

PM Modi now has the highest number of followers among all leaders of states on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.

Currently, Modi's followers on Twitter are 26.5 million, Facebook 39.2 million, Google+ 3.2 million, LinkedIn 1.99 million, Instagram 5.8 million, and YouTube 5,91,000.
16:58   Why is Rahul upset over Karnataka tax raids?
Income tax raids on Karnataka ministers on Friday has upset party vice president Rahul Gandhi who feels that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is intentionally blocking poll funds from Karnataka to the All India Congress Committee just before the assembly elections in five states. Being one of the big states ruled by the Congress, it is well known that the party is almost entirely dependent on Karnataka for poll funds.  
16:50   The 5 craziest hours in the White House
The most frenzied American ritual you've never seen is called the "transfer of families,' a five-hour tsunami of activity that transforms President Obama's home into President Trump's.

See full story HERE
16:48   SC to give final hearing on pleas of Teesta, others on Feb 21
The Supreme Court would next month take up pleas filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad and her two controversial NGOs, challenging the freezing of their accounts by the Ahmedabad Police, for final disposal.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi said it would commence the final hearing on the pleas on February 21.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat government, and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, agreed for the date suggested by the bench.
JUST IN: SBI will open its first ATM on India's largest warship INS Vikramaditya on Saturday. 
16:28   6 found alive after Italy avalanche
Six people have been found alive in an Italy hotel two days after devastating avalanche, Italian media report. 

Several people have died after a ski hotel was buried by an avalanche in earthquake-hit central Italy. 

Reports said there had been at least 20 guests and seven staff at the Hotel Rigopiano on the lower slopes of the Gran Sasso mountain when the first of four powerful quakes hit the region on Wednesday morning. 

The avalanche hit the hotel in Pescara, a province in the Abruzzo region, on Wednesday, Italian news agency ANSA reported, citing rescuers who had spoken to witnesses.

Italian media has reported that someone trapped in the hotel sent an SMS to rescuers that read: Help, help, were dying of cold.

Rescuers reportedly had difficulties accessing the area, which was snowed in by severe storms. Twenty firemen, two mountain rescue teams, six ambulances and local police attended the site, a civil protection agency spokesman said. Electricity to the hotel is also out.
16:23   Independent thinking is under threat: Manmohan Singh
Independent thinking and free expression in Indian universities "are now under threat", former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today alleged, targeting the Centre.

The Congress leader said the recent attempts to interfere with free expression of the student community in Hyderabad Central University and Jawaharlal Nehru University were of particular concern and termed suppression of peaceful dissent as "inimical to learning" and 'undemocratic'.

"Regrettably, independent thinking and free expression in Indian universities are now under threat. Attempts to suppress peaceful dissent are not only inimical to learning but also undemocratic," 84-year-old Singh said while speaking at the bicentenary celebration of Presidency University.

"True nationalism is found where students, citizens, are encouraged to think and speak freely where dissents are encouraged and not suppressed. It is only by constructive engagements ..we can truly build a stronger, more cohesive and sustaining democracy in our country," Singh said and also made a veiled reference to Hyderabad University student Rohit Vemula suicide issue.

The former prime minister said that political interference in universities and in appointments in academic institutions was highly 'short-sighted'.
16:01   Is a Pakistan-India war just one terrorist attack away?
We arrived in New Delhi on September 26, 2016 -- a week after the Uri attack had left at least 17 Indian soldiers dead. India attributed the attack to Pakistan-based militants who had crossed into Kashmir. The political class and media were in an uproar, demanding retribution. We were there to launch our new book, Not War, Not Peace?. Its purpose is precisely to analyse Indian options to motivate Pakistan for preventing such cross-border terrorism.

One of us braved the Indian-television scene and appeared on several news and discussion shows with various Indian counterparts to discuss what India could or should do to respond to this latest attack. The discussions on these shows were desultory and loud. The question for most participants was not whether to carry out a military reprisal, but rather how hard to strike. Some went so far as to say India should not shy away from the threat of nuclear war in mounting military operations against Pakistan. When we presented the book's analysis to a group of eminent generals and ambassadors -- serving and retired -- they also, generally, insisted that India must strike back to demonstrate resolve.

Click HERE to read more.
15:56   J&K legislative council passes resolution on Pandits' return
The Jammu and Kashmir legislative council on Friday unanimously passed a resolution for the respectable return of Kashmiri Pandits to the state.  

On the 27th anniversary of the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, the Jammu and Kashmir assembly on Thursday passed a resolution for their return to the Kashmir Valley. 

National Conference leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah moved a resolution for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the valley. He also said all political parties should rise above politics and pass a resolution to create an atmosphere for their return.  

The ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits was an event that occurred in the early 1990s when most of the Pandit families were forced to flee from Kashmir Valley due to the outbreak of terrorism.  

An estimated one to eight lakh Pandits fled from Kashmir at that time.  
15:54   Cash crunch will ease soon, RBI guv tells PAC
Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel on Friday told the Public Accounts Committee that the cash crunch in the country post the November 8 demonetisation drive will normalise with the passage of time.

Sources said the central banking institution also informed the PAC that specific agencies like Financial Intelligence Unit and income tax department are looking into abnormal deposits.

Explaining demonetisation to the PAC members, the RBI governor informed them about the efforts being made to normalise the cash crunch in rural areas. He also threw light on the efforts being made to normalise the situation in urban areas.

The RBI governor had on Wednesday appeared before Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance over the same issue during which he failed to disclose the amount of money that returned to the banking system post demonetisation.
Just In: Govt bars cooperative banks from accepting deposits under the new tax amnesty scheme, Prime Minister's Garib Kalyan Yojana.
Just In: Sensex tanks 274.10 points to close at 27,034.50; Niftyfalls 85.75 points to 8,349.35.
15:47   Samsung blames battery size for Galaxy Note 7 fires
Samsung's investigation into the problems that led to the recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones found that some batteries were irregularly sized, causing overheating, while others had manufacturing problems.

Samsung, which will unveil the results of its probe on Monday, January 23, recalled 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones last fall after consumer complaints that the phones caught fire. The debacle damaged its brand and will cost the company at least $5 billion.

Samsung, the worlds largest smartphone maker by shipments, conducted the investigation with three quality-control and supply-chain analysis firms that it hired to help it in its independent investigation. 

15:22   Air India puts 57 'overweight' crew members on ground duty
Cracking the whip on its over-weight cabin staff, the government-owned Air India has temporarily taken off 57 crew members from flying and put them on ground duty.
These cabin crew members, including air hostesses, have been told to "shape up" within a stipulated time frame, failing which they would be grounded permanently, Air India sources said.
Air India has over 3,800 cabin crew members, of whom more than 2,500 are women. Out of the total cabin crew strength, around 2,200 members are on permanent rolls.
As per norms of aviation regulator DGCA, the cabin crew has to be declared as 'fit', 'temporary unfit' and 'permanent unfit' by designated doctors through their periodic medical examination.
"These cabin crew members were found over-weight during the periodic review and told to get fit for flying in a particular time frame. However, as they failed to do so in the stipulated time, they have been taken off from flying duties last month and given ground jobs," a source said.
This is the second time in last over a year-and-half that the national carrier has taken such an action against its bulky cabin crew members as in September 2015 also, it had taken off 125 such employees from flying duty after they failed to maintain weight as per the mandatory norms.
As per the DGCA's regulations, a body mass index of 18-25 is normal for a male cabin crew, while for a female it is 18-22. A BMI of 25-29.9 for male crew is considered overweight and 30 and above is obese, while for females BMI of 22-27 is overweight and 27 and above obese.

The BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.
15:08   SC defers hearing on postponing of budget to Jan 23
The Supreme Court on Friday deferred till January 23 the hearing on a plea seeking postponement of the Union Budget presentation ahead of assembly polls in five states.

The apex court had on January 6 refused an urgent hearing into the matter saying that they would decide the issue when it comes in its normal course and will lay down the law whenever the petition comes up.

The public suit by advocate ML Sharma came in the wake of the staggered election dates being announced for five state assemblies between February 4 and March 8.

Thus, presenting the budget now would violate the Model Code of Conduct which has come into force with the announcement of the election schedule, the petitioner contended.

14:44   No 'positive response' from Congress on alliance: SP
A day after ruling out tie-up with the Rashtriya Lok Dal, the Samajwadi Party on Friday said that it has not got any "positive response" from Congress on alliance and that it could give the party only 85 of 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh.

The Samajwadi Party, which is not on the same page with Congress on the issue of inclusion of RLD, said if that party wanted to defeat BJP, it should accept SP's formula of seat-sharing. 

"Under this formula, the SP would give those seats to the Congress on which its candidate were in first place or seats where SP was at third, fourth or fifth spots," SP National Vice President Kironmay Nanda told reporters in Lucknow after the SP released its list of 191 candidates. 

"Thus, the Congress will get 54 seats. But if it (Congress) talks seriously, we can also give them 25-30 additional seats. The maximum seats we can give to them will be 85," he said.  
13:53   President okays change in rules for rail budget merger
President Pranab Mukherjee has approved changes in government rules to allow merger of rail budget with the central budget.

The Department of Economic Affairs has been entrusted with the work relating to preparation of central budget including rail budget, as per a recent order issued by Cabinet Secretariat. 

Earlier, the department was looking after the preparation of budget other than the railway. 

The President has given nod to amend Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 in this regard and the department will now prepare both the budgets.

The Union Cabinet had in September last year approved certain landmark budgetary reforms relating to the merger of railway budget with the general budget from 2017-18 onwards. 

The presentation of separate railway budget started in 1924, and has continued after independence as a convention rather than under Constitutional provisions. 

The Cabinet had also given nod for advancement of the date of budget presentation from the last day of February. The government will present the Union budget 2017-18 on February 1.
13:51   Women in hijab are beautiful and free: 'Dangal' actor to BJP leader
Dangal actor Zaira Wasim, who has been in the eye of a storm for her social media posts appealing Kashmiris to not look up to her as a role model, on Friday involved in a Twitter spat with Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel. 

The BJP leader tweeted a picture of a painting of a woman wearing burqa, tagging Zaira in the comment:  

"This painting tells a story similar to @zairawasim, our daughters are breaking the cages of oppression. More power to our daughters!," Goel said in a tweet.

However, this comment irked the Dangal actor, who played the role of a young Geeta Phogat in the blockbuster Dangal. 

"Sir, with all respect to you, I feel I must disagree. I request you not to connect me to such a discourteous depiction," she said in a series of tweets.

"Women in hijab are beautiful and free," she added

"Moreover, the story depicted through this painting is not even remotely relevant to mine," Zaira said in another tweet. 

The 16-year old faced social media backlash in Jammu and Kashmir for meeting the state's chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. She was also bullied by Islamic hardliners for acting in Bollywood films.

Pic: Goel tweeted this image which irked Zaira.
13:33   Jaitley skips Bengal's global investors' summit
In a setback to the 3rd edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not attend the event today amid the not-so-good current political relationship between the state and the Centre.

Jaitley was scheduled to attend the event, but he was believed to have been asked by the party high command to stay away, according to sources.

In a polite letter to Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, Jaitley wrote that he was busy with the Punjab poll campaign and hence he cannot be chief guest at the global investors summit being held in Kolkata.

The three-line letter followed Bengal's Finance Minister Amit Mitra repeatedly calling Jaitley on his mobile requesting him to be the chief guest.

The BJP's Kolkata unit also prevailed upon Jaitley to reject the invitation from West Bengal. 

Relations between West Bengal and the Union government have worsened of late, especially after the arrest of two TMC MPs Tapas Pal and Sudip Bandyopadhyay, in connection with the Rose Valley scam. Following this, the state government arrested BJP leader Jayaprakash Majumdar in connection with an alleged bribery connection.  
13:03   SP's first list has Shivpal Yadav from Jaswantnagar
Samajwadi Party headed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday released the first list of 192 candidates for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Interestingly, Akhilesh's warring uncle, Shivpal Singh Yadav has been given an election ticket to contest from Jaswantnagar constituency.

It was earlier reported that SP patron Mulayam had given a list of 38 candidates to Akhilesh when he came to seek his father's blessings after the Election Commission awarded 'cycle' symbol to the CM.
12:50   Bombay HC not happy with probe in Dabholkar and Pansare murder cases

The Bombay high court today said that it is not happy with probe in Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare murder cases.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has submitted ballistic report from Ahmedabad forensic lab to the HC in sealed cover.

Both investigating agencies have been submitting periodic status reports to the court.

Virendra Tawde, an alleged western region commander of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, was arrested in connection with both the cases.

Besides, Sameer Gaikwad, an alleged member of radical outfit Sanatan Sanstha, was arrested in connection with the Pansare murder.

The Dabholkar case chargesheet also named two more Sanatan Sanstha members -- Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar -- as assailants in the case whose sketches, the CBI claims, it has uploaded on its website after the court, on the defences request, directed it Wednesday to make the sketches public.
Just In: Industrialist Sanjiv Goenka announces an investment of Rs 10,000 crore in West Bengal in the next few years, at the Bengal Global Business Summit.
12:08   Jallikattu protest a lesson for Hindutva forces: Owaisi
All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday waded into the Jallikattu ban controversy and linked it to the debate surrounding the Uniform Civil Code.

Owaisi aired his views on Twitter where he said that no uniform law can be imposed in India as people don't have a single culture.

"Lesson for Hindutva forces, Uniform Civil Code cannot be imposed this nation cannot have one culture we celebrate all," he said in a tweet.

His tweet came when thousands of people in Tamil Nadu are protesting after the Supreme Court dismissed the state's plea seeking recall of its 2014 verdict banning Jallikattu.

Owaisi, known for making controversial statements, earlier had said that Uniform Civil Code is "not good" for the country.
11:54   Gorilla or guerrilla? ESPN drops Aus commentator for Venus slur
Commentator Doug Adler has been dropped by sports broadcaster ESPN after he compared Venus Williams to a 'gorilla', but the former has insisted that the word he used at the Australian Open was 'guerrilla'.   

"During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection," an ESPN statement said.      

"He has apologised and we have removed him from his remaining assignments."   

The 59-year-old Adler, a former player himself, made the comment during the second-round match on Wednesday, during Venus's match against Stefanie Voegele. 

He said Voegele "misses a first serve and Venus is all over her. You see Venus move in and put the gorilla effect on, charging."   

A report on ESPN website said: "Because the words gorilla and guerrilla are pronounced similarly, it's impossible to say for certain which word Adler spoke."  
11:52   Look, who took a selfie with Ivanka Trump
Singer Mika Singh was invited for the pre-inaugration dinner organised by Donald Trump. 

The 39-year-old singer took to social media to share picture from the party and said he was honoured to be a part of the guest list. 

"What a privilege it is being in the same vicinity as @realDonaldTrump...His presence has brightened up the whole evening. Enjoying this wonderful party thanxx @ivankatrump...," Mika wrote along side a selfie he clicked with Trump's daughter Ivanka.

Ivanka wore a white gown with a slimming black waist and matching monochrome earrings for the party, while Mika wore an all black ensemble. 

Indians have been grabbing a lot of limelight amid Trump taking his place as the president.

Popular Indian-American DJ and drummer Ravi Jakhotia opened the inaugural concert for the US President-elect with a scintillating performance to crowd of thousands at the Lincoln Memorial.

A Hindu priest will be among various religious leaders who will offer prayers at the National Prayer Service of Trump on Saturday, a day after he is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
11:28   Mahindra buys farm equipment co in Turkey for Rs 129 cr
Mahindra & Mahindra has acquired a majority stake in Turkey-based farm equipment company Hisarlar Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim irketi (Hisarlar) for around USD 19 million (nearly Rs 129 crore), thus foraying into the European nation.

Under the transaction, which is expected to close by April 2017, Mahindra will acquire 75.1 per cent stake in Hisarlar.

"The association will help in growing the farm equipment business in Turkey and Europe," M&M today said in a statement.  
S Gurumurthy tweets: Be clear on Jallikattu. Central govt order declassifying bull as not performing animal is sub justice. Till court decides Modi can't act.
11:19   SC postpones Jallikattu order on Centre's request
The Supreme Court today agreed not to pass judgment for a week in the Jallikattu issue while taking into account the Centre's submission that they were in talks with Tamil Nadu to find a way out in the matter.   

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the matter before a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumati that people of Tamil Nadu are "passionate" about Jallikattu and the central government and the state are trying to resolve the issue.   

"The Centre and the state are in talks to find a way out in the matter and our request is that the court should not deliver the judgment for at least a week," Rohatgi told the bench.   

Hearing the AG's brief submission, the bench said "Okay".
11:15   Stalin, Kanimozhi among DMK leaders held for staging rail roko
Scores of DMK workers, including the party's working secretary M K Stalin, were today detained for staging rail roko on the Jallikattu issue, even as protesters stayed put at Marina beach in Chennai and elsewhere in Tamil Nadu notwithstanding the chief minister's assurance that an ordinance for conduct of the sport will be issued soon. 

Stalin, also Opposition leader in the Tamil Nadu assembly, was detained along with scores of supporters when he staged a rail blockade at the Mambalam railway station. Other DMK leaders, including party MP Kanimozhi and former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran, as also senior leaders, participated in the state-wide rail roko held by the party. 

As some traders bodies and unions had given a strike call for today in support of Jallikattu, a large number of shops and business establishments remained shut in the state. A large number of autorickshaws also kept off the roads across Tamil Nadu, even as fewer buses plied. 

The film industry also embarked on a silent protest, with both actors and actresses wearing black outfits.
10:49   4 north-bound trains cancelled, 23 delayed over Delhi fog
A layer of shallow fog engulfed parts of Delhi, resulting in the cancellation of four north-bound train services and delay of 23 others.   

Flight operations, however, were normal, according to the official website of Indira Gandhi International Airport.   

"Besides the cancellation of four trains, which included the Bhagalpur Garib Rath Express, 11 services required to be rescheduled due to poor visibility caused by fog cover," a railway official said.
10:36   Australian Open: Sania advances to third round
Sania Mirza and her Czech partner, Barbora Strycova advances to round 3 of the Australian Open after defeating S Stosur of Australia and Shuai Zhang of China by 6-1,6-4 in women's double. 
10:24   Chennai shuts down, TN crippled over Jallikattu
Massive protest continued for the fourth day on Friday at Chennai's Marina Beach with schools across Tamil Nadu remained closed in support of bull-taming sport Jallikattu.

Members of South Indian Artists association,Nadigar Sangam will come out in support of Jallikattu.

Music maestro A R Rahman will also remain present.

The Marina Beach in Chennai continued to receive people who seek revival of the bull-taming game where protests continue day and night.

Many other towns including Alanganallur in Madurai known for the game also witnessed protests seeking the game.

A strike call has been given by traders, truckers and van and taxi operators, and private schools in many districts including Chennai have announced holiday.
10:00   Samsung to disclose cause of Galaxy Note 7 fire on Jan 23
Samsung Electronics said today it will announce on January 23 the reason why its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones overheated and caught fire.
The announcement will be livestreamed in Chinese, English and Korean on its websites. Koh Dong-jin, Samsung's mobile president, will give details of the probe.
The Galaxy Note 7 was a fiasco for the world's largest smartphone maker. Samsung recalled and eventually discontinued it after numerous reports of it overheating and bursting into flames.
Initially, Samsung said it found a small error in the manufacturing process for some of the batteries in the phones was to blame.
It replaced the phones with a new battery but those replaced phones also overheated and caught fire, prompting Samsung to pull the phones from the market. That cost Samsung at least USD 5 billion.
The announcement comes after a South Korean court dismissed yesterday a request by prosecutors to arrest Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong heir.
Shankar Sharma, the stock market expert, tweets: 'The sentiment against India at Davos has been the most negative I have seen in 20 years. That takes some doing.'
09:40   Prithvi Shaw in U-19 team for Ind vs Eng ODI series
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has announced the team for the upcoming Under 19 one-day series against England Under-19 to be held in India in January-February. 

The five-match ODI series will begin from January 30 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and will end on February 8 at the same ground.  

The India Under-19 squad is as follows: Heramb Parab, Het Patel, Himanshu Rana, Ayush Jamwal, Vivekanand Tiwary, Prithvi Shaw, Abhishek Sharma, Shubman Gill, Harvik Desai, Rahul Desraj Chahar, Kamlesh Singh Nagarkoti, Salman Khan, Priyam Garg, Shiva Singh, Yash Thakur, Mayank Rawat, Rohan Kunnumal, Ishan Porel.  

The team for the four-day matches will be announced later. 
09:36   BJP MLA from Maharashtra disqualified
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has quashed the election of the BJP MLA from Gadchiroli on the  plea that he didn't disclose details about the office of profit he was holding at the time of filing his nomination papers for the 2014 assembly elections.

"A petition against the sitting MLA Deorao Holi was filed by Narayan Jambhule of Forward Bloc who had contested unsuccessfully against him in the 2014 polls," Jambhule's advocate Pradeep Wathore said. 

The petitioner had claimed that Holi did not disclose details about the office of profit he was holding while filing his nomination. The counsel stated that the returning officer concerned ignored the fact that Holi was a serving medical officer with the state government at the time of filing his papers. 

He said the HC bench in its order has declared Holi disqualified and stated that his nomination form should not have been accepted by the returning officer of Gadchiroli (ST) assembly constituency.

When contacted, Holi told PTI he would challenge his disqualification in the Supreme Court after studying the order.
09:29   Surat businessman arrested for money-laundering
Just In: Enforcement Directorate arrests Surat-based businessman Kishore Bhajiawala in a money-laundering case registered post the notes ban.
09:15   Jallikattu: DMK to launch state-wide 'rail roko' agitation
As protests over the ban on bull-taming sport, Jallikattu continue to keep Tamil Nadu on the edge, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Friday announced a state-wide 'rail roko agitation' where they will create a massive blockade around the state's railway stations.

Party's Working President M K Stalin will protest at the Mambalam Railway Station and MP Kanimozhi will hold the protest at Chennai's Egmore railway station in support of Jallikattu.

Around a lakh of youth have gathered to protest at Chennai's Marina Beach and also across the state.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals India on Thursday said that it may take the legal route if the Centre brings an ordinance to enable the conduct of Jallikattu.
09:09   Jallikattu likely to take place in 1-2 days, says OPS
Appealing pro-Jallikattu agitators to withdraw their protest, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister today said that the bull-taming sport will likely to take place in 1 to 2 days.   

"The Tamil Nadu government has sent draft of amendment to the MHA this morning. I believe draft would be approved in 1-2 days which will pave way for Jallikattu,' the CM said.   

He further said, "There are full chances that Jallikattu will be organised within 1-2 days, therefore we urge protesters to withdraw immediately."

"Had detailed discussion with constitutional experts regarding amendments to be enacted on Jallikattu law by the state," he added. 
08:19   Evidence shows rapes did occur in Murthal, find culprits: HC to cops
The Punjab and Haryana high court observed on Thursday that the statements of some witnesses and the recovery of women's undergarments indicate that rapes had taken place at Murthal during the Jat quota protests in February 2016.

The court asked the state police special investigation team to find the culprits to instill confidence in the public.

A division bench made these observations in open court. The judges also observed that two witnesses, one of them a taxi driver, had said that women were dragged out of their vehicles, which indicated that rapes had taken place.

The HC has stayed the framing of charges in the rape case being heard in a trial court in Sonipat. Haryana Police filed an FIR after the HC took suo motu cognisance of newspaper reports.

Police had accused five alleged rioters of rape, but the charge was dropped as their blood did not match semen samples from the undergarments.The HC also asked the SIT to file an affidavit before the trial court that rape charges hadn't been dropped and were still under investigation. The observations came after senior advocate and amicus curiae in the case, Anupam Gupta, accused the SIT of working in lack of good faith and in an unprofessional manner.
Mexico extradited drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States after his final appeals were rejected -- handing US authorities a massive drug case on the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration.
Guzman is the head of the Sinaloa cartel, which is accused of generating much of the deadly violence in Mexico and providing tons of drugs to the United States was extradited on Thursday, and had twice escaped from prison.
He had been fighting his extradition ever since he was recaptured almost exactly a year ago in his home state of Sinaloa, following his second daring jailbreak.
The Mexican government "delivered Mr Guzman Loera to the authorities of the United States" after the Supreme Court and a court of appeals rejected his latest bids to avoid extradition, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

08:02   Trump pledges to 'unify' Americans on inauguration eve
A day ahead of his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump on Thursday said he is going to unite the country as he promised the Americans to work hard and turn things around.

"We are going to unify our country and we will make America great again. We will make America great for all of our people, everybody throughout the country," Trump said while a crowd of thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington at his inaugural 'Make America Great Again' rally and concert.
Joined by his wife and incoming First Lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, his sons and their families, Trump enjoyed the nearly two-and-a-half hour concert.
Speaking to the cheering crowd comprising of young military personnel and veterans among common people, Trump assured that things will change in America for the good under his leadership.
He reiterated his campaign promises of bringing jobs back and strengthening the military and the country's borders.
"I promise you that I will work so hard, we are going to get it turned around, we are going to bring our jobs back. We are not going to let other countries take our jobs any longer.
"We are going to build up our great military, we are going to strengthen our borders, we are going to do things that haven't been done for our country for many, many decades," he said amid loud cheers and applause.

Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters
00:59   Jallikattu protest: Dhanush dubs PETA award an 'insult'
As PETA faced pro-Jallikattu protesters' ire for opposing the bull taming sport, Tamil film star Dhanush today said he was not part of the animal rights advocacy group and described as an "insult" an award given to him by the NGO a few years ago.

"A few years ago, PETA honoured me for being a vegetarian. I now consider it a grave insult. I regret it," he on being chosen as PETA's "Hottest Vegetarian" in 2012.

Dhanush said neither he nor any of his family members were part of PETA, adding if someone claimed anything contrary to that it was a "rumour."

He urged the Centre to remove bulls from the 'performing animals' category and thus ensure jallikattu was held in the state.

Though he had many fans, he was now a fan of Tamil youth, who were spearheading the pro-jallikattu protests, Dhanush said, adding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should promulgate an ordinance to allow the sport. 
00:28   Trump poised to take executive actions on first day in office
Donald Trump is preparing to begin taking executive actions on his first day in the White House on Friday to roll back policies of outgoing President Barack Obama and implement parts of his plans to crack down on immigration and build a wall on the US-Mexican border.

Trump, a Republican who was elected on November 8 and will be sworn in during a ceremony at the US Capitol on Friday, is poised to wield one of the most powerful tools of his office, the presidential pen, for executive actions that can be implemented without the input of Congress.

"He is committed to not just Day 1, but Day 2, Day 3 of enacting an agenda of real change, and I think that you're going to see that in the days and weeks to come," Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said on Thursday, telling reporters to expect activity on Friday, during the weekend and early next week.

The top items on the agenda for Trump, who has presided over a sprawling business empire but has never before held public office, mirror the populist pledges that fueled his election victory: immigration curbs and job creation, particularly in the manufacturing sector, Spicer said.

Read more HERE

00:26   Chelsea Manning thanks Obama for commuting sentence
Former US Army officer Chelsea Manning today thanked outgoing US President Barack Obama for commuting her 35-year prison sentence for leaking classified military documents. 

"Thank you @BarackObama for giving me a chance. =,)," Manning tweeted.

In a surprise decision, Obama commuted Manning's prison term just days before he hands over the baton of the US Presidency to Donald Trump.

Amid severe criticism, Obama defended his decision to commute the 35-year sentence of the trans-gender solider, arguing that she has served a tough jail term.

"Lets be clear, Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence. So the notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital, classified information would think that it goes unpunished I dont think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served," Obama told reporters at his last news conference.
00:25   OIC proposes to send team to Kashmir, claims Pak
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation proposes to send human rights observers to Kashmir in March to assess the situation there, Pakistan claimed today.

Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement that Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz met OIC Secretary General Yousef Al-Othaime on the sidelines of the Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The OIC Secretary General "informed" Aziz that under instructions from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is the current Chair of the organisation, a "delegation of the OIC's Independent Human Rights Commission will be paying a visit" to Jammu and Kashmir in March. 

"The OIC is also requesting India to allow the delegation to visit" Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said. 

India has maintained that IOC, a grouping of 57 Muslim countries, has no locus standi in the Kashmir issue. 

The statement further said Aziz briefed the OIC about the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir in the past five months.
00:24   Sharif rakes up Kashmir before UN chief, but doesn't get a response
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today raked up the Kashmir issue in his first meeting with the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres but got no positive response to his request for the world body's intervention in the issue.

Sharif, who met Guterres on the sidelines of World Economic Forum at Davos, said Kashmir needed attention of the UN, the Prime Minister's Office said here in a statement.

"A sustained dialogue process on all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir is essential to make progress. It was in this spirit that we invited India for discussions on the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and aspirations of the Kashmiri people," Sharif said to the UN chief.

Guterres gave no positive response to Sharif's demand.

He told Sharif that he was "fully cognizant of the sensitivity of the issues between India and Pakistan which has security consequences for the region," the statement said.