Wed, 07 June 2017
Oppn has many deserving candidates for Prez poll: Congress

Timeline  Refresh

London police conduct controlled explosion near new US embassy
22:45   I am not a rubber stamp, says Puducherry L-G Kiran Bedi
Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, caught in a tussle with the V Narayanasamy-led Congress government in the Union Territory, today said she is "not a rubber stamp" and that she is performing her duties as an administrator. 

Her assertion comes amidst her stand-off with the elected government. 

The Lt Governor said it was her "duty" to see files related to the Union Territory.

"I will examine the files because as an administrator it is my responsibility to ensure that there is financial prudence, fairplay, justice and (that) everything is within the budget," she told reporters at the airport in Chennai. 

Bedi alleged that the Puducherry government wanted her to be an "endorser" of their files and a "rubber stamp," but, she said, she would not be so. 

"They just want an endorsement (but) I am not an endorser. I am not a rubber stamp. I am fulfilling my duties as a responsible Lieutenant Governor," she said, adding, she would be failing in her duty if she didn't do that.

She said people of the UT have a "right to seek justice" and were therefore approaching her and she was holding regular grievance reddressal meetings for them. 

"The Lieutenant Governor's office is there to see there is administration and financial prudence," she added.
22:24   Oppn has many deserving candidates for Prez poll: Congress
With the ruling BJP yet to initiate efforts for a consensual presidential nominee, the Congress on Wednesday said that non-NDA parties will make every possible attempt to find "the best person" for India in case the NDA alliance does not reach out to them.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the opposition has made it clear that the BJP-led NDA cannot take the country for granted on the issue and it will put up a concerted fight as it has many "deserving" candidates.
He, however, refused to get into names of possible candidate for the July 17 election. Referring to the convergence in opposition parties over the issue, he noted that a sub-group formed to decide on a consensus presidential
candidate will meet soon. 
The CPI-M, on its part, said it is in discussion with other parties for a person with impeccable secular credentials who can discharge the responsibility as a custodian of the Indian Constitution.
"The intention is clear that there is a concerted effort and you have seen it in many meetings at Chennai and otherwise of a remarkable convergence of all non-NDA parties to try and make it clear that the BJP-NDA cannot take the nation for granted.
"There are many deserving candidates, and if they do not reach out first, these parties will make every possible attempt to find the best person for India," Singhvi said.
The Congress leader said a number of meetings have taken place at the top level to work out the nitty gritty.
The Congress President has been taking up the issue and other parties will also have such interlocutors and people set up soon.
21:31   Will not hurt prospects of Palaniswami govt: OPS
Amid the changing power equations in the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's Amma faction, the rebel Puratchi Thalaivi Amma group on Wednesday said it will not hurt the prospects of the K Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu.
"The Palaniswami-led government will not face a situation where it will lose (power) because of us," Puratchi Thalaivi Amma leader O Panneerselvam said, in what could come as a relief for the beleaguered chief minister.
Panneerselvam's comments come in the midst of MLAs in the Amma faction flocking towards party deputy general Secretary T T V Dinakaran, who is trying to re-assert his position after being released on bail in a bribery case despite facing a revolt by the  Palaniswami camp
A top aide of Dinakaran had claimed that so far 25 MLAs have met him since he came out on bail on June 3 in a case related to alleged attempt to bribe some Election Commission officials to get back the party's 'Two-Leaves' symbol.
The AIADMK (Amma) faction has 122 MLAs in the 234-member assembly.
21:24   Venkaiah thanks Manmohan for recognising 'single engine of Modi'
Taking a dig at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that the economy was running on "just one engine of public spending", Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today thanked him for acknowledging that India was propelled by a single, high-powered engine under Narendra Modi.
In a broadside against Congress President Sonia Gandhi's role in the Manmohan Singh government, he said two engines pulled in different directions in the 10 years of UPA rule and the country came to a standstill.
"That is the difference between UPA and NDA. Dr Manmohan Singh acknowledged this single high-powered engine of Modi which has a single purpose of Making of Developed India. I thank him," Naidu told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi.
Commenting on the demonetisation process, Singh had said yesterday that it was responsible for the slowdown in India's economy and cited a "collapse in private sector investment" and the reduction of the industry's gross value-added growth.

Naidu retaliated by saying that the Congress was desperately looking for an engine without any hope. The problem with the party was that they "think their family problem is the problem of India".
"... This problem was solved by people of country when they discovered Modi in 2014," Naidu said. 
21:12   BJP govts in NE have no intention to impose beef ban: Himanta
Amid reports of unease among BJP leaders in the Northeast over the beef issue, a top party leader today asserted that its state governments have no intention to impose any dietary restriction on people. 
"We are in power in Assam and people are eating beef there in day-to-day life. Where is the ban? There is no intention of the state government to impose any restriction.
"We have not done so in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur and we are in government in both states as well," Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is the BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance convener, said.
The NEDP is a grouping of the BJP and several regional political parties based in the Northeast states. Sarma, who is also a minister in the Assam government, is a key party leader tasked with the responsibility of expanding the saffron outfit in the region.
Opposition parties have attacked the BJP following the Centre's notification to ban the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter.
Some BJP leaders in Meghalaya, which goes to polls next year, quit the party accusing it of trying to push a ban on the consumption of beef, which is eaten widely in the region.
Sarma claimed that the issue had no resonance among the masses and is being talked more in Delhi than these states. The notification is about regulating cattle trade which has always been there in some form, he said.
The two leaders who left the party did so due to political reasons as the party was not considering them for posts they wanted.
"Some people have made it look like that the only issue in the Northeast is beef. It has been portrayed as if people here eat beef from morning to night and there is no other thing. People are asking for roads, rail, jobs... The beef issue has been blown out of proportion," he said.
20:07   Beef exports down by 7.62% in April
The country's beef exports fell by 7.62 per cent in April to USD 257.06 million possibly due to crackdown on unlicensed abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh. 

The country had exported USD 278.26 million worth of beef in the same month last year, according to an official data. 

India is the largest exporter of buffalo meat and the country shipped nearly USD 4 billion worth meat in 2016-17. 

Beef exports have been impacted as the Uttar Pradesh government acted against unauthorised abattoirs in the state, forcing the industry to go on strike in March. 

Beef meat and leather/leather products shipments are likely to be under pressure as the Union environment ministry last month banned cattle trade in animal markets for slaughter. Some states have protested against this notification. 

 According to the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, the cattle trade ban would impact meat exports in the coming months. "There is a need to do necessary changes to address supply side constraints," FIEO Director-General Ajay Sahay said.
19:57   UP: Hungry goat chews up owner's Rs 66,000
Leaving your pet hungry could cost you dearly, as a farmer in Uttar Pradesh realised the hard way.
Much to the shock of Sarvesh Kumar Pal, his goat chewed up currency notes worth Rs 62,000 kept in the pocket of his trousers while he had gone for a bath.
The incident occurred on Monday in Siluapur village in Talgram area of Kannauj.
Pal had gone to the washroom after putting the money, with which he intended to buy bricks, in his trousers which were kept outside.
But the scene that he came across after he came out to dress got his goat. His hungry pet had already chewed up 31 notes in the denomination of Rs 2,000.
He had kept Rs 66,000 in his pocket and only two notes were left but they too were badly damaged. 

18:44   Army foils another infiltration bid in Kashmir, 3 terrorists killed
Three terrorists were gunned down when the Army foiled an infiltration bid in Machil sector of north Kashmir's Kupwara district, an official said on Wednesday.

The incident took place on Tuesday night when troops guarding the Line of Control noticed a group of militants trying to infiltrate into the valley from across the border in Machil sector under the cover of darkness, the army
official said.
Troops engaged the heavily-armed militants who tried to escape taking advantage of the thick forest cover. Two militants, who are still to be unidentified, were killed.
Search operations to track down other members of the group were going on, the official said.
This is the third infiltration bid foiled by the army in north Kashmir in the past fortnight.
On May 26, two Pakistani Border Action Team members who tried to infiltrate into Uri sector to carry out an attack on the soldiers were killed.
Six more militants were killed in the same sector next day when they attempted to sneak into the valley from across the border.
18:27   Dump NSG membership in dustbin
The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj seldom if ever would say a bloomer. Therefore, her remark on June 6 seems odd, where she reportedly said that India will take Russia's help "to convince China' of the merits of its case for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Read MK Bhadrakumar's blog here.
18:25   Why the BJP is not announcing the dates for monsoon session of Parliament
It is normal practice to have the monsoon session of parliament coinciding with the Presidential polls since MPs can cast their votes in the polls.

But insiders in the Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs say they have no intimation so far of the possible dates of the monsoon session of parliament. The presidential poll date announced today, is July 17.

So does it mean that the BJP does not want the session before July, and if yes, why?

Few union ministers of the BJP who are privy to certain decisions of Rajya Sabha chairperson Hamid Ansari which went against the BJP government, say that for the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill, Ansari brought the CRPF inside the Upper House and got the Bill passed. But for GST and other BJP government bills, Ansari quoted the rules of the Rajya Sabha that there should not be a din while it is introduced.

This has obviously irked the ruling dispensation which may be the reason that the government has not yet indicated the commencement of
the monsoon session of Parliament. The BJP may also be keen to have its own Vice President by August 10, 2017 to chair the  Rajya Sabha session.

That is why the BJP government is delaying the dates of the Monsoon session of Parliament.  
Debris from Myanmar military plane found in sea: Myanmar official
17:58   Uphill task for Yechury, Patel to retain RS seats
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and AICC leader Ahmed Patel will face stumbling blocks if they want to retain their Rajya Sabha seats.  

Unless of course, crucial issues are sorted out.

The West Bengal state unit wants Yechury for a third term, but the CPI-M's Central Committee does not want him to get a third term as a matter of principle.

Remember, this is the same Central Committee, which in its infinite wisdom turned down the United Front's proposal of the late West Bengal CM Jyoti Basu as its prime ministerial candidate.

The Committee members do not want the taint of asking the Congress to vote for Yechury.

Personally, Yechury is keen to have another term in the Rajya Sabha as he can then be the anti-BJP points-person inside the Upper House.

As for Ahmed Patel? BJP president Amit Shah considers him to be an arch rival and will create obstacles in his path. The BJP is therefore engineering a split among Congress MLAs.

The Gujarat Congress Committee has proposed Patel's name for another term in the Rajya Sabha, but eight Congress MLAs have protested the candidature.

BJP has also been approached by Congress dissidents. Amit Shah is obviously encouraging dissidents like Shanker Sinh Vagehla to meet
him and other BJP leaders.

The Congress Legislature Party is also heading for a split. Many Congress MLAs want to show their real intentions against Ahmed Patel but the term of the Gujarat Assembly is also coming to an end and they don't want to rock the boat.

The goal of defeating Ahmed Patel is only getting stronger.
17:37   Trump nominates new FBI director
Donald Trump has nominated the lawyer and former assitant Attorney General Christopher Wray to be his new FBI director, replacing James Comey who he fired amid an investigation into the Trump administration's links to Russia, reports the Independent..
17:22   Presidential poll will be held on July 17, counting on July 20
Just in: Election Commission briefing on the presidential polls. Term of President Pranab Mukherjee will end on 24 July, says Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi. Highlights of the briefing.

-- Rs 15,000 security for candidates.
-- The voting will be by secret ballot through a ballot box. EVMs will not be used.
-- Political parties cannot issue any whip to their party-men to be present for voting.
-- The candidature will be null and void if the candidate is found guilty of bribery.
-- The EC notification will be made on June 14.
-- Last date for nominations is June 28.
-- Scrutiny of nominations by June 29.
-- Last date for withdrawal of candidature is July 1.
-- The presidential poll will be held on July 17
-- Counting will be held on July 20
17:10   Djokovic crashes out of French Open
French Open: Defending champion Novak Djokovic crashes out in quarters after losing 6-7, 3-6, 0-6 against Austria's Dominic Thiem.
17:01   Won't be cowed down by Sangh's goondagardi, says Yechury
Two people tried to manhandle CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury at a press conference he held to protest the violence against farmers in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh. Yechury escaped unhurt, and the men were beaten up and handed over to the police.

@SitaramYechury  tweeted saying, "We will not be cowed down by any attempts of Sangh's goondagardi to silence us. This is a battle for the soul of India, which we will win." 
16:43   Myanmar military plane carrying 116 passengers goes missing
A Myanmar military plane carrying 116 people went missing on Wednesday between the southern city of Myeik and Yangon. "Communication was lost suddenly at about 1:35 pm when it reached about 20 miles west of Dawei town," the commander-in-chief's office said in a statement, adding search and rescue was ongoing. An airport source said the plane was carrying 105 passengers and 11 crew. Further details awaited.

Image: Myanmarese leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Delhi with President Pranab Mukherjee

Iranian media says, Iran Parliament siege over, all four terrorists killed.
Fatima Bhutto @fbhutto on Arundhati Roy's book: "Roy's novel is a ferocious and staggeringly beautiful book #utmosthappiness."
16:29   More MLAs call on Dinakaran
Four more ruling AIADMK (Amma) MLAs today called on deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran, who is trying to re-assert his position after being released on bail in a bribery case despite facing a revolt by the Chief Minister K Palaniswami camp.

The MLAs' meeting with Dhinakaran raised questions about the future stability of the Palaniswami government which has a slender majority after the rebellion by former chief minister O Panneerselvam.

Dairy Development Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji sought to play down the the development, saying the MLAs met with Dinakaran as he was the party's deputy general secretary.
16:17   Rahul meets Kharge in hospital
Rahul Gandhi visited Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge at AIIMS today.  Kharge has been admitted there for a knee surgery.
16:12   Don't visit Mozambique if you are bald
Police in Mozambique has warned that bald people could be the targets of ritual attacks, after the brutal killing of two men whose body parts were thought to have been used in witchcraft. The two bald men, one of whom was found with his head cut off and organs removed, were killed in a part of the country already notorious for the persecution of albinos. Read more
16:09   RBI lowers growth forecast to 7.3% for FY18
The Reserve Bank today marginally lowered the economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.3 per cent even as it hoped that remonetisation would enable pick-up in consumer spending, especially in the cash-intensive segments.

The Central Statistics Office has pegged the growth of real gross value added for 2016-17 at 6.6 per cent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the second advance estimates released in February 2017.

"With the CSO's provisional estimates for 2016-17, the projection of real GVA growth for 2017-18 has accordingly been revised 10 bps downwards from the April 2017 projection to 7.3 per cent, with risks evenly balanced," the central bank said in its second bi-monthly monetary policy, 2017-18.
16:00   8 dead in twin terror attacks in Iran
Update on the twin attacks in Iran: Reports say between seven to eight people are believed to have been killed in simultaneous gun and suicide bomb assaults on Iran's parliament building and the tomb of the republic's revolutionary founder in Tehran.

Over 35 people have been injured, the Fars agency reported. State media reported that gunmen stormed the parliament building in Tehran and went on a shooting spree.
15:40   Bharat Ratna for hockey legend Dhyan Chand: Vijay Goel writes to PMO
Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel writes to the Prime Minister's Office requesting the Bharat Ratna be conferred on hockey legend Dhyan Chand.

The hockey legend guided India to Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.

There has been a longstanding demand for the Bharat Ratna for the late hockey legend with some saying he should have been given the honour ahead of cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Last year former hockey captains Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal, Dilip Tirkey and Dhyan Chand's son Ashok Kumar gathered at Jantar Mantar in the hope that the government would fulfil their demand and confer the Bharat Ratna. Tendulkar was chosen for the country's highest civillian honour ahead of the hockey legend.

Image: Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik's creation
15:05   Indias battered free press: NYT editorial
NYT editorial on the CBI raids on NDTV and press freedom in India.

"Press freedom in India suffered a fresh blow on Monday when the country's main investigative agency raided homes and offices connected to the founders of NDTV, India's oldest television news station. The raids mark an alarming new level of intimidation of India's news media under Prime Minister Narendra Modi."  Read it in full here.
14:57   RBI cautions against farm loan waivers
RBI rate cut: RBI projects inflation in 2-3.5 per cent range for the first half of 2017-18 and 3.5-4.5 per cent for the second half. RBI cuts the Statutory Liquidity Ratio by 0.5 per cent. Implementation of GST is not expected to have any material impact on overall inflation. RBI cuts growth projection for current fiscal to 7.3%, from 7.4%. RBI cautions against rush of farm loan waivers, warns of risk on fiscal slippages and inflationary spillovers.
14:57   RBI cautions against farm loan waivers
RBI rate cut: RBI projects inflation in 2-3.5 per cent range for the first half of 2017-18 and 3.5-4.5 per cent for the second half. RBI cuts the Statutory Liquidity Ratio by 0.5 per cent. Implementation of GST is not expected to have any material impact on overall inflation. RBI cuts growth projection for current fiscal to 7.3%, from 7.4%. RBI cautions against rush of farm loan waivers, warns of risk on fiscal slippages and inflationary spillovers.
Islamic State group claims responsibility for attacks in Tehran: Amaq agency
14:48   RBI holds interest rates despite govt demands
The government had been making a case for a lower interest rate regime citing low inflation as well as the need to revive investments and growth.

With the 6-member RBI committee refusing to bend, experts say the RBI may assess the impact of GST on prices before cutting policy rates.

The six-member Monetary Policy Committee is headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said inflation has been under control for long and is likely to remain so on the back of good monsoon forecast and unlikely spike in oil prices.
14:39   RBI keeps lending rate unchanged at 6.25%
A six-member Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India, headed by Governor Urjit Patel, on Wednesday kept the short-term lending rate, also called the repo rate, unchanged at 6.25 per cent after its second bimonthly review of this financial year. The committee however, cut SLR by 50 basis points to 20 per cent starting June 24.
RBI keeps policy rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent.
Just in: One terrorist has been captured alive. Another suicide bomber blows himself up at the Khomeini shrine in Tehran. 
14:32   Mandsaur: Farmers set 10 vehicles on fire
Farmers's agitation in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district on Wednesday further intensified with protestors setting at least eight to ten vehicles on fire.

Madhya Pradesh farmers have hit the streets protesting over their demands for remunerative prices for their produce and a farm loan waiver not being met.
14:18   Mandsaur: Farmers critically injure cop, heckle collector
Farmers demanding debt relief and better crop prices today "heckled" the Mandsaur collector when he tried to pacify them, a day after five persons were killed in violence during their agitation in the town.

Farmers also pelted stones at police officer Shyam Babu who was critically injured after being pelted by stones. The police opened fire in the air and the farmers dispersed, but reports say the police fear they will regroup in larger numbers.

Farmers have also set 8-10 vehicles on fire in Mandsaur.

A former MP from Mandsaur, Meenakshi Natarajan, was detained when she was on her way to meet the family members of the deceased. Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh are protesting since June 1 demanding higher minimum support prices for their produce, among others.

Five persons were yesterday killed as the farmers' agitation turned violent, prompting the authorities to clamp curfew in the trouble-hit area.

According to eyewitnesses, the protesting farmers had torched vehicles and indulged in stone pelting in Parshvanath area under Pipaliya Mandi police station limits. Curfew remained in force in Pipalya Mandi police station area of the district and Mandsaur town, while prohibitory orders restricting movement under section 144 of CrPC are also imposed in the rest of the district. Farmers in large numbers blocked a road today in Berkheda Panth area, around 18 kms from here.

When Mandsaur Collector S K Singh and Superintendent of Police Omprakash Tripathi reached the spot to mollify the protesters, the farmers allegedly manhandled the administrative officer.

"When the protesters started misbehaving and pushing the collector, we made way for him to come out safe," Berkheda Panth's sarpanch Dinesh told PTI. Ujjain Range Inspector General of Police V Madhukumar, who is camping in Mandsaur, said, "I have also come to know that something happened with the collector. But I exactly do not know what happened." When contacted for his reaction, the collector refused to comment on the incident. Asked if the police will take action against those who misbehaved with him, the district magistrate said, "It was the law-enforcers' job."

The IG, meanwhile, said that the mortal remains of the five persons who died yesterday were cremated this morning. He said the situation in Mandsaur was under control.

Image: Mandsaur district collector S K Singh being led away after being heckled by farmers.
14:01   Sher Bahadur Deuba takes oath of Nepal PM
Just in: Sher Bahadur Deuba takes oath of Prime Minister of Nepal. The three-time former prime minister was elected to the top post once again. This is the 10th time in as many years that the leadership has changed hands in the Himalayan nation.
13:58   Woman suicide attacker blows herself up at Khomeini shrine
Update from ISNA News Agency says at least two people have been killed and eight wounded in the twin attacks at Iran's Parliament building and at the Khomeini's mausoleum in south Tehran said.

At least four people had entered via the western entrance of the mausoleum and opened fire, killing the gardener and wounding several people, according to the Fars news agency.

Fars also said a female suicide attacker blew herself up outside the shrine and published photos showing the explosion.

Four men armed with rifles and a pistol were reported to be inside the parliamentary complex, around 20 kilometres away in the centre of the city.

Tasnim news agency said one of the men had later left the building and was firing in the street, but was forced back inside by police fire.

News agencies ISNA and Fars had earlier said three people had been shot after the gunmen entered via the north entrance. A security guard has been shot dead.

The ILNA news agency said security forces were dismantling a bomb inside the Khomeini shrine and that firing was still going on around the site. It was not clear if the assailants had been able to enter the actual mausoleum. The city was on lockdown, with streets blocked and the metro closed, and journalists kept away from the shrine by police.
13:43   Iran: Parliament guard dead, gunmen surrounded in twin terror attacks
Update: Armed men launched two attacks in Iran's capital, killing a guard at the parliament building and wounding several people in the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in southern Tehran, state media reported.

State broadcaster IRIB and the Fars news agency said one armed man was inside the mausoleum.

Lawmaker Elias Hazrati told state television three attackers, one with a pistol and two with AK-47 assault rifles, raided parliament on Wednesday. Several people have been taken hostage.

Another lawmaker said one of the assailants was surrounded by security forces and all the doors to the building had been closed, ISNA news agency reported.

Iran's state TV says four attackers were involved in the parliament shooting. At least eight people were wounded.

ISNA news agency quoted a member of the parliament as saying that all the parliament doors were shut and one of the assailants was surrounded by the security forces.

The identity and the motivation of the assailant was still unclear.

Image: A gunman inside the Parliament building holds a hostage. The picture was tweeted by the FARS news agency.
When the name is a deterrent to crime...

Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of Copyrights office, reports PTI.
13:15   Naxal couple surrenders
Odisha: A Naxal couple, with reward of Rs 9 lakh on their heads, surrenders before the Malkangiri SP.
13:13   Cattle slaughter law: SC to hear plea on June 15
The Supreme Court today decided to hear on June 15, the plea filed by a Hyderabad-based organisation challenging the Central Government's notification regarding ban on sale of cattle for slaughter.

As per the notification, cattle is defined as "bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels".The rules also state that the purchaser shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose or sell it to a person outside the state without permission and must keep in with the state's cattle protection laws.
12:59   Prez poll dates today?
Just in: The dates for India's Presidential polls may be announced today. The Election Commission will hold a press conference today. The elections have to held before 25 July 2017, which is when President Pranab Mukherjee demits office.
12:38   Iran: Shootouts at parliament, Khomenei masoleum leave several wounded
Update on the twin shootouts in Iran.

A gunman opened fire at pilgrims at the late Imam Ayatollah Khomenei's mausoleum in southern Tehran today injuring a number of people.
Another shooting has also occured in the corridors of the Iranian parliament and wounded at least three people. The Tasnim news service said three attackers were inside Iran's Majlis and exchange of fire continues. Tasnim also said hostages are held inside the parliament.

Other reports say one of the attackers at the Khomenei mausoleum was a suicide bomber and has blown himself up. Eight people are believed to have been injured.

File image of the Iranian parliament.
12:24   2nd shooting in Iran at Khomeini's mauseoleum
A second shooting in Iran: Reports say armed man inside Ayatollah Khomeini's mausoleum, says the FARS news agency. Several people have been shot, it said. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini launched the Islamic revolution in 1979.
12:17   Shooting in Iranian parliament, at least 3 injured
Update: Shooting has been reported in the corridors of the Iranian parliament,  reports. At least three people are said to have been injured in the incident. The attacker opened fire at the guards, then escaped the building and is now on the run, FARS news agency reported.

The agency added that two civilians and a guard from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were injured in the shooting. More details awaited.
12:07   Shootout in Iran's parliament
Just in: Gunfire in Iran's parliament building. Reports suggest three attackers in the Parliamentary Complex, two civilians injured.
12:05   Obama-Trudeau had a quiet dinner in Montreal and the Internet went crazy
What happens when the world's two favourite leaders meet up for a casual meal at a diner?

The Internet goes bonkers.

We still can't stop sighing over the bromance between former US president Barack Obama and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and the image of them rolling up their shirt sleeves over an intimate, and quiet dinner in Montreal is all kinds of drool-worthy.

Obama made his first visit to Montreal on Tuesday to give a speech to the Montreal Chamber of Commerce where he spoke about everything from climate change and women's rights to the growing global phenomenon of fake news. Reports say he even tried to speak in broken French.

Soon after, Trudeau posted this picture taken after the event, showing the two leaders deep in conversation in a restaurant. #Squadgoals and #BFFGoals popped up in the comments section of the picture on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

@JustinTrudeau  tweeted the picture saying, "How do we get young leaders to take action in their communities? Thanks @BarackObama for your visit & insights tonight in my hometown."

@ObamaFoundation also announced the former US president's presence in Montreal: Tonight in Montreal, @BarackObama and @JustinTrudeau discussed their shared commitment to developing the next generation of leaders.

Twitter however, wasn't quite so restrained.

@warrenleightTV   thanks. twitter is both driving me insane and keeping me somewhat sane.

@jaymichaels  @JustinTrudeau
can I move to Canada?  Please?

@brentdthacker  The only thing that could make this cooler is if @EmmanuelMacron walked out of kitchen carrying 3 beers!

@BlueWaveYes   These are decent, honorable, highly intelligent leaders. Such a contrast. Sigh.

@Turntablez  So much awesome sitting at one table!

@bloquehead   Canada would rather have Prez Obama back too!

Trudeau had said he would miss having Barack around last year, but said hed hope Trump would visit Canada after the inauguration.

Image: Former US President Barack Obama and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau at a restaurant in Montreal. The picture was tweeted by the Obama Foundation.
11:33   US lawmakers flay CNN anchor for racial stereotyping of Indian-American spelling bee champ
Two US lawmakers have criticised a CNN anchor for allegedly "otherising" Indian-American national spelling champion Ananya Vinay by assuming that the 12-year-old is "used to using" Sanskrit due to her heritage, saying the US needs to get educated about Hinduism and India.

California resident Vinay was being interviewed by CNN anchors Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo following her win last week at the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee. Towards the end of the interview, Camerota asked Vinay to spell 'covfefe', the word recently used by President Donald Trump in one of his tweets that took the social media by storm with people guessing what the US leader could have meant by that word.

Vinay spelled it 'cofefe'. Camerota then told Vinay the correct spelling was 'covfefe' and added, "It's a nonsense word. So, we're not sure that its root is actually in Sanskrit, which is what you're probably, uh, used to using, so, I don't know. Anyway."

Criticism of Camerota's comment has since been circulating on social media.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Hindu Congressman Tulsi Gabbard lashed out at the anchors for playing into stereotypes.

"It's disappointing that a segment which should have honoured the accomplishments of Vinay instead other-ised her and the Indian-American community by playing into stereotypes," Indian American Congressman from Illinois Krishnamoorthi said.

"The hosts' treatment of Sanskrit is also insensitive to the language's rich, ongoing sacred tradition and continues a troubling trend in the network's treatment of Hinduism which was also evident on the network's programme Believer," Krishnamoorthi said.

This is "Further evidence of the need for America in general, and CNN in particular, to get educated about Hinduism & India," said Tulsi Gabbard, the Hindu Congresswoman from Hawaii. "CNN should be embarrassed: Anchor assumes American spelling bee champ must be "used to using" Sanskrit. Do Italian-Americans use Latin?" wrote eminent journalist Indira Lakshmanan.

The sixth-grader had correctly spelled the word 'marocain' and became the 13th consecutive winner from the Indian-American community at the annual spelling bee championship.
Supreme Court to hear petition challenging Centre's cattle trade rule banning slaughter on June 15.
11:16   China likely to set up military base in Pak: Pentagon
China is likely to establish additional military bases in Pakistan and other countries with which it has a longstanding friendly ties and similar strategic interests, a new Pentagon report has said.

In its annual report to the Congress on China's military build-up, the US Department of Defence said China's construction of military base in the strategic location of Djibouti is just the first of what will likely be an ongoing expansion in friendly foreign ports around the world. China is expanding its access to foreign ports to pre- position the necessary logistics support to regularise and sustain deployments in the "far seas", waters as distant as the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Babri Masjid demolition case: LK Advani,Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi get relaxation from personal appearance in Special CBI Court
11:01   Kashmiri terrorist seen at Hizb leader Sabzar Bhat's funeral surrenders
Terrorist Danish Ahmed surrenders before the Handwara police in Kashmir and the Army's 21 Rashtriya Rifles. A video of him had surfaced at Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat's funeral which was used to track him. Reports also say that his parents had urged him to surrender.

He revealed he was in touch with terrorists of south Kashmir on social media and that he decided to become a terrorist on their instigation.

He said most of the local boys in Kashmir had become disillusioned after joining militancy, but found it difficult to surrender due to death threats from the commanders of the terror outfits.

Sabzar Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Zarar, who had succeeded Burhan Wani as the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander, was killed by security forces in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmirs Tral area on May 27. Bhat had taken over the reins of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen after Burhan Wani was killed on July 8, 2016 by security forces in Anantnag district.

Bhat was killed after a gunfight erupted between militants and security forces after the terrorists opened fire at a patrolling Army contingent.

Image: Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorist Danish Ahmed
10:48   NDTV is an example of overt application of pressure: Shourie
Arun Shourie, the former editor who built a reputation for taking on and earning the wrath of ruling establishments, has said the CBI raids on the NDTV founder were meant to "kill the chicken to frighten the monkeys".

The veteran editor who became a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was quoting a Chinese saying to illustrate how the CBI action was intended at intimidating the rest of the media. Read more
10:44   Mandsaur: MP CM speaks to Amit Shah
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday apprised BJP president Amit Shah of the situation in Mandsaur over the phone.

The CM yesterday appealed for peace to the agitating farmers in the state and also announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the kin of those killed in the Mandsaur violence.

Speaking to ANI, the Chief Minister asserted that his government stands with farmers and assured that various demands have been fulfilled in the past.

"In the past 11 years, there have been countless decisions made for the welfare of farmers. The various demands of the farmers have been fulfilled. I offer my condolences to the victims of Mandsaur incident. Rs. 1 crore will be given to the kin of the deceased and Rs 5 lakh for those injured," the Chief Minister said, adding that the state government is ready to come out with a solution through communication," he said.
10:20   China tiptoes around Indian air space violation
Tiptoeing around its intrusion of Indian air space in the Barahoti region of Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, China said its border troops conduct regular patrols there adding the two sides should coordinate over the same.

The assertion comes after Indian External Affairs Minister Swaraj said that India will take up with Beijing the violation of its airspace by two PLA choppers.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Tuesday, "I want to stress once again that China and India have territorial dispute over the middle section of the boundary. The Chinese border troops conduct regular patrols there."

"We have border-related mechanisms, therefore when problems arise, the two sides should communicate and coordinate through the existing mechanisms and jointly uphold peace and tranquility of the border areas," she added.

Two helicopters of the PLA of China hovered over Chamoli district on Saturday, triggering India's concerns about the PLA's fourth such incursion into Indian airspace since March this year.
10:17   Attack on Army chief: Defence expert advises Karat to review statement
After CPIM former general secretary Prakash Karat criticised Army chief General Bipin Rawat for "using force to suppress the people of Kashmir who are voicing their political protest", defence expert Praful Bakshi advised Karat to review his statement.

"People in opposition are trying to create political advantage out of it and that is what Karat has done. He must understand and pay attention to this that what he says will adverse the effect of the morale of the forces and the youth. It's an advice to Karat to kindly review his statement and pay more attention to what he says," Bakshi told ANI.

The CPM in its mouthpiece 'People Democracy' said General Rawat was reflecting the views of the Modi Government which seeks to suppress the people of Kashmir, who are voicing their political protest, through the sole reliance on the use of force.

The mouthpiece said that the remarks made in an interview by the Army Chief of Staff General Bipin Rawat about dealing with civilian protestors in Kashmir exemplifies all that is wrong with the way the Modi Government is dealing with the situation there.

Gen. Rawat stated in the interview that: "In fact, I wish these people instead of throwing stones at us, were firing weapons at us, then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I (want to do)," the article added.
10:10   Police sketches of the monsters who raped a woman, killed her infant
The Gurgaon police today released sketches of the three men accused gang-raping a woman and murdering her infant daughter. The police have however failed to recover any concrete evidence or clues of the three accused. The Gurgaon police released the sketches of the accused and appealed to the public for help in identification.

Since the woman was gang-raped on May 29 in a moving auto-rickshaw, the police has questioned over 50 auto drivers plying in the IMT, Manesar area and detained some of them for interrogation.

The accused left the victim after raping her for four hours. She then went to the spot where they had earlier thrown her nine-month-old daughter on the road and picked her up and went to hospital. The doctors declared the infant dead, but she did not believe it and travelled with the dead child to a hospital in Delhi and later returned to M G Road metro station.

Gurgaon police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar admitted that the victim had travelled with her dead child in the metro the day after the incident and police learnt about the crime only after the victim's husband approached them.

"Her husband and Gurgaon police received the victim from M G Road metro station after she returned from hospital in Delhi. Following that, police conducted post-mortem of the infant," Khirwar said.

It has been alleged that as the victim belongs to a poor family, and the police tried to suppress her statement. The police also reportedly did not register an FIR of gang rape initially but later included the charge five days after the incident. The police constituted a Special Investigation Team to nab the culprits. The SIT has taken the victim to all possible locations to identify the crime scene and sequence of events.

The woman and her daughter had left home in Bas Khusla village after an altercation with her husband and neighbours on the night of May 29. She was on her way to her parental house at Khandsa village when she was first given a lift in a truck. The truck driver also molested her but as she put up strong resistance, he dropped her off on NH 8.

As the victim was alone, the three accused in the auto offered her a lift and then gang-raped her. The accused also threw her infant daughter from the vehicle to avoid attention after she started crying.
09:56   Even in lawless UP, triple murder shocks state
As the Uttar Pradesh police orders the use of the stringent National Security Act for cow slaughter and smuggling cases in the state, crime continues unabated.

Three members of a family in Uttar Pradesh's Sitapur were shot dead by unknown men in an apparent robbery attempt last night.

According to reports, 60-year-old Sunil Jaiswal and his wife Kamini had reached home late night in the civil lines area from his store, when two men shot them at point blank range. Their son, 25-year-old Hrithik opened the door and was also shot.

Another resident from their locality tried to intervene. He too was shot but he survived and called the police.

No arrests have been made so far.

Reportedly, the residents of the locality alleged that when the crime was taking place, they sought help from two police constables but they refused, saying the area was not under their jurisdiction.

In the wake of the shocking incident, the locals have also threatened to shut the city if the assailants were not arrested in the next 24 hours.

Image: Relatives and friends of the family who were wiped out in Rampur
09:48   Cheat street: After plastic eggs in Bengal, plastic rice floods markets in Uttarakhand
Heard of plastic rice? Shopkeepers in Uttarakhand's Haldwani district are openly selling plastic rice in markets. And it is being consumed by unaware buyers.

When the Pal family bought rice from a shop, they found a variation in the taste.

The family would have ignored it until a video of children playing with a ball made up of plastic rice went viral.

A team has now been constituted and along with officials of food security department and municipal corporation raids are being conducted. "Strict action will be taken," City Magistrate KK Mishra said.

This comes months after a case of artificial eggs in Kolkata came to light after complainant Anita Kumar discovered that the eggs were artificial when she cracked open a few of them.

Kolkata has been hit by a mass production of artificial eggs, allegedly made of plastic, which has led to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to order an investigation into it.
09:40   The presstitute chronicles
The CBI raids on NDTV owner Prannoy Roy are designed for multiple objectives. At a surface level, they are meant to intimidate the press. But, at a deeper level, they also seek to heighten the social and ideological momentum on which much of this government hopes to thrive. Read more
09:33   Yogi's yoga with Ramdev this morning
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik on Wednesday joined yoga guru Baba Ramdev in a yoga practice session for the upcoming 'Yoga Diwas' or International Yoga Day which is to be held on June 21.

Naik, Adityanath and Baba Ramdev performed various yogic postures or asanas together.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Adityanath are expected to participate in the International Yoga Day event to be held in Lucknow on June 21 along with 50,000 other yoga practitioners.

State Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar, a joint secretary of Ministry of AYUSH and other officials recently took part in a preparatory meeting for the event that is to be held under the auspices of the Centre and the state government.

Senior citizens, aanganwadi workers and around 500 divyangs are expected to participate in the International Day of Yoga celebrations.

The participants will be given bottles of mineral water and monogramed T-shirts to highlight the event and its significance.

Urging the nation to make Yoga an essential part of their lives to remain stress free, Prime Minister Modi in his radio address 'Mann ki Baat' had said last month that Yoga is the only thing that has the potential of uniting the world.

"June 21 has become one of the known dates across the world. The entire world celebrates International Day of Yoga. In a very short span of time, the message of yoga has spread to every corner of the world. Yoga is integrating the world today. Through yoga, India as a whole has successfully started connecting the world," the Prime Minister said in his 32nd ' Mann Ki Baat' address on May 28.

The world will celebrate the third International Day of Yoga on June 21.

It has been celebrated annually since its inception in 2015. An International Day for Yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 11, 2014
09:15   3 terrorists, Army officer killed in Nagaland
In Nagaland, 3 terrorists and one Army officer have been killed in an encounter. 

The Indian Army's Eastern Command has tweeted:  '#NEOps 3 terrorists neutralised in encounter in Mon, Nagaland last night. #TerritorialArmy officer martyred & 3 soldiers injured.' 

'#NEOps Injured evacuated to hospital'. Condition stable. NOK informed. Civilian killed in crossfire. Operations in progress'.
09:00   Twins to be jailed, caned in Singapore for assault
Two brothers from India have been each jailed for five months and ordered to receive three strokes of the cane for attacking a compatriot at a dormitory in Singapore.   

Twins Lakshmanan and Raman Pothiyappan, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous hurt to their fellow countryman and colleague, Thevvan Velayutham, 41.   

The duo were each jailed for five months and ordered to receive three strokes of the cane, the Straits Times has reported.   

They committed the offence at a Shaw Road dormitory near Upper Paya Lebar Road on Oct 29 last year.
08:58   Amid Qatar crisis, Trump speaks to Saudi king
US President Donald Trump spoke to Saudi Arabia's King Salman and called for a united Gulf Cooperation Council to fight terrorism and promote stability in the region, amid the deepening diplomatic crisis in Qatar.   

Both the leaders discussed ways to prevent terror financing and eliminate extremism by any country in region, the White House said.   

During the phone call, Trump underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability, the White House said.   

The White House statement came a day after Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries -- Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE -- cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar.   

In a tweet early morning, Trump apparently supported the actions of four Arab countries to cut off diplomatic relationship with Qatar.
01:00   Food is matter of choice, I am myself non-vegetarian: Venkaiah Naidu
Amid heated debate on beef ban in the country, Union minister and BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said he himself is a non-vegetarian, and food is a matter of choice.
He debunked the notion that BJP `wants to make everyone vegetarian'.
"Some mad people keep on saying such things (BJP wanting to make everybody vegetarian). It is people's choice to eat whatever they want or don't want," Naidu said, speaking to reporters before an official press conference in Mumbai.
He rued that politics is being played over the issue.
"There was a comment from a political party saying 'BJP wants to make everyone vegetarian' and there was also a TV debate on it. I told my journalist friends that I was the state (BJP) chief in Hyderabad and am also a non-vegetarian, still I became the president of the party," he said.
In the last three years, incidents of `cow vigilantes' indulging in violence have been reported from many parts of the country.
A recent order by the Union government banning sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets fuelled the debate on beef ban afresh.