Fri, 03 November 2017
CEOs lauds PM Modi for India's improvement in World Bank Report

Timeline  Refresh

23:38   CEOs lauds PM Modi for India's improvement in World Bank Report
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday interacted with global Chief Executive Officers of food processing sector in the ongoing World Food India event.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office mentions that the CEOs appreciated Prime Minister Modi on the massive improvement in India's rank in the recent World Bank Doing Business Report.

"Various CEOs complimented the Prime Minister on the massive improvement in India's rank in the recent World Bank Doing Business Report," it said.

"A heartening discussion around potential in India. Left with good feeling of future and its potential," Steven Schiller, The Hershey Company.

Varun Berry, Britania Industries Ltd, "Excellent meeting. He (PM) heard all of us, understood points we made and responded to each one of those."

"Many CEOs said that they were inspired by the Prime Minister's vision of doubling farm incomes, and the pace and progress of economic reforms over the last three years under his leadership. They especially appreciated the structural reforms and bold initiatives such as GST and the liberalization of the FDI regime," reads the statement.

In the meeting, the CEOs presented an overview of growth in India's food processing, agriculture, logistics, and retail sectors.

They even reaffirmed their commitment to be part of India's growth.
23:26   Indian, Chinese troops in Doklam, but not in eyeball-to- eyeball contact
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said today that both Indian and Chinese troops were present in Doklam, but were not in an "eyeball-to-eyeball" contact.

General Rawat said there had been a disengagement of troops of both countries in Doklam, where the two sides were locked in a stand-off that ended in August.

"There has been a disengagement on the condition that we will both disengage so that there is no face-to-face contact. So, that disengagement has taken place," he said.

"The People's Liberation Army is still at Doklam, but they are at a reasonable distance from us and we are not in eyeball-to-eyeball contact," the army chief said.

There was a military stand-off between India and China at Doklam on the tri-junction of the Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese borders but it had ended after 71 days in August.
22:37   Kevin Spacey investigated by UK police
Kevin Spacey is being investigated by UK police over an alleged sexual assault.

The Sun newspaper said a man, aged 23 at the time, made a complaint on Tuesday about the alleged incident in the London borough of Lambeth.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that they are investigating an alleged assault on a man from 2008.

They would not confirm the allegation was made against House of Cards actor and double Oscar winner Spacey.

Spacey said on Thursday that he is seeking treatment after facing allegations of sexual misconduct from a string of men.

The Sun reported that a British actor claimed he woke up to find Spacey performing a sex act on him in 2008.

The man is said to have run from the property after Spacey allegedly said: "Don't tell anyone about this."

A spokesman for the Met said it had no record of any arrests having been made in connection with the investigation and police declined to comment on The Sun's report, which says the complainant had been interviewed by police.
22:06   Islamic State will pay 'big price' for every attack on US: Trump
Islamic State will pay a "big price" for every attack on the US, President Donald Trump said today, days after eight people were killed in the deadliest terror attack in New York since 9/11.

Trump's strong statement came after the Islamic State terror group claimed that the attack on October 31 was carried out on its behalf by a domestically radicalised Uzbek immigrant to the US.

"IS just claimed the Degenerate Animal (sic) who killed, and so badly wounded, the wonderful people on the West Side, was 'their soldier'," Trump said in a tweet.

"Based on that, the military has hit IS 'much harder' over the last two days. They will pay a big price for every attack on us!" Trump said before he boarded Air Force One for his maiden trip to Asia.

Trump reiterated his tough message against IS just before he boarded Air Force One, on his way to Hawaii -- the first stop of his Asia trip.

"What we're doing is every time we are attacked from this point forward and it took place yesterday, we are hitting them 10 times harder," Trump said.

"So when we have an animal do an attack like he did the other day on the West Side of Manhattan, we are hitting them 10 times harder," he said.

"They claim him as a 'soldier', good luck. Every time they hit us, we know it is IS, we hit them like you won't believe," he said. 

Image: A woman is aided by first responders after sustaining injury in lower Manhattan in New York after a man ran a truck through the busy bike path. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

-- PTI
22:01   Glasgow withdraws honour from Suu Kyi over Rohingya crisis
The Glasgow City Council today became the latest UK institution to withdraw an honour bestowed upon Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the wake of the Rohingya crisis.

The council had offered Suu Kyi the Freedom of Glasgow in 2009, when she was still under house arrest as Myanmars pro-democracy leader.

"I and the Leader, Councillor Susan Aitken, recently wrote to Aung San Suu Kyi voicing the city's concerns about the human rights atrocities occurring under her watch and urging her to intervene. The response we received was disappointing and saddening, said Glasgow's Lord Provost Eva Bolander.

The Scottish council said that withdrawing such an honour was "unprecedented" and its decision had not been taken lightly.

-- PTI
JUST IN: Schools across Chennai to remain closed tomorrow due to prediction of more rains
21:29   Organisational polls on, no bottleneck holding up process: Congress
The Congress said today that its organisational polls were on and there was no bottleneck holding up the process, even as it took a swipe at the BJP and asked the party when did it have such an election.

"The Congress president and party vice president has already talked about the organisational polls. The election process is on and there is no problem or bottleneck in holding them," Congress spokesperson R P N Singh said.

The Congress organisational poll process is on and the party has to complete that, including the election of the Congress president, by December-end.

-- PTI
21:14   Be ready to fight, win wars: Xi tells Chinese military
Chinese President Xi Jinping has instructed the Chinese armed forces to improve their combat capabilities and readiness for war, an official media report said today.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China  Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while inspecting the CMC joint battle command centre as its commander-in-chief.
"The CMC should lead the armed forces to be ready to fight and win wars, and to undertake the missions and tasks of the new era entrusted to them by the party and the people," Xi was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

CMC is the overall high command of the 2.3 million-strong Chinese PLA, the world's largest army.

This is the second time Xi has highlighted the role of the armed forces since he began his second term after securing the endorsement of the key Congress of the ruling CPC which concluded on October 24.

He was re-elected as president, general secretary of the party, and head of the military.

Xi began his second tenure on October 26 with a meeting of top military officials, regarded as a main source of his power base, after the once-in-a-five-years CPC Congress endorsed his leadership for another term and also conferred on him a powerful status, equating him with party founder Mao Zedong by including his ideological thoughts in the Constitution.
20:32   Trump to stay an extra day in Philippines to attend EAS Summit
US President Donald Trump today said he would extend his trip in the Philippines by another day to attend the East Asia Summit, a key meeting between ASEAN and eight of its partners.

The US was originally scheduled to be represented by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the all-important East Asia Summit to be held in the Philippines on November 14.

Trump announced the news to reporters before boarding Marine One on the White House lawns for the nearly two-week long maiden trip to Asia with stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

This is the longest trip ever by a US President to Asia in a quarter century.

"We're going to have a very successful trip. There is a lot of goodwill," Trump told reporters.

-- PTI
20:03   80 terrorists killed in south Kashmir in 6 months
Around 80 terrorists have been killed in south Kashmir in the past six months and around 115 ultras are still active in the region, of whom over a dozen were foreign terrorists, a top army official has said.

"There are around 115 terrorists in south Kashmir and out of them, 99 are local and 15-16 are foreign terrorists. The actions that we have taken in past 6-7 months, we have neutralised nearly 80 terrorists including top leadership.

"As soon as the number of terrorists decreases, the situation will improve," General Officer Commanding of the Army's Victor Force, Major General B S Raju said.

Asked about the killing of a BJP youth leader in Shopian yesterday, Major General Raju said these were "acts of desperation" by the terrorists.
JUST IN: Centre extends term of the Cauvery Waters Tribunal by another six months till May 2, 2018
19:39   China's blocking of terror tag for Azhar will not affect resolve to fight terror: India
India said today that China's continuous blocking of Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar's designation as a global terrorist by the UN will not deter it from fighting terrorism.

"I think the decision by a country to block a consensus should not be seen as an end to our counter-terrorism efforts. What is important is that it does not, in any way, take away our resolve to fight terrorism," ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

During a media briefing, he said India will continue to work with like-minded countries to fight terrorism.

"It will not impact our resolve to fight terror," he said, referring to China's decision.

China yesterday had for the fourth time blocked the bid to list Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, saying "there is no consensus" within the members of the sanctions committee.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India, the US and other nations' bid to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief under the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.

Kumar said India had taken up the issue with the highest level of the Chinese government.

-- PTI
19:17   Islamic State claims responsibility for NYC truck attack
The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for Tuesday's vehicle attack in New York that killed eight people and injured a dozen others. 

The extremist group did not provide evidence of its involvement in the attack but in a weekly issue of its Al-Naba newspaper, it claims that "the attacker is one of the caliphate's soldiers."

Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was shot by police but survived the attack in which police say he drove a rented truck through a group of pedestrians and cyclists in Manhattan. Authorities in New York say they found a note near the scene that was written in Arabic and expressed affinity for the Islamic State.

Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan and a legal resident of the US, was charged Wednesday in federal court with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.
19:01   Hindu terror remark: Case filed against Kamal Haasan, hearing tomorrow
A day after Kamal Haasan stated that Hindu terror is now a reality in India, a defamation case for hurting religious sentiments has been filed againt the Tamil actor in Varanasi. 

Hassan has been booked under IPC sections  500, 511, 298, 295(a) & 505(c) pertaining to defamation, attempt to cause offence, intent to hurt religious feelings and to incite community.

In a column for the Tamil weekly magazine, Ananda Vikatan, published Thursday, the actor had expressed that Hindu right-wing groups have unprecedentedly started indulging in acts of violence. 

The hearing in the case is tomorrow, Saturday.

In the past, Hindu right-wing groups would not indulge in violence but hold a dialogue with opposite parties on their arguments. But this old tactic was defeated and they started using muscle power. They started indulging in violence, Haasan wrote in the column.  He further said: The right-wing cannot challenge anyone asking the question: show me one Hindu terrorist. Terror has spread into their camp as well.
18:28   India to take up Zakir Naik's extradition with Malaysia
India will soon make a formal request to Malaysia for the extradition of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. 

"Our legal internal process is nearing completion. Once it is complete, we will then make an official request to the Malaysian government very soon," external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar was quoted as saying.

Kumar added that the "nature of the request" will be clear in the next couple of weeks.

The 52-year-old televangelist's hardline views sparked outrage and an investigation in India, leading him to flee the country. Just last week, the NIA prepared charges against him for "promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through public speeches and lectures."

Naik, has, however, received permanent residency in Malaysia, and has even been welcomed by the country's government.
18:05   China, US to ensure Trump's visit a 'historic success': Vice FM
China and the US are working to ensure President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing next week is a "historic success", Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said today.

Trump, who will pay a state visit to China from November 8 to 10, will be the first head of state to visit the country after the 19th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China.

The Congress endorsed a second term for President Xi Jinping, regarded as the most powerful leader of China in recent years.

Chinese President Xi will receive Trump with high standards in reciprocity to the hospitality he had received from the US president at Mar-a-Lago in April, Zheng was quoted saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

"Apart from the red-carpet ceremony, formal talks and banquet, the two presidents will have informal arrangements," Zheng told reporters.

-- PTI
17:39   Rahul likely to be elevated to Cong prez after polls
Just in: Rahul Gandhi is likely to be elevated as Congress president after the two upcoming assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, say reports. At a recently held meeting of Congress general secretaries on demonetisation at the AICC headquarters, Rahul Gandhi, who is the party's vice-president was urged to set a date for his elevation to the party's top job. Top Congress leaders told Rahul Gandhi not to wait for the Assembly polls. But this may not come to pass.

Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held on two days, December 9 for 89 assembly seats and December 14 for 93 seats, while voting for the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh assembly will take place on 9 November and the results will be declared on 18 December.
17:16   Mukul Roy to join BJP today
Just in: Former TMC MP Mukul Roy to join BJP today, says CNN News18.

Bharatiya Janata Party national General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya last week had said Roy expressed his wish to join the BJP to the party's West Bengal unit.

Roy had quit the Trinamool and resigned his Rajya Sabha seat citing "lack of principle" as his compulsion to leave a party of which he was a founding member.

BJP President Amit Shah is likely to induct him into the BJP.
17:09   JD(U) releases Tejashwi's merrymaking photo, RJD leader hits back
A slanging match erupted on Bihar's political scene today with the ruling Janata Dal (United) releasing a photograph of opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav to allege that younger son of Lalu Prasad was used to a life of revelry. In a quick retort, Yadav alleged that the exercise was the ruling party's reaction to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's "careflly cultivated image taking a beating following our exposes on corruption and illicit liquor trade in his rein".

The picture, which showed Yadav standing with an unidentified woman and a bottle of liquor in the backdrop was released at a joint press conference called by JD(U) spokesmen Sanjay Singh, Neeraj Kumar and Nikhil Mandal.

"You all can see the so called Bihar youth icon's photograph in which he is having a good time. We wonder about this 'rang' (colour) of Tejashwi Yadav. Is this the sanskar (values) he has imbibed from his father (RJD supremo) Lalu Prasad", the JD(U) spokesmen said in their stinging comment.

At a press conference called a couple of hours later, Yadav returned the fire alleging "the standard of politics hit rock bottom in Bihar today and this has been at the behest of Nitish Kumar who is upset that our relentless campaign against corruption and illicit liquor trade in his rein which is tarnishing his image".

On his picture released by JD(U) spokesmen, he said that "the picture predates my entry into politics. It was clicked during my cricketing days. Perhaps at a party thrown during an IPL match. I wonder what is so objectionable about the photograph and what is the JD(U) trying to prove by resorting to such tricks".  -- PTI
16:33   Trump reacts to his Twitter account being taken down
US President Donald J Trump's first reaction to his Twitter account be taken down this morning. @realDonaldTrump "My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact."

Trump's Twitter account briefly vanished on Thursday but has since been restored, the social media company said.

A Twitter employee deactivated the @realdonaldtrump account, it said, clarifying that it had been their last day in the job. The account was down for 11 minutes.

@POTUS, the official account of the US president, was unaffected.
16:14   FDI into India touches USD 114.4 billion in 2015-17: Report
Cumulative foreign direct investment equity flows into India reached USD 114.4 billion during the last two financial years -- 2015-16 and 2016-17, according to a latest report by global accounting firm KPMG. This is about 40 per cent higher than the USD 81.8 billion recorded in the preceding three years, from 2011-12 to 2013-14.  -- PTI
15:49   Hindi writer Krishna Sobti wins Jnanpith Award
Hindi writer Krishna Sobti has been awarded the 53rd Jnanpith Award for the 2017 for her pathbreaking contribution in Indian literature in a meeting of the Jnanpith Selection Board today. Sobti (92) is also a Sahitya Akademi Award-winning writer for her book, Zindaginama, set in rural Punjab. The Jnanpith Award is an Indian literary award presented annually by the Bharatiya Jnanpith organisation to an author for their "outstanding contribution towards literature".
15:38   Spacey's publicist, agency cut ties with him
Both Kevin Spacey's publicist and talent agency have cut ties with the actor amid mounting sexual harassment and abuse allegations. Spacey's publicist, Staci Wolfe, and the CAA talent agency will now longer be representing the actor, Deadline Hollywood reports.  This comes after after Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp came forward with allegations that the two-time Oscar-winning actor made a 'sexual advance' toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 years old.
14:45   WhatsApp back after global outage
WhatsApp, which suffered a global outage today for a brief period, with users reporting problems accessing the app, is now back and running.

According to, WhatsApp was down in India, parts of the Middle East, Philippines, Germany, USA and Sri Lanka.Worldwide, users were being shown the clock symbol after attempting to send a message, meaning that the message hasn't been sent to WhatsApp's servers. said over a thousand of WhatsApp customers reported issues using the app and 60 per cent customers were having issue connecting to it. A further 25 per cent report issues receiving messages and 14 per cent were struggling to login. 
14:30   WhatsApp down
The Independent reports that the WhatsApp app doesn't initially look broken, with chats and contacts able to load. But once a user is into a chat, the app just shows a "connecting" message that never resolves itself, and so new messages can't be sent or received.

That also means there's no easy fix to the problem, since it appears to be on WhatsApp's side. Shutting and opening the app, for instance, just resets the connecting message but won't stop it showing.
14:24   Worldwide WhatsApp outage
WhatsApp users worldwide are experiencing problems with the app with reports coming in from India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Germany, USA an Sri Lanka, reports

Independent website DownDetector, which tracks social comments around a certain topic to monitor outages across the globe, shows over a thousand of WhatsApp customers reporting issues using the app.

According to the site, problems with the chat app occurred around 8am this morning, with hundreds of people reporting issues with the app.

DownDetector says that 60 per cent of customers are having issue connecting to it.

A further 25 per cent report issues receiving messages and 14 per cent are struggling to login. 
14:08   Final hearing on all Aadhaar cases by Nov end
The Supreme Court issues a notice to the Centre on pleas challenging the linking
of bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar. All Aadhaar-related pleas to be taken up for final hearing by SC's constitution bench in November last week. The SC says banks will indicate in messages sent to customers that  December 31 is the last date to link Aadhaar with accounts. Telecom service providers shall also tell customers that last date to link Aadhaar with mobile numbers is February 6, 2018.  Details awaited.
13:53   What happened with the President disappeared from his favourite social account
It was 11 minutes that shook and delighted the world, and has at once embarrassed and presumably irritated Donald Trump. But it didn't involve nuclear weapons or diplomacy. It was something that might be much more important to the president: his Twitter account. Read more
13:44   The must-read Rushdie interview
Around 15 years ago, Salman Rushdie was leaving the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The city had just become his adopted home. He was heading towards the exit when he spotted a figure approaching along the corridor. The figure was Donald Trump.

"This was a long time ago," Rushdie recalls. "Long before he had expressed any political ambitions. When he was just this lummox, this kind of New York buffoon.'Trump began gesturing at Rushdie.

"He did this thing where he pointed at me with his shapely and very long index fingers.' Rushdie mimes Trump's take on "finger guns'."Then Trump said, 'You're the man.''  Read the full interview here
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for Council of Ministers meeting on 10th November.
13:29   Modi hardsells India, but are there any buyers?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said starting business in India is easier than ever before as procedures have been simplified, archaic laws repealed and compliance requirements reduced.

The reforms initiated by the government in the last three years have helped India jump 30 places since last year in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking to break into the top 100-nation club.

"This is the highest ever improvement for India, and the highest jump for any country this year. From a rank of 142 in 2014, we have now reached the top 100," he said at the World Food India 2017 conference in New Delhi.

India, he said, ranked number one in the world in 2016 in greenfield investment and has also rapidly progressed on the Global Innovation Index, the Global Logistics Index and the Global Competitiveness Index.

"Starting a new business in India is now easier than ever before. Procedures for obtaining clearances from various agencies have been simplified. Archaic laws have been repealed, and the burden of compliances has been reduced," he said. Modi pitched India as one of the fastest growing economies of the world today. The introduction of Goods and Services Tax from July 1 has eliminated the multiplicity of taxes, he said further.
13:16   Heavy rains lash Nagapattinam, hundreds of houses inundated
Incessant heavy rains lashed Nagapattinam district, roughly 300 km from Chennai, for the fifth consecutive day today, inundating hundreds of houses and submerging paddy crops in thousands of hectares.

People have been evacuated to safety in Tarangambadi and Sirkazhi Taluks in the district where hundreds of houses have been flooded. Due to a breach in Rajendran channel at Thalachankadu in Tarangambadi Taluk early morning, rain water surrounded over 300 houses in the area. -- PTI
12:56   Rarest kind of incident, says NTPC chief
Update: Panel headed by Executive Director SK Roy looking into the cause of the accident. A report is expected in a month, says NTPC CMD Gurdeep Singh. He added that the NTPC plant explosion is the rarest kind of incident and people maintaining the unit were the most experienced. It will take nearly three to six months to make the unit functional again, the NTPC CMD added. 
12:35   NTPC boiler blast toll rises to 32
The toll in the massive explosion that ripped up a boiler at NTPC's Unchahar plant in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district on Wednesday has risen to 32, the state-run power giant said today. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Union minister of state for power R K Singh visited the accident site.

The NTPC has initiated a probe to ascertain the reasons behind the blast.

In a statement, the National Thermal Power Corporation has said that at unit number six of its Unchahar plant, there was a sudden abnormal sound at 20-meter elevation around 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon.

There was an opening in corner number two from which gas and steam 'escaped' affecting the people working around the area, the central public sector undertaking said.

It added that around 80 people were rushed to the NTPC Hospital, most of whom were discharged after first-aid.

The 1,550-MW plant supplies electricity to nine states, according to officials, and employs around 870 people.

Meanwhile, the state administration has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that he was 'deeply pained' by the accident at the power plant. Modi approved ex gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those killed.

The Union power minister also announced an ex gratia amount of Rs 20 lakh to the families of the deceased, Rs 10 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 2 lakh to the other injured over and above the statutory compensation, it said.

Image: An injured man being taken to hospital after the boiler blast at the NTPC plant.

12:26   Constitution Bench to go into note ban, hear plea on depositing old currency
The Supreme Court has disposed of 14 individual petitions seeking its nod to deposit demonetised currency and asked the petitioners to file a plea before the Constitution Bench.   

Besides examining the Centre's decision on demonetisation, the Constitution Bench would also deal with individual pleas seeking to deposit demonetised notes, the Supreme Court said.
12:06   Powerful explosion rocks nightclub in Sweden
A powerful explosion mangled the doors of a nightclub in Malmo, Sweden, on Thursday, but no casualties have so far been reported. The city has recently been hit by a series of blasts, reports RT.

A bomb squad and a team of technical specialists have been called to the Babel nightclub in central Malmo, police spokesman Magnus Lefvre said, as cited by SVT.

So far it is unclear what type of explosive device was used, but efforts to determine it are under way.Although the incident took place in the evening, no clubgoers are believed to have been injured in the blast, he said.

The motive for the explosion remains as yet unknown.Witnesses cited by Sydsvenskan report that they saw a man on a moped driving away from the scene shortly before the explosion.

Fortunately, the club was closed at the time the explosion struck.People living in the neighborhood were woken up by the blast at around 12:30am, and say it was so powerful it could be heard a significant distance away from the site."I was awakened by a big crowd. It was a terrible bang,' a witness said.

A year ago, the club's entrance and a car parked nearby suffered considerable damage in a similar explosion, which also shattered the windows up to the third floor and on the adjacent building.
11:57   Sena hands out 'scamster BJP' booklet
The Shiv Sena has launched another attack at ally BJP by distributing to its members a booklet titled "Ghotalebaaz Bhajap" (Scamster BJP) that chronicles the scams involving BJP leaders.

The 56-page booklet was distributed during an organisational meeting at the Sena Bhavan on Wednesday.

The cover of the booklet features four BJP leaders, along with a mention of the scam alleged against them.

A picture of Eknath Khadse features with the mention of the MIDC land scam, Education Minister Vinod Tawde is featured for the irregularities in supply of fire extinguishers to zilla parishad schools without inviting tenders, Food and Civil Supplies Minister of Maharashtra Girish Bapat is featured for the tur dal scam, and lastly, Dilip Gandhi for the loan waiver scam.

In addition, several senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national president Amit Shah also get a mention in the booklet.Since forming the government in Maharashtra, in alliance with the BJP, the Sena has been fairly vocal about its grievances with the party.

Through its mouthpiece, 'Saamna', the party has been continually castigating the Centre as well as the Devendra Fadnavis-led state government. -- PTI
11:52   The hit filmmaker who left it all to tend cows
"It's odd, I made Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar which is about winning, but today I feel we live too much in a winning world. Everybody wants to win. Mansoor Khan, the director who left Bollywood at his peak for a quieter life, speaks to's Archana Masih at his farm in the Nilgiris. Read the first part of the interview here.
11:35   Rahul Gandhi helped us but told us to keep it a secret: Nirbhaya's father
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi looked after Nirbhaya's grieving family and helped them emotionally as well as monetarily, all without drawing attention to himself, said Nirbhaya's father.

Badrinath Singh, Nirbhaya's father, said many came to help the family initially after his daughter was assaulted and gang-raped in 2012, but "it was Gandhi who stood by us always and had strictly told us to keep it a secret", according to the news agency Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).

"The incident left a permanent scar but Gandhi came like an angel. Whatever the politics, he has been an angel to us," said Singh to IANS.

Nirbhaya, then 23, was raped and brutally assaulted on December 16, 2012. The assault was the cause of her death 13 days later.The Congress vice-president especially counseled Nirbhaya's brother, and even helped him become a pilot, said Singh.

He added that he has no interest in politics and his acknowledgement of the Congress leader's support has no political agenda.
11:31   Netflix probed complaint about Spacey's behaviour during House of Cards
The producers of blockbuster series 'House of Cards' have come up with an explosive revelation about Kevin Spacey amid allegations of unwanted sexual advances by many people.

According to Deadline, the producers, Netflix and Media Rights Company confirmed that they investigated a complaint about Kevin Spacey's behaviour on set during the hit Netflix drama's first season.

MRC issued a statement on the matter, which read, "During our first year of production in 2012, someone on the crew shared a complaint about a specific remark and gesture made by Kevin Spacey.

Immediate action was taken following our review of the situation and we are confident the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved."

The statement also added, "MRC will continue to thoroughly investigate all current claims and any new claims that are formally brought to our attention."

Though Netflix says it "is not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on-set," MRC has set up an "anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew" of the multiple Emmy nominated series.
10:36   Stuck in Chennai floods. Here's where you can get help
With Chennai facing torrential rains, schools and colleges have been shut and public transport severely affected, a lot of good Samaritans have taken it upon themselves to spread information about the affected areas.

Here's an update received on WhatsApp, based, it says, on 'data collated as of 01:00 Hrs on 3/11/17, and received from Various sources'.

#ChennaiRains #RouteAlert #ChennaiMicro #ChennaiTraffic

People who are travelling to #Guindy, #Porur, #Vadapalani, #Pallavaram, #Saidapet do not come via #velachery #Phoenixmall route. The left after Phoenix mall has been blocked as the water level is high.

#TNagar #DuraisamySubway is #closed due to water logging. Please take alternate route.

Avoid #Kathipara to #Vadapalani road travel as there is heavy water logging from #Olympia to #Ekkaduthangal Metro. Take the alternate route via Saidapet.

Who are travelling via #Thoraipakkam Road to reach Keelkatalai/Madipakkam please do not take #LICNagar route.

For those travelling from #Nungambakkam towards #AnnaNagar. #SterlingRoad is fast filling up with knee deep water and traffic is quite bad moving in single lane. The Nelson Manickam Subway is being cordoned off by the traffic police as water is filling up. By the next shower, it will surely be flooded. Shanthi Colony and Anna Nagar however are comparatively better. Heavy rains continue until Mogappair on the same route.

Damage done at #sholinganallur. Nearly two to three feet water from signal to Aavin. Four wheelers have started stranding one by one

Avoid using #medavakkam to #sholingnallur route. Water has started reaching roads and nearby #SathakCollege there is hip level water by now. Already lot of two and four wheelers got stranded

#Mylapore #Vivekananda College road is blocked due to heavy Water logging. Two Wheelers - Pedestrains - Cars // use alternate route.//

#Okkiyam to #mettukuppam damage done. Tuf for vehicles to cross. Two to three feet water. tuf to pass okkiyam especially

#AnnaUniversity #Kotturpuram flooded upto 15cms.

10:22   10 hours of relentless rain drowns Chennai
Torrential overnight rains for about 10 hours brought Chennai and neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur to a grinding halt, paralysing normal life completely.

Schools and colleges, which are closed since 31 October due to rains, have been shut today as well in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts.

The Met department forecast heavy to very heavy showers in north coastal Tamil Nadu till tomorrow. It said yesterday's low pressure area over Sri Lanka and adjoining south West Bay of Bengal now lies over South West Bay of Bengal off the Lankan and Tamil Nadu coast.

"Rainfall will continue over north coastal Tamil Nadu with heavy to very heavy rain over Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chennai districts during the next 24 hours," a special bulletin issued at 8.30 am said today.

The mild, intermittent showers post noon yesterday became moderate and then heavy in some pockets last night inundating several more neighbourhoods including West Mambalam and the Guindy Industrial Estate.

As a result, bus, taxi, auto and suburban train services were affected. While heavy waterlogging hindered free movement of vehicles, a "signalling snag," hit train services between the St Thomas Mount and Kodambakkam suburban section since 9.30 pm. Services were restored at 3.20 am today, Railway officials said.

Heavy traffic congestion and serpentine queue of vehicles were seen at the arterial Kathipara grade separator, Guindy intersection, Saidapet and all along till Velachery through the Raj Bhavan point.

Flight operations at the city airport were normal, airport officials said. Chennai and Nungambakkam registered 18 cm rain and Meenambakkam in the southern suburb recorded 14 cm, till 8.30 am today, according to the Met department.

Areas like Vyasarpadi and Otteri in North Chennai, parts of West Anna Nagar in Central Chennai and Madipakkam in South Chennai are facing heavy water-logging. -- PTI

Image: A motorcyclist wades through a flooded street in an inundated locality after heavy incessant rains due to the onset of North East Monsoon in Chennai. PTI Photo
10:13   Ready to work with India to promote bilateral relations: China
China today said it was ready to work with India to promote "constant progress" of bilateral relations, amid fresh strains in ties after Beijing again blocked Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar's designation as a global terrorist by the UN.

China yesterday for the fourth time blocked India, the US and other nations' bid to list Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar as a global terrorist, saying "there is no consensus" within the members of the sanctions committee. India reacted sharply to China's move, saying "accommodating with terrorism" for narrow objectives was both short-sighted and counterproductive. -- PTI

File picture of PM Narendra Modi with Chinese president Xi Jinping
10:10   Sensex hits new peak at 33,693, Nifty at 10,462
Stocks were firmly in the saddle today as both indices Sensex and Nifty jumped to new peaks after the announcement of a new US Federal Reserve chief. Investors also took keen interest in the unveiling of tax reforms by House Republicans in Washington. The 30-share index rose by 119.36 points, or 0.35 per cent, to hit a new peak of 33,692.58, surpassing its previous intra-day lifetime high of 33,657.57 hit yesterday. -- PTI
Sensex hits a record at 33,692.58, Nifty at new peak of 10,461.70 in opening trad.
09:39   Lego's Taj Mahal to make a comeback later this month
Standing 16 inches tall and 20 inches wide and deep, Lego's interpretation of the Taj Mahal was its biggest set ever when it was originally released in 2008.

The set is making a comeback in late November and will be available for $369.99 (Rs 24,000).

The Lego Taj Mahal is so huge that it splits apart into seven pieces for easy travel.

The recreation captures the structure's four facades with sweeping arches, balconies and arched windows.  -- Agencies
09:24   Hindu extremism remark: BJP compares Haasan to Hafiz Saeed
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday deplored actor Kamal Haasan's 'Hindu extremism' remark and said that making such irresponsible statements without any evidence only reflects his sick mind.

Speaking to ANI, BJP leader S Prakash said that Haasan is emerging as an irresponsible political aspirant with each passing day.

"If there is any evidence to prove that a Hindu extremism exists, Kamal Haasan should provide those to NIA or to probe agency to punish those who indulged in such activities.

"Making such irresponsible statement without any evidence or basis only reflects his sick mind. It is very unfortunate. I completely disagree with him and deplore this sick attitude of Kamal Haasan," he said.

Haasan, in his column in the Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan, wrote, 'In the past, Hindu right-wing groups would not indulge in violence, but they would hold a dialogue with the opposite parties on their arguments. But this old tactic was defeated and what they stated to do is use muscle power. They started indulging in violence.'

'The right wing cannot challenge talk of Hindu terrorists because extremism has spread into their camp as well,' wrote the Tamil film icon.

Haasan's remark drew flaw from various quarters especially BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

BJP national spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao compared the actor to Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder Hafiz Saee and said that by passing such remarks all these people have given Pakistan an upper hand.

"There has been a tendency in this country we have seen in the past decade how Sonia Gandhi-Rahul Gandhi led Congress party drew a strategy of maligning the Indian society and Hindu community only to appease the Muslim vote bank.

"It was done by the former home minister P Chidambaram and Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde saying it on the floor of Parliament that there is Hindu terror in this country.

"Today, when Kamal Hassan makes similar comments, he is actually joining the ranks of Chidambaram, Hafiz Saeed and is possible angling to become an extension of the Congress Party," Rao told ANI.

RSS leader Rakesh Sinha also expressed anguish over Haasan remark and demanded his apology for 'hurting and defaming Hindu civilisation for his petty political end.'  -- ANI
08:49   Trump's Twitter account mysteriously disappears for few minutes
United States President Donald Trump's personal Twitter account disappeared for a few minutes on Thursday evening.

Those trying to access @realDonaldTrump on Twitter just before 7 pm Eastern came across a 'Sorry, that page doesn't exist!' message.

However, after around five minutes, the account page reappeared and seemed to be functioning as normal.

On a related note, Trump hadn't tweeted anything controversial in the minutes leading up to the account's disappearance.

His latest tweet was a congratulatory video to Jerome Powell, who was earlier nominated as the next Chief of the Federal Reserve.  -- ANI
08:28   Heavy downpour in Chennai: Schools, colleges shut; more rains expected
Heavy rain lashed several parts of Chennai on Thursday night leading to waterlogging and traffic jams in many areas.

Chennai has been witnessing isolated rains for the past few days.

Continuous rainfall has disrupted lives of people, with authorities being forced to shut schools and colleges.

IT companies have also been advised by the government to remain closed, NDTV reported.

Rainwater has accumulated at several areas on the outskirts of Chennai, while residents have to struggle through knee-deep water outside their homes

According to Skymet weather, more rainfall is expected over entire Tamil Nadu along with Chennai in the coming 24 hours.

The Tamil Nadu Meteorological Department earlier warned of heavy rainfall at a few places in the state in the next 24 hours.

"In 24 hours, heavy rainfall is expected in few places in north coastal region, while heavy to very heavy rainfall in south coastal region," said MeT official S Balachandran.

The department asserted that widespread rainfall is also expected over coastal region in the coming 24 hours.

'Fairly widespread rain of moderate intensity over interior region,' stated the MeT Tamil Nadu.  -- ANI

Photograph: ANI
00:18   Gujarat BJP opposes release of 'Padmavati', writes to EC
The Bharatiya Janata Party has approached the Election Commission seeking its intervention to stop the release of Bollywood film Padmavati without a pre-release screening by the Kshatriya community, saying "distortion of facts" in the movie will hurt their sentiments.
Earlier, Shankersinh Vaghela, an influential Kshatriya leader and former chief minister of the state, had made an identical demanded, and warned that if it was released without the community's approval, there could be violence.
Gujarat BJP spokesperson I K Jadeja said the party had received several representations from the Kshatriya community about "distortion of historical facts" in the film. 
"The Election Commission should arrange for pre-release screening of the movie for select Kshatriya representatives to provide them a fair opportunity to prevent unnecessary tension ahead of Gujarat polls," Jadeja told reporters, adding a representation has been made to the poll panel to not allow the release of the film before that.
"The BJP also condemns the heinous attempt to link queen Padmavati of the Rajput (Kshatriya) community -- the contribution of which in the history of this country has been immense -- with Alauddin Khilji in the film," he said.
Padmavati and Khilji had never met in real life, the BJP leader said.

He said, in a representation to the Election Commission, the party has opposed its release as it will hurt the sentiments of the community members.

Polling will be held in Gujarat in two phases on December 9 and 14, while the film, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, is slated to release on December 1.
The opposition Congress said the ruling party was doing politics and trying to turn the film into a poll issue. -- PTI