Mon, 06 November 2017
Youngest US church shooting victim was 18 months old

Timeline  Refresh

23:56   Youngest US church shooting victim was 18 months old
The youngest among the 26 people killed in the Texas church massacre was 18 months old, according to a report.

A report by KSAT did not provide details about the infant, one of several children targeted by mass killer Devin Kelley at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs near San Antonio.

The oldest of those killed was 72 years old.

Several of the 20 wounded victims remained hospitalised on Monday in conditions ranging from serious to critical, officials said.

Three children, including a 4-year-old, and two adults were at the University Health System in San Antonio, hospital spokeswoman Martha Rendon said.

One of the victims who died Sunday was a pediatric patient who had been taken to the hospital, said Rendon, who declined to release further details on the child.
23:28   Charlie Hebdo gets fresh death threats for 'pillar of Islam' cartoon
French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo said Monday it was pressing charges after receiving fresh death threats over a cartoon of the Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan who faces rape allegations.

The provocative magazine, which suffered a deadly jihadist attack in 2015 after publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, depicted Ramadan with a huge erection in its edition last Wednesday, saying: "I am the sixth pillar of Islam."

Ramadan, 55, has furiously denied the accusations as a "campaign of lies launched by my adversaries".

The shooting at Charlie Hebdo was claimed by Al-Qaeda, with the jihadists notably seeking to punish the staunchly atheist magazine for printing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, forbidden in Islam.

The attack was the first in a wave of jihadist attacks in France over the past two years that have left more than 240 people dead.
22:52   3 terrorists gunned down, army jawan killed in encounter
Three terrorists were gunned down in south Kashmir's Pulwama district today in an encounter in which an army jawan was also killed, officials said.

Three terrorists have been killed and the firing has stopped, army officials said.

An army jawan was killed in the encounter that broke out between terrorists and security forces in the Kandi belt of Aglar area in Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

A civilian suffered injuries in the crossfire, they said.
22:28   Travel only by Air India: MHA to officials
The Union home ministry has asked its employees to travel only by national carrier Air India whenever they go on official tours and tickets should be purchased from the airline's website or from the three authorised travel agents.

Quoting a finance ministry circular, it said in an order that provision has been made for all cases of air travel where the government of India bears its cost. 

The rule stipulates purchase of air ticket directly from the airline booking counter, website or by utilising the services of the three authorised agents.

"Despite this, the home ministry is frequently in receipt of proposals for relaxation of above rules citing reasons of ignorance and unawareness of these guidelines," the order circulated to all the divisions of the ministry said.

-- PTI
22:03   Suspect in church shooting didn't have license to carry gun
A Texas official has just announced that gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, who was responsible for the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs which claimed the lives of 26 people did not have a licence to carry a gun. 

Kelley, a court-martialled former United States Air Force airman, armed with a powerful assault rifle sprayed bullets on worshippers at a Sunday service at a rural church in Texas, killing at least 26 people and injuring 20 others in the latest gun-related massacre to shock the country.

Reacting to the incident, US President Donald Trump, who is in Japan condemned the shooting as an act of evil and said Americans would pull together.

And through the tears and through the sadness, we stand strong, oh so strong, he said but dismissed the need for guns control.

Trump said the gunman had a mental health problem and that this is not a guns situation.

Preliminary reports show a very deranged individual whos been having a problem for a very long time, he said, adding that We have a lot of mental health problems in our country.
21:36   'Massacre kills about 4 per cent of Texan town's population'
The massacre of 26 worshippers at a church has devastated Sutherland Springs, a small Texas town where "everybody knew everybody", with the incident wiping out about four per cent of the town's population.

At least eight members of the same family were among the 26 people killed yesterday when a man armed with an assault rifle burst into the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church and and started firing.

The mass shooting left about 20 others wounded in the small town of Sutherland Springs, about 48 km east of San Antonio city.

The massacre killed about four per cent of the town's population. And no one at church was left unscathed, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said without giving the population of the rural town.

-- PTI
21:22   J-K government refuses Rs 10 lakh compensation to 'human shield' Dar
The Jammu and Kashmir government has declined to give Rs 10 lakh compensation to Farooq Ahmed Dar, the "human shield" tied to an army jeep and taken around the Srinagar parliamentary constituency during the bypoll on April 9.

Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice Bilal Nazki had directed the state government in July to give the compensation amount to Dar.

There was "no scheme or policy in vogue in the state, which could cover the payment of compensation" in such matters, the state government said in its reply to the human rights panel recently.

The statement argued that an FIR was filed and compensation would tantamount to establishing the guilt of the accused without affording him the opportunity to be heard.

In the four-page reply, filed through Deputy Secretary (Home) Mushtaq Ahmed, the state government said the empowered committee of the government had examined the order of the rights panel and observed that the grounds on which compensation was recommended "cannot be accepted".

The state government, it said, had discharged its obligation by registering an FIR in the matter in the Beerwah police station and consequently initiating the investigation.
21:04   NTPC announces ex-gratia for blast victims
National Thermal Power Corporation on Monday announced an ex-gratia for the victims of Unchahar power plant explosion, which has been raised by company's 23,000 employees by contributing their one-day salary.

The total compensation raised amounts to nearly Rs 6 crore.

NTPC also stated that Unchahar station is "slowly recovering after the industrial accident".

"All medical expenses of those who are injured in the ill-fated incident are being borne by NTPC," an official statement by NTPC said, further adding that the company's officials are working round the clock to normalize the situation and provide the relief to the victims and their families.

An officer has also been attached to each patient admitted in Delhi to take care of their respective requirement, while additional officers have reached Unchahar, Lucknow and Delhi for further assistance.

On November 1, an ash-pipe exploded due to pressure at the state-run power giant's Unchahar plant, claiming 22 lives, and injuring many.

At present, a total of 39 patients are undergoing treatment- 22 in Delhi, and 17 in Lucknow. A total of six patients have been discharged from hospitals in Raebareli and Lucknow.
JUST IN: One security personnel lost his life and one civilian injured in encounter with terrorists in Pulwama's Aglar Kandi. Encounter on.
20:24   BJP seeks Irani's intervention in stopping 'Padmavati' release
The Mumbai BJP unit today sought Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani's intervention to stop the upcoming release of Bollywood film "Padmavati" claiming the movie is a "distortion of historical facts" and will hurt sentiments of Hindus if released.

The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film has kicked up a controversy as Rajput organisations in Rajasthan have accused the filmmaker of distorting history.

"Padmavati", starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, is slated for release on December 1.

Mumbai BJP General Secretary Amarjeet Mishra today said he has written a letter to Irani seeking her intervention to "protect the self respect of crores of Hindus" and to stop the film's release.

"Today, I wrote a letter to Smriti Iraniji and demanded her ministry's immediate intervention. The way historical facts have been twisted and distorted in the movie and the legendary queen purportedly shown in bad light, it has hurt the religious sentiments of crores of Hindus in the country," Mishra said.

He said filmmakers like Bhansali are "misusing" the freedom of expression.

"Why Bhansali chose not to make a film on Mughal invaders who not only robbed our country but were also indulged in coercion?" he asked.
20:14   At this age and time of my life I seek peace: Amitabh Bachchan on offshore account Allegations
Actor Amitabh Bachchan has spoken at length about his name featuring in the Panama papers and Bofors scandal, explaining that he has always cooperated with the "system" but wishes to be left alone at this stage of his

Bachchan wrote his anguished post on his blog yesterday and said, "Tomorrow there could be more and the process of cooperation shall continue..."

His outpouring came hours before the Indian Express newspaper reported that the actor is one of the more than 700 Indian individuals and entities figuring in the Paradise Papers, an investigation into offshore and banking assets carried out by the newspaper with the International Consortium
of Investigative Journalists.

It is not clear if the actor knew about the Paradise Papers beforehand or that his name was going to figure in the list.
19:52   US blogger murder suspect arrested in Bangladesh
An Islamist militant has been arrested in connection with the murder of a prominent US blogger who was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants in Dhaka in 2015, police said.

Abu Siddiqui Sohel alias Sakib, 34, was arrested by the counter-terrorism unit last night from the Mohamadpur area in
the capital, they said.

Sakib had joined Ansarullah Bangla Team in 2014 and he was associated with its intelligence wing, police said.

The ABT is blamed for the murder of more than a dozen progressive bloggers and rights activists between 2013 and
2016, most in gruesome machete attacks.

Sakib was produced before the magistrate where he made the confessional statement for over three hours today.

"He (Sakib) disclosed that a total of eight militants took part in the mission to kill (blogger) Avijit Roy," a court official told reporters.

Roy, known for his critique of religious extremism, was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants as he left a book fair with his wife, who was critically injured in the assault on February 26, 2015.

-- PTI
19:40   Bihar CM Nitish Kumar bats for reservation in private sector
Taking his Mandal politics a step ahead, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that he strongly favoured reservations in the private sector.

Five days after the Bihar Cabinet approved reservation in contractual appointments made by the state government through outsourcing, Nitish Kumar said, "There must be reservations in the private sector too".

Nitish Kumar further said that there is nothing wrong in the Bihar government's decision to give reservations in contractual jobs made by the state government through outsourcing. It was done as per the Reservation Act.

According to officials, there will be reservation in appointments of doctors, engineers, teachers and other posts on contractual basis by the state government. 

-- M I Khan/Patna
19:35   Trump is refusing to eat any Japanese food
Japan might be routinely hailed as one of the best places in the world for food but that has not inspired Donald Trump to deviate from his strict all-American diet.

There was not a trace of ramen, sushi or tempura on President Trumps plate at a casual lunch with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday.

Read full story HERE
19:22   How Himachal has voted in the past
Here's a graph explaining how people have cast their vote in Himachal Pradesh. The 2012 election shows the Congress won 36 seats while the BJP secured 26 seats. 
JUST IN: Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia designated as Finance Secretary.
19:11   Hadiya is safe, secure with her parents: Women's Commission
The National Commission for Women on Monday said Hadiya was safe and secure with her parents.

"I just met Hadiya as the NCW was concerned about her well-being. She is in good health, is not being beaten up, she is eating, was smiling and is happy," Acting Chairperson of the Commission, Rekha Sharma, who met Hadiya at her home in TV Puram in Kottayam's Vaikkom, told media.

Four months ago, the Kerala high court had sent Hadiya, 24, with her parents -- K M Asokan and Ponnamma-after annulling her marriage with Shafin Jahan.

The case is under consideration of the Supreme Court now, which had ordered the NIA investigation into it.

Hadiaya's husband, Shafin Jahan on September 16 filed a plea in the Supreme Court and requested to call off the NIA probe, alleging that the investigation agency "is not being fair".

On October 30, the Supreme Court asked Ashokan to produce Hadiya on November 27, in the next date of hearing in the case.

The apex court's direction came in the backdrop of news reports that suggested Hadiya was being tortured at her parents' home.

After the Supreme Court's orders, Ashokan told media, "I welcome the order of Supreme Court. I will produce Hadiya before the court on November 27. I don't have any objection on my daughter marrying a man from other religion. But this is not a love marriage".

"The news that Hadiya is under house arrest is not correct. Two female police officers are with her 24x7," he informed.

In September, a group of people had submitted a petition to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and demanded a probe into the alleged unlawful incarceration of Hadiya.
18:57   Cartoonist held for caricature on TN CM released on bail
A freelance cartoonist was released on bail by a court today, a day after he was arrested for allegedly depicting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami in an obscene manner, in a caricature on a recent incident of a couple setting its two kids on fire before committing self-immolation due to usury.

Judicial Magistrate M Ramadhas granted bail to G Bala alias Balakrishnan after he was produced in his court today.

Bala, 36, was arrested in Chennai yesterday on a complaint by District Collector Sandeep Nanduri, who was also caricatured in the cartoon, along with the city police chief.

The cartoon was posted on the social media and shared by thousands.

Bala has been booked under Indian Penal Code section 501 (Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) and the relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act.
18:42   War with India not an option, says Pakistan PM
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that war is not an option with India and that only talks can resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir.

Abbasi described Kashmir as a "core issue" and said relations with India will remain tense until that is resolved.

"Kashmir is the core issue with India. Until that is resolved, Pakistan-India relations will remain tense. We are always open to talks at any level and talks are the way forward. War is not an option," Abbasi said.

Highlighting India's Cold Start Doctrine among recent developments, Abbasi said Pakistan had a "deterrent" in place.

-- PTI
18:17   Haasan to launch mobile app on birthday, says it's 'first step' to politics
Kamal Haasan, who has long been expected to join politics, will launch a mobile application to connect with his fans on his birthday tomorrow.

The actor held back on the details of when he would launch his own party but said the application would be the first step in his political journey.

"This will be the first step. I'm confident that you will contribute funds to me generously as you have in the past for our welfare activities," Haasan said.

The mobile app, he said, will track all financial transactions.

Haasan, who will be 63 tomorrow, said he will not deposit the money raised in Swiss banks but will bring back cash stashed in them.
17:48   Multi-agency group to probe Paradise Papers
A multi-agency group (MAG) probing the Panama Papers leak will look into the 'Paradise Papers' on financial holdings abroad that list 714 Indian individuals and entities, official sources said today.

The sources said the MAG, constituted in April last year to investigate the legality of money stashed in offshore entities by Indians named in the Panama Papers, would probe the latest disclosure made by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The MAG comprises officials from the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the Income Tax Department, the Enforcement Directorate, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the RBI among a few others.

The panel will first "go through" the details of income tax returns filed by the 714 Indian individuals and entities named in the 'Paradise Papers' and subsequently take action, in a case-to-case basis, the sources said.

The CBDT says that the revelations made today in the media under the Paradise Papers indicate that out of 180 countries represented in the data of offshore entities held by persons of different nationalities, India ranks 19th in terms of number of names. 714 Indians reportedly appear in tally.  -- PTI
17:39   In rain-hit TN, DMK to defer demo protests
DMK today announced deferring its protest against Centre's note ban in eight rain-hit districts of Tamil Nadu scheduled for November 8. The DMK, an ally of the Congress, had earlier said it would observe November 8, the first anniversary of demonetisation, as 'Black Day' and stage demonstrations in all district headquarters of Tamil Nadu.
17:38   Stone pelting incidents down since April: CRPF Kashmir
The Central Reserve Police Force of Kashmir on Monday claimed that stone pelting has reduced in Kashmir Valley post April. Ravideep Sahi, IG of CRPF said, "Incidents of stone pelting have reduced in 2017, particularly post April. It has reduced because there is no positive outcome of stone pelting and people have started realising it. Stone pelting at the encounter sites is a cause of concern," added Sahi.

Meanwhile, Centre's special representative for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma has reached Srinagar for a five-day visit to the valley to initiate a dialogue with the stakeholders.Sharma is likely to stay in the Kashmir Valley for three days, followed by a two-day visit to the Jammu region. -- ANI
17:23   How science transformed the world in 100 years
In an essay for the BBC, Nobel Prize-winner and Royal Society President Sir Venki Ramakrishnan contemplates the nature of scientific discovery - how it has transformed our worldview in a short space of time, and why we need to be just as watchful today about the uses of research as we've ever been.  Read more
17:21   HC seeks govt's stand on plea to ban use of Prez, PM's photo
The Delhi High Court today sought the response of the Centre on a plea to ban the use of photos of persons holding constitutional posts, including the President and the Prime Minister, in private advertisements.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the Press Council of India, a statutory body that governs the conduct of the print media, on a plea which also sought evolving of guidelines for private advertisers. Taking note of the petition filed by Delhi resident Ajay Gautam, the bench directed central government standing counsel Anil Soni to place before it the policy in this regard. -- PTI
16:45   Guns not the problem, says Trump after church shootout
US President Donald Trump today denounced as an "act of evil" the Texas church shooting, but dismissed the need for gun control as he blamed "a very deranged individual" for the massacre that left 26 people dead.

A gunman, with a ballistic vest strapped to his chest and a military-style rifle in his hands, opened fire on worshippers at a Sunday service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in rural Texas.

Twenty six people were killed in the massacre. Trump, who is in Japan on the first leg of a 12-day Asia tour, said, "This horrible act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of sacred worship. We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel, and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they loved." Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters that at least 26 people were killed in the mass shooting to date. -- PTI
16:28   HC allows woman to terminate foetus with serious abnormalities
The Bombay High Court today permitted a 28-year-old woman to medically terminate her pregnancy as her 25-week foetus has serious neurological and skeletal abnormalities, making the baby's survival doubtful and possibly causing harm to the mother.

The woman had approached the court after multiple foetal abnormalities were detected when she underwent sonography after 22 weeks and four days of gestation.

The diagnosis of neurological diseases in her foetus prompted the woman to seek termination of pregnancy. She had to approach the court, as under the law, abortions are prohibited after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  -- PTI
15:41   Is it too late to save the world?
As the ice shelves crumble and the US President Donald Trump threatens to pull out of the Paris accord, Jonathan Franzen reflects on the role of the writer in times of crisis.  Read more
15:38   Modi's Gita says 'eat up fruits of others' labour': Rahul
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has his own interpretation of a saying from the Bhagvad Gita.

The Gandhi scion alleged Prime Minister Modi believes in eating up the fruits of others' labour.

"It says in the Gita, 'Do your work, don't worry about the fruits of your labour', but Modiji's interpretation is 'eat up the fruits of others' labour, don't worry about doing any work'," Rahul said while addressing an election rally in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh.Rahul's remarks came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Congress accepted defeat in Himachal Pradesh and will not return to power here in near future.

Addressing a rally at Rait, the Prime Minister launched a scathing attack on the Congress by saying that the grand-old party has backed off and accepted defeat as its central leaders have stopped campaigning in the state.

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi has trained his guns at Prime Minister Modi. Ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Rahul has been cornering the Prime Minister over demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax. -- ANI

Image: Prime Minister Modi with Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching at a restaurant in Singapore. File pic.
15:32   Militant hideouts in Kashmir busted
Security forces today busted two hideouts of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district but no arrests were made. Security forces launched a search operation in Najwan forests of Ganderbal following an information about presence of militant hideouts in the area, a police official said.

He said during searches, two hideouts of LeT militants were busted and a cache of explosives was recovered from there. The recoveries included one UBGL thrower, 19 shells of UBGL, three Chinese hand grenades, one wireless set, one 51 mm mortar shell and one magazine of AK 47 rifle, the official said.

He said blankets and some eatables were also recovered from the hideouts, indicating that the militants were using these places. However, no arrests were made in connection with the recoveries, he added. -- PTI
15:17   Records related to Indian complaint to UNSC on Kashmir secret: CIC
Disclosure of the present status of India's complaint to the United Nations Security Council 69 years ago on the issue of invasion of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani tribesmen will "impinge upon national security", the Central Information Commission (CIC) has held.

The transparency watchdog declined to allow disclosure of records related to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, including the efforts to free Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on the basis of the Indian complaint to the UNSC in 1948, sought by an RTI applicant from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

RTI applicant Omprakash Kashiram had sought to know from the PMO the action taken by the Indian government from 1948 to 2016 for reclaiming Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) from Pakistan on the basis of a complaint lodged with the United Nations.  -- PTI
14:18   Modi, Karunanidhi hold hands in Chennai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met DMK supremo M Karunanidhi at the latter's Gopalapuram residence in Chennai. The meeting between the two leaders lasted about 20 minutes. Modi sat next to Karunanidhi and held his hands.

Earlier, DMK Working President and Karunanidhi's son, MK Stalin, welcomed the Prime Minister at the gate and honoured him with a red shawl.

Modi was accompanied by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan and state BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan. DMK leaders including Kanimozhi, who is the daughter of Karunanidhi, were also present.

Later, the wheelchair-bound Karunanidhi made a brief appearance outside and waved at his supporters who cheered him. Karunanidhi, who was taken ill in October 2016 due to a drug-induced allergy, was twice admitted to a private hospital in December last.

Karunanidhi has been since confined to his house, but made one rare appearance on October 19 this year when he visited an exhibition here held to showcase the 75-year journey of DMK's mouthpiece, 'Murasoli' Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had called on the nonagenarian DMK patriarch at his residence in December, 2016.  - PTI
14:03   China launches 2 navigation satellites
While on China, PTI reports that it is building its own navigation system to rival United States GPS, launching two BeiDou-3 satellites into space using a single carrier rocket. The satellites were launched aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket last night from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan, state-run new agency Xinhua said today. The two newly-launched satellites represent the third phase of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. -- PTI
13:58   China objects to Sitharaman's Arunachal visit
China today objected to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's first visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying her tour of the "disputed area" is not conducive to the peace and tranquillity in the region.

Sitharaman yesterday visited forward army posts in remote Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China to take stock of the defence preparedness. "As to Indian Defence Minister visit to Arunachal Pradesh, you must be very clear about China's position," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing.

"There is a dispute on the eastern section of the China- India boundary. So this visit by the Indian side to the disputed area is not conducive to the peace and tranquillity of the relevant region," she said in a response to a question.

The Indian side should work with the Chinese side to make contribution to properly revolving the issue through dialogue and create enabling environment and conditions, she said.  -- PTI

Image: Nirmala Sitharaman‏ shared a meal with soldiers at Arunachal Pradesh, tweeting, "Sharing with our brave men at one our posts. Addressing them, later."
13:13   Didi slams Modi's 'Great Selfish Tax'
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today slammed the Narendra Modi government by terming the Goods and Services Tax "Great Selfish Tax to harass people and finish the economy".

She said demonetisation was a disaster and urged social media users to change their profile pictures to a black square on November 8 to protest against the note ban.

"Great Selfish Tax (GST) to harass the people. To take away jobs. To hurt businesses. To finish the economy. GoI totally failed to tackle #GST (sic)," she posted on Twitter. "#Noteban is a disaster. On #Nov8BlackDay to protest against this scam that destroyed the economy, let us also change our Twitter DP to black," the chief minister tweeted.

Trinamool Congress had earlier announced that it would observe 'Black Day' on November 8 to protest against demonetisation across West Bengal.  -- PTI
12:54   Won't stop highlighting inefficiency of Govt through my cartoon: Bala
Soon after the Tirunelveli District Court granted bail to cartoonist Bala, he categorically stated that he would continue to highlight the inefficiency of the government through his cartoons.

"I did not commit a murder, so I have no regrets. I will continue to highlight the inefficiency of the government through my cartoon. I will continue; won't stop," Bala said.

Earlier in the day, the Tirunelveli District Court had granted bail to the cartoonist, after he was arrested by the Tamil Nadu police from Tirunelveli on Sunday.

A defamatory case was registered against him for allegedly portraying the Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisamy in a distasteful manner.

Bala had allegedly portrayed the chief minister, the state's collector and the police commissioner wearing nothing and covering their private parts with money, while a baby burns in front of them.

The caricature was published after a recent incident, where a couple and their two children self- immolated at the collectorate, alleging police inaction on a usury complaint.  -- ANI
12:43   German arrested for travelling with forged visa
A German national, who was involved in an altercation with a railway employee at Robertsganj Railway Station in Sonbhadra district, near Lucknow, has been arrested for allegedly travelling on a forged visa, the police said today.

Holger Erik Misch, a resident of Berlin, had on November 3 entered into an altercation with railway employee Aman Kumar and had also allegedly attacked two policemen with a stick, they said.

"The German national has been arrested. First of all he did not have a tourist visa and secondly he was carrying a forged visa," Superintendent of Police, Sonbhadra, RP Singh told PTI over phone. An FIR has been registered against him under 14A Foreigners Act (for entry in restricted areas without valid documents), 419 IPC (cheating by personation) and IPC 420 (fraud), he said. The railway employee alleged that when he greeted Erik by saying "welcome to India", the German hit him, though Erik alleged he was beaten up by Aman.  -- PTI
12:38   'Darbar' move for Mehbooba govt
The Jammu and Kashmir government today began functioning here after shifting from Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, as part of the pre-Independence practice of "darbar move".

The Civil Secretariat, Raj Bhavan, police headquarters and other offices opened with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti inspecting a guard of honour at the seat of government in Jammu.

The reopening of government offices was marked by protests by the Congress and a partial strike by a traders federation to highlight the alleged failure of the PDP-BJP dispensation to address their issues.

Accompanied by Minister of State for Education Priya Sethi, the chief minister met employees on the first day of darbar move. "Darbar move offices have been opened here and we hope  to ensure that we bring best possible governance to the people of the state," Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh said.

He said the government will reach out to all sections of people and all areas of the three regions for best possible development on all fronts. The Civil Secretariat and other 'darbar move' offices function in Srinagar for six months of summer and in Jammu for the remaining six months of the year.  -- PTI
12:03   Press freedom does not include freedom to be factually incorrect: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the platinum jubilee function of the Tamil newspaper, Daily Thanthi in Chennai. Excerpts from his speech... 

-- Today, newspapers do not just give news. They can also mould our thinking and open a window to the world.

-- In a broader context, media is a means of transforming society. That is why we refer to the media as the fourth pillar of democracy.

-- The then British Government was fearful of the Indian Vernacular Press. It was to muzzle vernacular newspapers, that the Vernacular Press Act was enacted in 1878. 

-- The role of newspapers published in regional languages remains as important today, as it was then.

-- Media must make an extra effort to maintain credibility. Healthy competition among media organisations is healthy for our democracy. 

-- Editorial freedom must be used wisely in public interest. Freedom to write, does not include the freedom to be factually incorrect.

-- Mahatma Gandhi said, The press is called the Fourth Estate. It is definitely a power, but, to misuse that power is criminal."

-- A lot of media discourse today revolves around politics. However, India is more than about just us politicians.  

-- It's the 125 crore Indians, which make India what it is. I would be happy to see media focus a lot more, on their stories and achievements.

-- Natural calamities seem to be occurring with increasing frequency across world. Can media take a lead in battle against climate change?

The PM will also be meeting DMK President M Karunanidhi in Chennai. 
11:13   Belgian royal couple arrives on seven-day visit to India
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium arrived in New Delhi on Sunday for a seven-day visit.

This is King Philippe's maiden visit to the country following his ascension to the throne in 2013. The royals will begin their India trip with a visit to Agra on Monday.

They have been accompanied by six ministers and a high-powered business delegation, comprising CEOs of 86 Belgian companies, 13 chiefs of academic institutions and 29 members from media.

"The visit would further strengthen the historical strong ties between the two countries. Belgium was also among the first European countries to establish a diplomatic mission in India after Independence," a press release by Ministry of External Affairs stated.India is Belgium's second largest export destination and third largest trade partner outside European Union.  - ANI
11:01   Paradise papers: No transactions for personal purpose, says Sinha
Union minister Jayant Sinha's name has cropped up in the leaked list of 'Paradise Papers' of companies having offshore entities globally even as he today said the transactions were not done for any "personal purpose".

Sinha had worked with Omidyar Network as Managing Director in India and Omidyar Network had invested in a US company D.Light Design that has a subsidiary in Cayman Islands, according to a report based on the Paradise Papers investigation.

In a series of tweets today, Sinha said the transactions were legal and bonafide. The transactions were undertaken on behalf of highly reputed world-leading organisations in my fiduciary role as partner at Omidyar Network and its designated representative on the D.Light Board, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation said.

"It is crucial to note that these transactions were done for D.Light as an Omidyar representative, and not for any personal purpose," he noted.

Sinha, who is a former venture capitalist, also said all these transactions have been fully disclosed to relevant authorities through all necessary filings as required.

"After leaving Omidyar Network, I was asked to continue on the D.Light Board as an independent director... On joining the Union Council of Ministers, I immediately resigned from D.Light Board and severed my involvement with the company," the minister said. Sinha had earlier served as Minister of State for Finance.

The Paradise Papers is an investigation into offshore and banking assets carried out by the Indian Express with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. -- PTI
10:58   Cartoonist held for caricature of TN CM gets bail
Bail granted to cartoonist Bala who was held for a caricature of Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswamy. He was arrested yesterday in Tamil Nadu.

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday demanded immediate release of Tamil Nadu-based cartoonist Bala, who was arrested on account of a caricature that allegedly depicted state Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy in a distasteful manner.

"It is not right for any government to arrest cartoonists or anyone belonging to other factions of the media. They enjoy certain rights and we must respect them. However, this is not the first such incident taking place in Tamil Nadu; many such cases have been witnessed in the past. I hope the new Chief Minister does not follow the footsteps of his predecessors and orders the release of cartoonist Bala immediately," BJP leader S Prakash told ANI.

The Tamil Nadu police on Sunday arrested Bala after a defamatory case was registered against him.Bala had allegedly portrayed the Chief Minister, the state's collector and the police commissioner wearing nothing and covering their private parts with money, while a baby burns in front of them.

The caricature was published after a recent incident where a couple and their two children self- immolated at the collectorate, alleging police inaction on a usury complaint.  -- ANI
10:48   BJP demands release of imprisoned cartoonist Bala
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday demanded immediate release of Tamil Nadu-based cartoonist Bala, who was arrested on account of a caricature that allegedly depicted state Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy in a distasteful manner.

"It is not right for any government to arrest cartoonists or anyone belonging to other factions of the media. They enjoy certain rights and we must respect them. However, this is not the first such incident taking place in Tamil Nadu; many such cases have been witnessed in the past. I hope the new Chief Minister does not follow the footsteps of his predecessors and orders the release of cartoonist Bala immediately," BJP leader S Prakash told ANI.

The Tamil Nadu police on Sunday arrested Bala after a defamatory case was registered against him.Bala had allegedly portrayed the Chief Minister, the state's collector and the police commissioner wearing nothing and covering their private parts with money, while a baby burns in front of them.

The caricature was published after a recent incident where a couple and their two children self- immolated at the collectorate, alleging police inaction on a usury complaint.  -- ANI
10:41   Himachal Cong chief toiling hard to avenge 2012 poll defeat
Facing his old rival, sitting BJP MLA Vijay Agnihotri in a six-cornered contest, Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu is leaving no stone unturned to avenge his 2012 poll defeat from the Nadaun Assembly constituency in Hamirpur district.

Agnihotri had defeated Sukkhu by a margin of 6,750 votes in the last election. The veteran Congress leader is concentrating on door-to- door campaigns to woo the voters.

He has kept himself confined to Nadaun and is banking upon the Ghirath votes and women voters to come up trumps in the November 9 Assembly polls. There are 86,814 votes -- 42,180 male, 42,868 female and 1,766 service voters -- in the constituency, where the polling percentage is usually high.

With the declaration of Prem Kumar Dhumal's name as the chief ministerial face, the prospects of the BJP candidates have received a boost in all the five constituencies of Hamirpur district and Nadaun is no exception.  -- PTI
10:25   What does Modi really believe in?
"If the 'ideology' is just Hindutva, meaning cattle slaughter, temple issue, love jihad, joined with random acts on the side of economics and foreign policy, then we are in deeper trouble than we think," says Aakar Patel. Read the column on
10:19   Nabanita Dev Sen among Mumbai LitFest award shortlist
The Mumbai LitFest 2017, today announced the shortlist of authors nominated for the 'Big Little Book Award' for children's literature in Indian languages. In its second year, the award considered children's literature in the Bengali language. The awards will be conferred on 19th November 2017. The shortlisted authors areNabaneeta Dev Sen, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Amarendra Chakravorty and Kartik Ghosh.
10:15   Sensex slips from record level, down 97 points
The BSE Sensex fell by over 97 points in early trade today, retreating from its record highs, on profit booking in metal, oil & gas, banking, teck and PSU stocks after a recent rally. Besides, capital outflows by foreign funds and a mixed trend at other Asian bourses and caution ahead of earnings from some more bluechip companies this week influenced the sentiment, brokers said.

The 30-share index retreated by 97.19 points, or 0.28 per cent to 33,588.37 points as against Friday's record close of 33,685.56. It also touched an all-time high (intra-day) of 33,733.71.  -- PTI
10:10   Govt begins 5-day talks with J-K stakeholders today
The Centre's special representative for Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma will reach Srinagar on Monday for a five-day visit to the valley to initiate a dialogue with the stakeholders.

Sharma is likely to stay in the Kashmir Valley for three days, followed by a two-day visit to the Jammu region.

In the run up to this, defence experts have acknowledged Sharma's effort in starting the peace process with various stakeholders in Kashmir and said that the mission was a difficult national task and that the stakeholders should not get deterred with the wrong propaganda.

Hours before leaving for the Valley, Dineshwar Sharma had said he did not have a magic wand, but wanted to be judged by his actions when he starts the process.

Speaking to ANI, defence expert Praful Bakshi said, "Dineshwar Sharma's step towards the growth of Kashmir is a good option and there are thousands who are in need for growth and development. Many who are educated and skilled are lagging behind. If Sharma's push can do wonders, then I wish him luck. His work is a 'serious effort' and should be carried out with a serious mind. They should not get deterred with the wrong propaganda." -- ANI

Image:  The Centre's special representative for Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma. Picture courtesy: ANI. 
09:56   Modi in Chennai today, will meet Karunanidhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M Karunanidhi in Chennai today, both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the DMK said.

Modi is in this city today to attend the platinum jubilee function of a vernacular daily.

'During his visit to Tamil Nadu today, PM Sh Narendra Modiji will visit senior-most leader from the state and former CM M Karunanidhi,' BJP national general secretary P Mualidhar Rao said in a tweet.

DMK sources also confirmed the meet, saying the two leaders are scheduled to meet at 12.30 pm at Karunanidhi's Gopalapuram residence.

The prime minister will also attend the wedding of the daughter of Dr T V Somanathan, a senior official in the PMO, at Raja Annamalaipuram.

Karunanidhi fell ill in October, 2016 due to a drug-induced allergy.

In December last, he was admitted to the Kauvery Hospital in Chennai twice.

The veteran leader was admitted to the hospital for 'optimisation of nutrition and hydration' in the first week of December and later, due to a throat and lung infection.

He had undergone tracheostomy, a procedure to optimise breathing.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had called on the DMK patriarch at his residence in December, 2016.

The nonagenarian leader had made his first public appearance on October 19 this year, the first since his illness, when he visited an exhibition here held to showcase the 75-year journey of DMK's mouthpiece Murasoli.  -- PTI

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed in Chennai on Monday. Photograph: ANI
08:51   Paradise Papers: Over 700 Indians named in leaked tax haven data
More than a year after the Panama Papers leak, a new release by the United States-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, consisting data from two offshore law firms -- Appleby in Bermuda and Asiaciti in Singapore -- includes names of at least 714 Indians, with an Indian firm figuring as Appleby's second-largest client globally.

Reports by the Indian Express say that among the 180 countries represented in the data, called Paradise Papers, India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names.

The Paradise Papers contain 13.4 million documents mainly from Appleby.

The files were first obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with the ICIJ and partner media outlets.

The IE report said that Appleby, a 119-year-old company, 'is a leading member of the global network of lawyers, accountants, bankers and other operatives who set up offshore companies and manage bank accounts for clients to do one or a combination of the following: avoid or evade taxes; manage real estate assets; open escrow accounts; purchase airplanes and yachts paying low tax rates; or, simply, use offshore vehicles to move millions across the globe'.

The leak also revealed that millions of pounds from the private estate of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II have been invested in offshore tax haven funds.

It also reveals business ties of US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to a shipping firm linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

However, there is no suggestion that Ross or the queen's private estate acted illegally.
08:10   At least 27 dead in shooting at Texas church
A gunman opened fire inside a Baptist church in Texas on Sunday, killing at least 27 people.
The incident, which left at least 20 other people injured, occurred at the First Baptist Church where a man barged into the church and began shooting. 
The gunman was killed, the local media quoted the police as saying, although it is not sure if the police killed the shooter or he took his own life. 
--Seema Hakhu Kachru/PTI in Houston
Picture: REUTERS/Joe Mitchell