LIVE
Wed, 29 November 2017
A K Antony suffers minor brain haemorrhage, hospitalised

Timeline  Refresh

23:38   A K Antony suffers minor brain haemorrhage, hospitalised
Former Defence minister A K Antony was today admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital after he suffered a 'minor' brain haemorrhage, a senior doctor of the hospital said.

"He was admitted in the afternoon. He suffered a minor brain haemorrhage after he fell down at his home," said the doctor on the condition of anonymity.

The 76-year-old Congress leader was the defence minister during the United Progressive Alliance government.  -- PTI
23:27   Swaraj assures medical visa to Pak teenager, two other children
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said that visa will be issued to a teenaged girl and two other children on medical grounds.

Sohail Aarbi, a Pakistani national, appealed to Swaraj to issue visa to his 14-year-old daughter Hadia saying she was in a critical state and requires a liver transplant surgery.

'Indian High Commission in Pakistan will issue visa for her liver transplant surgery in India. @IndiainPakistan,' Swaraj tweeted.

Another Pakistani national Masroor Akhtar Siddiqui also sought Swaraj's help so that an open heart surgery could be conducted on his three-year-old son Muhammad Shafay.

'Yes. Muhammad Shafay is only 3 years old. We will issue visa for his open heart surgery in India. @IndiainPakistan,' the EAM tweeted.

She also tweeted that there was a request for bone marrow transplant of nine-year-old Abdur Rehman and a visa will be issued to him.  -- PTI
23:13   PM violated protocol by hosting dinner for Ivanka: Congress
The Congress today raised objections over a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for United States President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump in Hyderabad, accusing him of violating protocol.

Congress spokesperson Deepinder Hooda told reporters if the prime minister wanted to host Trump, he could have done so privately at Delhi, where she could have flown in.

"The prime minister broke all traditions and hosted adinner for Ivanka Trump in Hyderabad. When she is being takencare of more than a head of state, then there is bound to bepraise," he alleged.

"Eager for praise and impatient for a photo-opportunity,the prime minister reached Hyderabad to host a dinner for her. When the prime minister made such a beginning, then it is her prerogative," Hooda alleged.

He claimed that when the prime minister himself was hosting a dinner for Trump, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj might have been wondering about what she was doing in Hyderabad.

He said the country had dignity and self-respect and Trump should have met the prime minister in Delhi instead of him going to Hyderbad.

The Congress leader said though India welcomed her, but Trump was not the head of a state.

"Thus, the entire process raises questions," he said. -- PTI

Photograph: PTI Photo
22:48   Hadiya speaks to husband: College dean
The long pending desire of Hadiya, the Kerala woman at the centre of an alleged 'love jihad' case, was fulfilled today when she spoke to her husband over a mobile phone.

A day after she arrived in  Salem to continue studies at the Sivaraj Homeopathy medical college as directed by the Supreme Court, she spoke to her husband using the phone of the College Dean.

"Hadiya talked to Jahan (her husband) for a while from my mobile phone, after I, as local guardian, asked her whether she was interested in talking or meeting anybody," college dean G Kannan told reporters.

The 25-year-old was brought to the institution amid tight security by Kerala police from Coimbatore, about 170 km from here last evening.

Earlier when reporters asked about her husband Shafin Jahan, Hadiya said she had no contact with him for the last few months as she did not have a mobile phone and the only people she spoke to were her parents.

"I am very eager to speak to my husband," said Hadiya, who was in the news recently after her conversion to Islam and marriage with the Muslim youth in Kerala.

The dean said: "She appeared to be relieved from depression after talking to him (husband). There is no restriction imposed on her to talk or to meet anybody."

Hadiya also expressed regret for the tense situation prevailing in the college and inconvenience to students due to her, Kannan said.

Stating that she has not given any application to change her name, he said she has applied on her earlier name (Hindu name-Akhila Ashokan) for internship.

However, there was some confusion about where and with whom to send her during the college holidays, Kannan said adding the management will approach the apex court in this regard.

All rules and regulations and restrictions of the college will apply to her also and weekly once she will be allowed to go out for buying what she requires, along with the hostel wardens, he said.

Meanwhile, the college administrator Kalpana Shivaraj said the management will extend all support to Hadiya to complete her course.  -- PTI
21:33   Use 'all available levers' to end N Korean provocations: Trump to Xi
United States President Donald Trump today spoke to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, urging him to use 'all available levers' to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of de-nuclearisation after Pyongyang tested an inter-continental ballistic missile that can reach anywhere in the US.

During the phone call, Trump underscored the determination of the US to defend itself and its allies from the growing threat posed by the North Korean regime, the White House said.

The two leaders discussed North Korea's latest ICBM launch, it said.

The missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea yesterday, and travelled about 1,000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan's Economic Exclusion Zone.

'Just spoke to President Xi Jinping of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!' Trump tweeted.

The White House said that President Trump emphasised the need for China to use 'all available levers' to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of de-nuclearisation.

Within hours of North Korean missile launch, Trump spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss their collective response to the latest provocative behaviour by Pyongyang.

"We will take care of it. .. It is a situation we will handle," Trump told reporters in the Roosevelt room of the White House soon after North Korea's ballistic missile test.

China is North Korea's only major ally and biggest trading partner.

In response to Trump's demands, Beijing has backed increasingly tough United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea to convince it to return to talks.

In Beijing, China's Foreign Ministry today expressed 'grave concern' over North Korea's ICBM test and asked its ally to stop actions that heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Beijing also asked North Korea to strictly abide by UNSC resolutions on the use of the ballistic missile technology.  -- PTI

Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters
19:47   Mehbooba orders withdrawal of stone-pelting cases against 4,327 youth
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today ordered the withdrawal of cases of stone-pelting against 4,327 youths.

This follows the recommendation of a high-powered committee headed by Director General of Police S P Vaid which submitted its report to her today, an official spokesman said.

"Today's decision marks the revival of process of withdrawal of cases started by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last year immediately after taking over," he said.

Mufti had initiated a process of review of cases against youths from 2008 to 2014 and in the first instance 104 cases involving 634 youths were withdrawn within two months of her assuming power, the official said.

The process got disrupted due to the continued violence and unrest for later part of the last year, he added.

Mufti ordered the withdrawal of cases of stone-pelting against 4,327 youths in 744 cases, he said.

"With this, the total number of cases withdrawn so far on the directions of the chief minister has gone to 848 and the persons benefiting out of these withdrawals stands at 4,957," the spokesman said.

The chief minister, it may be recalled, had committed the withdrawal of cases against youths found not involved in heinous crimes.

Mufti had recently directed review of cases from 2015 till date and decision on the same would be taken on the receipt of report by the high-powered committee, the spokesman said.

The withdrawal of cases against these youths was a major demand from various sections of the society in the state.

 "The chief minister described today's decision as a ray of hope for these young boys and their families terming it as an opportunity for them to rebuild their lives," he said.

She hoped that the decision would help in creating a 'positive and conciliatory atmosphere in the state where the youth would be able to build their lives in a more constructive and positive way'.  -- PTI
19:26   36,000 Rohingyas in India; terror links cannot be ruled out:BSF
Around 36,000 Rohingyas are at present there in various parts of the country and the Border Security Force has upped its ante against illegal influx into India as their links with terror organisations cannot be ruled out, the force chief said today.

K K Sharma, the director general of the 2.5-lakh personnel-strong force, said his troops have apprehended 87 Rohingya Muslims along the Indo-Bangla border since the beginning of this year till October 31, and 76 'have been sent back to Bangladesh'.

"As far as my information goes, about 36,000 Rohingyas are there in this country at various places...This is one of those general observations and is based on inputs we received from our sister agencies (like the police and intelligence)," he told reporters during an interaction ahead of the BSF's52nd Raising Day on December 1.

He said the border guarding force has not come across any specific case where a Rohingya they caught possessed arms, ammunition or had terror connection.

"But, the threat that they have some links with terror organisations is a very serious one and has been given by our sister agencies and I don't doubt them," Sharma said.

He said the force has bolstered its manpower and surveillance equipments at 'vulnerable' posts along the Bangladesh border to check the illegal influx of Rohingyas from the neighbouring country into India.

The force sent back the Rohingyas and did not arrest them as they would have then become a 'liability', the DG said.

"Rohingya is a very complicated issue. As per the latestestimate, 9-10 lakh of them have migrated to Bangladesh (from Myanmar) and the possibility of a spill over coming to India cannot be ruled out.

"Our mandate is very clear that we do not allow any illegal immigration into India, whether he is a Rohingya or a Bangladeshi," Sharma said.  -- PTI

Photograph: Reuters
18:45   Rahul a 'janeu dhari' Hindu: Congress on 'non-Hindu register' row
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's name appeared in the register for 'non-Hindus' at the Somnath Temple on Wednesday, triggering a controversy on social media, which the party tried to put to rest by terming the entry 'fake'.

"Rahul ji made an entry into the visitor's book. The signature which is being talked of is different. Neither it is the signature of Rahul Gandhi nor was this register ever given to him, Congress spokesperson Randeep S Surjewala said.

Showing another 'visitor's book' bearing name, address and signature of Rahul, Congress leader Deependra Hooda said, "Here is the original signature of Rahul Gandhi at Somnath Temple. Very clearly. The other signature is written as 'Rahul Gandhi ji', why would he write ji? Don't know who wrote it. The BJP doing what it does best, diverting from real issues.'

Surjewala said that 'not only is Rahul Gandhi ji a Hindu, he is a 'janeu dhari' (wearing sacred thread) Hindu. So the BJP should not bring down the political discourse to this level.

Earlier in the day, social media was abuzz with Rahul's name appearing in the register maintained by the temple of non-Hindu visitors.

Rahul visited the temple on Wednesday morning.

The Indian Express quoted the secretary of Shree Somnath Trust, Pravin Laheri, as saying: "We have a rule that all non-Hindus have to register their names. Somebody entered the names of Ahmed Patel and Rahul Gandhi in this register. The temple has nothing to do with it.'

As soon as the controversy erupted, the Congress party said in a tweet, with a photo claiming to be of the 'only visitor's book' at the temple, 'Clarification: There is only one visitor's book at Somnath Temple that was signed by Congress VP Rahul Gandhi. Any other image being circulated is fabricated. Desperate times call for desperate measures?'  -- ANI

IMAGE: The photograph posted by the Congress on Twitter, claiming to be the 'only visitor's book' given to Rahul Gandhi at the Somnath Temple in Gujarat on Wednesday. Photograph: Courtesy: @INCIndia/Twitter
18:18   Congress hates Gujarat, development, poor and me: Modi in Palitana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on the Congress party saying that the latter hates Gujarat, development, poor and him.

Referring to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, the prime minister said the Bharatiya Janata Party has the legacy of 'Fakir Gandhi' while the Congress 'has the legacy of royalty'.

"They (Congress) hate development, they hate Gujarat, they hate Modi and now they hate sweat also. That is because they have never had to sweat it out in life and work hard. They are mocking everyone who works hard. This is their mindset. Such hatred for the poor is shocking," the prime minister said while addressing a rally in Palitana.

"They were born with all privileges and are disconnected with the roots," he added.

He further said it was due to the Congress party, there was shortage of water in Gujarat 22 years ago.

The prime minister accused the grand-old-party of delaying the Narmada project and said that if party would have remained in power, the water of River Narmada would have never reached the farmers.

"Do you remember the water shortage in the region? This is because the Congresscontrolled the tanker business. It suited them to have this shortage. The BJP has changed this in the last 22 years. We have made the tanker industry irrelevant," he said.  -- ANI
17:42   Dealing with Fake News CNN is a total waste of time: Trump reacts to network's boycott
As Ivanka Trump enjoys Indian hospitality, her father US President Donald  Trump responds to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' tweet where she posts that the CNN network has decided to boycott the White House Christmas party. @PressSec Sarah Sanders "Christmas comes early! Finally, good news from @CNN"

Trump responds, "Great and we should boycott Fake News CNN. Dealing with them is a total waste of time."

Adding fuel to its growing feud with President Donald Trump, CNN told POLITICO it will be boycotting the White House Christmas party for the media this year.

CNN will not be attending this year's White House Christmas party, a CNN spokesperson said. In light of the President's continued attacks on freedom of the press and CNN, we do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate with him as his invited guests. We will send a White House reporting team to the event and report on it if news warrants.
17:21   Ivanka charmed her audience at GES
Rediff.com's Vaihayasi Pande Daniel is at the Global Enterpreneurs Summmit in Hyderabad. This is her report from Day 1. Do read
17:19   Ivanka is at Golconda Fort and she's loving it!
Ivanka Trump advisor to the US President visits Golconda Fort in Hyderabad. "It is just amazing to be here at the Golconda fort," she said and added that the conference and summit were phenomenal. "PM Modi and the cabinet members who were with him were incredibly warm and gracious. It Was overall a very special experience, US President Donald Trump's daughter said.


Ivanka Trump batted for formulation of policies that support greater participation of women in workforce. She even referred to technology that can be used to allow women to work from kitchens and help reduce the gender gap.


"I think it's incredibly important that policies support modern families... We need to start thinking about ways to support the modern workforce and the modern reality in household. I think technology is a great driver," she said. She was speaking at a session on innovation in workforce development on the second day of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad.

Ivanka suggested that policymakers need to devise ways to support the "modern workforce and the modern reality in household". PTI


Image: Ivanka Trump with Urban Development minister Hardeep Puri
17:09   Snehlata Shrivastava is Lok Sabha Secretary-General
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has appointed Snehlata Shrivastava, as Secretary-General of Lok Sabha and Lok Sabha Secretariat with effect from 1 December.
17:08   Mumbai terror attacks: Pak FO spokesperson, foreign secy appear before court
An Anti-Terrorism Court in Islamabad summoned Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua for a hearing of the ongoing case of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, DawnNews reported on Wednesday.
17:07  
The Delhi High Court has reserved its order on a plea of J&K former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah challenging the maintenance proceedings in a family court. The plea claimed that the petition moved by his estranged wife Payal Abdullah, seeking maintenance from him, is not maintainable.
17:03   Nestle fined Rs 45 lakh for 'sub-standard' noodles
Nestle India is once again in a soup after its Maggi product samples collected from Shahjahanpur were found to be of "sub-standard" quality.

Shahjahanpur District Administration has imposed a fine of Rs 45 lakh against the Swiss multinational food and beverage company.

The samples were collected late last year and Rs. 17 lakhs fine has been imposed on three distributors too.

"There were seven cases where the product was found to be sub-standard. The samples were tested by the food and safety department of the district," Shahjahanpur Additional District Magistrate Jitendra Kumar Sharma told ANI.

The district administration said the fine was being imposed nearly two years later, as it had been hearing representations from Nestle officials and distributors during the period.

Nestle said it would file an appeal once it receives the order.

Two years ago, Maggi had faced similar inquiry for allegedly containing lead beyond permissible limits. The noodles were withdrawn from the market until it was released again in November 2015, following legal battles. ANI
16:57   Meghan Markle 'wants to be Princess Diana 2.0', reveals old friend
In a fascinating revelation, Meghan Markle's childhood friend disclosed that the actress was always fascinated by the royal family and hoped to be Princess Diana 2.0 someday.

On hearing the announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement, Markle's friend Ninaki Priddy said, "I'm not shocked at all. It's like she has been planning this all her life," reported News.com.au.

"She gets exactly what she wants, and Harry has fallen for her play," Priddy added.

As 15-year olds, Markle and Priddy had travelled to London for a trip in 1996, when they had both posed for a photo, sitting on a metal railing in front of Buckingham Palace and gleaming with happiness.

"She was always fascinated by the royal family. She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0. She will play her role ably. But my advice to him (Prince Harry) is to tread cautiously," Priddy said.

On Monday, while announcing her engagement, Markle claimed that she 'didn't know much' about her blue-blood fiance or his royal family before she met him.

"Because I'm from the States, you don't grow up with the same understanding of the royal family", Markle confessed.

Looks like Meghan Markle is one of those few lucky people, whose fairy-tale dreams came true. ANI

16:14   Emperor Akbar bought horses at this fair
Every year, for thousands of years, the Sonepur Mela, transforms a small rural town in north Bihar into a giant fair. Rediff.com's Archana Masih spent a day in the rural fair that once drew Chandragupta Maurya, Akbar, Shivaji and Rani Laxmibai to buy elephants and horses for their armies. Take a look
16:11   Nehru was unhappy with building Somnath temple: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a veiled attack at the Congress Party, saying if he remained in power, it would be bad news for those who have looted the nation for 70 long years.


The prime minister also targetted the Congress Party over various issues including the OROP, the OBC community and the Somnath Temple visit.


Addressing a rally in Prachi of Gujarat's Junagadh district, the prime minister hit out at Congress over its treatment of Sardar Patel, who helped built the Somnath Temple.


"Had Sardar Patel not been there, there would not have been this grand temple in Somnath. So there are people who visited the Somnath Temple recently [Rahul Gandhi and Congress], I want to ask them: Do you know history? Your family members, our first prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was not happy with the idea of a temple being built there," he said.


"When Dr Rajendra Prasad was to come to inaugurate the Somnath Temple, Pandit Nehru expressed his displeasure," the prime minister added.


The prime minister further targetted Congress for seeking votes of the OBC communities, while stalling the OBC Commission."Congress is seeking votes of the OBC communities but they should answer why they did not allow the OBC Commission to get a Constitutional status for all these years. We brought in the move, it was passed by the Lok Sabha but stalled in the Rajya Sabha, where Congress has majority," he added.


Stating that Congress destroyed Gujarat through its caste politics, the prime minister said, "Those who ruled India for 70 years are now asking for my report card. When your family was ruling, there was an SC/ST commission."


The prime minister also assured support to the OBC community and that they would be given their due."I want to assure you - Congress may try to throw many roadblocks, I am committed to ensure their designs fail. The Parliament is meeting soon and we are going to bring that issue on the floor of the House again. We want to give our OBC communities their due," he assured.Prime Minister Modi went on to slam Congress saying that the party put the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue on the backburner for 40 years."I want to ask the Congress Party. What is it that you have against our army? The demand for OROP was pending for 40 long years. Why did successive Congress governments do nothing about that?" he said.


"Congress leaders are masters in gossiping. They just duped our soldiers. Congress had no idea of the intricacies of the OROP issue. When elections were approaching, they announced a meager Rs 500 crore for OROP whereas the real requirement was a lot higher. Had they done some research, they would have realised that Rs 500 crore was nothing," he said.


The prime minister further said that Congress had no connect with the common man and lacked policy and leadership."Congress has no neeti (policy) or neta (Leader). It does not have any connection with the common man. How can these people create India's destiny?" he asked. -- ANI
15:47   Govt can even misuse law for its purpose: S Durga director
S Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan today lashed out at the government, saying people in power can go to any lengths to achieve their purpose.

The Central Board for Film Certification ordered a re-examination of the Malayalam film, which derailed its court-ordered screening at the International Film Festival of India that ended yesterday.

Sanal took to Facebook today to say that he was ironically happy that people got a chance to witness how people in high places defy the judiciary. "I am not unhappy even a bit. On the other hand, I am more than happy that my film has helped a lot of people who were asking 'what is the problem if the Sangh come to power?' to understand, what is the problem actually.

"It is simply proved that, those in power now, can go to any extent to destroy something which they don't like. They can even misuse law or ignore judiciary for their purpose." -- PTI
15:37   Will Bhupender Yadav become a union minister?
The name's Yadav. Bhupender Yadav, and he is a close confidante of BJP chief Amit Shah and is heading the party's poll campaign in Gujarat.

He has become the go-to man for the party with Union Ministers vying for his attention.

In fact, party insiders have been likening him to Nanaji Deshmukh, the Sangh Parivar veteran and the former Rajya Sabha member, who passed away recently.

Narendra Modi wanted Yadav as a Union Minister, but Amit Shah has refused to spare him till after the Gujarat polls.

Yadav is in eight committees of the Rajya Sabha; a quiet politician from Rajasthan, who has been a key organisational leader, who played an important role in UP polls.

It was Arun Jaitley who groomed him as Spokesperson of the BJP during the UPA regime.

15:08   Musharraf praising terrorist outfits a tragic moment: Farooq Abdullah
National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday condemned former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf over his statement in support of terror outfits, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jamaat-ud-Dawah and termed it as 'a tragic moment.'

"I feel sad that a man of his integrity, who has been the chief of the Pakstan Army as well as the president, has praised something like this. It is a tragic moment," Abdullah told ANI.

He added, "Any terrorist outfit is going to destroy not only their country, but every other country where terrorism is being promoted. I'm sorry if the ex-president of Pakistan thinks the LeT was going to protect Islam."

He also called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to devise ways to initiate talks with the neighbouring nation to combat the problem "which has been there for the last 70 years," and suggested for both countries to forget the past.
14:52   Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot, Jatin Prasada likely to be Rahul's A-team
As President of the All India Congress Committee from January 2018, Rahul Gandhi will have a new team of office bearers.

Out with the old, in with the new, or rather young, is likely to be leitmotif that governs the overhaul. In fact, a ruthless chopping of senior Congress leaders is expected and brand new young faces will be inducted. Most of the office bearers will be less than 40 years' old.

Sources tell us that the three General Secretaries of the AICC will be Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot and Jatin Prasada. The treasurer is likely to be Kanishka Singh, a close confidante of both Rahul Gandhi as well as Priyanka Vadra. If you've heard Kanishka Singh's name before, it's because the BJP has accused him of being involved in the AgustaWestland and 2010 Commonwealth Games scams.

Senior leaders are jittery over the imminent axe which is expected to fall in the first week of January.

The AICC fresh faces will be announced after the poll results of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.  Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held on two days, December 9 for 89 assembly seats and December 14 for 93 seats.

Results will be announced for all 182 seats on December 18, along with Himachal Pradesh, which votes on November 9.
13:57   NHS to hire more than 5,000 nurses from India and the Philippines
The NHS is to hire 5,500 nurses from India and the Philippines in a desperate bid to plug staff shortages, health officials have said. The mass recruitment exercise follows an increase in the number of UK graduates abandoning the profession, and a sharp drop in the number of nurses coming to work in Britain from the EU. Read more
13:54   CPI(M) cannot be part of an alliance with the Congress: Prakash Karat
At a time when the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is debating its political tactical line that will determine its position under the Opposition umbrella, the party's former general secretary Prakash Karat argues that there is no place for the CPI(M) in a Congress-led alliance.

With the CPI(M) line to be decided at the crucial party congress in April 2018, he discusses the current political scenario, the challenge the Left faces in Tripura, and CPI(M)-RSS tensions in Kerala.

Read the interview here.
13:36   Bali airport set to reopen today
The Bali Airport will reopen on Wednesday afternoon, two days after a volcanic eruption led the airport to be closed down.

The authorities said the airport would reopen at 3 pm local time.

The Indonesian authorities had earlier closed the international airport for a second day today, and flights were cancelled due to the danger posed by the ash cloud spewed by the volcano.

Local reports had earlier quoted the ministry as saying that some channels of the aircraft flight were engulfed with volcanic ash. The Bali Airport is located about 60 km from the volcano.

Earlier, Malaysia Airlines cancelled all flights between Kuala Lumpur and Denpasar-Bali following the volcanic activity at Mount Agung.

Indonesia had raised an alert for the volcano on the tourist island of Bali and has ordered evacuation of people within 10 kilometres.

The eruption at Mount Agung had become magmatic, the country's disaster management agency said, warning that a larger eruption could be imminent. As a result, the alert status for the surrounding area was raised to level 4, the highest level.

The region around Mount Agung has been on alert since late September when more than 140,000 people were told to evacuate over fears of an imminent eruption.

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing nearly 1,600 people in one of Indonesia's most devastating eruptions. -- ANI
13:26   Now, Haryana BJP leader wants to slap Farooq Abdullah

Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu, who reportedly offered a Rs 10 crore bounty for beheading Padmavati actor Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, today resigned as the chief media coordinator of the state unit of the party. Speaking to ANI, he said, "With a heavy heart I have resigned from the post I had in BJP. I am pained at the behaviour of the Haryana CM. I have never seen a BJP CM so arrogant who doesn't respect party workers and community representatives.

"Now my dream is to slap Farooq Abdullah in Lal Chowk, I challenge him to meet me there," he said.  
13:09   MHA seeks answers from Tihar over reports of assault on Kashmiri prisoners
The Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the Director General of Tihar jail in the wake of media reports that a scuffle involving Kashmiri prisoners took place at the prison, leading to injuries.


However, official sources said, as per the preliminary information, Syed Shahid Yusuf, son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, who is also lodged in Tihar jail in connection with terror funding cases, was not assaulted. The ministry has asked the Director General of the Tihar jail to submit a report as early as possible detailing the incident and the action taken so far. -- PTI
12:59   Hazare to launch Jan Lokpal stir from March 23 next year
Social activist Anna Hazare will launch an agitation over Jan Lokpal and farmers' issues in New Delhi on March 23 next year. Hazare, who has been the face of the Lokpal movement, said they have chosen March 23 to launch the agitation as it happens to be the 'Shaheed Diwas' (Martyr's Day).


"This will be a satyagraha for Jan Lokpal, farmers' issues and poll reforms," Hazare said, addressing a meeting of his supporters at Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district last evening. The veteran Gandhian said he has been writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on these issues but hasn't received a response. -- PTI
12:48   PM attacks Indira Gandhi for covering her nose in Gujarat
Attacking Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for calling GST 'Gabbar Singh Tax', Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Morbi, Gujarat, today that those who looted the country could only think of dacoits.


Resuming his campaign for the assembly polls in his home state, Modi also accused the Congress of taking credit and political mileage over minor schemes, like providing hand-pumps, while saying that the BJP rule brought major projects like the Narmada project for the benefit of the people.


"Those who have looted the country can only think of dacoits," he said addressing a rally at Morbi in Saurashtra, which votes in the first phase of state Assembly elections on December 9. Gandhi had earlier dubbed the Goods and Services Tax 'Gabbar Singh Tax', recalling the iconic villain in the Bollywood blockbuster "Sholay".


He also attacked Indira Gandhi saying, "When Indira-ben came to Morbi, I remember there was a photo of her in Chitralekha Magazine with a hanky over her nose due to the foul smells, but for Jansangh/RSS the streets of Morbi are fragrant; its the fragrance of humanity."


Modi added, "The Congress' development model was giving hand-pumps. For BJP it is the SAUNI scheme (the Narmada water project for Saurashtra region), where we will fill dams of Saurashtra through huge pipelines."


Modi had on Monday pushed the BJP's campaign in Gujarat into high gear by addressing four back-to-back rallies. The elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be on December 18. -- PTI
12:36   Canadian PM's historic apology to LGBT community
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has delivered a historic apology to the LGBTQ community for past injustices committed against them. The Guardian quoted the Canadian prime minister, as saying, in the House of Commons, that the gay intellectuals would be at increased risk of blackmail by Canada's adversaries was nothing short of a witch-hunt.


"This is the devastating story of people who were branded criminals by the government -- people who lost their livelihoods, and in some cases, their lives," Trudeau said.


"These aren't distant practices of governments long forgotten. This happened systematically, in Canada, with a timeline more recent than any of us would like to admit," he added.


The Canadian prime minister said the people were constantly monitored for anything that could be construed as gay behaviour at their workplaces, bars, parks and even their homes were under watch. Those admitted after interrogations to being gay were forced to leave their jobs.


"It is with shame and sorrow and deep regret for the things we have done that I stand here today and say: We were wrong. We apologise. I am sorry. We are sorry," Trudeau said to a standing ovation.


"For state-sponsored, systemic oppression and rejection, we are sorry," he added.On November 20, Trudeau had announced that his Government would offer a formal apology to the LGBTQ community. -- ANI
12:24   Gujarat seeking answers for 22-year BJP rule, Rahul tells PM
Stepping up his offensive against Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the Gujarat elections, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today sought to make the state's ruling BJP accountable for its promises in the last polls. Gandhi also brought up the BJP's 22-year rule in Gujarat and said people were demanding answers.

"22 salon ka hisaab, Gujarat mange jawaab (Gujarat demands answers for 22 years of BJP rule)," he tweeted.

Seeking to pin the government down on the issue of housing, Gandhi asked the prime minister whether it would take 45 more years to provide new houses to Gujaratis.

Giving numbers to buttress his argument, he said, "First question to the prime minister on the state of affairs in Gujarat - In 2012, he promised to provide 50 lakh new houses, but provided 4.72 lakh in five years. Will the prime minister tell whether it will take another 45 years to fulfil the promise?"

The prime minister and the opposition leader are in Gujarat today to campaign for their parties ahead of the December 9 and 14 assembly poll. Gandhi will campaign in the state for two days and will start with a visit to the famous Somnath temple. He will also hold public meetings in at least three districts today and tomorrow, party leaders said. -- PTI
12:13   Modi bows to Hyderabadi khana, non-veg dinner for Ivanka
In a departure from a strictly vegetarian menu -- the norm when Prime Minister Narendra hosts dinner for a foreign dignitary -- on the menu at the dinner for Ivanka Trump last night were mutton and chicken.

Or may be it was a nod to Hyderabad's refined and exquisite cuisine, which is intrinsically non-vegetarian.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump's daughter and presidential advisor, attended a five-course dinner at the majestic Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad yesterday.

The dinner was hosted by the Union government as part of the ongoing Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017.

Delicacies like dahi ke kebab, gosht shikampuri kebab, kubani ke malai kofta, murg pista ka salan and sitaphal kulfi were part of the menu, which of course had several courses comprising soup, sorbet, appetisers, main course and desserts.

Earlier in the day, Ivanka received a warm welcome in Hyderabad and she said the city's start-ups "may" just outshine "your world-famous biryani".

There was no biryani in the dinner which was organized around what is called the longest dining table in the world - it seats 101 people.   

The global business summit which has Ivanka leading the US delegation seeks  better opportunities for women entrepreneurs battling heavy odds around the world.

At the PM's dinner for Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and his wife in Ahmedabad in September this year, it was a strictly vegetarian Gujarati thali. Ditto when Chinese premier Xi Jinping visited Gujarat in 2014.


Representational image of Gosht Shikampuri Kebab
11:22   Quantum of punishment in Kopardi rape/murder today
A court in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar to pronounce the quantum of punishment for the three convicts in the Kopardi rape and murder case.

The court on November 18 had convicted the three men for raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in Kopardi village in 2016, which then sparked a huge outcry across the state, especially from the Maratha community.

Additional Special Judge Suvarna Kevale held Jitendra Babulal Shinde, Santosh Gorakh Bhawal and Nitin Gopinath Bhailume guilty of rape, murder and criminal conspiracy.

The victim, who belonged to the Maratha community, was found murdered after being raped on July 13 at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district.

The accused had inflicted injuries all over her body and broken her limbs before throttling her, the police said.

The incident turned out to be the trigger for the silent marches (mook morcha) by the Marathas across the state as the victim belonged to the community, while the culprits are Dalits.

Marches, joined by a large number of women, were taken out in the length and breadth of the state by the Maratha community demanding quick investigation and speedy trial in the case.


Marathas protest against the Kopardi rape and murder case in Sangli. File pic.

11:05   Haryana BJP leader who offered bounty for Deepika's head resigns
BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu who had threatened Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali over Padmavati resigns as Haryana Chief Media Coordinator of the party. Amu had offered Rs 10 crore to anyone who beheaded Deepika Padukone and Bhansali.

On Saturday, Amu threatened West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allowing the release of the film in her state.

The Haryana BJP leader, at a large gathering of the Rajput community in Bhondsi village in Gurgaon, said, "Mamata Banerjee should understand and respect the sentiments of the Rajput community. She should roll back the decision to release the film in her state and not test our patience."

The gathering, which was also attended by Karni Sena president Lokendra Kalvi, unanimously decided to prevent the screening of the film in entire Haryana.

The Haryana BJP leader, according to a Trinamool Congress leader, also threatened Banerjee would meet the same fate as Surpanakha, referring to the act of cutting the nose off. 
10:51   Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter trial begins today
A Special CBI court in Mumbai to start the trial in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh. Charges have been framed against 22 accused and summons have been sent to 20 witnesses for joining the trial. Sohrabuddin's brother Nayimuddin to also appear as a witness.
10:38   Mitra, the robot, steals the show from NaMo, Ivanka
"By contrast, Narendra Modi's address was one of his usual rousing, feel-good, perpetually-in-election-mode speeches, that talked of his government's endless achievements and patted himself and India on the back over and over again and often harked back to India's ancient achievements. These speeches evidently work magic because the crowd stamped their feet in approval. Without doubt the prime minister was the hero of the room, even if the snowman-looking Mitra came a close second."

Rediff.com's Vaihayasi Pande Daniel reports from the Global Enterpreneurs Summmit in Hyderabad. Do read.
10:29   Hadiya's husband is a terrorist, claims her father
The father of Hadiya, who has been at the centre of love jihad controversy, on Tuesday said that her husband Shafin Jahan is a terrorist.

Speaking to media, KM Ashokan, however, said that it would be established only when Supreme Court rules that.

"I do believe that he is (terrorist), but it is upto the court to decide... it would be established only when court says that. Nothing will work out if we say that he is a terrorist..we have got some evidences..but the court should pronounce it," Hadiya's father said.

When asked whether he would stop Jahan from meeting his daughter, Ashokan said whatever he will do, will be in accordance with law.

Earlier on Monday, the top court had freed Hadiya from her parent's custody and sent her to college to pursue her studies.

Hadiya was in the custody of her parents for almost six months after the Kerala High Court had in May annulled her marriage with Jahan.

Hadiya, a Hindu by birth was converted to Islam after marrying Jahan. The apex court has been hearing Hadiya's case after Jahan approached the top court after his marriage was annulled.

While Hadiya's parents have been alleging that her marriage was a case of 'love jihad' and that she was converted to Islam forcibly, Hadiya has refuted these claims so far. 
10:24   I need freedom to meet the person I love: Hadiya
Hadiya, a woman from Kerala, at the centre of an alleged love-jihad case after converting to Islam, told NDTV today that she needed freedom.

"I need freedom. For six months I have put up with people I hate. My own parents said I am mentally unstable.

"I asked the court for freedom. I wanted to meet my husband. I need freedom to meet the person I  love. I don't know if this college will be another prison. I don't have a phone. I cannot contact anyone," she told NDTV.


Hadiya arrived on Tuesday evening at the Sivaraj Homeopathy Medical College to continue studies as directed by the Supreme Court. She was brought there amid tight security by the Kerala police from Coimbatore.


College Principal G Kannan said she would continue her course under her Hindu name Akhila Ashokan. The 25-year old will be undergoing a 11-month internship at the institution as directed by the apex court on Monday.
 

The court, after the proceedings, had freed Hadiya from her parents custody and asked her to pursue her studies. It did not accede to her plea to be allowed to go with her husband. Hadiya was brought to Coimbatore by a flight and then by road.

Wearing a yellow scarf, she was whisked away to the managing directors office soon after arrival at the college campus in Salem, a town in Western Tamil Nadu.

Later, emerging from the office after about half-an-hour later, Hadiya said she has sought permission to meet her husband. I think they will allow, she had told reporters.

Replying to a question, she said security was not necessary for her. But at least for two days security will be there, she added.

Principal Kannan said her admission process has commenced and she will be attending classes from Wednesday.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had given the direction on Monday after interacting with Hadiya.

Kannan said no special treatment will be accorded to Hadiya at the hostel.

The apex court has appointed the dean of the college as Hadiyas guardian and granted him liberty to approach it in case of any problem. She was earlier staying at her parental home in Kochi for several weeks.
10:14   SC to hear 2G spectrum scam case today
The Supreme Court will hear the 2G spectrum scam case on Wednesday. In the last hearing, one of the judges in the apex court bench, Justice L Nageswar Rao, recused himself from hearing the case.


The top court had also asked not to take any action against the Enforcement Directorate Investigating Officer, Rajeshwar Singh, who is probing the 2G case. Special Judge OP Saini has been exclusively dealing with cases arising out of the 2G spectrum scam.


Two cases have been filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and another one by the Enforcement Directorate.


In its chargesheet filed against former telecom minister A Raja, DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and others in 2011, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore in the allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum.


In April 2014, the ED filed a chargesheet against 19 people, including Raja and Kanimozhi, in connection with a money laundering case relating to the scam. -- ANI
10:10   Owaisi's party to contest Karnataka polls
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen will be contesting the 2018 Karnataka Assembly Elections, party chief Asaduddin Owaisi said in a formal announcement.


After an internal meeting with the Karnataka party unit at the headquarters in Hyderabad's Darussalam, Owaisi announced the decision and said, "If we are silent, our identity will be wiped out from Indian politics."


Owaisi further stated that both - the BJP and the Congress - were not different from each other in their political motives. "There is no difference between the BJP and the Congress. The Congress speaks about freedom of expression, but there is no freedom of expression in the Congress-ruled states. They are not allowing me to address a public meeting in Karnataka," Owaisi said. -- ANI
10:07   Sensex gains in early trade on global cues
The benchmark BSE Sensex recovered by about 68 points in early trade today on the back of fresh gains in blue-chips like Reliance Industries, ITC and Infosys.

The 30-share index recovered 67.90 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 33,686.49, with sectoral indices led by PSU, consumer durables, infrastructure, capital goods, healthcare and IT advancing up to 0.42 per cent.

The barometer had lost 105.85 points in the previous session. Also, the NSE Nifty was up 21.65 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 10,391.90. -- PTI
09:42   Tejas fighter jet 'very very capable': Singapore def minister
Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen hailed India's indigenously-built multi-role light combat aircraft Tejas as "very very capable".

As the first civilian foreigner to fly on Tejas, Ng took a half-an-hour flight in the two-seater plane piloted by Air Vice Marshal A P Singh at the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal. 

"It is a very very capable plane," Ng told reporters after flying on Tejas. 

Hailing Tejas as "very impressive", Ng said, "This is the reason why our air force trains with your air force. Pilots are superb, planes are pretty good."

Praising Air Vice Marshal Singh as a "superbly confident and supremely professional" pilot, Ng said he felt as if he was riding a car and not flying in a fighter aircraft.

"In fact the plane ride was so smooth that despite the G-turns and manoeuvres, I managed to even take some selfies," Ng said.

Asked whether Singapore is interested in buying the Tejas fighter aircraft, the minister said he was not a pilot and it was up to the technical people to take a call on it.

Indian defence sources, however, said Singapore has evinced interest in Tejas.

-- PTI

Image: Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen enjoyed a half-an-hour flight in the two-seater Tejas piloted by Air Vice Marshal A P Singh. Photograph: @Ng_Eng_Hen
09:35   I like Hafiz Saeed, a big supporter of JuD: Musharraf
Former military dictator of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf has said that he is a big supporter of terror group Lashkar-e-Tayiba and that they too "like" him.

When asked by Pakistan's AryTV if he's similarly appreciative of LeT's founder and mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks Hafiz Saeed, Musharraf nodded, saying Saeed "is involved in Kashmir" and he "supports" that involvement.

Saeed, a United Nations-designated terrorist was freed from house arrest last week on an order from the Lahore high court. Musharraf has been declared a fugitive by Pakistan.

"I am the biggest supporter of LeT and I know they like me and JuD also likes me," said Musharraf, referring to both groups founded by Saeed.

The US has also branded Saeed a terrorist and put a $10 million bounty on Saeed's head after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. 
09:20   UP administration slaps fine as Maggi samples 'fail' test
The district administration in Uttar Pradeshs Shahjahanpur has slapped a fine on Nestle India and its distributors after popular noodles brand Maggi allegedly failed to pass a lab test, even as the FMCG major maintained that its a case of application of incorrect standards.

The district administration had imposed a fine of Rs 45 lakh on Nestle, Rs 15 lakh on its three distributors and Rs 11 lakh on its two sellers.

According to the district authorities, it had collected the samples last year in November and sent them for the test, which had found ash content above the permissible limits of human consumption.

Questioning the lab findings, Nestle India said it had not received the order yet and would file an appeal urgently once it received the order.
08:58   PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi back in battlefield Gujarat today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi are back in battlefield Gujarat today to power the electoral campaign of their respective parties in the bitterly-fought assembly polls.

PM Modi, who launched a campaign blitzkrieg on Monday, addressing four election rallies in different parts of Saurashtra and south Gujarat, will hold four more today, after a day's break during which he inaugurated the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and the Hyderabad Metro in the Telangana capital.

PM Modi will address rallies in Morbi and Prachi villages near Somnath, Palitana in Bhavnagar and at Navsari in south Gujarat today.

Rahul Gandhi will also be in Gujarat on a two-day campaign tour. He will kick off the current trip with a visit to the famous Somnath temple. He has been repeatedly ridiculed by the BJP for visiting a string of temples in the state during the election campaign.

The Congress vice president will visit Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts where he will interact with people and hold public meetings, party sources said.

Gujarat goes to polls in two phases on December 9 and 14, while votes will be counted on December 18.
08:30   Sachin Tendulkars No 10 jersey unofficially retired by BCCI
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to unofficially retire the No.10 jersey for international matches. The No 10, worn by Sachin Tendulkar throughout his career in ODIs and for a solitary international T20, will, henceforth, be associated only with the man himself.

Tendulkar retired in November 2013 bringing a 24-year-long career to an end. He had last worn No 10 in March 2012 when he played his last ODI against Pakistan.

Since then, No 10 was unused for nearly five years before Mumbai fast bowler Shardul Thakur decided to don it for his ODI debut at Colombo last August. This prompted trolling of Thakur and BCCI in social media with a flood of comments ridiculing the player for trying to be a Sachin.

The Mumbai Indians, incidentally, had retired No 10 in 2013 after Tendulkar retired from all forms of the game.
08:08   Nizam's kin disappointed over not being invited for Ivanka dinner
The kin of the Nizam, the ruler of erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad, are disappointed over authorities not inviting them to a reception being hosted at one of his palaces in the city for GES delegates.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a dinner at Taj Falaknuma for Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor of US President Donald Trump and other delegates attending Global Entrepreneurship Summit on Tuesday.

Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of the 7th and last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, said: It is highly disappointing and lamentable that the family of the 7th Nizam were not invited for the GES event being held in one of the palaces that represents 'our familial culture and heritage.'

"I, being the grandson of the erstwhile Royal Family, deserves an invite as the Palace is an important landmark both in our family's history and also in the history of Hyderabad," he said in a statement.

Khan said he had numerous communications over last 10 days with the authorities of Niti Aayog, who are responsible for handling the event but it evoked no response.
00:27   Prince Harry to wed Markle in May 2018 at Windsor Castle
Britain's Prince Harry will marry his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in May next year, Kensington Palace announced today.

The Royal Family will pay for the wedding, including the service, music, flowers and the reception.

The 36-year-old Markle, a protestant Christian, will be baptised and confirmed into the Anglican faith before the wedding, the palace said.

The 'Suits' actress also intends to become a British citizen and will work towards it in the coming years.

Prince Harry's communications secretary Jason Knauf described Windsor as a 'very special place' for the couple, saying they had spent time there together since meeting in July 2016.

The announcement has confirmed the speculation that the couple was due to get married in May next year after Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child is born in April.

The 33-year-old Harry, fifth in line to Britain's throne, in his first interview to the BBC after announcing his engagement yesterday said that he proposed to Markle over a 'standard' dinner of at their Nottingham Cottage home in Kensington Palace in London.

Harry, one of the world's most eligible bachelors, said he and Markle got engaged earlier this month.

The couple said that they had met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend in London last July and got to know each other while camping in Botswana, South Africa.

"He went down on one knee. It was just an amazing surprise," Markle said, adding that the experience was 'so sweet and natural and very romantic'.

"The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was confirmation to me that all the stars were aligned, everything was just perfect," Harry said.

Markle, daughter of an African-American mother and white American father, is already involved with humanitarian work and is a women's advocate with the United Nations.  -- PTI

TOP STORIES