Fri, 19 January 2018
Like festivals, dates of polls should be fixed: PM

Timeline  Refresh

23:06   Like festivals, dates of polls should be fixed: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today pushed for holding Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously, saying it will save a lot of time and money.

In an interview to Zee News, he said like festivals, the dates for polls should be fixed so that the politicians and the bureaucracy are not involved in the exercise of campaigning and holding elections throughout the year.

He also batted for having a single electoral roll for Lok Sabha, assembly and local body polls. To a question, he said the agenda of simultaneous polls does not belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party or Modi, but everyone must come together to brainstorm.  -- PTI 
22:18   World wants to hear directly from horse's mouth: PM on Davos
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the world wants to hear 'directly from the horse's mouth' about India's policies and growth potential and he will feel proud to tell the success story of 125 crore Indians in Davos.

Days before his first visit to Davos for the World Economic Forum annual meeting, Modi told Zee News in an interview that India has made a mark globally and there is a need to reap the benefits.

Stating that India's economy is growing rapidly and it has been recognised by the world, including all rating agencies, Modi said Davos is a 'good opportunity' for the country as it is a big market with the strength of demographic dividend.

"The country is seeing the biggest jump in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It is natural that the world wants to talk directly to India and the world wants to hear directly from the horse's mouth about India's policies and potential. It matters if you hear it from the leader," Modi said.

While terming the Davos meet as the global economy's biggest congregation of businessmen, financial institutions and policymakers, the prime minister said he has not been able to go there so far.  -- PTI
21:54   Soldier killed in Pak firing in Sunderbani
A soldier was killed in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir's in Sunderbani sector on Friday.

Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars along the Line of Control (LoC) from 1330 hours, the army said and added that they retaliated strongly and effectively.

However, in the exchange of fire, Lance Naik Sam Abraham was grievously injured and succumbed to his injuries.

Lance Naik Abraham, 34, belonged to Kerala's Allepey district and is survived by wife Mathew and daughter aged one year and 10 months. -- ANI
21:36   China to enshrine Xi's ideological thought in Constitution
Xi Jinping, recently christened as 'lingxiu', a leader with highest prestige, further cemented his powers as the most powerful leader after Mao Zedong, with the Chinese president's ideological thought set to be enshrined in the Constitution, state media said today.

The Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party of China today proposed to write 64-year-old Xi's 'Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era' into the Constitution to take forward Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"We should keep pace with the times and improve the Constitution while maintaining its consistency, stability and authority," the report quoted CPC document as saying.

The amending process should take Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guide, it said.

A proposal from the CPC Central Committee on the revision to the Constitution was adopted at the meeting.

Only the ideological thoughts of CPC founder Mao and his successor Deng Xiaoping were mentioned in the Constitution along with their names so far.

Ahead of this meeting, official media declared him as 'lingxiu' meaning a leader with highest prestige.

Xi, a princeling born to former vice premier Xi Zhongxun, will be the only modern era leader to be mentioned directly in the Constitution which analysts say may enable him to remain leader of the party and the country for life doing away with the two five-year term followed by his predecessor Hu Jintao.

Hu's predecessor Jiang Zemin also relinquished the leadership after 10 years at the helm even though he remained head of the military for a while.

Xi, who started his tenure as the head of the party, Presidency and the military in 2013, has begun his second five-year term after the once-in-a-five-year Congress of the CPC endorsed his leadership and approved his thought to be included in the Constitution.

Since then he has officially been regarded as the highest-ranking leader ending the collective leadership system followed in the past two decades.

Xi has already solidified his leadership with massive anti-graft campaign in the last five year in which over a million officials including top military generals were punished for corruption.

The CPC document has stressed that any act against the country's Constitution will be dealt with according to law.  -- PTI
20:40   Anandiben Patel new governor of Madhya Pradesh
JUST IN: Former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel made the governor of Madhya Pradesh, reports ANI.

After the death of former MP governor Ram Naresh Yadav  in 2016, Gujarat Governor O P Kohli had the additional charge of the state.  -- ANI
20:26   Karni Sena to disrupt Prasoon Joshi's lecture at Jaipur Lit Fest
The Rajput Karni Sena said today that it will protest censor board chief Prasoon Joshi's lecture at Jaipur Literature Festival that begins on January 25.

The fringe group, which has been protesting against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Padmaavat is upset at the Central Board of Film Certification for clearing the movie after suggesting some modifications.

"We don't want to hear his lecture. He has put the pride of Rajasthan at stake. How can he deliver a lecture here after humiliating us? People of Rajasthan don't want such lectures. We will protest against him," president of the group Mahipal Singh Makrana said.

Joshi will come to know what kind of protest it will be when he reaches Jaipur, Makrana said on being questioned further.

CBFC chairman Joshi plans to participate in the Jaipur Literature Festival here on January 28, just days after the scheduled release of Padmaavat on January 25.

Joshi will take part in 'Main aur Woh: Conversations with Myself'.  -- PTI
20:12   Sohrabuddin case: Lawyers' body moves HC against CBI not challenging Shah's discharge
A Mumbai-based lawyers' associationtoday filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay high court against the Central Bureau of Investigation's decision not to challenge a lower court order discharging Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case.

The Bombay Lawyers Association, which filed the public interest litigation, termed as 'illegal, arbitrary and mala fide' the CBI's decision not to challenge the December 30, 2014 order passed by a court in Mumbai discharging Shah.

The PIL urged the high court to issue a direction to the CBI to file a revision application challenging the sessions court's order discharging Shah.

The petitioner's lawyer Ahmad Abidi said the plea would be mentioned before a division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharti Dangre on January 22.

'The CBI is a premier investigating agency. It has public duty to observe the rule of law in its action but it has miserably failed,' the petition said.

It submitted that the trial court had similarly discharged two Rajasthan Police sub-inspectors, Himanshu Singhand Shyam Singh Charan, and senior Gujarat police officer N K Amin in the case.

'The petitioner has learnt that the CBI has challenged their discharge before the high court. This act of the CBI in challenging discharge of the accused persons on selective basis is arbitrary and unreasonable, rather mala fide,' the petition said.

It also claimed that the Supreme Court, while transferring the trial in the case from Gujarat to Mumbai, had ordered that it be concluded expeditiously.

"The Supreme Court had said the Administrative Committee of the high court would assign the case to a court where the trial may be concluded judiciously, in accordance with the law, and without any delay.

"The Administrative Committee would also ensure that the trial should be conducted from beginning to end by the same officer, the apex court had said in its order," it said.  -- PTI
20:00   Another civilian killed in Pak firing in Poonch
Another civilian killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan, this time in Mendhar sector of Poonch.

Earlier in the day, two civilians and a Border Security Force jawan were killed and 23 others, including 2 BSF men, were injured in heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan along the International Border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.

Meanwhile, the ministry of external affairs summoned Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah.

'He was conveyed the government's grave concerns at the continued ceasefire violations and deliberate targeting of innocent civilians by Pakistan forces,' the MEA said.

'More than 100 such violations have been carried out by Pak forces on LOC & International Border so far during 2018. It was conveyed to the concerned authorities in Pak that deliberate targeting of innocent civilians was against all established humanitarian norms and practices,' the MEA said.

Pakistan was again called upon to adhere to the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding for maintaining peace and tranquility along the Line of Control and the International Boundary, it said.  -- ANI
19:29   Grateful to Akshay for accepting our request to defer PadMan: Bhansali
In the staring game between Padmaavat and PadMan, one movie has blinked.

While addressing the media, Padmaavat director Sanjay Leela Bhansali thanked Akshay Kumar for moving the release date of his film ahead.

He said, "Padmaavat has been made after facing a lot of difficulties. We [the makers] decided to release the film on January 25, but it was clashing with Akshay Kumar's movie PadMan and we requested him to move the release date of his film ahead and he agreed. I will always be grateful to him."

Bhansali also noted that film fraternity will be really proud of Akshay for this gesture.

Meanwhile, Akshay said that there is no point of clashing now, adding, "His (Bhansali) need is more for this date than mine."

When asked why PadMan moved its release date and not Padmaavat, the National-award winning star replied, "They have a reason to release the movie this time. It is really essential for the makers of Padmaavat to release the movie as early as possible."

"We could have easily come out on the same day, we have 4,000-5,000 theatres all over the nation and we could have easily shared them. But at the moment the stake of their film is much higher than mine. So, he asked me to do it and I did it," Akshay said.

Meanwhile, he did not answer any question on the Padmaavat controversy.  -- ANI

Photograph: ANI
18:26   HC rejects AAP MLAs' petition against EC recommendation
JUST IN: Delhi high court refuses to grant interim relief to Aam Aadmi Party MLAs in Office of Profit case.

The MLAs moved the Delhi HC against the EC's recommendation to the President to disqualify 20 of them for allegedly holding offices of profit.

The pleas by seven MLAs was mentioned before a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal for urgent hearing.

The petition before the Election Commission was filed by one Prashant Patel against 21 MLAs who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the AAP government in Delhi.

Subsequently, the proceedings were dropped against Jarnail Singh after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest the Punjab assembly polls.  -- ANI, PTI
18:19   No plans of a Modi-Abbasi meet at Davos: MEA
There are no 'plans' of a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos next week, the external affairs ministry said today.

The annual meet of the WEF would be beginning on January 22.

Modi would address the opening plenary on January 23.

"As far as I am concerned there are no plans for meeting with the Pakistan Prime Minister," Secretary (Economic Relations) at the External Affairs Ministry Vijay Gokhale told reporters in New Delhi.

He was responding to a query on whether Modi would be meeting his Pakistani counterpart as the latter would also be there at WEF on the same day.

The relations between India and Pakistan are strained following series of attacks by Pakistan-based terror groups and incidents of ceasefire violations, causing casualties on both sides.

When asked whether Modi would be meeting US President Donald Trump, he said the two will not be there on the same day.

This would be Modi's first Davos visit and also the first by an Indian prime minister since the one by H D Deve Gowda in 1997.  -- PTI
17:24   Padman release postponed to Feb 9
To avert a clash with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat, the release of Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman has reportedly been postponed to February 9.

Earlier, the two films were set to release on January 25.

A report in The Times of India said the 'R Balki directorial has bowed out of the box-office battle and will release on February 9'.

Bollywood trade analyst Komal Nahata also tweeted that Padman release has been postponed.

'Breaking news: Pad Man release postponed to 9th February. Padmaavat will be solo release on 25th January,' he tweeted. 
17:22   AAP MLAs move HC against EC's recommendation
Aam Aadmi Party MLAs move Delhi high court against the Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify 20 of them for allegedly holding offices of profit.

The MLAs' petition has been mentioned before a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal, and will be heard today itself.

Meanwhile, lauding the EC's recommendation, Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party said it is a 'moral defeat' for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and he should resign.

Regretting that the EC allowed 'undue' adjournments of hearings of AAP MLAs, which 'dearly cost' the people, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the party unit 'stands prepared for elections any moment'.

"We welcome the EC decision disqualifying 20 AAP MLAs. Arvind Kejriwal should take responsibility for moral defeat and resign," he said.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said Kejriwal has lost the right to be in power.

'Kejriwal has no right to continue. Half of his cabinet ministers removed on corruption charges! 20 MLAs who were enjoying ministerial perks would be disqualified! (sic),' the Congress leader tweeted.

'Where is Lokpal? The MLAs and Ministers enjoying perks of power and foreign travel-Where is political probity (sic)?' the tweet further read.  -- PTI
16:05   Islamic State recruit from Kerala killed in Syria
A man from Kerala's Kannur district who joined the Islamic State in Syria was killed in November last year.

Kannur Deputy Superintendent of Police  Sadanandan confirmed that family of Abdul Manaf, a 27 year old Social Democratic Party of India activist got a message that he has been killed fighting for IS in Syria last year in November.

Manaf's family got the information about his death over what's app message.

The SDPI activist was also one of the accused in the murder of CPM worker Bineesh in 2009. 
15:56   EC has never touched this low: AAP
An angry AAP today claimed the Election Commission has never "touched this low", after the poll panel recommended disqualification of party's 20 MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit.

"The EC should not be the letter box of the PMO. But that is the reality today," Ashutosh tweeted.

"A person like me who has covered EC as a reporter during (T N) Seshan days, today I can say EC has never touched so low ever," the scribe-turned politician added. 

-- PTI
15:25   Don't watch Padmaavat if you are a nationalist, says BJP MLA
The controversy over Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat refuses to die down. The Rajput Karni Sena has threatened that it will not allow Censor board chief Prasoon Joshi from participating from the Jaipur Literature Festival, which begins on January 25.

Meanwhile,Raja Singh, a MLA from BJP in Hyderabad, said, "You can protest as you like... If you are nationalist don't watch the movie. If once they suffer loss then they will never distort history & facts in future. Burn or vandalise theatres, its up to you, but don't the watch movie."

And despite the SC paving the way for the nationwide release of the movie on January 25, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is yet to take a decision on Padmaavat's release. "The government had asked the advocate general to study Supreme Court's decision on Padmaavat. After studying the verdict, the state government would put forth its stand in the apex court, if required. 
14:51   China justifies infrastructure building in Doklam
China today justified its massive construction activities in the Doklam area, describing it as "legitimate" and aimed at improving the lives of its troops and the people living on its own territory.

China's reaction came amid reports that it was building a huge military complex close to the site of the Doklam standoff with India.

Asked about reports citing satellite imagery of a Chinese military complex in the area, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: "I have also noted the relevant report. I dont know who offered such kind of photos."

But at same time he said he did not have detailed information on it.

The reports raised concerns that the China may be preparing for another standoff with India. Lu, however, said: "China's position on the Donglong
(Doklam) area is quite clear. Donglong always belonged to China and always under China's effective jurisdiction. There is no dispute in this regard," he said asserting Chinese sovereignty over the area which is also claimed by Bhutan.

He said China is building infrastructure for its troops and the people living in the area.

-- PTI
14:25   EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs
The Election Commission has recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind to disqualify 20 Aam Aadmi Party legislators for allegedly holding offices of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries.

The party will be approaching judicial authorities and appeal the matter.

If cleared by the Office of the President, the disqualification would mean that of Arvind-Kejriwal led AAP's cabinet will be reduced to 47 from the existing 67.

While the President's decision remains to be seen, the disqualification may tarnish the image of a rather unconventional political party which came to power promising corruption-free governance.

Vijender Gupta, Leader of Opposition, said, "It is a delayed action by the election commission. Now the ball is in the court of the honourable President of India." 

The Congress had on June 9, 2016, moved the poll panel to seek disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs and has been pursuing the matter ever since. 

In October last year, the EC had issued a notice to the Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers for an explanation.

In June 2017, the EC rejected the MLAs pleas to drop the "office of profit" case against them and ruled that the disqualification proceedings against them will continue.
14:22   Honda recalls 22,834 cars in India
Just In: Honda recalls 22,834 units of Accord, City and Jazz models in India to rectify faulty airbags.
13:55   Modi best doctor to cure India of major 'diseases': Meghwal

Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not have an MBBS degree but he certainly is the "best doctor" to treat the illnesses that plague the country.

"There were some other countries too which got Independence from the British rule in 1947. India, however, did not see the growth rate as it should have and that was because of six major diseases.

"No doubt, there has been development, but not at the speed which was desired of it," he said. 

"Modi ji has resolved to ensure the desired pace of growth for India," Meghwal said, adding that "Modiji is not an MBBS doctor but whatever diseases have gripped the country, he is the best doctor to treat them."

He has kept cleanliness on the top, this itself shows that the Prime Minister is concerned about the industry, Meghwal told the members of Metals Recycling Association of India. 
13:06   Malala Yousafzai biopic Gul Makai being shot in Kashmir
Bollywood film Gul Makai, based on the life of teenager Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, is being shot in the Ganderbal district of Kashmir for the last few days.

Directed by Amjad Khan, the cast of the film includes Reem Shaikh, Divya Dutta, Mukesh Rishi, Abhimanyu Singh and Ajaz Khan.

"The film chronicles the journey of Malala from her days in Swat Valley to her becoming the youngest Noble peace prize winner. Major part of the film has already been shot in Bhuj and Mumbai and we are here in Kashmir to shoot the last leg of the movie," said Khan.

He further said the film aims to capture Malala's spirit, her fight, and also the reality and suffering of the people of Pakistan.

At the age of 17, Malala became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012.

She founded the Malala Fund, a non-profit organisation and in 2013 co-authored 'I am Malala', an international bestseller. She has continued to speak out on the importance of education.

-- ANI
12:30   SC upholds Mahmood Farooqui's acquittal in rape case
The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the acquittal of Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui in a rape case.

The SC dismissed the plea of the woman, a US citizen, against Farooquis acquittal by the Delhi high court in September 2017.

The Delhi HC had aside the trial court order awarding Farooqui seven years jail term for allegedly raping a US researcher. The court directed that Farooqui, who is presently in jail, be released forthwith.

The HC raised doubts over the veracity of the incident and the complaint and took note of the fact that there was delay by the victim in filing the FIR. The court also questioned if there was consent or not. It also raised the question on whether the accused understood that there was no consent.

The court made some controversial observations and said that the womans no may have in fact meant a yes. Instances of woman behaviour are not unknown that a feeble no may mean a yes, the court said. 

On July 30, 2016, a fast track court had held Farooqui guilty of rape and had stated that the statement of the victim was of "sterling quality" with no embellishments or improvements. The fast-track court also concluded that the testimony of the victim was truthful and supports the conviction of the accused.

The woman, a student at the Columbia University in New York, had told the police that she was raped by Farooqui at his Sukhdev Vihar residence in Delhi on March 28, 2015.
JUST IN: SC rejects plea of a US researcher challenging Delhi HC verdict acquitting director Mahmood Farooqui in alleged rape case. "We will not interfere with the HC verdict. It is a well written judgment," says SC.
12:05   Kamala Mills fire: Hookah triggered blaze at Mojo's Bistro
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in its reports has confirmed that the fire in Mumbai's Kamala Mills started from 'Mojo's Bistro' and spread rapidly to '1 Above' restaurant.

The reports stated that the fire started from the flying embers from the hookah being "illegally" served in the Mojo's Bistro which had partially unauthorisedly covered their terrace and used all kinds of combustible materials for the construction of the same.

Later it's spread to the 1 Above restaurant, which also had very flammable materials and caught fire immediately from the Mojo's Bistro restaurant's common wall side.

The report held the owner of Kamala Mills "equally responsible" and has recommended action against them for renting the space for pubs and restaurants, which did not took any fire safety precautions.

Apart from that, criminal action against the architect and interior designers of the two restaurants has been recommended by the local body, saying that "they acted unprofessionally and have not shown any diligence in construction of such dangerous unauthorised structure and the materials used for the same."

The civic body has recommended a departmental inquiry against 10 municipal officials and has sought three months time to conduct a detailed survey of the compound to investigate the misuse of the floor space index incentives.

The report has been handed over to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that will be later submitted in the Bombay High Court.

Earlier, the owner of the Mojo's Bistro and 1 Above restaurant were arrested in connection of the incident.

Around 14 people were killed and 12 suffered critical injuries in the massive fire that broke out at the Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel locality in Mumbai in the wee hours of December 29. 

-- ANI
11:33   Trump Hotel prices have dropped 35 per cent since Presidents inauguration
Rooms at Trump hotels have dropped by up to 66 per cent since US President Trump took office, according to new research.

Travel money provider FairFX compared January 2018 prices for a two-night stay in a variety of rooms at Trump hotels across the world with the same stay in January 2017 marking a year since Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States.

The average price of a luxury room has dropped by 25 per cent, while cheaper rooms have decreased by 35 per cent on average.

The biggest price drop can be found at Trump Panama, where an executive one-bedroom suite costs 903 for two nights in January 2018. The same room cost 3,129 this time last year a difference of 2,226, or 71 per cent.

Trump Las Vegas has also fared badly over the past 12 months; the most inexpensive room is being sold for 218 for two nights in January 2018. This is over 400 cheaper than the same room this time last year a 66 per cent reduction.

However, not all of the hotel rooms analysed have decreased, with two costing more than in 2017. In Irelands Trump Doonbeg, the price of a classic links room has risen by 23, or 7 per cent.
11:10   Karni Sena says it won't allow CBFC chief to attend Jaipur Lit Fest
The Rajput Karni Sena on Friday said it would not allow Central Board of Film Certification Chairperson Prasoon Joshi to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival, which begins on January 25. 

The outfit also said that it would not allow Padmaavat director Sanjay Leela Bhansali to shoot in Rajasthan in future.

The Supreme Court had on Thursday set aside the notification issued by the states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat against the release of the film Padmaavat. 

Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said the state will abide by the Supreme Court's decision. "We will get the court decision studied by the law department and further steps will be taken after that," Kataria said.

On January 12, the Mumbai Police arrested 132 members of the Rajput Karni Sena for protesting outside the censor board office in the city. The outfit has demanded a ban on the film.

The CBFC had cleared the film, originally titled Padmavati, for release on January 25, after asking for some cuts.
10:41   Padmaavat 'bakwas', don't watch it: Owaisi tells Muslims
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has described the controversial Hindi film Padmaavat as 'bakwas' and urged Muslims not to watch the film that revolves around legendary Rajput queen Rani Padmavati and emperor Alauddin Khilji. 

Asaduddin Owaisi said Padmaavat is a 'manhoos' (curse-ridden) and 'ghaleez' (bad) film. "Do not run after it. Do not watch it. God has not created you to watch this two-hour film. God created you to lead a good life and do good things that should be remembered for centuries," he said. 

Owaisi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set up a 12-member panel to review the 'bakwas' film and suggest cuts. The story written by poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi in 1540 is a fiction and has no historical basis, but still the government has shown so much interest on the movie based on a fiction. 
10:14   Fireman hurt after blaze breaks out at Mumbai's Navrang Studio
A major fire broke out at Navrang Studio inside Todi Mill Compound in south Mumbai's Lower Parel early today, leaving a fireman injured, a senior fire brigade official said.

Part of the studio, which was shut years ago, was gutted in the blaze. The building, in which the studio is located is dilapidated and unoccupied, the official said.

"At 1 am, our firemen received a call about the blaze in Todi Mill Compound in Lower Parel. The fire brigade jawans reached the spot by 1.17 am with eight fire engines and water tankers," chief of the Fire Brigade P S Rahangdale said.

The flames were doused within a few hours, he said.

"The fire was confined to Navrang Studio located on the fourth floor of an industrial complex, which is quite old, dilapidated and unoccupied," Rahangdale added.

He said one of the firemen received minor injuries in the incident during fire-fighting.

The studio is just a few hundred metres away from the Kamala Mills compound, where a massive blaze on December 29 killed 14 persons.
-- PTI
10:01   2 people hospitalised after ammonia gas leak in Goa
Two women were hospitalised after a tanker carrying ammonia overturned on the nearby highway connecting Vasco City to Panaji early Friday morning.

According to Police sources, a tanker carrying Ammonia gas and proceeding towards Zuari Industries at Zuarinagar fell into a roadside ditch and overturned near SAG ground at around 2.45 am.

There have been no serious casualties except for the hospitalisation of the two old women from a flat.

-- ANI
09:40   "Didn't do anything special:" Moshe's nanny who helped him escape 26/11
Describing herself as a "simple Indian woman", Sandra Samuels, who as a nanny saved the life of then two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg during 26/11 terror attacks, said she doesn't feel she did anything special. 

"My baby (Moshe) was there, I had to do something. I got a chance (to escape), I took it," she said. 

Samuels is visiting Mumbai with Moshe, who is now an 11-year-old boy living in Israel, and his grand parents. 

She said, "Everybody feels I did something special, but I don't feel so. Moshe was more special. God does everything. God put me in that position. 

"I have been extremely protective about Moshe and will always be there for him, whenever he calls me," said Samuels, who too now lives in Israel. 

"Moshe is very scared of camera flash guns. There is something in his subconscious mind that is connected to the horrific event," she said. 

Moshe's father Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and mother Rivka, who were then running the Chabad House, a Jewish cultural-religious centre, in south Mumbai, were killed with six others during the 26/11 terror attacks. 

Samuels, Moshe's nanny, managed to escape with the toddler.

Image: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu with 26/11 survivor Moshe and his nanny Sandra Samuels. Photograph: Shirish Shete/PTI Photo
09:22   Farwell, Bibi!
After an eventful and historic trip to India, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara are departing from Mumbai on Friday. 

According to reports, the Israeli PM was escorted to the airport by a 50 car cavalcade. Netanyahu had received a rousing welcome to India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi breaking protocol and receiving him at Delhi's Palam airport. 

During his stay here, the Netanyahus visited Ahmedabad where they flew kites along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, visited the Sabarmati Ashram, followed by the Icreate event. 

In Mumbai, the Israeli PM paid tribute to the 26/11 victims and visited Moshe, a survivor of the 2008 attacks, at Chabad House and then attended a Bollywood event. 
09:15   Hafiz Saeed should be prosecuted to fullest extent of law: US
The United States has called for Hafiz Saeed's prosecution "to the fullest extent of the law", following Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's remark that no action could be taken against the UN-designated terrorist.

Abbasi, during an interview to Geo TV on Tuesday, referred to Saeed as 'sahib' or 'sir'.

"There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan. Only when there is a case can there be action," Abbasi said when asked why there was no action against Saeed.

Reacting strongly to the comments, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the US believes that Saeed should be prosecuted and they have told Pakistan as much.

"We believe that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He is listed by the UNSC 1267, the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is a designated foreign terror organisation," Nauert said. 

"We have made our points and concerns to the Pakistani government very clear. We believe that this individual should be prosecuted," Nauert said.

-- PTI
08:54   Filmfare awards announced; Newton snubbed in all major categories
One of Bollywoods biggest film awards, Filmfare Awards released its list of nominees for 2018. While most categories saw a concoction of various genres, a few disappointments or should we say shocks were also registered.

Rajkummar Raos big film and Indias official selection for the Academy Awards, Newton, was not nominated in any of the major categories like Best Film, Best Director or even Best Actor. 

Pankaj Tripathi, however, won a nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category. Other nomination for the film included Best Editing, Best Original Story, Best Dialogue and Best Cinematography.

Varun Dhawans Badrinath Ki Dulhania has been nominated in seven categories but Aamir Khans Secret Superstar still outshined it with nominations in nine categories.

When it comes to Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male), Akshay Kumar ("Toilet: Ek Prem Katha"), Ayushmann Khurrana ("Shubh Mangal Saavdhan"), Hrithik Roshan ("Kaabil"), Irrfan Khan ("Hindi Medium"), Shah Rukh Khan ("Raees") and Varun Dhawan ("Badrinath Ki Dulhania") are in the race.

The award gala will be held on January 20.

See full list of nominees HERE
08:30   Pakistan will try to make Trump pay
Before the news cycleand the president himselfgot consumed with the new White House tell-all last week, Donald Trump made a good foreign policy decision, albeit seemingly in haste. 

The administration announced it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan, on the grounds that the country is continuing to arm, assist, fund, and provide sanctuary to a wide array of Islamist militant groups that are murdering US troops and their allies in Afghanistan. 

Well-placed sources involved with calculating the relevant funds have told me that this was not a planned policy and took the other agencies, not to mention the Pakistanis, by complete surprise. 

Read full column here
08:04   'Will my Bollywood selfie beat Ellen's Hollywood selfie at the Oscars?
Mumbai was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's last stop before his early Friday morning flight. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has spent five days in India to deepen ties and seal deals between the two countries, had a request at the end it. He wanted a selfie.

This one, he said, would have a message.

"I am so passionate about this relationship and I want every Indian and every Israeli to know about the phenomenal friendship between the two countries. So I have an idea, one of the most viral pictures of all time took place at the Oscars, and several celebrities including Brad Pitt took a selfie," Netanyahu said after a short speech peppered with witty remarks that had his star-studded audience breaking into a smile, now and then.

"I want all the Bollywood celebrities, producers and stars to join together for a selfie. Let a few hundred million people see the friendship," Netanyahu said.

The stars quickly agreed. Amitabh Bachchan, the tallest of them, held the selfie stick and a few minutes later, the Israeli PM uploaded the picture.

"My best selfie yet," the Israel PM said about the selfie that also had Randhir Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, Sara Ali Khan, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, Madhur Bhandarkar, Nikkhil Advani, Abhishek Kapoor and Subhash Ghai.

It is interesting to see if Netanyahu's image outdoes Ellen DeGeneres' selfie at the Oscars. 
00:13   No action can be taken against Hafiz Saeed 'sahib': Pak PM
Pakistan will not act against Hafiz Saeed 'sahib' as there is no case registered against him in the country, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said, giving a clean chit to the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind.

Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.

It has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the United States in June 2014.

Abbasi, during an interview to Geo TV on Tuesday, referred to Saeed as 'sahib' or 'sir'.

"There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan. Only when there is a case can there be action," Abbasi said when asked why there was no action against Saeed, a United Nations-designated terrorist.

After his release from house arrest, Saeed had confirmed that the JuD will contest the 2018 general elections under the banner of the Milli Muslim League, which is yet to be registered with the Election Commission.

The US has said it was concerned about Saeed running for office in Pakistan despite carrying a $10 million bounty on his head for terror activities.

It had also asked Pakistan to re-arrest him.

When asked why the Pakistan government did not let Saeed's party go mainstream, Abbasi claimed that it was not the government's decision and that the Election Commission acts according to its own rules.

He also said there was no danger of a war with India and both countries should ensure there is no escalation of the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.   -- PTI