Unfazed by protests from different quarters including a ruling BJD MP, the state government today gave the nod to the Odisha Cricket Association for hosting the ICC Women's World Cup matches involving players from Pakistan at Cuttack.
"We will ensure proper security for the players from Pakistan and see to it the international event conducted smoothly at Cuttack," Director General of Police (DGP), Prakash Mishra told reporters after OCA functionaries held discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
"It is not possible to debar Pakistani team as the tournament is being organised by ICC," Mishra added.
Earlier, the DGP had a meeting with OCA functionaries.
"Chief Minister has assured us that the government will make fullproof security arrangements for the teams including the one from Pakistan," said OCA President Ranjib Biswal, adding that he would like to appeal all to cooperate.
OCA secretary Asribad Behera said conducting such an international tournament would add to the glory of the state.
"We condemn Pakistani soilder's act of beheading jawans of our country. But it should not affect sports," he said.
The government today hiked the import duty on gold and platinum to 6 per cent from 4 per cent with immediate effect - a move aimed at curbing imports of the precious metals to check the widening current account deficit.
"Government has decided to increase import duty on gold and platinum from 4 per cent to 6 per cent with immediate effect," Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram told reporters.
He further said the government will link Gold Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) with gold deposit scheme, which will enable mutual funds to unlock their physical gold and invest in gold- linked schemes offered by banks.
"The changes proposed to the Gold deposit scheme will make it attractive for individuals to deposit their idle gold with the banks under the Gold deposit scheme," Mayaram said.
He said the changes would help moderate import of gold and help in bridging the current account deficit (CAD).
Gold imports in 2011-12 amounted to USD 56.5 billion and in the current financial year, till December, they are estimated at USD 38 billion
Taliban attack on Kabul police HQ kills 3 officers
Two Taliban suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gates of the Kabul traffic police headquarters early Monday before another group of militants stormed the compound, battling security forces for nine hours in an attack that left three policemen and all five attackers dead, authorities said.
The coordinated assault was the second brazen raid in the heart of the Afghan capital in less than a week, a sign that the insurgency is determined to keep carrying out such spectacular attacks even as the U.S. and Afghan governments try to coax the Taliban into holding peace talks.Nine hours after Monday's insurgent attack began with two of the five attackers blowing themselves up, police commandos killed the last two insurgents holed up in the police headquarters, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said. He added that four traffic policemen and 10 civilians were also been wounded in the fighting.
Hearing on the Delhi gangrape case begins at the fast-track court. The court has invoked in-camera proceedings. The Special court will hear arguments on charges in the gang-rape case from January 24.
Good job dad, says Obama's daughter
President Barack Obama's 11-year-old daughter Sasha gave a rare glimpse into the 44th US president's personal life, after watching her father take the oath of office to begin his second term.
As her father gave her a hug after the swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House, Sasha said 'good job dad'.Read more
The BJP has demanded that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to tender an unconditional apology for Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's remarks on 'Hindu terrorism'. They also demanded that the Home Minister resigns from his post.
The BJP has also announced a nationwide protest against Shinde's remark on January 24.
Goa rape: School principal sent to 7-day police custody
A local court on Monday sent the headmistress of a Goa school, where a seven-year-old girl was raped, to police custody for seven days.
The headmistress was arrested yesterday for negligence.
Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Vasco remanded Mormugao Port Trust-run school's headmistress Sharlet Furtado in seven-day police remand.
Shinde, darling of terrorists: RSS
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spokesperson Ram Madhav said on Monday that Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's comment on Hindu terror have made "real terrorists" like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) very happy, and added that they have welcomed it.
"Today, Jamat ud Dawa etc. congratulated Shinde. Now, he has become the darling of real terrorists. It is Shinde who is helping our enemies by such statements. Now, even the LeT has welcomed his statement I am told," Madhav tweeted.
"Shinde says what he said abt Hindu terror is what was reported in media. Then he shud b a news reader, not home minister of India," he added.Read more
Soon, 181 women helpline across India
A month after releasing the three-digit emergency number for women in Delhi, the government today said it will make available the '181' women helpline number to all states of the country.
"We will give single emergency number 181 to women across the country," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.
Islamist groups seek ban on authors who read out from 'The Satanic Verses' in 2012
Islamists groups on Sunday issued a statement warning the organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival against allowing authors who had read out passages from Salman Rushdie's 'Satanic Verses' at the event last year, CNN IBN reports.
The statement seeks a ban on four authors - Amitava Kumar, Ruchir Sharma, Jeet Thayil and Hari Kunzru - who had read out passages from the controversial book.
The Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 will be held from January 24 to 28.
Child commits suicide as parents fail to pay for school picnic
A class seven student of an upper primary school in Odisha's Ganjam district allegedly committed suicide due to his parent's failure to pay contribution for his school picnic, police said on Monday.
Balaram Nayak (12) allegedly committed suicide by hanging in the house at Gobara under Gangapur police station limit, about 70-km from here after returning from the school on Saturday as his parents could not pay the required money for the picnic, they said.
The Sheila Dikshit government has decided to raise the cap on subsidised cooking gas cylinders from 9 to 12 cylinders per annum, reports CNN IBN
The move, however, will benefit only the BPL (below poverty line) card holders. The decision was taken as part of the 'Kerosene-free Delhi' scheme.
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on Tuesday the plea of one of the six accused in the December 16 gangrape and murder case for shifting the trial to a place outside Delhi.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir listed the matter for tomorrow after the advocate for accused Mukesh pleaded for an urgent hearing on the ground that free and fair hearing is not possible here because of strong public sentiment against him.Read more
Assad's mother leaves Syria
The mother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly left the war-torn country and joined her daughter in Dubai, according to an activist and expatriates in the United Arab Emirates.
The Age quoted Syrian expatriates, as saying that Anisa Makhluf has been living next to her daughter, Bushra, Assad's only sister, in Dubai for about 10 days.Read more
Dogs kill 31 black bucks in Kanpur Zoo
Wild dogs killed 31 black bucks at Kanpur Zoo on Sunday, said reports.
There were 38 animals in the enclosure.
It is not clear how the dogs managed to enter the enclosure where the endangered animals were being kept.
A report quoted Kanpur Zoo director K. Praveen Rao as saying that the situation was discovered on Sunday morning. Some dogs were still eating the remains of the dead animals.
The dogs were chased out and two dogs were shot dead by guards.
It is still not clear what action is being taken against the zoo authorities.
Girl gang-raped, filmed and thrown out of moving car in Punjab
Another incident of gang rape came to light in north India when a woman was thrown out of a moving car after being forced upon for two days in Punjab.
A man and two women kidnapped the victim, who had gone to Chandigarh for a job interview, on Friday (January 18) on the pretext of asking directions, after which she was drugged and raped at a deserted location.
The accused then drugged her again and threw her out of a moving car near Bathinda on Sunday (January 20), where she was found and taken to a local hospital.
The traumatized victim recounted the horror she had faced, alleging that two women had helped the rapists.Read more
Lance Armstrong movie in the works
Paramount Pictures and film producer J.J. Abrams are planning to bring the career of disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong to the big screen, The Hollywood Reporter said.
Paramount and Abrams' Bad Robot have secured the rights to adapt a forthcoming book on Armstrong by The New York Times sportswriter Juliet Macur for the cinema.
Macur's book, titled "Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong", is due out in June in the US.
Increased rail fares effective from today
The first increase in rail fares in the last decade will come into effect starting today. The fare hike is expected to mop up an additional Rs 6,600 crore annually for the government.
The fare hike also covered services like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto type trains. However, it exempted platform tickets from any hike, reports CNN IBN.
Insurgents hit police facility in Afghan capital
Afghan police say insurgents have attacked one of their compounds in western Kabul, there are at least two explosions and a gun battle has broken out.
Police officer Mirzal Mohammad says at least one insurgent blew himself up at the entrance to traffic police headquarters just before dawn Monday and a number of others wearing suicide vests entered the building.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene says big explosions have been heard in and around the building and heavy gunfire can be heard.
Climbers killed by UK avalanche 'fell 1,000 feet'
A mountain rescuer says the four climbers who died in an avalanche in the Scotland Highlands fell around 1,000 feet (300 meters) and ended up buried in thick snow.
The two men and two women were found dead Saturday after the accident at Glencoe, one of Scotland's best-known glens. A fifth woman in the group, aged 24, has been hospitalized with serious injuries and a sixth man managed to escape using his ice ax.
Andy Nelson from the Glencoe Mountain Rescue team said the group was buried in snow up to 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) deep. He said Sunday the slide would have unfolded "in a split second" and "they would have been traveling at a speed that was impossible to stop."
Indicted Megaupload founder opens new sharing site
Indicted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom launched a new file-sharing website that promises users greater privacy and defies the U.S. prosecutors who accuse him of facilitating massive online piracy.
The colorful entrepreneur unveiled the "Mega" site ahead of a lavish gala and news conference at his New Zealand mansion on Sunday night, the anniversary of his arrest on racketeering charges related to his now-shuttered Megaupload file-sharing site. The site Dotcom started in 2005 was one of the most popular sites on the Web until U.S. prosecutors shut it down and accused him and several company officials of facilitating millions of illegal downloads.
Ranbhir Kapoor took a dark lady home, winning her in the best actor (male) category for his role in 'Barfi!'. The film won seven awards in total, followed by 'Kahaani' which won five awards, including a best actor (female) for Vidhya Balan, her fourth Filmfare.