4.00 pm: One of the MPs told the media that Speaker Meira Kumar took the action following unprecedented disturbances in the Lok Sabha when a member from Andhra Pradesh used pepper spray. Under rules, members who are suspended remain suspended for five sittings or the rest of the parliament session whichever is less. High drama took place when union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde rose to table the Telangana bill at noon. Lagadapati Rajagopal, an MP from Vijaywada, released the pepper spray towards fellow members. The seven-time German world champion has been in a coma since his December 29 ski accident, when he badly injured his head, causing serious swelling of the brain. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the attack, which is the latest in a string of incidents in which Afghan troops turned their weapons on their supposed allies. The officials said four Afghans involved in the attack were killed in the ensuing battle.
Lok Sabha poll expenditure of candidates raised to Rs 40 lakh
The candidates contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls will now be able to spend Rs 40 lakh , an increase of Rs 15 lakh from the last poll expenditure limit.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal Saibal Barman said the raise was effected in 2011 and came in force for Lok Sabha by-elections ever since. "But for the first time it will be effective in the general elections this time," Barman said. He said the contestants for Lok Sabha seats were allowed to spend Rs 25 Lakh maximum for electioneering purpose in 2009.
17 Lok Sabha members suspended over Telangana
Seventeen Lok Sabha MPs were Thursday suspended for protesting when the Telangana bill was introduced in parliament.
Former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel to quit politics
Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) president Keshubhai Patel has announced that he will be quitting active politics due to his growing age.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) deserter and former Gujarat chief minister said he will resign as a MLA when the next state assembly session begins.
"I will be resigning as an MLA due to my growing age and ill health," said the 83-year-old politician. "I will tender my resignation to the Speaker when the assembly session begins," he said.
Pertinently, Patel is an arch rival of BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. He formed the GPP in August 2012.
Beware of online dating scams: FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned against online dating scams ahead of the Valentine's Day on February 14.
"Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate. But as Valentine's Day gets closer, we want to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams," said the FBI in a release.
These criminals-who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims-usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. In reality, they often live overseas. Their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk.
Here's how the scam usually works. You're contacted online by someone who appears interested in you. He or she may have a profile you can read or a picture that is e-mailed to you. For weeks, even months, you may chat back and forth with one another, forming a connection. You may even be sent flowers or other gifts. But ultimately, it's going to happen-your new-found "friend" is going to ask you for money.
Pepper spray, knives used in Lok Sabha as Telangana bill tabled
An Andhra Pradesh parliamentarian, who has been expelled from the Congress, Thursday used pepper spray inside the Lok Sabha when the Telangana bill was tabled.
Balu Mahendra passes away
Ace director and cinematographer Balu Mahendra(74) passed away today (Feb 12) morning. He was admitted to the Vijaya Hospital in Chennai after he suffered a stroke.
Balu Mahendra has been in the news recently for his critically acclaimed Thalaimuraigal. It is a film in which he acted in the pivotal role of a grandfather.
US envoy meets Narendra Modi
Rediff: US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in Ahmedabad.
Powell had earlier sought a meeting with the BJP's PM candidate, signalling an end to the 9-year-long boycott of the controversial CM by the United States.
The US administration had revoked Modi's visa in 2005 over his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Despite repeated pleas by BJP leaders, subsequent US administrations had refused to grant a visa to Modi.
Speak in Hindi, can't understand your English: Chidu told babu?
In yet another embarrassment for the UPA government, a Secretary-level bureaucrat on Wednesday complained against Finance Minister P Chidambaram even as eyebrows were raised on the transfer of the Health Secretary.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh through Urban Development (UD) Minister Kamal Nath, UD Secretary Sudhir Krishna referred to an official meeting which led to the complaint.
'Comatose' Schumacher struck with pneumonia
Formula One legend Michael Schumacher has reportedly contracted pneumonia even as doctors are trying to bring him out of the medically-induced coma at the Grenoble hospital.
In the past four months, 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private insurance plans under President Barack Obama's signature comprehensive healthcare reform, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.
Telangana bill likely in Lok Sabha today amid MPs' suicide threats
The Parliament House complex is being turned into a fortress with MPs opposing the creation of Telangana threatening to stage angry protests as the bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh may be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Congress sources said the bill could be taken up after the rail budget is passed and if the preparations, including printing of the bill which was earlier readied for the Rajya Sabha, are complete.
AAP to table Jan Lokpal Bill today
Preparing for a showdown, the Aam Aadmi Party government has said it was going ahead with tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi assembly on Thursday notwithstanding Union Law Ministry's view that Centre's prior approval was required for it even as Congress and BJP held the move by the ruling dispensation as "unconstitutional".
"There is no rethinking in our position. We are going ahead with tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill," a senior official in the AAP government said.
2 US troops killed, 4 wounded in Afghan attack
Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded in an attack Wednesday by gunmen wearing Afghan security force uniforms in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. defense officials said.
One of the MPs told the media that Speaker Meira Kumar took the action following unprecedented disturbances in the Lok Sabha when a member from Andhra Pradesh used pepper spray.
Under rules, members who are suspended remain suspended for five sittings or the rest of the parliament session whichever is less.
High drama took place when union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde rose to table the Telangana bill at noon. Lagadapati Rajagopal, an MP from Vijaywada, released the pepper spray towards fellow members.Read more
The seven-time German world champion has been in a coma since his December 29 ski accident, when he badly injured his head, causing serious swelling of the brain.9.30 am:
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the attack, which is the latest in a string of incidents in which Afghan troops turned their weapons on their supposed allies.
The officials said four Afghans involved in the attack were killed in the ensuing battle.