President leaves on two-nation visit
President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday left on a week-long foreign trip that will see him inaugurate a major Indian cultural festival in Brussels, Belgium, and pay a state visit to Turkey.
He will visit Belgium from Oct 2-5 on the invitation of King Philippe. It would be the first visit by an Indian president to Belgium. He will visit Turkey from Oct 5-7, at the invitation of the President of Turkey Abdullah Gul.
The president is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including four vice chancellors of Indian universities.
"We will take the harshest measures against police officers who indulge in such matters," Director General of Police Kishan Kumar said. He also asked victims of such harassment to write to him directly for action against the errant cops.
"We don't want bad image created about Goa. No one should be stopped on road without a specific reason. Whomsoever is caught indulging in such practice will not be spared. Harshest measures will be taken against policemen indulging in these action," Kumar said.
"China has 10.68 million Manchu people, but fewer than 100 who know the language, while the number who have mastered the language is no more than 10," said Cao Meng, director of the Northern Chinese Ethnic Minority Culture Research Centre, citing a report by the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences.
The Manchu language was standardised as the national language by the Manchus, China's third most populous ethnic group, which founded the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and ruled the country for over 260 years.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday lashed out at Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for asking all secular forces to unite against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying it is a call of desperation.
"The PM's appeal to the secular parties to come together to fight Modi is a call of desperation because they know very well, they can read the writing on the wall that increasing popularity of Modi, increasing mobilization behind BJP is sure to knock them out. And that's why, they are now afraid," said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.
"And therefore, they are trying everything possible. This is a call of a person who is desperate to cling on to his position. So, this tells the story of the mood of the nation," he added.
Dr. Singh yesterday appealed to all secular forces to 'combine' to face the 'onslaught' of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Modi.
The leaders paid floral tributes at Rajghat -- the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi on the banks of the Yamuna river. They were accompanied by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.
A minute's silence was observed at the black stone memorial by all the leaders.
The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti across the country. It is also marked as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi, born this day in 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat, played a key role in India's independence struggle. He was assassinated Jan 30, 1948.9.40 am:
Barcelona had narrowly claimed a 1-0 win over Scottish side Celtic in their Champions League clash in Glasgow on Tuesday, leaving the Spanish giants on the top of Group H.
Despite failing to get the better of Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the opening 45 minutes, the Catalans made their recovery helped by the red-card dismissal of Celtic skipper Scott Brown in the 59th minute and gained revenge for their defeat at the same venue last season with a second-half goal from Cesc Fabregas.
According to Fox News, with the victory, Barcelona is leading at the top of the Group H table on six points following the 1-1 draw between AC Milan and Ajax, while Celtic has been handed a rare home defeat in the Champions League.
Although Barcelona has made a 100 percent start to their season, its manager Gerardo Martino hailed Celtic as their toughest opponents till date, although he said that their combination of long balls with their one-touch game managed to make them more dynamic and unpredictable in the game.Barcelona was missing Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Carles Puyol through injury and had opted for Neymar, Fabregas and Pedro Rodriguez up front, the report added.
"We completely reject the Venezuelan government's allegations of the US government involvement in any type of conspiracy to destabilise the Venezuelan government," department's spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
"In accordance with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and on consular relations, the United States may take reciprocal action," for Caracas' decision to expel the three diplomats, she said.
"We're still considering what actions we might take," Psaki added.
The Venezuelan government ordered Kelly Keiderling, Elizabeth Hunderland and David Mutt to leave the country within 48 hours.
Keiderling is the highest-ranking US diplomat in Venezuela.
About 10,000 federal employees in Puerto Rico, a US commonwealth, were affected Tuesday by the shutdown, where there was practically no activity at several of the agencies that are directed from Washington.
The most noteworthy effect occurred in San Juan, where Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristobal, two of the city's - and the island's - main tourist attractions, remained closed.
The El Yunque National Park -- the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System -- also could not be visited by tourists due to the government shutdown.7. 30 am