9. 20 pm:
Delhi gang-rape victim's condition worsens
The condition of the 23-year-old victim of a gruesome gang-rape in Delhi, admitted in a super-speciality hospital here yesterday, has taken a "turn for the worse" tonight with signs of severe organ failure.
"As of 9 pm (6:30 PM IST), the patient's condition has taken a turn for the worse. Her vital signs are deteriorating with signs of severe organ failure," Dr Kelvin Loh, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Elizabeth Hospital said in a statement.
"This is despite doctors fighting for her life including putting her on maximum artificial ventilation support, optimal antibiotic doses as well as stimulants which maximise her body's capability to fight infections," the CEO said.
"Her family members have been informed that her condition has deteriorated and they are currently by her side to encourage and comfort her," he added.
The statement said the hospital's medical team continues to "provide all possible treatment and care", to the victim, who was air-dashed from the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi for specialised treatment.
He said the the High Commission of India is with her and her family at this critical time.
Park St incident not rape case, only misunderstanding, says MP
Close on the heels of a row over CPI-M leader's derogatory remarks against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a Trinamool Congress MP today courted controversy saying the Park Street incident in February was not at all a case of rape.
"...That was a different case altogether. That was not at all a rape case. It was a misunderstanding between two parties involved in professional dealings. Between the lady and her client," TMC MP Kakoli Ghose Dastidar told a TV channel.
Ghose Dastidar made the comment while reacting to the derogatory remarks made by CPI-M leader Anisur Rehman at Itahar in North Dinajpur district on Wednesday. Rehman had apologised yesterday after triggering a political storm.7.25 pm:
A few failures won't make Dhoni a bad captain
There has been a lot of speculations about his future as India captain after 10 Test losses in recent times, but former Pakistan wicketkeeper Wasim Bari feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still the best man to lead his country.
"Just a few failures won't make Mahendra Singh Dhoni a bad skipper overnight. One needs to understand that he has given you two World Cups which is a splendid achievement. He is special player and a fantastic wicketkeeper," Bari, who is in India as the Goodwill Ambassador of Pakistan Cricket Board, said during an interaction.
There were discussions regarding how good wicketkeepers are as captains, and Bari cited his own example that he never enjoyed being in the hot seat.
Top Punjab cop gets defensive about gang-rape
The chief of Punjab Police went on the defensive in connection with the Patiala gang-rape incident after the high court served a notice on his force on Friday, and admitted that the incident has been handled unprofessionally.
Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini said that all essential action would be taken against those guilty in the case.
"We have registered a criminal case against the erring Sub-Inspector and other Policemen who were involved in the case," he said.
Saini further stated that a departmental inquiry has also begun to reveal the truth related to the matter.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Government has announced a three-member panel to probe the Patiala gang-rape case. The team, which would be headed by ADG (Crime), would look into aspect of dereliction of duty by an officer in this case.
No double-meaning comedy, BCCC advises TV channels
The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has issued an advisory for channels of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) to keep the content of comedy shows in check.
According to BCCC officials, there is a lot of double-meaning language being used in comedy shows, and sometimes it crosses the line towards vulgarity on various channels, and they have received complaints regarding it.
Politics not reason for rape survivor's shift, says govt
Shifting of the 23-year-old gang rape victim was "purely a medical decision" and there was no political interference in the matter, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said today.
He also said the government only helped in the logistics like providing passports for travel, hospitalisation and boarding and lodging of the family.
"The shifting was not done due to some political reasons. It was done for medical purposes. It was purely a medical decision take by the doctors," Khurshid said when asked about reports that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was instrumental in shifting of the rape victim.
Jaya opposes setting up of anti-terror cell
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the move to set up a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) should be taken in consultation with the states.
Jayalalithaa had earlier opposed the setting up of the NCTC, and reiterated her opposition on Friday.
In a letter to Manmohan Singh, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa said she learned from reliable sources about the renewed move to set up the NCTC under the union home ministry.
'The Immortals of Meluha' will be game-changer for us: Karan Johar
Filmmaker Karan Johar, who is making a film based on the popular book "Immortals of Meluha", believes that the movie adaptation will prove to be a game-changer for his banner Dharma Productions.
"For me, it is not just another film. I would say it would be a game-changer for Dharma Productions," the 40-year-old said here Thursday at the launch of the cover page of the third book of writer Amish Tripathi's Shiva trilogy, "Oath of the Vayuputras".
China passes rules tightening controls on Internet
China's government tightened controls on Internet users Friday by enacting rules requiring them to register their names. The new rules follow online postings about graft and abuses that rattled the ruling party.
The country's rubber-stamp legislature approved the Internet measures at a closing meeting of a five-day session.
Real-name registration will curtail the Web's status as a freewheeling forum to complain, often anonymously, about corruption and official abuses.
TRS chief unhappy with Telangana meet
Unhappy with the outcome of the meeting convened by Centre on Telangana issue, TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao on Friday termed it as a "futile exercise" while announcing a Telangana bandh on Saturday to protest against the Government's attitude towards the demand for a separate state.
Rao, the political face of the Telangana separate statehood agitation for the past few years, said he was just "not satisfied" with the Centre's announcement that a decision will be taken in a month's time.
Don't commodify woman's sensuality: Shabana Azmi
Celebration of a woman's sensuality was healthy but Bollywood's heroines would "do well to make more discerning choices", says actress and social activist Shabana Azmi.
As debate swirls over incidents of violence against women, particularly the gang-rape of a young woman now battling for life in a Singapore hospital, Shabana tweeted Thursday night: "Celebration of a woman's sensuality is healthy, but commodification is not and our heroines will do well to make more discerning choices."
"Crass lyrics, voyeuristic camera angles, fragmented images of heaving breasts, swivelling navels, swinging hips rob women of autonomy. So much easier to blame than to reflect and share part of the blame. All sections of society, including films need to analyse how we are part culpable," she added.
TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao unhappy with Centre's meet on Telangana, calls for bandh in the region tomorrow.
No action against Abhijit Mukherjee, says Congress
Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee had apologised for his remark that women protesting against rape were "dented-painted" and there was no scope for action against him, the party said Friday.
"He has realised it himself and apologised. Where is the scope for action," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters.
The controversy had erupted Thursday after Mukherjee, the son of President Pranab Mukherjee and a Congress MP from Jangipur in West Bengal, was quoted as telling a TV channel on Christmas: "Those who claim to be students - I can see many beautiful women among them, they were highly dented-painted - they're giving interviews on TV, they've brought their children to show them the scenes."
He later issued an "unconditional apology".
The comments led to outrage from various quarters, including from his sister Sharmishtha who expressed "utter shock and anguish" at the remarks.
The all party meeting on the Telangana issue has ended inconclusively. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has assured that a decision on the issue will be taken within a month. The YSR Congress has not made its stand on the issue clear, while the Telugu Desam Party is for a separate state of Telangana.
The Singapore hospital where the gang-rape survivor is currently being treated says that she has an infection in the abdomen. She cannot be operated on presently and it could be months before recovery, says CNN-IBN report
The report quoted the Singapore hospital as saying that she has significant brain injury and infection in lungs.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have once again assured the nation on the heinous Delhi gangrape case. Sonia said that her prayers are with the rape survivor and that those behind this crime will be brought to book.
The PM has said that his government is committed to punishing the guilty.
US general who led Operation Desert Storm dies
Retired US general Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the coalition forces to drive former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's army out of Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm, died at age of 78, reported Xinhua citing a media report Thursday.
Schwarzkopf, popularly known as "Stormin' Norman", died in Tampa, Florida, where he retired after his last military posting as commander-in-chief of the US Central Command.
Former president George H.W. Bush, who organized the Operation Desert Storm in 1991 during his one term in office, was the first to issue a statement mourning his loss.
Egypt's Hosni Mubarak transferred to military hospital
Egypt's Prosecutor-General Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah Thursday ordered to transfer former president Hosni Mubarak who is serving life imprisonment in a Cairo prison to a nearby military hospital, Xinhua reported.
"The hospital has to provide the general prosecution with a detailed inclusive report on Mubarak's health condition and the progress of his treatment," he said, adding Mubarak would be sent back to Tora Prison hospital immediately after recovery.
Mubarak was transferred last week from prison hospital to Maadi Military Hospital in Cairo to undergo CT scan and was returned later.
The former Egyptian president, who is serving life imprisonment for ordering the killing of protesters in 2011, was recently injured in his head after slipping and falling down in a bathroom of the prison hospital.
US shuts embassy in Central African Republic as violence escalates
The State Department has closed its embassy in the Central African Republic and ordered the ambassador and his diplomatic team to leave the country as rebels there continue to advance and violence escalates, U.S. officials said Thursday.
A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, said that at the State Department's request, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had directed U.S. Africa Command to evacuate U.S. citizens and designated foreign nationals from the U.S. Embassy in Bangui "to safe havens in the region."
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the U.S. Embassy had temporarily suspended operations, but not diplomatic relations with the country.
Benzir Bhutto's son launches political career
Bilawal Bhutto, the son of Pakistan's slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, launched his political career on the anniversary of his mother's death, pledging to continue the fight for the poor and against "anti-democratic forces".
Bhutto made his first major public speech in front of a crowd of more than 2 lakh people who had gathered at the Bhutto family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in the southern province of Sindh to pay their respects to Benazir.
Iran supports peaceful settlement of Syrian crisis
Iran has said it is in favour of peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis, Xinhua reported.
"Tehran supports any well-intentioned move aimed at putting an end to the ongoing aggressions in Syria and restoration of peace and security in that country," said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi.
The Islamic republic would spare no effort aimed at the restoration of peace and security in the Arab state, he said, adding Tehran would never allow "foreign prescription" for the Syrian issue.
The Syrian conflict has claimed around 40,000 lives since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar-Al Assad started in March 2011.
Ratan Tata, who led the transformation of the Tata group from a conventional corporate house into a $100 billion global conglomerate with high-profile acquisitions abroad, will retire on Friday ending a 50-year run in one of India's oldest business empires.
Marking a generational change, Tata, who turns 75 today, will hand over the reins of the group to 44-year-old Cyrus Mistry, who was chosen his successor last year and formally appointed chairman earlier this month.
Tata is hanging up his boots after steering the group for 21 years as its Chairman, when he succeeded the legendary JRD Tata. While JRD made Tata the Chairman out of the blue in 1991 RPT 1991, Mistry of the Shapoorji Pallonji group and whose family owns 18% stake in Tata Sons, was chosen by a five-member selection committee.