Live: BJP members attend JPC meeting

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 08, 2012 12:08 hrs

5.38 pm:

BJP members attend JPC meeting

Ending their boycott, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members attended the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) panel's meeting on the 2G spectrum scam that ended inconclusively here on Thursday, media reports said.

According to reports, the BJP and the Left members demanded having Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram as witnesses in the case.

The BJP members earlier said the deposition of former Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekar gave enough evidence to call Singh and Chidambaram.

JPC Chairman P C Chacko, however, ruled out calling Singh for deposition.

A body of GSM operators appeared before the JPC on Thursday to give the telecom operators' view before the finalisation of the report.

5.00 pm:

Sonia to open Congress strategy meet Nov 9

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will open the party's review cum strategy meet on Friday with her remarks on the current political situation, party leaders said Thursday.

The informal meet, billed as "Samvad baithak" (dialogue meet) will be held at Surajkund near Delhi.

"The Congress chief's opening remarks about the current political situation will form the basis of the debate," Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters here.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the meeting next on the economic challenges facing the country," said Dwivedi.

4.30 pm:

Azhar relieved but won't take legal action against BCCI

Former captain Mohammad Azharuddin was today a relieved man after the life ban imposed on him for alleged involvement in match-fixing was set aside by the Andhra Pradesh High Court but refused to take legal action against the BCCI.

The 49-year-old, who is now a Lok Sabha MP from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, sought to struck a conciliatory note with the body which slapped him with the ban, saying that he would not want to blame anybody for the pain he suffered in the past 12 years.

"It was a long drawn out legal case and it was painful. We fought in the court for 11 years. There were lots of adjournments, changes in the case. But finally the verdict has come and I am happy that the ban has been lifted by the court," Azharuddin told a hastily-called press conference at his residence here.

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3.50 pm:

DMK not against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

DMK President M Karunanidhi today clarified that his party was not against the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, saying "DMK always supports industrial growth in a scientific manner."

Speaking to reporters here, the 88-year-old former Chief Minister said, "we are not against developmental projects like Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. We are in favour of industrial growth in a scientific manner".

He was replying to a question on Union Minister V Narayanasamy's reported observation that DMK initially supported the Kudankulam power project, but later backed out.

3.00 pm:

MNS leaders pray for Bal Thackeray's recovery

The deteriorating health of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray  has prompted the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena cadres to seek divine intervention.

Since most of the party workers and leaders owed their allegiance to their parent organisation Shiv Sena before they crossed over to the MNS, floated by senior Thackeray's nephew, the failing health of the patriarch has made them worried.

"Nearly fifty MNS party men paid obeisance at prominent pilgrimage centres like Pandharpur, Tuljapur and Akkalkot for the good health of Balasaheb," said a MNS legislator.

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2.34 pm:

'BJP will take call on Modi at appropriate time'

Admitting that many people want to see Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as India's next prime minister, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would take a call on this at the appropriate time. He said he would return to the party soon after having gone separate ways.

"The decision on Modi will be taken by the BJP and the NDA at an appropriate time, but I can say he is a very tall leader with no graft taint on him," said Kalyan Singh, who was chief minister when the Babri Masjid was razed in 1992 and who is all set to return to the BJP after a bitter parting.

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2.04 pm:

Life ban on Azhar illegal, rules Andhra High Court

The Andhra High Court has ruled that the life ban imposed by the BCCI on former Indian Test captain Mohammad Azharuddin for match-fixing is illegal.

The BCCI has softened its stance towards Azharuddin in the past by honouring him along with other former captains in 2006.

But the ICC has reportedly not been keen on revoking the ban.

1.33 pm:

Shah Rukh kisses Katrina in Heer

Ahead of the release of the much-awaited and much-disputed Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Yash Raj Films has released yet another song.

Heer is a romantic number picturised on Katrina Kaif and Shah Rukh Khan. A forlorn Kat strums a guitar as she reminisces about the days she spent with SRK's character, Samar.

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12.59 pm:

Major fire in paint factory in Bangalore

Bangalore: A major fire has broken out at a Berger paint factory in electronic city, about 2 km from Bommanahalli.

According to TV reports, 24 fire fighters are trying to douse the blaze.

Though there was no loss of life, the loss due to the fire is likely to run into crores.

Buildings close to the warehouse are being evacuated as there are fears of explosion triggered by stored chemicals.

Cause of the fire is still not known.

12.35 pm:

CBI officer Suresh Kumar Palsania, who was probing 2G scam, dies

CBI official Suresh Kumar Palsania, who meticulously investigated the 2G spectrum scam, died here on Wednesday night due to a blood disorder.
44-year-old Palsania, who was termed as one of the bright officers of the agency, passed away at a private hospital in South Delhi due to a terminal illness.

Hailing from Rajasthan, Palsania was a 1996 batch IPS officer of Odhisa cadre and was working with the CBI since 2006.

An engineering graduate, Palsania, who was posted as Deputy Inspector General with the CBI, was a recipient of this year's Police Medal for meritorious service announced on the Republic day.

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12.00 pm:

Assange calls Obama 'wolf in sheep's clothing'

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has described re-elected US President Barack Obama as a 'wolf in sheep's clothing', adding that he expects the American government to keep attacking his whistle blowing website.

Speaking by phone from Ecuador's London embassy, the 41-year-old Australian said today that Obama's victory was no cause for celebration.

"Obama seems to be a nice man, and that is precisely the problem," the Herald Sun quoted Assange, as saying.

"It's better to have a sheep in wolf's clothing than a wolf in sheep's clothing," he added.

According to the paper, Assange complained of the 'persecution' of WikiLeaks by Obama's government.

"All of the activities against WikiLeaks by the United States have occurred under an Obama administration," the paper quoted him, as saying.

"The Republican party has not been an effective restraining force on government excesses over the last four years," he said.

"There is no reason to believe that will change - in fact, the Republicans will push the administration into ever greater excesses," he added.

11.30 am:

Man behind anti-Muslim film sentenced to prison

The California man behind an anti-Muslim film that led to violence in many parts of the Middle East was sentenced Wednesday to a year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter, then issued a provocative statement through his attorney.

The sentence was the result of a plea bargain between lawyers for Mark Bassely Youssef and federal prosecutors. Youssef admitted in open court that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver's license under a false name. He was on probation for a bank fraud case.

Shortly after Youssef left the courtroom, his lawyer, Steven Seiden, came to the front steps of the courthouse and told reporters his client wanted to send a message.

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11.00 am:

Supervise your families and staff, Hu tells Chinese officials

President Hu Jintao Thursday asked leading officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to exercise strict self-discipline and strengthen supervision over their families and staff.

"Leading officials at all levels, especially high-ranking officials, must readily observe the code of conduct on clean governance and report all important matters," Xinhua quoted Hu as saying in a keynote speech at the opening of the CPC's 18th National Congress.

"They should both exercise strict self-discipline and strengthen education and supervision over their families and their staff; and they should never seek any privilege," Hu said.

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10.30 am:

Google doodle pays tribute to Dracula creator

It is the 165th birth anniversary of Bram Stroker, the creator of Dracula, today. Google celebrates this event in its customary fashion with a doodle.

The doodle has the same creepy feel about  it that the book has invoked in many readers across the world. Dracula himself making an appearance in the doodle.  He is surrounded by characters from the famous book. A bat which is one of  Dracula's favoured shapeshift forms is also seen flying into the night.

Bram Stoker was born on November 8, 1847 in Clontarf, Ireland. Stoker wrote his first novel in 1875. It wasn't after his death in 1912 that Dracula became famous.

10.00 am:

CPC vows to combat corruption

Communist Party of China (CPC) must make efforts to combat corruption, promote integrity and stay vigilant against degeneration, said President Hu Jintao Thursday at the party's 18th National Congress here.

Hu said combating corruption and promoting political integrity, which is a major political issue of great concern to the people, is a clear-cut and long-term political commitment of the party, reported Xinhua.

"If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state," Hu warned in a keynote report at the opening of the 18th CPC National Congress.

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9.12 am:

Bombing rocks downtown of Pakistan's largest city

Two Pakistani officials say a bomb blast has ripped through the downtown of Pakistan's largest city, sending a large plume of smoke into the sky.

Ashfaq Ahmad, from the Edhi ambulance rescue service, said its ambulances had taken four injured people from the blast site near an office of the paramilitary Rangers.

Deputy Inspector General of the Karachi police, Javed Odho, said the bomb appeared to be targeting residences for the Rangers. He had no information about injuries or whether anyone was killed.

Witnesses reported seeing a large plume of smoke in the sky.

Karachi in southern Pakistan and is the country's largest city.

There was no claim of responsibility but Taliban militants are known to operate inside the city.

9.00 am:

A bomb has exploded  near the headquarters of the  Pakistan Rangers in Karachi . At least 1 person has been  killed and 14 have been injured in the blast according to media reports.

8.30 am:

Sonia praises Indira's 'sense of fashion'

UPA Chairperson and President of Indian National Congress, Sonia Gandhi Wednesday praised former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for an innate sense of fashion and simplicity, saying her elegance was admired all over the world.

Speaking as the Chief Guest at the Convocation Ceremony of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Rae Bareli, Gandhi recalled that NIFT was conceived during the tenure of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and remembered the personal initiative of the late Prime Minister for the establishment of the institution.

She praised the social outreach programme conducted by the institute for the traditional handloom weavers and expressed hope that the young fashion designer will create their own idioms of Indian beauty and identity in the designs of the 21st century.

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8.00 am:

29 die in Guatemala quake

At least 29 people died in Guatemala Wednesday in a 7.4-magnitude undersea quake that also jolted Mexico and El Salvador.

In the worst affected San Marcos department in Guatemala, about 155 people were injured and 135 houses were destroyed, according to its governor Aroldo Rivera.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said about 100 others were missing.

The 7.4-quake quake struck at 1635 GMT, with its epicentre in the Pacific Ocean, some 24 km from Champerico municipality in Guatemala, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Thousands of Guatemalans rushed to the streets in fear of new earthquake. Public buildings have been evacuated, and some 73,000 homes were left without electricity.

Relief agencies said the toll could rise.

The powerful quake caused damage in several other places in Guatemala, including Quetzaltenango and Solola departments, and the capital Guatemala City, Xinhua reported.

It also triggered landslides in various places.

The authorities, however, have ruled out a tsunami.

Molina said 2,000 troops have been deployed to assist in relief efforts.

In neighbouring Mexico, the intensity was recorded at 7.3 on the Richter scale. Thousands of people in Mexico City were evacuated from the offices and schools.

The tremor also prompted evacuation orders in Salvador.

7.30 am:

After a tense beginning to the two-day hunger strike led by Maruti Suzuki workers who had been sacked from the Manesar plant after the July violence, the situation seems to have calmed down with 300-odd protestors camped outside the DC’s office – where they will spend the night – till they call off their fast at 4 pm today

However, two of the leaders who are part of the provisional committee that has been nominated by the jailed leadership of the Maruti Suzuki Worker’s Union – Ram Niwas and Om Prakash – continue to be under police detention, according the union members.

One of the workers said that they would call off their fast at 4 pm today and then hold a rally in protest of the local MLA Sukhbir Khataria.

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