Teen-ager thrown out of moving train in Haryana
A 17-year-old boy was thrown out of a moving train by two men after a tiff over a seat in Haryana's Rohtak district, police said Tuesday.
The teen-ager, Aneesh from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, was going to Delhi. He was rushed to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in a critical condition.
Police said the incident took place late Monday evening on the Awadh-Assam Express train on the Delhi-Ferozepur railway line near Khairati village in Haryana's Rohtak district, 70 km from Delhi.
The Government Railway Police (GRP) have arrested both the accused after registering a case of attempt to murder against them.
Aneesh got down to drink water at Rohtak. When he returned, he found two men occupying his seat.
"When he asked them to vacate the seat, they argued with him before throwing him out of the moving train. Aneesh's friends overpowered the accused and handed them over to the GRP at Jind railway station," police said.
The GRP found Aneesh in a critical condition on the railway tracks near Khairati village.
Kejriwal latest not-so-new expose targets Modi
In a blink-and-you-miss press conference, the Aam Aadmi founder accused the Modi government of having a stake in Reliance Industries's KG basin through a firm called GeoGlobal, which it had special favours to.
FDI in retail is death knell for small industries
Asserting that FDI in multi-brand retail will sound the "death knell" for small industries and traders, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj Tuesday accused the government of having failed to evolve a political consensus on the controversial issue despite making a promise in parliament.
Initiating the debate in the Lok Sabha on FDI in retail, the leader of opposition said the government claim that foreign investment would benefit farmers, consumers and generate employment was a myth.
"The government has gone back on its promise of holding consultation with all stakeholders before allowing FDI in retail. It is sad that no effort was made to make a political consensus and no meeting or any consultation was held with even the main opposition party," she said.
IOC suspends Indian Olympic Association
Two officials with knowledge of the decision say the IOC has suspended India's national Olympic committee because of government interference.
The officials tell The Associated Press that the IOC executive board imposed the sanctions Tuesday after the Indian Olympic Association failed to comply with the world body's rules on the holding of elections.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the official announcement hadn't been made yet.
Mulayam Singh Yadav rounded up with various other advices, including a warning that if the Congress is hoping that FDI in Retail will give it a boost in the upcoming elections, then that strategy would fail. Yadav said he believed that the entire policy would be ruinous to the country.
Think of Gandhiji's dictums, Mulayam to Sonia
In a interestingly vague connection, Mulayam Singh Yadav made a personal request to Sonia Gandhi, asking her to drop the idea of FDI in Retail since, as she is a 'Gandhi' she should recall the dictum of Mahatma Gandhiji, 'Swadeshi, not Videshi'.
Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party makes his statement -
"It is the duty of the opposition to let you know when you are wrong. Which is why we are advising you (the Government) to drop this policy (FDI in Retail). This policy is not good for the nation."
Mulayam says - "MNCs will first wage a price war on our local farmers, then wipe them out, then dominate the market. "
This point has been repeatedly bought up by the BJP as well. The feeling is that big players like Wal-Mart will decimate the local competition.
A similar argument had been made before the 1991 liberalization as well. This debate has several echoes of those debates of those days as well.
Sibal's closing -
We look at the people outside these walls. We look at their hopes and dreams. We want to create an environment where they can go out and grow and make India strong.
We do not create policy depending on which side of the House we sit.
We look beyond you (the opposition benches) to the benefit of the country. While you (the BJP) only eye our seats, our sight in on the nation.
Who goes to Walmart?, asks Sibal
Sibal, in a biting example, pointed out that for example, no Walmart could be opened in Delhi, due to lack of space andr egulations. The Walmart would be opened about 30 kilometers into the rural hinderland, Sibal said.
From there, he said, no BPL family would go to Walmart on a cycle or by walk. Few families with scooters or motorcycles would make the 60 kilometer round trip. In fact only middle or upper middle class would visit in cars to buy specific items.
Sibal's point was that, all these people, perhaps the majority, would still purchase their ration from local shops.
He went on to accuse the BJP of doublespeak. 'These people who oppose us have hired Ernst & Young to attract FDI. They say something and do something else,' raged Sibal.
'Farmers get only 15-17% of the value of produce. The Opposition needs to decide whether they are with the farmers or the middlemen,' he said.
'In West Bengal, Pepsico buys 60,000 metric tonnes of potatoes from farmers - they have agreements with 10,000 farmers and area under cultivation is 7000 acres . So you are in West Bengal doing what you oppose here,' questioned Sibal.
Sibal reads out a BJP manifesto in which the opposition party said it supported 26% FDI in retail.
Sibal asked how the opposition proposes to stop CMs who want FDI in retail. He said that the debate on the subject was unnecessary.
He went to say that in China which allows 100% FDI in retail, retail giants such as Walmart and Carrefour are suffering losses.
Sibal has said that FDI in retail is optional and its up to the states to take it up. He said only cities with a population of over 10 lakhs are eligible for FDI. As such only 53 cities qualify for it according to him.
He accused the opposition of exaggerating the threat due to FDI.
Kapil Sibal has begun to make a case for FDI in retail in the Lok Sabha.
The debate continues in the Lok Sabha. The Trinamool Congress backs the case made by Sushma Swaraj on FDI in retail. The party has said that farmers will not benefit from this move.
Reports indicate that the Indian couple in Oslo will appeal to a higher court against the conviction.
At the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj ended her speech thus:
We want to convince you so that you reconsider. We are not against FDI per se... but not in retail
If the govt does not take the decision back, then I appeal to my colleagues here, vote with us and defeat FDI. The government will not fall if they lose the vote.
Meanwhile in Norway, the Indian couple accused of a child abuse has been convicted. The child's father has been sentenced to 18 months whilst the mother to 15 months by an Oslo court.
Earlier the Norwegian prosecutors had argued that there was clear evidence of child abuse and the child in question had burn marks on him.
Swaraj urged the Prime Minister to fight for his people and not for multi nationals. She said that her party will support him wholeheartedly if he did.
Swaraj cites instances on how WalMart has hit pop-&-mom shops. In America, President Obama encourages a movement called "small business Saturday". A CBS news report says 89 million consumers plan to shop small in an effort to promote independent retailers on main street.
She said that 84% local jobs were lost due to Walmart in the US state of Iowa.
At the Lok Sabha Swaraj makes her case against FDI. She said that the manufacturing sector will be the worst hit by FDI. She said that Walmart would need to open 36,000 stores to create 40 lakh jobs.
Meanwhile reactions start coming in on Twitter for the debate.
Deepak Shenoy @deepakshenoy
Sushma Swaraj: "McDonalds never buys potatoes from local Indian farmers" Wrong. http://www.mcdonaldsindia.com/pdf/potato-farming.pdf … (They don't use em for fries tho)
The speaker manages to tame the MPs with 'this is a discussion on a very serious matter... please sit down...The leader of the opposition is speaking .. please listen to her...' and Swaraj gets on with her speech.
Uproar continues in the Lok Sabha as MPs drown out Swaraj's speech. The speaker of the house is trying to control the MPs but to no avail. The opposition has in turn threatened to disrupt the government's speakers.
MPs in favour of FDI try to drown out Swaraj's speech. Swaraj responds by saying that she has nothing against the ruling party and she is only trying to convey the truth behind FDI.
She said that the there were no middle men in the sugar cane industry but the farmers still suffer.
Swaraj went on to cite examples of international brands in India present in India which have earned the ill will of farmers through their unfair practices. She said that McDonalds never buy potatoes from local Indian farmers, saying the potatoes are too small here.
She has cited international examples of farmers going up against retail giants. Larger super markets are abusing powers in the European Union she said reading out a report to support her case.
Small merchants will be the worst affected if FDI in retail comes into play according to Swaraj. She said that foreign players in the retail arena with low prices will lead to local merchants going out of business.
Swaraj has said that the BJP as the main opposition party was not consulted on this decision by the government. She said that her party became aware of the move through television reports. She went on to accuse the government of violating house privileges.
Sushma Swaraj has accused the government on going back on its promise to arrive on a consensus on FDI in retail with all parties. She said that Pranab Mukherjee had said that a there would be a discussion on FDI and a decision would be suspended till a consensus had been reached.
2. 32 pm:
Sushma Swaraj moves motion on FDI discussion in the Lok Sabha.
2. 30 pm:
The speaker of the house has explained that the decision to club the debates has been taken under her discretion. She said that nothing prohibits a discussion on FEMA amendments.
She has now invited Sushma Swaraj to initiate the debate.
Kamal Nath rises to defend debate and is shouted down by opposition MPs. He accused the MPs of running away from the vote. He further added that the MPs where hidding behind a rule.
The BJP and the Left had pointed out that a 30 day notice needs to be given before the FEMA amendments are taken up.
The BJP has asked for the discussion on FEMA be pushed to a later date.
The BJP has objected to the agenda of clubbing together of the discussion on FEMA and FDI in retail in the Lok Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day over the quota issue.
The leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, will be initiating the debate on the FDI issue on behalf of the BJP at 2pm. The motion will be put to vote in the Lok Sabha at 6 pm tomorrow.
Meanwhile the Gujarat Congress has released its manifesto. The party has promised that it will focus on the common man and not on 'Tata or DLF.' Some of the key promises from the manifesto:
- Free tablets and laptops for students
- Free laptops and sops for government employees
- Sardar Sarovar dam to be completed
- 50% reservation for women in panchayat polls
The EC added that the "decision on cash transfer scheme was avoidable." EC asks govt to defer implementation of scheme in 4 districts of Gujarat and 2 in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal went to the polls last month, but the model code of conduct is on till December 20. Gujarat will go to the polls on December 13 and December 17.
The Election Commission has said that it is dissatisfied with the government's reply on the direct cash transfer scheme. It has asked the government to defer the implementation of the scheme in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat till polls.
Uproar in Parliament over Gujarat gas deal
With Gujarat in the midst of polls, Chief Minister Narendra Modi was on Tuesday brought into a controversy by agitated Congress members in Parliament, who created uproar over a news report alleging irregularities in a gas deal by the state government.
The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha saw Congress members waving copies of an article in a news magazine with the headline: "Sweet deals are made of gas" and raising slogans against Modi from the aisle, with some even threatening to troop into the Well.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has sent a notice to the Shiv Sena to dismantle the temporary structure built at Shivaji Park where party founder Bal Thackeray's cremation took place. BMC said that the permission to use the ground was given only for the cremation. Meanwhile the Sena has maintained that it has not received the notice.
12. 15 pm:
Mars rover analyzes first soil samples
Mars Curiosity rover has analyzed Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the soil, US space agency NASA said.
Water and sulphur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity's arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover, NASA said in a statement Monday.
Curiosity is the first Mars rover able to scoop soil into analytical instruments. The specific soil sample came from a drift of windblown dust and sand called "Rocknest". The site lies in a relatively flat part of Gale Crater still miles away from the rover's main destination on the slope of a mountain called Mount Sharp, reported Xinhua.
11. 32 am:
The government of Maldives has downplayed reports that the Indian government has frozen aid intended for the country. ' India has expressed no displeasure,' said an official from Maldives.
The Supreme Court has deferred till tomorrow the hearing on Sahara Group's plea. The company had asked for more time from the Supreme Court to make a statement on refunding Rs 27,000 crores to its investors.
The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm as some members demanded that Muslims arrested on false charges across the country should be released immediately.
Proceedings have begun in both houses of the parliament. The debate on FDI in retail is expected to take place at 2 pm.
Meanwhile MPs from Telangana have boycotted a meeting called by Kamal Nath on FDI. They want a reassure from the government on the Telangana issue.
The Trinamool Congress has said that it will vote against FDI in retail in the parliament. This decision comes as no surprise as the party has been against the reform from the get-go.
Ahead of the debate on FDI in retail in the parliament, union minister for parliamentary affairs, Kamal Nath has accused the BJP of playing politics with the issue.
Parliament Schedule for today:
1. Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012
2. Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2012
3. National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for
Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010
4. Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and
Officials of Public International Organisation Bill,
5. Discussion on FDI in retail
1. Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012
2. Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012
3. North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Amendment Bill, 2012
4. Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2011
5. National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2012
Obama warns Syria against using chemical weapons
US President Barack Obama has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of "consequences" if he uses chemical weapons in the country's 21-month conflict.
Addressing at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., Obama repeated the warning echoed hours earlier by his top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in Prague, Xinhua reported.
"Today, I want to make it absolutely clear to al-Assad and those under his command, the world is watching," Obama said.
"The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable and if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons there will be consequences and you will be held accountable," he said.
Magnitude 5.8 quake shakes Anchorage, Alaska
A strong earthquake Monday was felt over a 175-mile swath of Alaska, including the state's largest city, but there were no immediate reports of damage beyond items knocked off shelves.
The Alaska and West Coast Tsunami Warning Center said the magnitude-5.8 earthquake occurred at about 4:45 p.m. and was centered about 30 miles northwest of Anchorage. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the center was 27 miles west of Anchorage.
Guy Urban, a geophysicist at the tsunami warning center, said the quake wasn't expected to generate a tsunami.
He said the center had reports of residents feeling the quake throughout the Anchorage metro area and beyond.
"No reports of damage thus far," said Anchorage police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker, who felt the quake at his home in Wasilla, about 45 miles north of Anchorage. "Just a little shaker-upper," he said.
Continue denying visa to Modi: 25 Congressmen urges Clinton
In a setback to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a group of 25 American lawmakers have urged the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to continue denying visa to the BJP leader, stating that his government has not adequately pursued justice of the 2002 riot victims.
"As Mr Modi continues to pursue a potential run for higher office, we believe a change in policy to his request for a visa will only embolden Modi and his government's efforts to obstruct further investigations and the tandem prosecution that have still to be finished to bring the perpetrators to justice," as many as 25 members of the US House of Representatives wrote in a letter to Clinton.
Kim Kardashian most-searched person on Yahoo!
Socialite Kim Kardashian has become the most-searched person on search engine Yahoo! this year.
Kardashian comes in the third place after terms "election" as the champion and "iPhone 5" as the runner-up.
Yahoo! web trend analyst Vera Chan says Kardashian's "notoriety has kept her at the top".
She becomes a constant hot topic due to her ongoing divorce battle with her estranged husband Kris Humphries and her high-profile romance with Kanye West.
"The 2012 elections dominated the online searches, which is amazing because if something is in the news, it's already accessible... people were really saturated by it, but even so, that was a key word that people typed throughout the year," added Chan.
Other famous females on the top 10 on the overall list are Kate Middleton, who was entangled in a topless photo scandal, Whitney Houston, whose death in early 2012 spawned a number of tributes, and Lindsay Lohan, who's facing multiple legal woes.
List of 2012 Yahoo! overall searches:
The long-awaited debate over FDI in Retail is scheduled to take place today and tomorrow in both Houses of Parliament.
The BJP has fought long and hard for this debate, which allows for voting.
While the Government, which has resisted this kind of vote for the longest time, will not fall if the votes goes against it, it will be embarrassing and make the implementation of FDI that much harder.
While the Samajwadi Party says it will support the bill in the Lok Sabha but not the Rajya Sabha, others, like Mayawati's BSP, still have not announced how they intend to vote.
Maywati herself is holding out until the last moment, probably because her much-treasured 'quota in promotions' bill keeps getting shot down, despite her efforts to tie it's fate to the fate of FDI in Retail.
All in all, expect a fiery day in Parliament today.