Live: Eight policemen feared dead in second major Maoist attack

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 02, 2013 11:24 hrs

4.40 pm: 

Eight policemen feared dead in second major Maoist attack

The attack happened in Dumka, Jharkhand when Maoists attacked a police convoy. Eight policemen are feared dead including an SP, constables and a driver. 

Police said the Maoists fired on the convoy of Pakur Superintendent of Police Amarjit Balihar when he was returning from a meeting held at Dumka.

The gun battle is still ongoing and further details are awaited. 

4.30 pm: 

India turns down Snowden's request for asylum

India today rejected a request for asylum by US whistleblower Edward Snowden made through its Mission in Moscow three days ago.

"I can confirm that earlier today our Embassy in Moscow did receive a communication dated 30 June from Mr Edward Snowden. That communication did contain a request for asylum. We have carefully examined the request. Following that examination we have concluded that we see no reason to accede to the request," spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said here.

Snowden, a US former technical contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who leaked details of top-secret American mass surveillance programs, is currently in Russia.

2.30 pm: 

Facebook blocks Fox reporter for violating community standards

Fox News correspondent, Todd Starnes, Facebook account got blocked after he posted a remark on his political incorrectness.

His pro-gun, pro-Jesus, pro-Bible post was a spurt of emotions to describe how politically incorrect can he be as other beings, The Washington Times reports.

Following this, Facebook deleted his post and placed a warning message about violating community standards.

Although, after outrage, Facebook said the deletion was a mistake, Starnes' Facebook access got reinstated instantly.

1.45 pm:

Evacuations nearing end, food shortage continues in Uttarakhand

Rediff: Rescue of pilgrims stranded in Badrinath came to an end today with about 150 of them being safely evacuated even as the administration struggled with the task of supplying relief to remote parts of Uttarakhand where food shortage has been reported in 170 villages. 

On the 17th day of the calamity, the task of extricating bodies from the debris and their disposal in Kedarnath also remained a major headache for the administration with no cremation having taken place there over the past two days.  

1.00 pm: 

No ceiling on number of new bank licences: Chidambaram

With 26 public and private sector companies applying for bank licences, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that there was no ceiling on the number of entities which can be permitted to operate a bank.

"I don't think there is a ceiling. I don't think there is a number in mind. It all depends upon how many applicants are eligible applicants. The fact that somebody applies doesn't mean he is an eligible applicant," he told PTI in an interview.

"If there are very few eligible applicants, then the number of banks that will get licences will also be few. I don't think that the Governor has any ceiling in mind," he said.

On whether India needs large banks or large number of banks, the Finance Minister said there is a case for both.

"A large number of banks will mean more competition and a quicker reaching into the country and faster financial inclusion.

"Large banks will mean that we are able to finance large projects using our own bank resources rather than depending upon foreign bank resources. So, both are required in this country," he said.

12.00 pm: 

Small batch of 1,785 pilgrims leave for Amarnath from Jammu

A small batch of 1,785 devotees today left Jammu base camp for the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.

A convoy of 70 vehicles carrying 1,785 devotees left from Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu at around 5.05 AM towards Amarnath to pay obeisance at the holy cave shrine, police said here today.

The sixth batch, including 1,395 male, 326 women and 14 children, apart from 50 sadhus, was on its way to twin base camps of Pahalagam and Baltal in Kashmir Valley.

With today's batch, a total of 13,825 pilgrims have left Jammu base camp for Amarnath so far.

Over 50,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir till last evening.

11.20 am: 

Malayalam new generation films failing to click?

A young breed of film-makers who entered Malayalam filmdom introducing new narrative techniques, shunning superstars and fetching new faces in seemingly untold stories have created a buzz in the industry in the last three years.

However, the general feeling among film buffs is the group of filmmakers who identify themselves with the new brand have failed to create an impact on movie-goers with anything substantial to offer.

With recently released 'Anchu Sundarikal,' an anthology of five films by young directors Ashiq Abu, Shyju Khalid, Sameer Thahir, Amal Neerad and Anwar Rasheed getting a cold response, critics say the audience expect more than mere experiments.

"There is a fetish for visuals and form in these films than content," is how director B Unnikrishnan, who makes films with superstars and popular actors, puts it.

10.45 am

Nelson Mandela's family fighting over last resting place

A bitter feud has erupted within Nelson Mandela's family over his final resting place.

The ailing anti-apartheid hero's grandson is lamenting that the dispute has been taken to court.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mandla Mandela said regrettably and reluctantly he was forced to go to court and respond to 16 relatives demanding that Mandela's remains be buried in the village of Qunu.

In Qunu, an elder in the Mandela family said he hoped the dispute over the family gravesite would be resolved soon.

9.30 am

NATO compound in Kabul attacked; 6 killed

Militants blew up a suicide car bomb at the gate to a NATO compound in Kabul early Tuesday and attacked guards with small-arms fire, killing four guards and two civilians, police said. All four suicide attackers were also killed.

Kabul provincial police chief Mohammad Ayuob Salangi said the powerful car bomb blew up at about 4:30 a.m., leaving a deep crater at the first gate leading into the camp. Two truck drivers who were waiting to enter the area were killed in the blast, he said.

Three other suicide attackers wearing explosive vests then began fighting with guards; all were killed. Salangi said the guards killed were all Nepalese contractors.

The Taliban later claimed it carried out the attack.

9.00 am

BJP activist posts morphed picture of Sonia Gandhi

Zeenews: A complaint has been filed against a BJP activist for uploading an objectionable picture of Congress president Sonia Gandhi on a social networking website.

Reports, Tuesday, claimed that the complaint was lodged by a Congress party worker named Sanjay Sehgal against Sandeep Bhalla, a BJP activist, with the cyber crime unit of the local police for posting an objectionable picture of Congress chief with offensive comments.

BJP state president Kamal Sharma, while condemning the act, said, "Our party respects women and such acts will not be tolerated. If our party worker is involved then disciplinary action will be taken against him."

8.30 am

Snowden says US 'denies his rights'

Rediff: United States intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has accused President Barack Obama of denying him his right to asylum, in a statement, a first since flying to Russia on June 23, published by Wikileaks.

"On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions," he said. 

"This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me," he added.

Snowden has applied for Aslyum in Russia. The former Central Investigation Agency analyst, who is holed up in a Moscow airport hotel, is wanted by the US on charges of espionage.

8.00 am
Their unbeaten run brought to a halt, India would look to get over the disappointment of a narrow loss when they take on familiar sub-continental foes Sri Lanka in their second match of the tri-nation ODI series today

The one-wicket loss to the West Indies yesterday ended India`s nine-match winning streak during which they lifted the Champions trophy in London last month. India had won four Tests against Australia and five matches in the recent Champions Trophy on the trot.

Tested by the conditions, the famed Indian batting struggled and even though the team`s bowlers did a commendable job, the hosts managed to snatch a win by the thinnest of margins.

The Indians also had to contend with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni not taking the field during the West Indian innings due to the cramps he suffered while batting.

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