6. 45 pm
India to continue to press for Headley's extradition
India said Friday that it will continue to press for the extradition of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley, sentenced by a US court to 35 years in prison for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, and would have liked harsher punishment.
Ministers, the ruling Congress as well as the opposition BJP said the government should keep trying for the extradition of the Pakistani-American who played a key role in the 26/11 attack.
A day after a Chicago court's ruling, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said: "Had we tried him, we would have sought much more."
"We are a little disappointed as we wanted that he should have been brought here and tried as the real loss has been of India. It would have been appropriate if he would have been tried here," Khurshid told reporters here.
The minister said there was the law of land in the US. "We know that, but we still hope and will try that such people should be brought here and tried," he said.
"We would have liked a severer sentence. We would have liked the accused to be tried in India. But at least a beginning has been made. We will continue our efforts to ensure that all such people are extradited and brought to India for trial," Khurshid said.
No more pantry cars in trains?
Aiming to provide good quality food to passengers, the Railways are planning to do away with cooking arrangements in pantry cars and setting up 250 base kitchens across the country to prepare about six lakh meals and snacks per day.
There will be base kitchens at all major stations including New Delhi, Nizamuddin, Old Delhi, Howrah, Patna, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar and other originating stations and junctions where meals will be prepared in hygenic conditions, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with catering service.Read more
Indian prisoner in Pak jail dead
An Indian national, who was about to complete a five-year prison term for alleged involvement in espionage, has died in Lahore, with reports saying that he was "mercilessly beaten" by Pakistani prison staff before his death.
Media reports quoted a Pakistani lawyer named Tehseen Khan, who was recently released from Kot Lakhpat jail, as saying that he had seen prison staff assaulting Chamel Singh for using water from a tap to wash clothes on January 15 and that he died two days later at Jinnah Hospital in Lahore.Read more
Will make Delhi a safer place, assures Sheila Dikshit
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit promised that no stone will be left unturned to ensure safety of women in the capital and said girls need not be scared or shaken after the incidents like the one on December 16 but should emerge stronger.
After unfurling the tricolour as part of Delhi's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi for the 15th consecutive time, the Chief Minister said, "I would like to tell our daughters that come out and study, hone your talents fearlessly, you don't need to be scared of anybody. Our belief should not be shaken by such incidents but it must get stronger. The police have taken various steps to change their approach and I am sure that together we will be able to bring change," she said.
Padmabhushan for Ramanaidu
Movie Mogul Ramanaidu has been conferred the third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan, in recognition for his contribution to Telugu cinema, reports Times of India.
He was intimated this morning, the report says. His name was nominated along with director Bapu by the Andhra govt in November last year.
The filmmaker also has a Guinness Record for being the most prolific film producer in the world with over 130 films to his credit.
Stop being stupid: Jindal to Republicans
A potential presidential candidate in 2016, Indian American Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal has told the Republicans, still reeling from the loss of the November Presidential elections, to "stop being stupid" and called for a complete change in the party thinking and outlook.
"We have got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican party that talks like adults," Jindal said at a meeting called after party's recent reverses in the November elections.Read more
Rahul Bhatt's 'Headley and I' to be made into a film
Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul's book Headley And I, about the latter's friendship with 26/11 conspirator David Headley, is to be made into a movie. Producer Sunil Bohra has bought the rights of the book.
Rahul co-authored the book with Hussain Zaidi and it puts light on Rahul's troubled relationship with his father and how Headley filled that vacuum for a while.
The deal was facilitated and negotiated by the literary and talent agency CAA KWAN for an undisclosed amount making this one of the biggest deals of it's kind for the sale of any non-fiction book for film rights.
"When my cousin Abhishek (Vyas) read the book and told me about it's potential, I got in touch with Hussain and his agency. I was almost immediately drawn to the concept and knew that this would really work with our evolving Indian audiences," Bohra said in a statement.Read more
Have told Governor I have majority, says Shettar
Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar claimed that he had met Governor HR Bhardwaj and convinced him that he had the majority, reports CNN IBN.
"I met the Governor and invited him to address the joint session on February 4 and he has agreed. He asked me about the resignation of the MLAs. I have told him that my government has absolute majority."
Air India ranked world's third worst airline
Air India has been rated world's third least safe airline after China Airlines and TAM Airlines, according to a report from a website that monitors plane crashes around the world.
India's national carrier is ranked 58th among 60 listed airlines by Hamburg based Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC).
Finnair is now the world's safest airline, followed by Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Emirates, according to JACDEC Safety Ranking 2012.
K'taka Governor hints at asking Shettar to prove majority
Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj on Friday indicated that he might ask Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly in the wake of 13 ruling BJP MLAs announcing their decision to quit the House membership.
"I have already summoned the assembly on February 4 (for Budget session) and if I feel that this government has come into minority, then I will order him (Shettar) to prove his majority at the first instance before transacting any business," Bhardwaj told reporters here.Read more
Delhi gangrape victim's family wants death for accused
The family of Delhi gangrape victim today said it would not want anything less than death sentence for all the accused, including the minor, and urged the central government to amend the law in this connection.
The offer of a government job to one in the family by Delhi government was turned down by the victim's brother.
"The family would never accept that the person who played a major role in the crime is let off with a mere punishment of three years only because he has the excuse that he is a minor," the grandfather of the 23-year-old victim told PTI here.Read more
Rushdie turns singer for 'Midnight's Children'
Renowned author Salman Rushdie has put his singing abilities on test for Deepa Mehta's new film 'Midnight's Children'.
"It was absolutely horrifying moment, when Deepa made me sing in the movie, though it's just very briefly but I feel like hiding behind the furniture when that scene comes in the film," Rushdie said Thursday during an event organised by Landmark Book Store.
Mehta confirmed it. "Yes, Salman sings in the film."
More on Midnight's Children
Actor Rajesh Khanna (posthumous) is being considered for the third highest civilian honour of the country, the Padma Bhushan, alongwith cricketer Rahul Dravid, London Olympics bronze medalist boxer Mary Kom and yesteryears Bollywood hearthrob Sharmila Tagore for the year 2013, according to online reports.
Actor Sridevi has been selected for the Padma Shree.
Jaya terms dual pricing policy on diesel 'short-sighted'
In a sharp attack on the Centre's dual pricing policy on diesel for bulk consumers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today termed it as "ill-conceived" and "short-sighted" and demanded its withdrawal.
In a hard-hitting letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Chief Minister said she was "appalled at the callousness and deviousness of this shocking move that defies all logic" and accused the UPA government of paying only "lip service" to protecting the 'aam aadmi', but raining "one blow after another" on them.Read more
Six killed in Mumbai slum fire
At least six people were killed and seven injured in a fire that gutted over 50 hutments in southern Mumbai's Mahim area early Friday, officials said.
According to the BMC Disaster Control Centre, the fire broke out around 5 a.m. in the Nayanagar slums in Mahim and quickly spread, catching the occupants unaware in their sleep.Read more
Now K'taka, AP decide not to release Vishwaroopam
Kamal Hassan fans in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are likely to be disappointed as there is little chance of his film Vishwaroopam being released there as well.
The Madras High Court has put on hold the release of Haasan's new film until at least January 28, according to petitioner Mohammed Hanifa, who is coordinator for the Tamil Nadu Muslim Movements and Political Parties Confederation.
'Remorseful' Headley wrote to judge ahead of sentencing, claimed he was a changed man
A "remorseful" Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley made a last ditch effort to have his sentence reduced by writing an emotional letter to the judge claiming he is a changed man and was sorry of his past doings.
However, US District Judge Harry D Leinenweber, in the court room acknowledging the receipt of such a letter, publicly told Headley that he had difficulties in believing him given his past record.
Govt blocks Pak diplomats from attending Jaipur Lit festival
The government blocked two Pakistani diplomats from travelling to Jaipur for the ongoing Literature Festival, reported CNN IBN.
The Jaipur Literature festival began on Thursday.
Controversy surrounded the festival this year as well with the Bharatiya Janata Party's youth-wing protesting against the participation of Pakistani authors following the tension at the Line of Control.
Cameron ordered to turn over 'Avatar' scripts
Director James Cameron has been ordered to hand over his draft screenplays for "Avatar" to a former employee who claims the movie-maker stole his idea for the blockbuster.
Eric Ryder, who previously worked for Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment Inc. production company, filed suit against Cameron in 2011, alleging the fantasy film was based on a script he wrote for a movie called "K.R.Z. 2068".
Ryder is demanding compensation over claims that Cameron used his ideas without permission and without giving him due credit, but the director insists he wrote 'Avatar' five years before his accuser pitched the idea to his production company.
The long-running legal battle went back to court in California this week and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alan Rosenfield sided with Ryder by ordering Cameron to turn over the draft screenplays he wrote for 'Avatar'.
Clashes in Egypt on eve of uprising anniversary
Egyptian security forces fired tear gas and protesters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails in a day-long demonstration on Thursday, raising fears of a violent anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak.
Youth activists and opposition groups have called for large rallies on the anniversary Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in front of the president palace in the upscale suburb, Heliopolis.
The protests, which left dozens injured, began before dawn in central Cairo when protesters tried to tear down a cement wall built to prevent them from reaching the parliament and the Cabinet building. The street clashes continued after darkness fell on the Egyptian capital.
It is now confirmed that Vishwaroopam in Tamil and Telugu is releasing worldwide except Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry on Friday, January 25. In Tamil Nadu the Madras High Court has stayed the release of the film till January 28!
Meanwhile, Vishwaroopam opened to a thundering reception in Malaysia, the biggest overseas market for Tamil films in the world. It is traditionally one of the biggest markets for Kamal Haasan films. The word-of-mouth and reviews are really good on social networking sites.
Meanwhile Kamal Haasan’s daughter Shruthi Haasan has tweeted – “Vishwaroopam awaits judicial determination on the 26th of January in Tamil Nadu. The film will release everywhere else tomorrow.”