Live: Kullu Zila Parishad wins national award for 2nd straight year

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 24, 2013 12:58 hrs

6.28 pm:

My sister has been framed: Debjani's cousin

Debjani Mukherjee, one of the directors of collapsed chitfund company Saradha Group which allegedly defrauded thousands of depositors, has been "framed" and was "innocent", her cousin sister Arpita claimed today.

"My sister has been framed and is innocent. She had resigned from the Saradha Group on January 1. My sister has no link with what has happened," Arpita claimed.

Asked why Debjani accompanied chairman Sudipta Sen when he was on the run, Arpita, who is also a Saradha employee, replied, "She was called to attend an important meeting in Delhi and went by air. She didn't go with Sen."

5.34 pm:

Kullu Zila Parishad wins national award for 2nd straight year

The Kullu Zila Parishad has bagged the Rajeev Gandhi Shashaktikaran Puraskar for the second year running for innovative measures taken by it to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions.

The award was presented by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj V Kishore Chandra Deo to Kullu Zila Parishad chairman Hari Chand Sharma at the National Panchayti Raj Day function in New Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan today.

The award carries a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh, a citation and a letter of appreciation, a release said here.

Kullu Zila Parishad had picked up the award last year as well, it said.

Listing achievements of the Kullu Zila Parishad, Sharma said all its decisions were taken unanimously and no voting was required on any issue.

He said the Parishad had generated a revenue of Rs 6,65,960 in the last financial year which was Rs 1,74,566 higher than the revenue earned in 2010-11.

Sharma said the Parishad had earmarked 25 per cent of its budget for sanitation programmes and had started awareness campaign among women and children on various social issues.

5.00 pm: 

Over 100 killed as building collapses in Dhakar

More than 100 people were killed and over 600 injured Wednesday when an eight-storeyed building crumbled on the outskirts of capital Dhaka. Rescued workers complained they were forced to get back to work though the building was evacuated just a day earlier after cracks appeared.

Those trapped under the rubble screamed for help as rescuers scrambled to get them out.

The building, "Rana Plaza", collapsed around 8:45 a.m. It housed a market, several garment factories and a bank branch.

The building was found to have developed cracks Tuesday, and a day later, it went down in a huge heap of rubble, blocks of cement and bricks.

At least 107 people were killed and over 600 injured in the building collapse, reported the Daily Star.

Nearly 150 people were pulled out of the rubble alive.

4.00 pm: 

More Saradha entities under Sebi scanner

Market regulator Sebi is probing at least ten Saradha group entities for alleged fraud through public money pooling activities, in addition to Saradha Realty India which was asked last night to close its collective investment schemes and refund the investors' money.

Amid continuing public protest against the group's alleged fraudulent activities, Sebi in a late night order also barred Saradha Realty India and its Managing Director Sudipta Sen from the securities market till it winds up all Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) and makes the refund. 

3.33 pm:

An earthquake measuring 5.7 has hit Pakistan and Afghanistan. Tremors have been felt in Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.

Tremors shook Srinagar and adjoining areas but there was no report of any casualty, officials said.

The tremors were felt around 3 PM, prompting people to rush outside buildings for safety.

However, there was no immediate report of any casualty or damage reported from anywhere, police said.

3.00 pm: 

JPC has replied to A.Raja, says Chacko

The Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the 2G scam P.C.Chacko on Wednesday said he had replied to former Telecom Minister A.Raja's 100-page letter, and therefore said the latter should not have any grouse over not being heard.

"Report of the JPC is based on records and the Parliament is functioning well within its limitations. I have also circulated that note to all the 30 members of the JPC, so he should not have any problems," Chacko said.

Meanwhile, senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja criticised the JPC report saying it was not acceptable.

1.51 pm: 

Goa airport to be closed partially this weekend

Domestic flights arriving in Goa have been re-scheduled for four days due to temporary closure of the runway at Dabolim airport here between April 27-30 for annual maintenance.

All the airlines have been informed about the closure of runway for four days between 8 am to 4 pm, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) spokesman said.

"The airlines have ensured that there are minimum cancellations and have adjusted the passengers in other flights," he said. The spokesman said that the closure will affect around 15-20 domestic flights daily. 

1.20 pm:

4,000 aftershocks recorded in China

More than 4,000 aftershocks had been recorded since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook China's Sichuan province Saturday, authorities said Wednesday.

There were 103 aftershocks above magnitude 3.0, including four between magnitudes 5.0 and and 5.9, 21 between magnitudes 4.0 and 4.9, and 78 between magnitudes 3.0 and 3.9, reported Xinhua citing the China Earthquake Administration.

The toll from the quake has risen to at least 193, with more than 12,200 injured, authorities said.

1.14 pm:

The CBI officer investigating the Aarushi Hemraj murder case has said that he was prevented from arresting Nupur Talwar even though there was evidence against her.

12.50 pm:

Samsung, US researchers working on 'mind-control technology' for tablets

South Korean teach giant Samsung is reportedly working on a mind-controlled tablet that would changed the way we interact with our electronics.

The tech giant and US researchers are working together to create a technology that would allow people to launch an application and make selections on a Galaxy tablet by concentrating on a blinking icon.

According to the BBC, users need to wear a cap studded with EEG-monitoring electrodes.

But such a device would be invaluable to people with mobility issues the report said.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone already allows users to control the screen using their eyes.

Using "smart pause" the user can pause a video by looking away from the screen while another feature uses eye movements to scroll through content.

12.15 pm: 

It's women who invite harassment, says Congress Minister

"Jab tak mahila tirchi najar se nahi dekhegi, tab tak purush use nahi chedega" (No man will harass a woman till she looks at him in a suggestive manner)," Satyadev Katara, a former minister, said at a Congress rally in Bhind district.

The rally was organised earlier this week by the Congress in Bhind as part of the party's campaign to regain power in the year-end assembly polls. Efforts to contact Katare on the issue proved futile.

BJP spokesman and MLA Vishwas Sarang said the statement is highly derogatory towards women despite the fact that the President of the Congress Party is a woman. "It reflects the mentality of Congress leaders and specially in the aftermath of incidents of rape in Delhi," Sarang said. 

11.50 am: 

Tendulkar cuts cake with visually challenged students in Kolkata

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar turned 40 on Wednesday with cricket administrators and his fans lining up a series of events to celebrate the event in Kolkata ahead of a Mumbai Indians Vs Kolkata Knightriders IPL match here.

Tendulkar began the day with a customary cake-cutting ceremony at the Mumbai Indians team hotel.

Earlier, the Cricket Association of Bengal celebrated Tendulkar's birthday a day in advance by cutting a 10-pound cake in the presence of 100 blind students.

Visually challenged students from Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission Blind School and Light House for the Blind cut the cake in the evening.

"We are overwhelmed with joy. We want Tendulkar to live 100 years," a message from the CAB read.

Wednesday's 40-pound cake cutting ceremony was a private affair held near the dressing room.

11.10 am: 

I was used, blackmailed by Trinamool MPs: Saradha Group CMD

Saradha Group CMD Sudipta Sen has sent an 18-page letter to the CBI containing names of several key politicians, officials and legal experts who allegedly milked the company for money.

The letter, which reached the CBI in Delhi as Sen remained at large, was forwarded by the agency to its office in Kolkata, and it was subsequently referred to the Bidhannagar police commissionerate. 

10.00 am: 

Legendary singer Shamshad Begum dies at 94

Legendary singer Shamshad Begum, one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film industry and voice behind hit songs like 'Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon', 'Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar' and 'Kajra Mohabbat Wala', has died at her Mumbai residence. She was 94.

Begum was born on April 14, 1919 in Amritsar, Punjab. She made her debut on Peshawar Radio in Lahore on December 16, 1947, captivating the hearts of her listeners with her enchanting voice.

Her other hit tracks include 'Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana', 'Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re', 'Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re', 'Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar' and 'Chod Babul Ka Ghar'.

9.50 am: 

Apple profits fall for first time in ten years

US-based tech giant Apple has reported its first quarterly drop in profits in a decade.

The iPhone maker made a net profit of 9.5 billion dollars in the January to March quarter, down from 11.6 billion dollars last year.

But strong iPhone and iPad sales boosted revenues to 43.6 billion dollars, the BBC reports.

Concerns over slowing demand for its products amid increased competition have hurt Apple's share price recently.

According to the report, analysts have suggested the company needs to innovate and develop new products to stay ahead of the competition, rather than relying on updates to existing products.

9.25 am: 

Recession-hit Italians cutting medical expenses

More than half of households in recession-hit Italy are regularly buying food at discount stores and slashing their medical expenses, the central statistics office Istat said.

Istat said 63.3 percent of families now shop regularly at discount supermarkets that continue to spring up in local neighbourhoods across Italy, buying cheaper brands that cost a fraction of the price of quality ones.

In Italy's poorer, less economically developed south, 73 percent of families regularly shop at discount stores, according to Istat.

As well as buying cheaper food, households are also buying less of it, Istat said.

Families have virtually eliminated routine medical checkups, blood-tests, x-rays and scans and are limiting their spending to essential drugs.

8.00 am

Boston suspects learned to make bombs from Al Qaeda magazine

Suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told investigators that he and his brother learned to make homemade pressure-cooker bombs from an online magazine published by the Al Qaeda, US media reported.

"The brothers read the instructions in 'Inspire', an online, English-language magazine that terror monitoring groups say Al Qaeda began publishing in 2010," Tsarnaev told investigators from his hospital bed in Boston, according to NBC News.

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7.30 am

Welcoming batting legend Sachin Tendulkar to the club of 40, former India skipper and Mumbai Indians mentor Anil Kumble said a win over Kolkata Knight Riders today will be the best way to celebrate April 24 - the maestro's birthday.

"I welcome Sachin to the club of cricketers past 40 and wish him all the best. The best way to celebrate his birthday would be a win over KKR Wednesday," Kumble told mediapersons here.

Tendulkar's Mumbai take on KKR in an IPL match at the Eden Gardens today.

Special celebrations have been lined up for the master's birthday when the Mumbai Indians batsman will turn 40.

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