Life term for man who enacted mid-air hijack drama
A Delhi court has awarded life term to a man convicted for enacting a hijack drama aboard an Indigo Airlines plane in February 2009 and threatening the crew and passengers.
District-cum-Additional Sessions Judge I.S. Mehta awarded life term to convict Jitender Kumar Mohla, 45, for charges under the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982 and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Mohla entered the cockpit and sparked panic by claiming that he had hijacked the plane, the chargesheet said.
"Mohla is awarded life imprisonment under section 3(1)(d) of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation Act," the court said.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs.7,000 on him.
Hafiz Saeed offers Americans storm aid
A Pakistani militant leader with a $10 million US bounty on his head has offered aid to Americans hit by superstorm Sandy.
Hafiz Saeed says his organization, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, is prepared to send volunteers, medicine and food if allowed by the United States.
Saeed said in a written statement Tuesday that it is a religious duty under Islam to help Americans affected by the storm, even if the US has put a bounty on his head.
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Kejriwal digging holes in democracy, BJP says
The BJP's mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh has said India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal is "digging holes in democracy with foreign funds".
The editorial in the latest issue of Kamal Sandesh said: "One who could not remain loyal to Anna, how can he be loyal to the nation? He (Kejriwal) is digging holes in democracy with foreign funds."
It also hit out at Kejriwal over his attack on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari, saying that Kejriwal had "distorted" information provided by the party leader.
Andhra coast braces for cyclone Nilam
Authorities in Andhra Pradesh were taking all precautionary measures to tackle the situation arising out of cyclone 'Nilam', which is likely to cross the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Nellore in south coastal Andhra Wednesday.
Revenue Minister Raghuveera Reddy told reporters that control rooms were set up in the state secretariat in Hyderabad and in the south coastal districts to provide information about the cyclone.
The cyclonic storm was centred over the Bay of Bengal and located about 450 km south-southeast of Chennai Tuesday evening.
The met office said the system would move north-northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Cuddalore and Nellore near Chennai by Wednesday evening.
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Sandy devastates New York City, subway system flooded
Millions of people in the eastern United States awoke on Tuesday to flooded homes, fallen trees and widespread power outages caused by the giant storm Sandy, which swamped New York City's subway system and submerged streets in Manhattan's financial district.
At least 15 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy, one of the biggest storms to ever hit the country, which dropped just below hurricane status before making landfall on Monday night in New Jersey.
More than 1 million people in a dozen states were under orders to evacuate as the massive system plowed westward.
One disaster forecasting company predicted economic losses could ultimately reach $20 billion, only half insured.
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Spam SMSes, marketing calls: Action by Nov 5, say officials
Pesky calls and messages are a menace not only for common people but also for Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who said that he too is a victim of the unsolicited communications and has discussed these issues with the telecom regulator.
"Trai is taking it up (pesky calls/SMSes issue). I also face lot of problem. Every two minutes I get such SMS," Mr Sibal told reporters at the Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in New Delhi.
"People...used international servers (to send such SMSes), but that also has been stopped. I met Trai Chairman. He will ensure that this is not going to happen anymore," he said.
Gurdwaras turned into shelter homes in Sandy-hit areas of US
As superstorm Sandy hit the US East Coast affecting millions of people, an international Sikh forum today announced that Gurdwaras in the country have been turned into shelter homes for the affected.
American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) said that arrangements have been made in Gurdwaras for providing food, water and shelter to those affected by the storm.
"As the Gurdwaras are often situated in large compounds, having enough food and water in stores, we would like to help the needy in this one of the biggest crisis in the areas, currently facing the impact of the storm," said the AGPC in a statement issued from Freemont, California.
The Sikh leaders said the Gurdwaras management had been asked to store sufficient food as soon as the alarm was sounded for the storm.
Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the US, battered the coastline of New Jersey, where a large number of Indian families reside, with 80 mph winds, pushing seawater up by an unprecedented 13-feet in New York City.
Floods inundated large number of areas in New York and New Jersey and an explosion at a sub-station on the east side of Manhattan's Midtown left 500,000 people without power.
Deepika admires Rajinikanth's passion for work
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone teamed up with southern superstar Rajinikanth in Tamil movie "Kochadaiyaan" and says he inspired her a lot with his dedication and passion while shooting for the film, which experiments with performance-capturing technique.
"Working with him in 'Kochadaiyaan' was very inspiring for the kind of energy he brings to the sets even after working for so many years... he has that passion one can easily see in his eyes. After his illness, I saw the same passion," Deepika said.
"We are trying out a new technique in 'Kochadaiyaan', the performance-capturing technique. So it's a completely new experience for me. While the emotions are what I've conveyed, the technique used is completely new," she added.
"Kochadaiyaan's Rajinikanth's daughter Soundarya R. Ashwin's directorial debut and the period drama is the superstar's first film after his illness.
The 61-year-old was out of action in 2011 when he developed health problems and was flown to Singapore for treatment.
"Kochadaiyaan" will also be released in Hindi, Malayalam, Japanese, Telugu and English. Deepika might dub for the Tamil version.
"As for Japanese or Telugu, I don't know these languages. The idea is to make this a big international film coming from India. It isn't only a Tamil language film," she said.
The Income Tax Department has started its probe into the allegations against BJP President Nitin Gadkari. Summons have been issued to the alleged shell companies that had invested in Gadkari's firm.
Cyclone storm Nilam to hit TN, AP tomorrow
A deep depression over the Bay of Bengal, which would further intensify into a cyclonic storm, on Tuesday brought heavy rains in many parts of Tamil Nadu, especially in coastal areas, prompting the government to declare a holiday for schools.
Chennai, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Villupuram received heavy rains in the morning, inconveniencing commuters. The cyclonic storm would cross between Nagapattinam and Nellore tomorrow, Met Department said.
“The deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal moved westwards, and lay centred at 1800 UTC of yesterday over southwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 9.00N and longitude 82.00E, about 500 km south-southeast of Chennai and 100 km east-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka).”
My wife is priceless, says Tharoor
Minister of State, HRD Shashi Tharoor responded today to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's comment, in which he called Tharoor's wife - Sunanda Pushkar - a '50-crore-rupee girlfriend'.
"My wife was worth much more than an imaginary Rs 50 crore. She is priceless. But you need to be able to love someone to understand that.", Tharoor said.
Addressing a rally in Himachal Pradesh yesterday, ahead of polls in the state, Modi said, "Wah kya girlfriend hai. Apne kabhi dekha hai 50 crore ka girlfriend?" (What a girlfriend. Have you ever seen a 50-crore-girl friend), he told the crowd referring to Tharoor who was inducted into the government as minister of state for HRD.
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Slight intensity quake felt in Assam
A slight intensity quake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale hit Marigaon area of Assam this morning, officials said.
The quake which took place at 7.10 am was epicentred at 92.4 degrees north latitude and 26.2 degrees east longitude, India Meteorological Department officials here said.
A mild quake with a magnitude of 3.4 had hit West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya yesterday at around 6 AM, they said.
The deep depression in the Bay of Bengal has been upgraded to a cyclone. Cyclone Nelam is expected to make landfall on Wednesday evening between Nellore and Nagapattinam.
Coastal areas of TN receive heavy rains
Heavy rains all through the night due to depression, have thrown life out of gear in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The Chennai Met office said that the depression which lay centred 500 Km southeast of Chennai and 270 Km north east of Trincomalee would intensify further into a cyclonic storm and cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra coast between Nagapattinam and Nellore by Tuesday.
Chennai, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Villupuram received heavy rains on Tuesday morning.
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into the sea by the Met department.
The district administrations have geared up to face any eventuality and have closed schools in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Chennai.
The Andhra Pradesh, Government has also sounded a high alert along the south coastal and adjoining Rayalaseema districts as the deep depression in Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and cross the coast by Tuesday evening.
Coastal districts of Andhra put on high cyclone alert
Districts along the Bay of Bengal coast in Andhra Pradesh have been put on high alert as the deep depression that lay centred between Chennai and Nagapattinam is expected to turn into a cyclone by tomorrow.
Heavy winds with a speed ranging from 45-55 kmph are expected under the impact.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was on a tour of Medak district in Telangana, directed Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy and Chief Secretary Minnie Mathew over phone to closely monitor the situation and take all precautionary measures.
5 million without power due to 'Sandy'
Storm 'Sandy' has affected the power supply in 13 states in the US. It is estimated that between 5 to six million have are without power due to disruptions.
Sandy takes social media by a storm
Americans are keeping in touch through the social media as the superstorm wreaks havoc, reported USA Today.
#Sandy has had more than four million mentions by almost 400,000 unique sources on Twitter, said Radian6 that tracks social media use.
The site said that mentions of #Sandy have had a potential reach of more than 3 billion Twitter followers.
"Hurricane Sandy" was the top phrase on Facebook in the US in the past day, the media report said.
The other top 10 terms included "stay safe", "storm", "East Coast", "my friends" and "prayers".
Twitter and Facebook became a key way for friends and family to check in on each other.
"Sending my thoughts to all in the path of #sandy... looks pretty bad," read a tweet.
People posted updates.
"Eerie, flooded streets in Atlantic City, two hours after landfall. No wind and only a light rain falling. #sandynj," wrote @aubreyjwhalen.
Power out at NYC hospital; 200 patients evacuate
A New York City hospital is moving out more than 200 patients after its backup generator failed when the power was knocked out by a superstorm.
Dozens of ambulances lined up outside NYU Tisch Hospital on Monday night as doctors and nurses began the slow process of taking people out. They started with the sickest and youngest, including 20 babies from neonatal intensive care. Some were on respirators operating on battery power.
NYU Medical Dean Robert Grossman says some of the patients are being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses. He says they have to be carefully carried down staircases. The elevators don't work without power.
Patients will be taken to other hospitals including Mount Sinai and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer.
US storm sinks famous ship HMS Bounty
HMS Bounty, a replica of the famous British vessel built for the 1962 film version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" and which also appeared in the 2006 blockbuster "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest", sank when a superstorm barrelled into the US.
Three people washed off the ship and were engulfed by Atlantic waters, in spate due to Hurricane Sandy, the US Coast Guard said. But only one of them made it to safety.
The HMS Bounty's crew members realized their lives were in danger off the North Carolina coast and they reached out to two waiting life rafts.
But only 13 of the 16 people aboard got off the ship safely, initially, and only one of the three washed overboard made it into a raft, Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert Parker told CNN.
The ship, built for the 1962 film version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando, was once owned by CNN founder Ted Turner, who acquired it in 1986 along with the rights to the MGM film library.
'There's cars that are just completely underwater!'
"It's shocking what I'm looking at now," said a tavern owner in Atlantic City, United States as he described cars that were "completely underwater" when superstorm Sandy slammed into the US.
The storm, which packed 80 mph winds, hit near Atlantic City.
"I've been down here for about 16 years, and it's shocking what I'm looking at now. It's unbelievable," CNN quoted Montgomery Dahm, owner of the Tun Tavern in Atlantic City, which stayed open as Sandy neared the Jersey Shore, as saying.
"I mean, there's cars that are just completely underwater in some of the places I would never believe that there would be water."
Dahm's family left Atlantic City before the storm arrived, but he stayed on to help emergency personnel.
On Monday night, Dahm said the water had reached the steps of his restaurant, where a generator was keeping the lights on.
Four die in UP accident
Four people, including a child, were mowed down Monday night by a truck in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district, police said.
The accident happened in the Civil Lines area in Muzaffarnagar, 500 km from here, when the speeding truck lost control and hit a car. It then sped away, only to run over five people on the Jansath bridge.
Police said four people including a couple, a child and another youngster, were killed on the spot, while another injured woman is admitted at a medical facility in a critical condition.
The truck driver was arrested after a long chase, a police official told IANS.
Cyclone warning issued for TN and AP
A deep depression has formed 350 km off Chennai in the Bay of Bengal. This could potentially intensify into a cyclone according to the MET department. A cyclone warning has been issued for Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The cyclone could make its landfall between Nagapattinam and Nellore by Wednesday evening.
Schools and colleges are closed in Chennai today.
Mammoth storm Sandy plunges NYC into darkness
Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people.
The city had shut its mass transit system, schools, the stock exchange and Broadway and ordered hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to leave home to get out of the way of the superstorm Sandy as it zeroed in on the nation's largest city.
Residents spent much of the day trying to salvage normal routines, jogging and snapping pictures of the water while officials warned the worst of the storm had not hit.
The RBI on Monday stated that the government’s reform efforts, especially those related to expenditure on subsidies, are a move in the right direction but not adequate to avert fiscal slippages in the current fiscal.
So a swift implementation and further measures are needed, while warning that inflation still remains a risk, but RBI said it would take steps to support growth in the half-yearly review of monetary policy on Tuesday, which suggests a likely cut in interest rate.
Stock market executives, regulators and brokers have agreed to close the U.S. stock markets on Tuesday because of Hurricane Sandy, with an official announcement coming shortly, said people who were on an industry-wide call on the matter on Monday.
Every effort is being made to reopen markets on Wednesday, but a final decision has not been made yet, one of the people said.
The decision involved senior leadership of the exchanges, executives from brokerage firms and officials from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The U.S. stock market's closure on Monday was its first weather-related shutdown in 27 years.