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Mayawati evasive after lunch with PM Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday reached out to BSP supremo Mayawati ahead of winter session of Parliament, but she remained evasive on her party's stand on plans by Trinamool Congress to bring a motion against FDI. Singh hosted a lunch for Mayawati, whose party with 21 members in the Lok Sabha, is extending outside support to the UPA government.
The meeting came days after the Prime Minister hosted a dinner for Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. SP has 22 members in the Lok Sabha. The meetings with the two outside supporters are being seen as the UPA's effort to reach out to Yadav and Mayawati, considering that the Trinamool Congress with its 19 members in the Lok Sabha has pulled out of the UPA.
After the meeting, when Mayawati was asked about her stand on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's statement that her party could bring a no-confidence motion against the government on the issue of foreign direct investment, she remained evasive. "I have spoken about this in detail in our party rally in Lucknow on October 9. We will take whatever steps necessary keeping in mind what we had said in that rally," she said.
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Yashwant Sinha's remark on Rahul draws strong Congress reaction
A remark by BJP's Yashwant Sinha comparing Rahul Gandhi to a horse which carries the groom to his wedding, today drew strong reaction from Congress that BJP should be worried about Nitin Gadkari who is facing charges of corruption.
Sinha had said yesterday in Bokaro in Jharkhand, "Rahul Gandhi is like a horse which carries the groom on its back at weddings.
"The horse is always stuck at one place. It does not move. Similarly, Rahul Gandhi also does not move. Many efforts are being made to get him to do something, but he doesn't. Some try to push him but he still refuses to move. Till the time he isn't ready, how can Manmohan Singh do anything? This is the crisis today," the BJP leader had said.
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Govt's move for multi-member CAG comes under attack
Government is considering a proposal to make Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into a multi-member body, a move that came under sharp criticism from the opposition and civil society.
"It (Shunglu panel's suggestion to make changes in CAG) is under active consideration. The government is actively considering it," Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy told PTI in an interview.
The Minister was replying to a question about a suggestion by former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu that CAG be made a multi-member body.
The Minister sought to retract his comments on making CAG a multi-member body but PTI stands by its story.
Madhya Pradesh CM opposes dominance of English language
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has strongly opposed the English language saying that it was necessary to exorcise its ghost.
Speaking at a function organised by the Dattopant Thengadi Research Organisation on Saturday evening, Chouhan said that though only a handful of people speak English, they have shown that nothing could be done without this language.
He said that this English-speaking group never want the compulsion of English to end, because they fear that if it happens, even people from remote villages would become IAS or IPS officers.
Pass Lokpal bill or face another rally at Ramlila Maidan, Hazare warns govt
Social activist Anna Hazare has accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of "betrayal" on the Jan Lokpal bill and warned on Sunday of another protest if it was not passed before the 2014 general election.
Addressing supporters after inaugurating his new office here, Hazare said: "If Jan Lokpal bill is not passed before the 2014 elections, we will hold another rally at Ramlila Maidan."
The septuagenarian said Manmohan Singh had betrayed him by not fulfilling his pledge to pass the anti-corruption bill in Parliament.
"Our fight for Jan Lokpal bill will continue till it is passed by the government. I will campaign throughout the country and try to raise the conscience of the people. I will try to bring in a change," he said.
Fire in Himalaya Drug company
A fire broke out in the organic plant of Herbal major Himalaya Drug Company in Bangalore today but there was no casualties, a top fireforce official said.
The fire, appeared to have been caused by short circuit in a ceiling fan, was extinguished within half-an-hour by four firetenders and the company offcials with their firefighting equipment, Chief Fire Officer E U Erappa said.
There was no casualties and the damage was 'not much', he said.
The fire broke out in the boiler section of the plant where five barrels containing 200 litres each of methanol had been kept. While three barrels were burnt, the other two melted partially, he said.
Anna Hazare inaugurates his new office in Delhi
Veteran social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday inaugurated his new office at Sarvodaya Enclave in Delhi.
Hazare on Saturday announced the 15-member Coordination Committee, which has erstwhile Team Anna's members Justice (Retd) Santosh Hegde, Kiran Bedi, Medha Patkar, Akhil Gogoi, Sunita Godara, Arvind Gaur, Shivendra Singh Chauhan and Rakesh Rafiq.
The new faces in the committee are former DGP (Punjab) Shashikant, former IAS officer Avinash Dharmadhikari, Lt Col Brijendra Khokhar, Ran Singh Arya, activist Akshay Kumar and agriculture expert Vishambhar Chaudhary.
Hazare said that former Army chief General (retd) VK Singh is not a member of his team, but the two were in touch.
He further said that his movement was never disrupted because of the split with India Against Corruption (IAC) chief Arvind Kejriwal, and added that he would begin a nationwide tour against the rampant corruption in the country from Patna's Gandhi Maidan on January 30 next year.
"I am glad that our movement is rejuvenated now. It was necessary to dispel all doubts over the movement. Our movement was never disrupted because of the split. Everybody wants to join our movement. We will train 50 volunteers in each state. Another 40 people will join us in a month's time," said Hazare.
Hazare also used the occasion to target the ruling Congress Party, saying the UPA Government at the Centre doesn't want a corrupt-free India
"We will not accept government's version of Lokpal. People should have right to reject. We need to unite the country against corruption. We need a revolution to change the system. We will be inclusive in our approach, everybody is invited," said Hazare.
Electricity generator powered by pee
Four entrepreneurial teenagers from Nigeria have invented an electricity generator that is operated by urine.
Fourteen-year-olds Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and 15-year-old Bello Eniola showed their creation at the Maker Faire Africa entrepreneurs event, in Lagos, southern Nigeria on 5 and 6 November, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the Maker Faire blog, urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which breaks the urea into nitrogen, water, and hydrogen.
The hydrogen then goes into a water filter for purification, which then is pushed inside a gas cylinder.
The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which removes the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
This purified hydrogen gas is then pushed inside the generator. The generator provides six hours of electricity from a litre of urine.
The Maker Faire blog has described the generator as "possibly one of the more unexpected products" at the event.
While the generator does have one-way valves for safety, more robust measures may be needed before it can be sold widely.
Dominos India aims to be largest franchise outside US in 2 yrs
Jubilant Foodworks, which operates Domino's Pizza chains in the country, has said it plans to become the largest franchise for the US brand outside its home market in the next two years.
"We are already the fourth largest Domino's franchise outside the US now, but growing at the fastest rate in the past five years. In the next two years we will be the single largest outside of the US.
"Currently Domino's India is 5 per cent of global stores and we believe in the next five years it will be 10 per cent of global stores," Jubilant Foodworks chief executive Ajay Kaul has said.
Globally, the pizza chain operates close to 10,000 stores.
I want a day just for myself: Shah Rukh Khan
He is on the top, but feels lonely. He has all the luxuries of life and the love of his family, friends, millions of his fans, but all that superstar Shah Rukh Khan craves for is a day of his life just for himself.
"I want one day of my life for myself, but who do I take it from? Even when I am free, I can't expect everyone to spend time with me, because their lives are going on. So at times you do get lonely," Shah Rukh said.
Along with his professional commitments, the 47-year-old has so much on his plate on a daily basis that he often finds it hard to spend quality time with his family and friends.
Pranab Mukherjee to unveil a new version of Aakash tablet
President Pranab Mukherjee will launch the latest version of Amrita University's e-Learning platform A-VIEW - Amrita Virtual Interactive E-Learning World - here today.
The Amrita University has developed the mobile version of A-VIEW for the new version of Aakash tablet.
This new and improved version will come with a higher processor speed and better battery life.
The tablet will also feature a better quality display resolution and many applications which will be helpful for the children.
Thousands of teachers are expected to virtually participate in the launch event through online video conferencing.
Strong quake strikes Myanmar; at least 5 killed
A strong earthquake struck northern Myanmar on Sunday, with local media reporting that five people were killed. Scattered damage and injuries also were reported in areas close to the quake's epicenter.
According to news reports, the most significant damage appeared to be the collapsing of bridge under construction across the Irrawaddy River in the town of Shwebo, the location of the quake's epicenter. The website of Weekly Eleven magazine said five people were killed when the bridge, which was 80 percent built, collapsed.
"This is the worst earthquake I felt in my entire life," said Soe Soe, a 52-year-old Shwebo resident.
Barack Obama wins Florida, topping Mitt Romney in final tally
St. Petersburg, Florida: President Barack Obama was declared the winner of Florida's 29 electoral votes Saturday, ending a four-day count with a razor-thin margin that narrowly avoided an automatic recount that would have brought back memories of 2000.
No matter the outcome, Obama had already clinched re-election and now has 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206.
The Florida Secretary of State's Office said that with almost 100 percent of the vote counted, Obama led Republican challenger Mitt Romney 50 percent to 49.1 percent, a difference of about 74,000 votes. That was over the half-percent margin where a computer recount would have been automatically ordered unless Romney had waived it.
BBC chief quits over false child abuse report
The BBC's director general, George Entwistle, resigned from his post Saturday in the wake of a Newsnight child abuse broadcast which, he said, should have been never been broadcast.
In a statement given outside New Broadcasting House, Entwistle said: "I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down," BBC reported.
Entwistle said the Newsnight report, which wrongly implicated ex-senior Tory Lord McAlpine should never have been broadcast. It covered cases of child abuse at north Wales care homes.
Women cops in higher number in Patna thoroughfares
With an aim to showcase the 'human face' of Bihar police, a large number of women constables have been put up at important roundabouts of state capital to man traffic.
Woman police constables could be seen sweating it out at the traffic post at important intersections of Patna to ensure disciplined movement of vehicles.
"We have put 35 women traffic constables on duty at important crossings to control movement of vehicles," Senior Superintendent of Police Amritraj told PTI.
Strong quake strikes Myanmar; no injuries reported
A strong earthquake struck northern Myanmar on Sunday, causing residents to flee their homes, but no injuries or major damage were immediately reported.
An official from the Meteorological Department in Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw, said the magnitude-6.8 quake struck at 7:42 a.m. local time with its epicenter near Shwebo, a town about 117 kilometers (72 miles) north of Mandalay, the country's second-largest city.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake's magnitude as 6.6 with a depth of just 10 kilometers (6 miles).
Paper leak hits 10,000 postgraduate medical aspirants
A racket in leaking question papers and assisting students during the MD/MS examinations of Chandigarh's prestigious Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research was busted by the CBI on Saturday.
The scam has not only rocked the premier institute but left the fate of about 10,000 aspirants uncertain.
It has also raised questions over the invigilation process at centres selected by PGI to conduct the test.