Live: Pope to resign on Feb 28

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 11, 2013 13:35 hrs

7. 05 pm

Afzal's hanging: Omar tells ministers to check protests

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has told his ministers to move around in their constituencies to check protests and explain to the people that the state government had no role in Afzal Guru's execution, sources said Monday.

Some of the ministers and legislators of the ruling National Conference flew by the state aircraft Monday and others will be reaching Srinagar Tuesday, sources said.

"We have been told to be there (in Srinagar) to move around in our respective areas to check protests and explain the government's position vis-a-vis the hanging of Afzal Guru," a minister said on condition of anonymity.

"The purpose seems to be to avert the recurrence of the 2010 type protests by the people and reaction by the law enforcing agencies in which 120 men and women, mostly youngsters, were killed," the minister explained.

Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri convicted in the 2001 parliament attack, was hanged in Delhi's Tihar Jail Saturday. 

6.10 pm:

Pope was considering quitting for months: Brother

The pope's brother, Georg Ratzinger, says the pontiff had been advised by his doctor not to take any more transatlantic trips and had been considering stepping down for months.

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign Feb. 28.

Talking from his home in Regensburg to the news agency dpa, Georg Ratzinger said his brother was having increasing difficulty walking and that his resignation was part of a "natural process."

"His age is weighing on him," the 89-year-old said of his 85-year-old brother. "At this age my brother wants more rest."

5.30 pm:

Stampede inquiry report within month's time: UP Govt

An inquiry committee set up to investigate the reasons behind the stampede at the railway station here has been directed to submit its report within one month, UP Chief Secretary Javed Usmani today said.

The committee headed by UP Board of Revenue Chairman Jagan Matthews has been directed to look into the sequence of events that led to the stampede, underscore lapses, if any, on the part of officials entrusted with managing the crowd and suggest measures for preventing recurrence of such incidents, he said while addressing a press conference here.

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4.50 pm:

Pope to resign on Feb 28

Pope Benedict XVI is to resign on February 28th, a Vatican spokesman has announced.

"The pope announced that he will leave his ministry at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on February 28," said the spokesman, Federico Lombardi, a report on the Daily Telegraph said.

Last year the Pope started using a cane on occasions and recently he appeared to have trouble reading the text of an address he delivered in Rome, the report said.

There was no immediate official comment from the Vatican.

4.30 pm:

'Will consider if Afzal's kin wants to visit grave'

Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, while addressing the media on Afzal Guru's execution, said, "It was the jail authorities decision to inform Afzal Guru's family by speed post, and not a home ministry decision. If Afzal's family wants to visit his grave, we shall consider it."

Guru has been interred within the premises of the Tihar jail in Delhi, much like 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab was interred within the Yerawada jail in Pune.
He also added the Hanging was not a political decision but done according to law.

4.00 pm:

Don't sell obscene films, Viagra, Pak Taliban warns shopkeepers

The Tehreek-e-Taliban has warned shopkeepers in Peshawar to stop selling "obscene films" and Viagra-style male potency pills.

Shopkeepers in Karkhano market said that they found handwritten pamphlets containing the warnings on Saturday.

The pamphlet said 'selling sex drugs, vulgar films and obscene movies are against Sharia'.

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3.20 pm:
No jeans, t-shirts for Bihar's girls

fter three of its girls went missing, a village in Bihar's Siwan district has barred girls from using mobile phones and wearing jeans and T-shirts, an official said Monday.

The villagers also imposed heavy fines on girls if they violated the diktat.

The ban was imposed Sunday by self-styled social reformers of Makhnupur village under Pachrukhi police station in Siwan district, 150 km from here.

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3.00 pm:
Kate hoax call RJ back on air

One of the two Australian radio presenters whose royal prank call to a British hospital treating Kate Middleton went awry and created a furore when an Indian-origin nurse committed suicide, returned on air today.

Radio host Michael Christian, one of two Southern Cross Austereo presenters at the centre of the disastrous royal prank, has resumed work.

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2.37 pm:
Kumbh in-charge Azam Khan resigns over stampede

Azam Khan, who is in-charge of the Kumbh Mela resigns, taking responsibility for the stampede that led to 36 deaths.The Uttar Pradesh government has blamed the Railways for the tragedy. Minister in charge for the Mahakumbh, Azam Khan, had said, "The UP government's responsiblity was restricted to the mela venue only."

1.20 pm:

Pak reacts cautiously to Afzal Guru's execution

Pakistan on Monday reacted cautiously to the execution of Afzal Guru, hanged for his role in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, saying it did not want to "go into details" of his trial.

Responding to a question regarding the hanging of Guru, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said he "would not want to go into details of the trial process".

The matter was "being discussed and debated by the media and the human rights organizations", he said in a statement.

Kashmiri groups and organisations like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah have organised protests in several Pakistani cities against the hanging of Guru.

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1.06 pm
Afzal Guru's family receives letter about his hanging two days after execution, say reports.  

Soon after Afzal Guru was hanged on Saturday, the Centre said two letters had been sent to his family by speed post -- on February 7 and 8 -- informing them about the rejection of his mercy petion and his hanging.

The Post Master General of the state, John Samuel, told TV channel NDTV  today that the letter was sent on Friday and reached Srinagar on Saturday, when Guru was hanged at the jail where he spent eight years on death row. The letter could not be delivered to the family yesterday because it was a Sunday. The family accepted the note this morning.

12.40 pm
Boy shot at for standing up to eve-teasers
A 19-year-old boy was shot at after he tried to protest against the sexual harassment of a minor by four men on Sunday, CNN-IBN reports. The four men were on a bike when they started harassing the young girl.

When the man protested, they shot at him and injured his hand. The incident took place at Baranagar in West Bengal.

While no arrests have been made so far, the police say they have a detailed description of the suspects and will soon conclude the investigations.

12.32 pm
Afzal Guru hanging: Man injured in firing incident dies

A man injured allegedly in security forces action against persons staging protest against hanging of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru died today. 

Ubaid Mushtaq, who was injured allegedly in firing by security forces at Watergam village in Baramulla district yesterday, succumbed to injuries at 3:AM at a hospital in Srinagar, Medical Superintendent of SKIMS Hospital Aijaz Mustafa said.

12.30 pm:
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have 10 Indian billionaires, according to a new survey. According to the first-ever GCC Indian Rich List published by financial weekly magazine 'Arabian Business', Landmark Group founder Micky Jagtiani who once worked as a London cab driver topped the list with an estimated wealth of USD 4.5 billion.

12.19 pm: 
Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia will be given to the next of kin of those killed in Allahabad stampede: Railway Minister P K Bansal. He was seen  rushing to Allahabad with Railway Board Chairman for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

12.15 pm:

Steve Jobs dreamt of iCar

Apple's visionary co-founder Steve Jobs' final ambition before he died was to see Apple to dominate the roads with its 'iCars'.

According to a report by Business Insider, the co-founder and CEO of the iPhone maker told associates he wanted to create an Apple car.

Jobs also reportedly told the Times, during a meeting prior to his death, that he wanted to 'take on Detroit.'

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11.26 am:

'PJ Kurien was involved in Suryanelli rape case'

The main accused in the Suryanelli rape case, Advocate Dharmarajan, has come out against PJ Kurien, claiming the current Rajya Sabha Deputy Speaker did indeed 'spend 30 minutes at the Kumali Guest house with the Suryanelli girl'.

Dharmarajan, who is in hiding in Karnataka after jumping bail, told Kerala's Mathrubhumi news channel that this happened after Kurien arrived at the Kumali Guest house at 0630 pm on February 19 (the day the girl claimed she was raped by Kurien) in his Ambassador from nearby Vandiperiyar.

The main investigating officer of the time in the Suryanelli rape case, Sibi Mathew, though has rubbished Dharmarajan's claims saying the latter had given his original evidence directly to the presiding judge. It has been recorded too.

This new revelation comes 17 years after that and is a desperate ploy by the accused advocate, Mathew said, adding that he is only trying to muddy the waters at a time when the Kerala High Court has been told to re-examine the case.

11.12 am:
Eyewitness blames police for Allahabad stampede

“People were walking on the footbridge when suddenly police charged with batons. Because of that baton charge, the public panicked and the stampede happened. In that stampede these people were killed,” eyewitness Amit Kumar said. 

It was not clear why the police waved batons at the crowd, but Kumar blamed authorities for not acting immediately after the tragedy. 

“Some 10 dead bodies are lying on the platform right now and some dead bodies have been lifted from the top of the footbridge. There is completed negligence on part of the authorities, there is no doctor, no ambulance has come till now, more than two and a half hours have now passed,” Kumar said. 

Once every 12 years, tens of millions of pilgrims from across India converge at Allahabad for the Maha Kumbh Mela.  

11.04 am:
Afzal Guru hanging: Third day of curfew in J&K

Kashmir Valley remained under curfew for the third day on Monday even as mobile Internet services remained suspended and newspapers failed to hit the stands following hanging of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru. 

Additional security forces, including CRPF units and the police, have been called in to help maintain law and order in the state.

10.41 am:
Army denies ceasefire violation

The Indian army has denied reports of ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday and Sunday as "completely incorrect".

"The report published in sections of print media and telecast in electronic channels, dated 09-10 Feb 2013, that "Ceasefire Violations in Krishna Ghati Sector of Poonch region in Jammu & Kashmir " is completely incorrect and without any basis," the army said.

"There were no Ceasefire Violations at night on 09 Feb 2013 or in the morning of 10 Feb 2013 in Krishna Ghati Sector as reported," it added in a statement.

Some media reports had said there were ceasefire violations along the border between India and Pakistan at the forward posts in Krishna Ghati Sector.

10.10 am:

A strong earthquake that shook Colombia over the weekend destroyed 100 houses and damaged nearly 2,000 others, authorities said yesterday. Only 15 people were injured, none seriously, they said.

10.00 am:

To facilitate the dissemination of information related to the Allahabad stampede, the Railways have also issued helpline numbers:

Delhi: 011-23342954, 23341074, and 24357660

Allahabad: 0532-1072, 0532-2408149, 2408128, 2407353

Kanpur: 0512-2327018.

9.46 am:
Delhi gang-rape case: Trial to continue in fast-track court today

A fast-track court will on Monday continue its hearing in the brutal Delhi gang-rape case. Notably, five of the six accused are being tried for charges of rape and murder of a 23-year-old student at Saket court. 

The trial in the fast-track court began on February 05, around 50 days after the medical student's brutal rape. 

The fast-track court of Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna started day-to-day trial in the case last week after framing charges of murder, gang-rape and kidnapping, among others, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the five accused. 

9.15 am:

West Bengal Chief Minister lost her cool in a public space again on Sunday when she lashed out at photo-journalists at the Maati Utsab in Panagarh on Saturday. She threatened to slap the journalists, whom she also termed as 'uncivilised', for pushing and shoving near the kitchen area of the fair.

8.42 am: 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday condoled the loss of lives in a stampede at Allahabad Railway station and assured financial assistance to the families of those killed and to the injured. 

8.00 am:

Thirty-six people have died in a stampede at the Allahabad Railway station. Of the 36 bodies, 16 are yet to be identified. 

7.30 am: 

Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly damaged boats of some fishermen and pelted stones at them while they were fishing in Katchathivu islet in the Palk Straits, fisheries department officials said.

The personnel also cut the nets of some of the 685 boats which had set sail from here yesterday and threw away their catch, the officials said.

No fisherman was injured in the incident, they said.

Katchathivu is an island ceded by India to Sri Lanka in the 1970s.

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