6. 30 pm
Goa firemen to zip about on bikes
In a first in India, instead of a big red wagon, firemen in Goa will now zip about on motorcycles to douse fires and tackle emergencies.
Goa state fire services chief Ashok Menon said that the motorcycle unit was the first of its kind and would be the first to be dispatched from the fire station to assess and tackle the emergencies.
"The motorcycle first response team will reach the emergency site first. The reason why we are starting this is because in crowded areas, a fire engine sometimes finds it difficult to get through, whereas a motorcycle can easily navigate through traffic," Menon told IANS.
The two-man unit will have the firefighters equipped with backpacks with compressed foam, gear, rope and other equipment which would the fire services equivalent of a medical emergency kit.
"Motorcycles can also use the smaller roads to get to emergency and fire accidents sooner," Menon said.
5. 40 pm
AP police begin questioning of MIM leader Owaisi
Police today began interrogation of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, booked for alleged sedition and criminal conspiracy for his "hate speech", a day after getting his five-day custody from a court here in Andhra Pradesh.
Nirmal town police in Adilabad district, who had registered a case against Owaisi, arrested him from Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on January 8. He was later remanded in 14-day judicial custody.
A court in Nirmal town had yesterday sent the 42-year-old legislator from Chandrayanagutta in Hyderabad to police remand to facilitate his questioning.
Accordingly, a police team took Owaisi's custody from the Adilabad district jail and brought him to Armed Reserve Office here where he was being questioned in the presence of one of his lawyers and a doctor, police sources said.
Railways have derailed since I left office, says Lalu
Criticising the rise in train fares, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad today said that the railways have "derailed" since he left the office of railway minister.
"The railway has derailed from the track.... The people in power are trying to destroy the lifeline of the country," Prasad told reporters.
Claiming that revenue generation from the passenger fare hike would be paltry, he said, it had not gone down well with passengers.
Border meet between BSF and Pak Rangers next month
A flag meeting between commanders of the BSF and Pakistan Rangers is expected to be held next month over a host of issues including ceasefire violations.
Border Security Force (BSF) sources said that a "routine" border meeting between the field commanders of the force and Rangers was scheduled for January 16 on the Pakistani side at Munnabao border.
"This was posponed till February 20 this year by Pakistan Rangers. No specific reason was cited and this decision was conveyed to us on January 4," they said.
A host of border issues will be taken up during this meeting, they added.
On January 8, two Indian soldiers were killed on the Line of Control (LoC) by Pakistani troops with the body of one being badly mutilated, sparking outrage in the country.
BJP not to have tie-up with any party in UP for general elections
The BJP today said it will not have a tie-up with any party in Uttar Pradesh for the next Lok Sabha elections.
"BJP would not enter into an alliance with anyone for the Lok Sabha polls in UP.... We are no more ready to face betrayal from anyone," state unit president of BJP Laxmikant Bajpai said here.
Referring to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's visit to Medawar Kala village here yesterday to offer condolences to the bereaved family of the 23 year-old Delhi gang-rape victim, Bajpai alleged that "crocodile tears" were being shed now.
"At the time of the girl's death in Singapore, Yadav with his family was making merry in Saifai mahotsav and now he is expressing grief over the incident," Bajpai said, adding that some 75 cases of rape have been reported in the state since the Delhi incident and alleged that it was indicative of government's insensitivity.
In a first official warning to Pakistan from the Indian armed forces, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne has said that Pakistan's violation of the ceasefire agreement at the LoC was unacceptable. ' If ceasefire violations continue, we may have to look at other options,' said the Air Chief Marshall.
Man threatening Pooja Bhatt arrested
An unidentified man who was making threatening calls to Pooja Bhatt has been arrested, says the actor-filmmaker.
"Just got a call from Abhay Shastry, Bandra Police Station, confirming they have arrested man who made abusive/threatening calls to me on Jan 9," Pooja tweeted Saturday morning.
"Police confirms that man who abused/threatened me is all of 25 years old and works for Vodafone. Can't wait to look into his eyes and say hello," she further posted.
Pooja had filed an official complaint Wednesday at the Bandra police station here against the caller, who was calling her incessantly in the wee hours, and threatened her.
Minor rape victim in Haryana immolates herself
Social fear haunted a minor rape victim in Sonipat district of Haryana as she set herself on fire late on Friday evening.
The incident comes just weeks later, when the whole country is mourning the death of the 23-year old Delhi gang rape victim, who was raped and brutally beaten by six men in a moving bus.
The girl, who has been admitted to a Rohtak hospital, is 16 years old and was allegedly raped by her neighbour Rakesh when she was on her way back home from school in the first week of January.
Nepal bus accident toll climbs to 30
At least 30 people have died and 13 others were injured when a bus fell off the road in Nepal's Doti area, early on Saturday morning.
Local police said the mishap took place at around 3 a.m. along the Doti-Chhatiwan Section of the Bhimdatta Highway.
According to Nepal News, the bus was heading for Dhangadhi from Jayagadhm in Achham.
Rescuers from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the Nepal Army are at the accident site. The injured have been rushed to Padma Hospital Attariya,a police official was quoted, as saying.
Rescue efforts, however, are being hampered by the severe cold.
The death toll could rise further.
According to the police, the bus fell 2,000 feet down a steep hill in Doti district after the driver lost control of the vehicle.
The bus had 35 passengers registered at its last checkpoint.
'Poisoned' Indian-origin Chicago lottery winner's exhumation approved
A US judge has approved the exhumation of an Indian-origin one million dollars Chicago lottery winner, who was poisoned with cyanide before he collected his prize.
Judge Susan Coleman of the Probate Division in Illinois approved the county medical examiner's request to exhume the body of Urooj Khan at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.
Khan, 46, died July 20, 2012, from what was initially believed to be natural causes.
But a family member whose identity has yet to be revealed asked the medical examiner's office to re-examine the cause of death, which was subsequently determined to be cyanide poisoning, ABC News reports.
The Chicago businessman had won a one million dollars.
According to the report, in the latest legal twist, Khan's brother filed a petition asking Citibank to release information about Khan's assets to "ultimately ensure" that Khan's minor daughter "receives her proper share."
Hansika Motwani in Forbes list
Hansika is basking in the glory of Oru Kal Oru Kannadi , being one of the blockbusters in 2012 and she has a dream roster of directors in her kitty.
Her professional approach to work, friendly attitude laced with her charming manners and gorgeous looks ensured that she was the top heroine in 2012.
There is a popular belief that success follows only the successful and she stands a perfect example to that.
Over 100 dead as flu epidemic grips US
The United States is in the grip of a flu epidemic.
Over 100 deaths have been attributed to the disease with 24 states and New York City reporting high levels of flu activity, according to CDC's flu advisory report for Dec 30 through Jan 5. That's down from 29 states the previous week, Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC was cited as saying by CNN.
"... We are into what would classically be described as a flu epidemic," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told CNN. "It's still on the uptick," he said.
Owaisi's police custody begins today
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader and MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi has been sent to a five-day police custody starting Saturday.
On January 8, Owaisi, 42, was arrested on charges of delivering a hate speech in Adilabad last month.
According to reports, the police had sought his custody for seven days to question him. Owaisi is currently in judicial remand and he will be produced before the court on January 17.
US government tells computer users to disable Java
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is advising people to temporarily disable the Java software on their computers to avoid potential hacking attacks.
The recommendation came in an advisory issued late Thursday, following up on concerns raised by computer security experts.
Experts believe hackers have found a flaw in Java's coding that creates an opening for criminal activity and other high-tech mischief.
Java is a widely used technical language that allows computer programmers to write a wide variety of Internet applications and other software programs that can run on just about any computer's operating system.
Oracle Corp. bought Java as part of a $7.3 billion acquisition of the software's creator, Sun Microsystems, in 2010.
Oracle, which is based in Redwood Shores, Calif., had no immediate comment late Friday.
Landslide in hilly south China kills at least 44
The death toll from a landslide that swept through a village in the steep, snow-dusted mountains of southern China on Friday has risen to at least 44, state media reported Saturday.
The landslide smothered 14 homes in Zhaojiagou village in Yunnan province, burying 46 people, China News reported. It said two people were still missing.
Photos posted on the website of the Yunnan Daily, the official newspaper of the provincial government, showed rescue crews in orange jumpsuits using construction machinery to sift through massive piles of mud and earth. Behind them stood hillsides and pine trees covered in snow, signs of the unusually cold winter that has hit all of China.
Reports did not say what triggered the landslide. They occur periodically in the region, which is prone to earthquakes and heavy rains. In a nearby county, 81 people died after an earthquake in September. A month later, a landslide buried a primary school, leaving 18 students and one other person dead.
UN urged to refer Syria to war crimes court
More than 50 countries have backed a call for the U.N. Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, a move that would open the way for war crimes prosecutions.
A draft of the letter obtained Friday by The Associated Press says the situation in Syria should be referred to the Hague-based war crimes tribunal "without exceptions and irrespective of the alleged perpetrators."
"At the very least, the council should send out an unequivocal message (...) announcing that it intends to refer the situation to the ICC unless a credible, fair and independent accountability process is being established in a timely manner" by Syria, it continues.