CBI names 11 people, 4 companies in chopper probe
Eleven people and four companies have been named in the CBI's preliminary report on the AgustaWestland chopper deal. The report has already named former Air chief SP Tyagi, his cousin Julie Tyagi and Dosca Tyagi..
ISRO successfully launches 'Saral' satellite
ISRO's historic PSLV C-20 launched from Sriharikota. The ISRO-built Saral, which is a Indo-French ventur, is a 410-kilo satellite and is aimed to help with oceanographic studies. This is the 23rd mission of ISRO.
The bomb alert at the Delhi Cantonment is now a false alarm. Police believed the bag contained explosives. Police also said there was a loud noise in the defusion bag, media reports said.
A Nepalese climber was confirmed on Monday as the first woman to scale Mount Everest twice in a single season, Guinness World Records said, after she made the second summit within days of the first. Chhurim Sherpa, 29, reached the 8,848-metre (29,028-feet) peak on May 12 last year before returning to base camp for a well-earned rest and then repeating the stunning feat a mere week later, AFP reports.
Bomb scare in Delhi
A bomb disposal squad has rushed to a hospital in the Delhi cantonment where an unattended bag has triggered an alert.Media reports state that the Delhi police say the bag has explosives. A NSG team and a bomb squad are at the site. Early reports say circuits with a laptop are inside the bag. Delhi has been on high alert since last week's terror attack in Hyderabad in which 16 people were killed and more than 100 injured after two bombs exploded near-simultaneously in a crowded market.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit UAE next month, government sources confirmed on Monday. Government has been contemplating a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement with UAE and it is possible that the agreement will be signed during Singh's visit. India and UAE have an annual trade volume of over 72 million dollars, TOI reports
Karunanidhi objects to Lankan minister's statement
Objecting to a Sri Lankan minister's announcement that Lankan fishermen would rally against their Indian counterparts, DMK chief M Karunandihi on Monday described it as a "planned strategy" by Colombo to divert attention from the "tyrannies" of Rajapaksa government.
Two powerful bombs were recovered and two persons were today arrested in this connection at Laifam Khunou area in Imphal West district, police said.
Meghalaya has been put under high alert in line with the advisory issued to all North Eastern states by the Centre following Hyderabad terror attack which left 16 dead and 117 injured, official sources said today.
"We have taken necessary safety measures in line with the direction from the Home Ministry we received last week," state Inspector General of Police G H P Raju told PTI.
Film release stalled for ridiculing Mamata, Singur movement
The Censor Board has refused to clear a Bengali film for taking potshots at the swearing-in ceremony of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Singur movement that forced the Tatas to exit the state.Read more
Rajinikanth and KV Anand to come together
The market is abuzz as a leading financial daily has reported that Superstar Rajinikanth’s next film will be directed by KV Anand for producers Eros International.Kamal Jain, group chief financial officer—India, Eros International Media is quoted as saying - “We have already signed the deal for Rajinikanth's third movie (after Kochadaiyaan and Rana—both under production). This film will be made by KV Anand of Ko fame. The name of the film is yet to be decided.”
Iran seeks stronger trade ties with India
Iran-India trade can be increased from the current $15 billion through more cooperation in areas like energy and industries, Ali Ardashir Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) said here Monday.Larijani urged India to facilitate greater business opportunities and academic collaboration with Iran.Expediting issuance of student visas by India would help more students from Iran to come and study in India, he said.
Railways will introduce helpline for women: P.K. Bansal
Indian Railways will soon introduce a 24X7 helpline for women that will be tracked "on real-time basis", Railway Minister Pramod Kumar Bansal said while stressing that the safety of passengers, particularly women, was top priority."The safety and security of passengers, especially the women, is the top priority of the Indian Railways," Bansal told IANS in an interview ahead of the rail budget he will present Tuesday.
AgustaWestland had responded to the allegations of bribery in the VVIP chopper scam. The company has written back to the Indian government condemning its show cause notice reports NDTV.The company has said that the contracts with it cannot be cancelled based on media speculation and has called the move unfair. The company has denied paying bribes.The company has said that the allegations of bribes are media constructs.
Earthquake jolts eastern JapanAn earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 jolted eastern Japan on Monday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, adding that no tsunami warning had been issued. The quake shook buildings in Tokyo, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Tokyo Electric Power Co said there were not reports of irregularities at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan or at its other nuclear facilities.
Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict on death row in connection with the assassination of the former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh, has expressed his desire to be hanged. Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa International terrorist, has in a four-page open letter said he had neither appealed for mercy nor asked anyone to do that for him.In the past also, Rajoana had refused to appeal against his death sentence. In a letter, written from Patiala jail recently, he reasserted his readiness to go to the gallows. He sent the letter through his sister.
The hearing in the Suryanelli case has been postponed due to the lack of records.
A rare countrywide blackout has left Pakistan without electricity for almost two hours overnight. The authorities blamed technical problems for the breakdown early on Monday, insisting it was not caused by sabotage.12.15 pm:
Suryanelli rape case: In Kerala, 120 people have been questioned by the police in Thiruvananthapuram and nearby areas for posting allegedly obscene Facebook posts about Congress leader PJ Kurien and the Suryanelli rape case.The complaint about Facebook posts was filed by an advocate and Congress worker named Bindu Krishna who says she's being attacked online for having defended Mr Kurien.
Parked car sparks bomb scare outside Ambani homeWith the blasts in Hyderabad making the situation in Mumbai volatile, residents of Altamount Road, the tony SoBo neighbourhood, were on edge late Sunday afternoon over an unknown vehicle parked outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s towering home Antilia, Mid-day reports. Word travelled swiftly to the higher-ups in Mumbai police, and a bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS) was hurriedly dispatched to the spot, a dog squad in tow. The area was cordoned off. After scouring the vehicle — and smashing a window — the squads decided there was nothing in the vehicle to lose sleep over.Read more
Personal animosity behind woman's shooting, say cops
Personal animosity was the reason behind the murder of a 25-year-old woman who was shot dead near the Sarai Kale Khan bus terminal, police said Monday.Pooja, a resident of Bhajanpura in east Delhi, was standing near the Sarai Kale Khan inter-state bus terminal in south Delhi when she was shot Sunday night. She was taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre where she died of bullet injuries.
PSLV-C20 to launch Indo-French satellite 'SARAL'All is set for the launch of Indo-French satellite 'SARAL', aimed at oceanographic studies, and six foreign mini and micro satellites onboard ISRO's workhorse rocket PSLV from the spaceport of Sriharikota in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on Monday. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C20 is slated for blast-off at 5.56 PM local time from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, 110 kms from here. President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to witness the event.
Delhi gang-rape case: Three doctors from Singapore will start testifying via videoconference today in the fast-track court in Delhi that's trying five men for the fatal gang-rape of a student on a moving bus. The doctors from Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital began treating 23-year-old Amanat (NOT her real name) after she was moved on an air ambulance from Delhi, where her condition was deteriorating in a state-run hospital, NDTV reports
Topless women target Berlusconi as he votes in election
Three topless protesters targeted Italy's former premier Silvio Berlusconi as he went to a polling station in Milan to vote in the country's general election.As voters queued at a polling station at a Milan school, the three half-naked women, who had the slogan "Basta Berlusconi" ("Enough With Berlusconi") scrawled on their backs, broke through a crowd of journalists.The topless trio then jumped over some tables toward the former leader, but they failed to reach him.
A continent buried under lava?
Well-known tourist destinations, the Indian Ocean islands of Reunion and Mauritius, actually hide a micro-continent, say a team of researchers.The continent fragment known as Mauritia detached about 60 million years ago while Madagascar and India drifted apart, and has been hidden under huge masses of lava, the researchers say.A group of geoscientists from Norway, South Africa, Britain and Germany have suggested the existence of further fragments, based on the study of lava sand grains from the beach of Mauritius, the journal Nature Geoscience reports.
Park Geun-Hye was sworn in as South Korea's first female president Monday, vowing zero tolerance with provocation from North Korea and demanding Pyongyang "abandon its nuclear ambitions" immediately, TOI reports.
Lakhs throng Kumbh on Maghi Poornima
The penultimate bathing day of the 55-day Maha Kumbh - Maghi Poornima - began early Monday at the Sangam here, with lakhs taking an early holy dip in the Ganga.The day is special as the "Kalpawasi" pilgrims end their month-long penance and sabbatical from worldly life on Maghi Poornima.More than 1.5 crore devotees are likely to take a holy dip at the Sangam - the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mystical Saraswati Monday.
Egypt's Morsi calls for dialogue on elections
Egypt's Islamist president has invited political forces to join him in a dialogue to find ways to ensure the "integrity and transparency" of upcoming parliamentary elections.Speaking in a television interview, Mohammed Morsi also rejected opposition charges that the elections he called for April were ill timed given the wave of unrest roiling the country."I see that the climate is very agreeable for an election," he said.Morsi used the interview, recorded on Sunday but aired early Monday 5 and half hours behind schedule, to try and improve his standing nearly eight months into his four-year term.He repeatedly declared that he was a "president for all Egyptians," claimed he had no quarrel with any of the nation's political forces and reasserted his respect and confidence in the military.
200,000 gather to hear Pope's last public prayer
Over 200,000 people gathered at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City to hear Pope Benedict XVI's final public blessing before he retires."The Lord is calling me to 'climb the mountain', to devote myself to prayer and meditation," the 85-year-old Pope told the crowd Sunday as he appeared at the window of his apartment overlooking the square.
7.30 am:The fuelling of the second stage of the Indian rocket that would sling seven satellites into space today evening is expected to be done by today morning while the countdown for the launch is progressing smoothly, said officials of the Indian space agency."The countdown is smooth and is normal. The fuelling of second stage of the four-stage rocket will begin (on Sunday night) and will get over (on Monday) morning," an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), preferring anonymity, said.President Pranab Mukherjee is slated to witness the launch of the first of the 10 space missions planned by the ISRO in 2013.The 44.4-metre tall Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C20 (PSLV-C20) rocket, with a lift-off weight of 229.7 tonnes, will sling into orbit seven satellites - one Indo-French and six foreign satellites.The seven satellites together weigh 668.5 kg. The entire flight sequence - lift-off to the ejection of the seventh satellite at an altitude of 794 km above the earth - will take around 22 minutes.The successful launch of the satellites will take ISRO's tally of launching foreign satellites to 35. ISRO started putting into space third-party satellites for a fee in 1999 on its PSLV-C2 rocket.