Live: Two dead after helicopter crashes in London near MI6 agency

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 12:48 hrs

6. 20 pm

Two dead after helicopter crashes in London near MI6 agency

A helicopter crashed into a crane and fell on a crowded street in central London during rush hour Wednesday, sending black plumes of smoke into the air as it smashed to the ground. The pilot and one person on the ground were killed and 13 others injured, officials said.

The helicopter crashed just south of the River Thames near the Underground and mainline train station at Vauxhall, and near the British spy agency MI6.

Police said one person had critical injuries. Several people were taken to a nearby hospital with "minor injuries," London Ambulance Service said.

The pilot, who was killed, had requested to divert and land at the nearby London Heliport.

5.10 pm: 

Obama to unveil gun violence measures Wednesday

 President Barack Obama's broad effort to reduce gun violence will include proposed bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines as well as more than a dozen executive orders aimed at circumventing congressional opposition to stricter gun control.

Obama was to announce the measures Wednesday at a White House event that will bring together law enforcement officials, lawmakers and children who wrote the president about gun violence following last month's shooting of 20 young students and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

The broad package Obama will unveil will also include efforts to stop bullying and boost availability of mental health services.

But Congress would have to approve the bans on assault weapons and ammunition magazines holding more than 10 bullets, along with a requirement for universal background checks on gun buyers. Some gun control advocates worry that opposition from Republicans and conservative Democrats, as well as the National Rifle Association, will be too great to overcome.

"We're not going to get an outright ban," Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., said of limits on assault weapons. Still, McCarthy, a leading voice in Congress in favor of gun control, said she would keep pushing for a ban and hoped Obama would as well.

4.20 pm: 

MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi sent back to jail after police questioning

Police in Andhra Pradesh's Adilabad District have reportedly completed the questioning of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi and sent him back to jail on Wednesday after four days in connection with a hate speech case.

Owaisi was produced before a magistrate in Nirmal town, about 200 km from in Hyderabad, and then sent back to the Adilabad District Jail, which is located about 90 km from Nirmal.

Owaisi will remain in police custody till January 20.

Owaisi was arrested on January 8 and on January 9, he was placed in judicial custody for 14 days for the hate speech that he had delivered during a public meeting in Nirmal town on December 22.

Owaisi represents Andhra Pradesh's Chandrayangutta Assembly Constituency in the old city of Hyderabad.

He has been charged with sedition, waging war against the nation and criminal conspirac

3.45 pm: 

Now Maha Kumbh on mobile TV

nexGTv, India's leading mobile TV service, on Wednesday said it has brought to its users an opportunity to watch live and repeat telecasts of all the six baths of the Maha Kumbh that started with Makar Sankranti on Jan 14 to Mahashivratri on Mar 10 in their mobile phones.

Through the channels ETV Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand the users will be offered to watch all major six baths live from 6 am till 1 pm and a half-an-hour documentary on Kumbh Amrit Manthan from 8 am to 8:30 am each day.

Kumbh Amrit Manthan is a special feature - an eight episode documentary- to nexGTv users that narrates mythological views on Maha Kumbh 2013 and celebrates the religious spirit of the auspicious event. 

Also, nexGTv will telecast the six major bathing rituals live from the Sangam.

In order to enrich the experience of its users, nexGTv will present musical soft stories and views of experts through discussions on spiritual, sociological and metaphysical aspects of the baths as a voice-over. 

On this occasion G. D. Singh, Director, DigiVive, said: "nexGTv as a complete infotainment platform is catering to demands across demographical categories of our country. 

"Through this telecast, our seven million users will have an access to an event of high religious virtue and will be virtually present during the holy dip at the Sangam (the meeting point of three holy rivers) on all the six days."

DigiVive is one of the leading data VAS providers in the fast emerging infotainment and data MVAS industry.

3.15 pm: 

Police have confirmed that two persons have been killed while two others injured in the London helicopter crash. 

2. 30 pm: 

Helicopter crashes in London during rush hour 

A helicopter crashed into a sky crane near Vauxhall tube station, London, bringing Central London to a halt. Although reports are still coming in regarding the exact cause, the speculation is that the helicopter pilot did not see the crane due to a dense fog. The crash occurred near the famous MI6 building. Flames and smoke was seen over the London skyline as emergency services rushed to the spot. 

No casualties have been reported so far. Trains services between Vauxhall and Waterloo stations have been stopped. 

1.35 pm:

Will 26/11 plotter Headley face same fate as Rana?

By seeking a prison term of 30 years for Tahawwur Hussain Rana, US federal prosecutors are probably foreshadowing a similar length of imprisonment, if not longer, for David Coleman Headley, a key plotter behind the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26, 2008.

Although it will be up to District Judge Harry Leinenweber to decide the quantum of Rana's sentence, the fact that the prosecution is asking for 30 years could be regarded as a benchmark for Headley's sentence scheduled for Jan 24.

Having pleaded guilty to all the 14 counts of his involvement in the plotting of the Mumbai attacks, which resulted in the deaths of six US citizens, as well as the abortive Denmark plan, it seems logical that at the very least his sentence will match Rana's, if not much longer.

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1.00 pm: 

One month after the Delhi rape, are mindsets changing?

There is more patrolling, a 24x7 helpline, promise of gender training of police, protests and what not. But ask any young unescorted woman on Delhi's roads whether she feels any safer a month after the Dec 16 gang-rape and the answer will be a sad "No".

A lot of women who had on the contrary managed to keep away the fear psychosis are now admitting to a sense of uneasiness on the roads after the gruesome incident.

I have been travelling at late hours ever since I came to this city six years ago: for my studies, and later for my work. It was just not concerned family members but also acquaintances who would paint scary descriptions of mis-happenings for a working woman living alone in the capital city of the country.

Everyone was eager to give dos and don'ts on how to be safe. However, I never felt afraid in any real sense, until Dec 16, 2012.

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12.30 pm: 

Army chief meets jawan Hemraj's family

In keeping with his promise made the day before, Army Chief Bikram Singh visited the family of Hemraj Singh. He joins a list of VVIPs who went to the little village in UP to pay homage to the family. 

Incidentally one of the better side effects of all this visiting has been the desperate sprucing up of the village, which got a new transformer, roads and a helipad. 

The Chief reassured the media that the family's demands to the army will be met and he would talk tot he state government about other demands like better infrastructure.

12.00 pm: 

Girls as young as 12 sexually exploited by gang of Asian men in UK

Girls as young as 12 were sexually exploited by a group of Asian men, a court in Britain has heard. Six girls were used by men, who subjected them to depravity and perversion, lived in the Oxford area, the Old Bailey jurors were told.

One victim was only 12 when she was forced into prostitution, the Mirror reports.

Norman Lucas QC, prosecuting, said that the case involved the sexual exploitation of children, young girls, by groups of men in the Oxford area. The men denied the 51 counts, including rape, trafficking and organising prostitution between 2004 and 2012.

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11. 20 am: 

The former chief minister of Haryana, Om Prakash Chautala has been arrested for a scam involving the illegal recruitment of teachers. The scam involved Chautala, his sons and some 53 others. 

Chautala and others took money in exchange for the recruitment of some 3000 teachers.

11.00 am: 

US impartial regarding Qadri's protest, says Nuland

The US State Department has said the Washington was impartial as far as Tehrik Minhaj-ul-Quran leader, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri's "long march" was concerned.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that the Obama administration has always championed the democratically elected government in Pakistan, reports The News.

Commenting on whether Qadri was doing the right thing by sitting in before the Parliament in Pakistan with thousands of his supporters, Nuland said democratically everyone should be allowed to reserve the right to protest.

10.40 am: 

Nations using terror as 'state policy' are short-sighted

Talking tough on terror in the backdrop of tension on the Indo-Pak border, India told UN Security Council that nations using terror as an "instrument of state policy" are "short-sighted" and have invariably themselves suffered immensely from the "Frankenstein monster."

Participating in a counter-terrorism debate presided over by Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Indian envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said the fight against terrorism has to be "unrelenting and fought across all fronts".

He emphasised that the international community cannot afford selective approaches in dealing with terrorist groups or in dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism.

"Terrorism is a Frankenstein monster. Resort to the use of terrorism as an instrument of State Policy is short-sighted. Indeed, those who have taken recourse to it have invariably themselves suffered immensely from it proving the age old dictum that those who play with the sword, shall also perish by it," Puri said at the debate which was organised here yesterday by Pakistan in its capacity as the current President of the 15-nation powerful Security Council.

10.15 am: 

Rs 700-crore land grab case against Asaram Bapu

Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu has ran into fresh trouble with the Serious Fraud Investigating Office (SFIO) seeking his prosecution in a Rs 700 crore land grab case in Madhya Pradesh.

The case pertains to 200 acres of land in Ratlam and the SFIO, which wants to prosecute Asaram and his son under the provisions of Indian Penal Code and Companies Act 1956, recently send its recommendation to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in this regard. 

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9.45 am: 

Is freedom of expression under threat in digital age?

With social networking site Facebook boasting of 1 billion members globally and micro-blogging site Twitter claiming millions, opinion was divided on whether the freedom of expression was under threat in the digital age.

"Censorship of content should be the last resort as curbing a particular content online actually amplifies its spread over the internet," said Sunil Abraham from Centre for Internet and Society.

He was speaking at a panel discussion organised by London based Index on Censorship and the Editors Guild of India on the issue at the India International Centre Tuesday evening.

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9.15 am: 

UN names Russia's most endangered animal

Though the brunt of the conservation effort in Russia is focused on tigers and leopards, it is the steppe antelope saiga that qualifies for the country's most endangered big animal, a UN official.

"If the government doesn't act to protect the saiga now... the species will disappear from Russia within five years," said Yevgeny Kuznetsov, who supervises the Russian steppe project of the UN Development Programme.

Kuznetsov estimated the saiga population in Russia at 5,000 to 7,000, compared to 815,000 in 1958.

The antelope is found in Kalmykia in Russia's south.

8.40 am: 

Australian Open: Sania knocked out of women's doubles

India's Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands crashed out in the first round of the women's doubles at the Australian Open tennis, losing to Spaniards Silvia Soler Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7 (4-7) and 3-6 here Wednesday.

The 10th-seeded Indo-US pair just could not jell, though statistically they were not very far from their Spanish opponents. It is just that they could not press home the advantage by not being able to convert more than four of their eight breakpoints whereas the Spaniards clinched all the five they got.

Sania and Mattek-Sands had a great chance of winning the second set after losing the first set tie-break when they led 3-0 but lost the next six games in a reel to bow out of the championships.

In the ultimate analysis, the Spanish pair showed greater consistency in all aspects of the game to subdue Mirza and Mattek-Sands.

8. 30 am: 

Japan 787 makes emergency landing due to battery

An All Nippon Airways flight made an emergency landing Wednesday morning in western Japan after a cockpit message showed battery problems, the latest trouble for the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner."

Details of the problem were still being checked, ANA spokesman Takuya Taniguchi said after the flight to Tokyo from Ube landed at the Takamatsu airport, where NTV television reported passengers had used emergency slides to exit the jet. The airport temporarily closed.

ANA's 787s have encountered several problems in the past two weeks, though no injuries have been reported.

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8.20 am: 

When Keira Knightley ignored health for work

Actress Keira Knightley says she suffered a certain disease while she was busy working. But she did not realise the seriousness of the matter until her health got worse.

She is said to have suffered a lung infection, and had chest pain and breathing problems. It got worse when she was in the middle of a play's rehearsals in 2012.

"You do period films and you get some sort of weird archaic disease. And I didn't realise, so I went on for another month. I just stupidly never went to a doctor," Harper's Bazaar magazine quoted Knightley as saying.

"I was rehearsing for this play and then I found in rehearsals it got so bad that I couldn't stand up any more. And they said: 'Please, can you go to the doctor," said the actress, who was seen in the film "Anna Karenina" last year.

8.00 am:

Bollywood producers meet to discuss service tax issue

Several Bollywood producers will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue of service tax levied by the Centre on artistes and take up the matter with the government.  

The Centre's decision is effective from this month and film and TV actors will be charged 12.36 per cent service tax on their earnings on programmes and endorsements. Artistes are opposing the move as they are already paying Income Tax.  

7.30 am:  

Indian Army chief Gen. Bikram Singh will on Wednesday visit the family of Lance Naik Hemraj, who was decapitated by Pakistani troops in Jammu and Kashmir Jan 8, said sources.

The army chief will visit the slain soldier's village in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh Wednesday morning, sources said on Tuesday.

The family had been demanding that the soldier's severed head be returned to them.

Gen. Singh has called the killing of Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh as a "gruesome and an unpardonable act".

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