Live: 'Will not eat food till Sarabjit gets better treatment'

Last Updated: Wed, May 01, 2013 12:08 hrs

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Will not eat food till Sarabjit gets better treatment: Sarabjit sister 

Sarabjit Singh's sister said she will fast from today till his brother, who is battling for life after a brutal assault in a Pakistani jail, is shifted to India or abroad for better treatment.

"I am upset with the Indian Government as it never took stern step to save my brother...I will not eat food till he is repatriated to India or shifted to a hospital abroad for a better treatment," said Dalbir Kaur, who reached here today after meeting 49-year-old Sarabjit, who is comatose in a Lahore hospital.

Sarabjit's wife Sukhpreet Kaur, daughters Poonam and Swapandeep Kaur and Dalbir crossed over into India from Lahore through land border.

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Bangladesh building toll reaches 405

A week after a nine-storey building collapsed at Savar area in Bangladesh capital Dhaka, the death toll in the tragedy touched 405 on Wednesday, officials said.

Rescue workers pulled out 17 more bodies from the rubble on Wednesday.

They have not recovered any alive person from the debris in the past two days.

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Army chief meets PM over China incursion

Army Chief General Bikram Singh on Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the latter's official residence over the issue of China's incursion in Ladakh.

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Protests against Sajjan Kumar's acquittal spills into Delhi metro station

NDTV: In Delhi, a metro station at Subhash Nagar has been closed down after protestors stormed the station and climbed onto the tracks.

The protests, epicentred at Tilak Nagar in West Delhi, are against the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a case linked to the 1984 riots in which nearly 3000 Sikhs were killed.

Mr Kumar, who was accused of being one of the ring-leaders, was acquitted in one of three cases in which he is accused of murder and criminal conspiracy related to the riots, which erupted after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards.

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The meteorological department said that the epicentre of the tremor was in the Zanskar Range in Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be ascertained.

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Most Muslims want sharia as official law in Islam countries: Poll

More than three quarters of Muslims in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia favour traditional sharia to be 'the official law of the land' in all Islamic countries, but are divided on the issue of its application, a recent survey has revealed.

The survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life suggests that sharia is the framework of ultimate reality and ethical guidance that is derived from the Qur'an, which the Muslims believe should be the law applied in their private spheres such as for settling divorce issues and property disputes, News 24 reports.

The Washington-based Pew Forum said that there were less supports for severe punishments such as cutting off the hands of thieves or executing people who convert from Islam to another faith, although over three-quarters of Muslims in South Asia say these punishments are justified.

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Earthquake hits parts of Pakistan again

Earthquake tremors were felt in parts of Pakistan, including Lahore, Islamabad, Abbottabad, Haripur, Chakwal, Gujranwala, Sailkot, Battagram, Mirpur, Muridke, Jhelum and Swat.

The quake's magnitude was recorded 5.8 on the Richter scale. Its epicentre lay in eastern Kashmir, some 243 kilometres from Islamabad, reports The Dawn.

Earlier in April, a major earthquake that struck a region near the Iran-Pakistan border, killed at least 34 people in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province. The worst-hit areas from the 7.8 magnitude quake were reported to be close to the Pakistan-Iran border.

The country experienced its worst earthquake in 2005, in which more than 73,000 died.
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Supreme Court commutes death penalty of murder convict Das to life

The Supreme Court on Wednesday commuted the death sentence awarded to murder convict M N Das to life imprisonment.

The mercy petition of Das was rejected by former President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

Das had approached the apex court for commutation of his death sentence.

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi allowed the plea of Das on the ground that the President had taken eleven years to decide his mercy plea.

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1.00 pm

Earthquake felt in Delhi, parts of North India

NDTV: Tremors were felt in parts of North India at 12.30 pm after an earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale was epicentred 17 km North East of Bhadarwah in Jammu and Kashmir.

Buildings shook in Delhi, offices and homes were evacuated in parts of Kashmir, and tremors were reported across the border in Lahore and Islamabad in Pakistan.

"The quake happened at 12.27 p.m. and measured 5.7 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was somewhere around the Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh border," said R S Dattatreya, Director, Department of Seismology, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

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Former officials sentenced in Tamil Nadu

Two former officials of Tamil Nadu Housing Board were sentenced for two years by a local court here on charges of passing a bill of a contractor for an unfinished work in 1987.

According to prosecution Vigilance and Anti Corruption Department, who investigated the case, Jayaraman and Ambikavathy, who were Assistant Executive Engineers then, awarded a construction work to contractor Shanmugam for Rs 4.65 lakhs.

The officials passed his bill even without completing the work.

District judge A Senthilkumar sentenced the officials, who were retired now, for two years besides imposing a fine of Rs 6000 each.

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No visa for Narendra Modi, urges US panel

AFP: A panel has urged the United States to maintain a ban on a visa to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi over 2002 post-Godhra riots, even though he is a favourite to run for prime minister.

In a wide-ranging annual report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said that Narendra Modi should be "inadmissible to the United States" due to "severe violations of religious freedom."

"There is significant evidence linking him to the violence and the terrible events that took place in Gujarat and for this reason, a visa would not be appropriate," Katrina Lantos Swett, chair of the Commission, told reporters on a conference call.

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Indian doctors must be allowed to treat Sarabjit: lawyer

CNN: Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh's lawyer will move the Lahore High Court seeking permission for Indian doctors to examine him in Pakistan. He said the Pakistani authorities have not been responding to the family's queries on Sarabjit's health and so they want to move court asking for Indian doctors to join the Pakistani team of doctors treating Sarabjit.

"The doctors from India should be allowed to come here and join the Pakistani doctors team. We are not being told anything by the authorities. They remain silent," said Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Sheikh. Indian High Commission officials have also asked Pakistani doctors if Sarabjit can be treated abroad.

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Mumbai metro: First trial run today

One of the most sought after projects in India-the Mumbai metro-is scheduled to have its first trial run on Wednesday with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan being one of its first commuters.

In an attempt to reduce the burden of the Mumbai local trains, the project has been accomplished jointly by Reliance Infra and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

The project was commenced in February 2008 and will run between Versova and Ghatkopar, while connecting western suburbs to eastern suburbs, in its first phase.

The route is expected to be operational by December 2013.

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US religious body concerned over Modi entry into US

A US federal advisory body has reiterated its concerns about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's admissibility to the US due to his alleged "complicity in the 2002 riots" in the state.

Modi, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Tuesday noted, was the only individual in whose case a provision of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) was invoked in March 2005 to bar his entry. IRFA bars the entry of such individuals "responsible for or directly carried out...particularly severe violations of religious freedom."

USCIRF said it wrote to the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 about the possibility that Modi might apply for a visa, to reiterate its concerns about his admissibility to the United States.

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Coursera to offer new MOOC options for teachers

'Massive open online courses" offered by elite universities is moving into a new re the expansive field of continuing education for teachers.

Coursera, the California-based for-profit platform for MOOCs from 62 leading universities such as Stanford, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania, planned to announce Wednesday a new range of partners that include education schools and, in a first, non-degree granting institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History that help train teachers.

The announcement would give teachers pursuing their continuing education requirements, or courses that could give them a salary boost, a new set of options to learn from master professors at leading education schools such as Vanderbilt and the University of Virginia, along with a handful of museums and other institutions.

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First legal online poker site goes live in Nevada

Reuters: Already home to the Las Vegas strip with its casinos and high-stakes games, Nevada on Tuesday became the first state where residents can legally play poker online for money.

Station Casinos STN.UL went live with after Nevada legalised online poker in February. New Jersey and Delaware have legalised online gambling, which could eventually generate billions of dollars in revenue for companies and local governments.

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Myanmar anti-Muslim violence kills 1, injures 9

Buddhist mobs hurling bricks overran a pair of mosques and torched more than 100 homes in central Myanmar, killing one person and injuring at least nine more in the latest anti-Muslim violence to shake the Southeast Asian nation.

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Immigration reform should attract the best, brightest: Obama

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said that the country's immigration reform, currently underway, should be able to attract "the best and the brightest" people from across the world "in a legal fashion".

"We should make sure that we are cracking down on employers that are gaming the system", Obama said at a White House news conference.

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Swiss, Canadian envoys meet Narendra Modi

Switzerland's ambassador Linus Von Castelmur on Tuesday met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and explored possibilities of mutual cooperation in diverse sectors between his country and the State.

During his discussion with Modi, Castelmur explored the possibilities of partnership with Gujarat in areas of skill development, milk and agro processing, tourism, diamond and jewellery studded watch industry, urban planning and management, an official statement said.

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The distraught family of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who was brutally assaulted in a Lahore jail last week, is likely to return home today after doctors have reportedly indicated that he was "clinically dead".

A judicial panel comprising Indian and Pakistani jurists visited Sarabjit Singh in Jinnah Hospital in Lahore on Tuesday evening, the external affairs ministry said.

Raj Kumar Verka, vice chairman of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, said in Amritsar that he spoke to Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur who told him that doctors have told her that Sarabjit was "brain dead".

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