Suspected Islamists attack Indian student in Germany
Police say an Indian student in Germany has been attacked and injured by suspected Islamic extremists who accosted him and demanded that he convert to Islam.
Police spokesman Frank Piontek said on Thursday that two attackers in the western German city of Bonn severely beat the 24-year-old and then slashed his tongue with a knife.
Police say the attackers walked up to the student in a city street late on Monday and demanded that he convert to Islam - then beat him up after he refused to do so.
The student, whose identity wasn't given in line with German privacy rules, was taken to a hospital for treatment.
7. 10 pm
CPI(M) leader makes 'obscene' remarks against Mamata, apologises for it
A prominent West Bengal CPI(M) leader Anisur Rahman embarrassed his party and kicked up a political storm for making 'obscene' remarks against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before apologising today, with Trinamool Congress submitting a privilege notice and threatening to slap a legal notice on him.
"He has used words about a woman which cannot be told. It has tarnished the culture of Bengal and lowered our heads," TMC leader and industry and parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters.
Rahman, later in the evening tendered an apology for his remarks.
"For the last 21 years I have been an MLA in the state. I have never said anything like this before and this will not happen again in future. I apologise before all the people of the state," Rahman, deputy leader of the CPI(M) in the House, said reading out a statement before the media and leaving without taking any question.
6. 20 pm
Govt to prepare database of rape convicts, make it public
In an attempt to name and shame rapists, the government has decided to prepare a data base of all rape convicts across the country and their photographs, names and addresses would be made public.
Minister of State for Home R P N Singh said he has directed the National Crime Records Bureau to prepare a directory of all rape convicts and upload their photographs, names and addresses on its website.
"We are planning to start it in Delhi. Photographs, names and addresses of the rapists will be uploaded on Delhi Police website also," he told reporters here.
5. 50 pm
Singapore hospital had treated Rajinikant, Amar Singh too
Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim was rushed to this morning, has seen prominent Indians like superstar Rajinikant and politician Amar Singh knock at its doors for specialised treatment.
The hospital is renowned for kidney and heart transplants and receives patients from across the globe because of its state-of-the-art facilities for highly-complicated surgeries.
South Indian superstar Rajinikant was admitted to the hospital for almost a month in the summer of 2011 after doctors at a Chennai hospital advised shifting him to Singapore for specialised treatment. Besides a kidney-related ailment, the 62-year-old actor was treated for respiratory infection and other problems.
Two years back, the hospital was in news in India when Amar Singh was admitted to the institution for a kidney transplant. Singh also spent over three weeks at the hospital in 2009.
Parliamentary panel questions Delhi Police chief
A parliamentary panel today questioned the Delhi Police chief over the gang-rape incident in the capital and said deficiencies like vacancies at officer level and lack of vehicles to patrol the streets existed.
Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home to face questions on 'growing atrocities against women in Delhi'.
Home Secretary R K Singh, who was also to appear before the panel, could not attend the meeting.
Kumar informed the panel about the sequence of events of the incident and said the police control room vans reacted "promptly" after receiving the phone call about the crime.
Witness sticks to his version in Tomar death case
One of the eyewitnesses, who had contradicted the police probe version on Constable Subhas Tomar's death during Sunday's violent protests, today joined investigations, saying he would stick to whatever he had said.
Yogendra, a journalism student, appeared before Delhi Police Crime Branch officials this afternoon following a notice sent to him by the Crime Branch, investigating the case, asking him to join the probe.
A controversy has erupted over the cause of death of 47-year-old Tomar during the violent demonstrations on the gangrape issue with eyewitnesses and a government hospital claiming there were no injuries on his person while the post-mortem report contradicted these versions.
Several hundred protestors have begun a fresh round of protests towards the India Gate. The Delhi police, which immediately imposed section 144, stopped the protestors at the traffic intersection at Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg that leads to India Gate.
The police have come out in a larger force this time around, with anti-riot vehicles.
Delhi police officials have said that they will be stopped around 250 metres from the India Gate roundabout. 3.15 pm:
Another diesel price hike in the offing?
Diesel prices may be hiked by Rs 10 per litre over a 10-month period and kerosene rates increased by same quantum over the next two years if a proposal being mulled in the Oil Ministry is accepted.
The price hike is being considered as the government scrambles to find ways to meet an unprecedented Rs 160000 crore deficit expected this fiscal on selling diesel, cooking gas (LPG) and kerosene below their production cost.
Price of diesel, which currently costs Rs 47.15 per litre in Delhi, was last revised on September 14 when it was hiked by a steep Rs 5.63 per litre. Kerosene rates have not changed since June last year and it currently costs Rs 14.79 per litre in Delhi.
"We are left with no choices... there is a need to raise prices. The government is contemplating raising diesel prices by Re one per litre each month for next 10 months to bring retail rates at par with their cost," an Oil Ministry source said. 2.15 pm:
Tusker kills girl, injures father
A teenage girl was trampled to death and her father seriously injured by a tusker at Odlabari area of Jalpaiguri district early today.
Forest department sources said the 16-year old girl Mumtaj, who tripped in front of the animal, died on the spot when the pachyderm tossed her with its trunk and then trampled her to death.
Her father, who was on a side, was also pushed to the ground when he tried to save the girl.
The father was rushed to hospital and his condition was serious, the sources said.
Another wild elephant, which also came down to the village from nearby forest along with the tusker, however returned to its habitat while the killer jumbo went on destroying paddy crops and flattening four huts in the locality.
The ranger from Baikanthapur accompanied by forest guards and villagers were camping in the area to keep tab on the movement of the tusker and efforts were on to drive it back to the jungle.
Starbucks puts political message on coffee cups
Customers heading into Starbucks in Washington this week will get more than just their normal dose of caffeine. The international coffee company has asked baristas in the US capital to write "Come Together" on each cup sold as a message to lawmakers to compromise and reach a deal on the impending "fiscal cliff".
"I think it's a good idea, there are not many companies willing to try and get involved to steer the government in the right direction," Imhotep Yakub, 36, told RIA Novosti Wednesday while standing in line waiting for coffee at a Starbucks in Washington.
Modi hits out at policy paralysis of Centre in 12th plan
After the Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa's staged an angry staged out of the national development meeting, Gujarat's CM Narendra Modi was also very vocal and very critical about the Government's policy for the 12th five-year plan.
Modi said the plan was flawed and short-sighted and blamed lack of leadership, apathy among the beaucrazy and a policy pralaysis for it's short-cmings. Modi also warned that this situation would lead to a negative development of the economy.
Modi pointed out to several schemes in Gujarat which he claimed were more effective and already being emulated by various states across the country.
Modi also gave only lukewarm support to Jayalalithaa outbursts from earlier, brushing off questions about her. 1.00 pm:
In an interview to a Bengali channel ABP Anannda TV, President Pranab Mukherjee's son, Abhijit Mukherjee, questioned the character and intent of the women who were protesting against the Delhi gang rape in front of his father's residence - the Rastrapthi Bhavan.
In his statement, the Congress MP from Jangipur, said that while most such "candle light" agitations were done by students, whose character he was "well aware" off, he was highly doubtful if the "good-looking dented and painted" women at the Delhi protest were students.
His statement was -
"What is basically happening in Delhi is a lot like the pink revolution. They don't have any connection to the ground reality....
We have also been students. I know very well about how students work. The people who have come to the protests as students are these beautiful women, highly dented and painted, who are giving interviews on TV....I suspect that they may not be really students. Because women in that age group are not generally students."
We await clarification from the President's son as to what he exactly meant by these odd comments.
'Gang-rape victim's health remains a big cause of concern'
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Thursday said that the condition of the gang-rape victim continues to be critical, and added that her fluctuating health remains a big cause of concern.
In a statement on the condition of the gang rape victim presently being treated at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Shinde said it has been the government's endeavour to provide her the best of medical care.
11:25 pm: Jayalalilathaa storms out of National Development Council meet
An angry Jayalalithaa has stormed out of the National Development Council meet being held in Delhi today.
It was the the ringing of the 10-minute bell demanding she end her speech that riled the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
No chief minister can be expected to present all the views in 10 minutes, she fumed, before leaving the meeting that is being chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a huff.
Women's safety is highest priority: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday that the issue of women's security and safety was of the highest priority. During the 57th National Development Council meeting, he urged all the chief ministers of the country to pay special attention in this area.
Indians in Australia to hold rally in support of Delhi rape victim
The Indian diaspora in Melbourne will hold a peaceful rally today and offer prayers for the recovery of the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim who is now being treated at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
Many Non-resident Indians will assemble at the Indian Consulate office at 6.30 pm (local time) to pray for peace, well-being and amity and also present a memorandum to the government through the Consulate demanding actions to stop such incidents of rape and molestation across the country.
The girl was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus on December 16 in Delhi. 10.20 am:
In close touch with Delhi victim, grateful for offers of help: MEA
Syed Akbaruddin, a senior diplomat who has served in key capitals, and the spokesperson of India's external affairs ministry has been reaching out through Twitter to give updates about the situation regarding the Delhi gang rape victim in Singapore.
In a series of tweets, Akbaruddin gave assurances that the Indian High Commission in Singapore was in close touch with the victim and her family and was going to provide "all possible assistance" to the victim and her family.
Woman gang-raped, dumped in south Delhi
A 42-year-old woman was sedated and raped allegedly by three men in Uttar Pradesh who then dumped her in south-east Delhi, police said today.
The fresh case comes close on the heels of a 23-year-old girl being gang-raped in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16.
Police claimed that the woman, who hails from Jaipur, was raped somewhere in Vrindavan and dumped in south-east Delhi's Kalkaji area last night.
The incident came to light around 9.15 PM when a passerby saw the woman lying on a road and called the police.The victim had gone to Vrindavan on December 22 and was returning home yesterday.
Messi the best in the world, say Brazilian footballers
Argentine striker Lionel Messi is the best football player in the world, according to most Brazilian footballers who responded a survey by the portal UOL Esporte.
According to the poll, the striker from Spanish club Barcelona was praised by 90 percent of 100 players from 15 Brazilians clubs who were consulted, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
In second place was Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo, with only seven percent of the votes, while the third spot, with merely one percent, was shared by Spanish players Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, and Brazilian Neymar da Silva.
Da Silva, however, was voted the best Brazilian player at present by 89 percent of respondents.
UOL Esporte made it clear that the Brazilian players voted anonymously and play for renowned teams like Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Santos, Palmeiras, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense, Botafogo and International.
Iranian MP irked by Russian women's hijabs
Russian women working at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant are not properly adhering to the Islamic republic's strict dress code, despite receiving extra pay for compliance, an Iranian lawmaker has said.
"Based on contracts signed with female Russian employees at the Bushehr power plant, they receive a hijab (head cover) payment," MP Mehdi Mousavinejad was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying.
"Unfortunately," he said, "they do not properly observe what [the contracts stipulate]."
He also criticised the authorities for lax oversight of the Russian employees.
Mousavinejad, however, said he did not know how many female technicians work at the NPP or how much they are paid.
Women in Iran, regardless of their nationality or religion, are enjoined to cover up everything but their hands and face.
Construction of Bushehr began in the 1970s but has been dogged by delays. Russia signed a billion-dollar deal with Tehran to complete the plant in 1998.
Delhi rape victim reaches Singapore
The 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim, who was flown out to Singapore in an air ambulance for specialised treatment, was admitted to the Mount Elizabeth hospital this morning.
The plane carrying the girl landed at the Changi International Airport at 7.30 AM (5 AM IST), the Indian High Commission in Singapore said, confirming the girl's arrival.
The decision to shift the girl was taken at the highest level of the Indian government.
On December 16, the girl was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus and was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Delhi.
The girl, who continues to remain in a critical condition, remained on ventilator support during most part of her treatment in Delhi.
Mandela discharged from hospital in South Africa
Former South African president Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital, the South African presidency announced Wednesday.
Having been hospitalised 18 days ago, he was treated for a lung infection and gallstones.
Mandela will, however, continue to receive treatment at his home in Johannesburg until he fully recovers, BBC quoted a statement from President Jacob Zuma's office as saying.
His wife Graca Machel and President Zuma visited him on Christmas Day and said he was in good spirits.
Tensions hit French Embassy in C. African Republic
Angry protesters carrying clubs threw rocks at the French Embassy in Central African Republic on Wednesday, criticizing the former colonial power for failing to do more to stem a rapid rebel advance as fears grew that the insurgents aim to seize the capital.
The demonstrations began earlier in the day outside the U.S. Embassy before about 100 protesters then took to the French Embassy, carrying pieces of cardboard with messages that read: "No to war! No to France!"
"It's France who colonized us — they should support us until the end. Unfortunately, they have done nothing. In this case, we are merely asking purely and simply that they leave our country," shouted one young demonstrator in front of the French mission in Bangui.
The protesters then began stopping cars to verify whether any foreign nationals were inside.