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Trinamool men extort money, Mamata knows about it: TMC minister
Trinamool Congress cadres are engaged in extortion and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee knows about it, a disgruntled minister has said.
"Mamata Banerjee is claiming her party won't be involved in extortion. But party cadres are extorting money from people before my very eyes," said Rabindranath Bhattacharya told a Bengali news channel.
"I believe she (Banerjee) knows all these," said the legislator from Singur who has been upset since he was moved from the agriculture ministry to the low key statistics and programme implementation department last week.
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DMK MP JK Ritheesh has been arrested for cheating. Ritheesh, a first time MP, is a party strongman in Ramanathapuram.
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Govt indicates not averse to voting on FDI
With DMK showing the green flag, government today indicated it was not averse to voting in Parliament on the FDI in retail, a move that could end the House logjam.
"We are confident of numbers," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters after an hour-long meeting of the leaders of UPA, which presented a united picture, as news came from Chennai of DMK extending its support to the government during any voting on the FDI issue.
"The UPA is fully united on any decision of the Speaker and the Government... all constituents are firmly behind the Government," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said.
Asked if the government was ready for a vote, Nath said government is "not averse" to discussion under any rules. "I said it yesterday. I am repeating it today," he said.
Asia's biggest cattle fair 'Sonepur mela' starts
The month-long Sonepur mela, Asia's largest cattle fair which has attracted international attention, got off to a colourful start today at Sonepur in Saran district amidst tight security.
Elephants, horses, dogs, donkeys, ponies, rabbits and goats are sold from the mela, which is also known as the Harihar Kshetra Mela.
The mela has its origins in ancient times when Emperor Chandragupta Maurya used to buy elephants and horses from across Ganga.
Bihar Tourism minister Sunil Kumar Pintoo inaugurated the fair which begins during the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartik at the confluence of rivers Ganga and Gandak.
It will end on December 26.
Tibetan nun, three men commit suicide in anti-China protests
Situation in Tibet has turned grim with four more Tibetans, including a nun committed self- immolation in the last two days, taking the toll in the restive Himalayan region to 23 this month, increasing pressure on China's new leadership to resolve the vexed Tibet issue.
At least 20 students were hospitalised yesterday after a protest turned violent in Qinghai province's Hainan prefecture, Voice of America's Tibetan Service reported.
71 spies arrested in last four years
As many as 71 spies were arrested by security forces from different parts of the country in the last four years, Lok Sabha was informed today.
Twenty six espionage agents were arrested in 2009, 18 in 2010, 14 in 2011 and 13 till November 21 this year, Minister of State for Home R P N Singh said in a written reply.
Of them, five were neutralised in Bihar and three were found to have been involved in criminal activities in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi.Read more
Sex tape used to bribe Chinese official goes viral
A 5-year-old sex tape of an 18-year-old woman allegedly hired by developers to sleep with a city official is causing yet another scandal for China's ruling Communists in the city formerly led by fallen politician Bo Xilai.
The 50-something official, Lei Zhengfu, was fired from his position as district party secretary after the video, an apparent extortion attempt, went viral earlier this month and his jowly, pop-eyed mug became the butt of numerous Internet caricatures. But the scandal may still be growing, as a whistleblowing former journalist says he may release similar tapes of more city officials soon.
The party is already reeling from the scandal that triggered Bo's purge and further battered the party's reputation in the public mind. Chongqing, the city that he ran, has been depicted by prosecutors and state media as rife with cover-ups, abuse of power and corruption. Bo's wife was convicted of murdering a British businessman, and Bo himself faces allegations of corruption and obstruction of justice in the murder case.
RR Patil, the Home Minister of Maharashtra, has said that the cops involved in the arrest of the girls who posted comments about Bal Thackeray on Facebook have been suspended. The minister said that the cops were suspended for disobeying the orders of the IG of Konkan.
The SP of Thane and a Sub Inspector from Palghar have been suspended.
Union Minister Kamal Nath has said that the UPA is firmly behind the government on FDI in retail. This statement comes after the UPA coordination committee's meeting on FDI comes to an end.
The minister also said that the UPA is united on not wanting a vote on the issue in parliament.
NCP leader Praful Patel say there is a consensus on not voting and that the UPA was united. "The government will decide on the next course of action," said Patel.
DMK to vote in favour of FDI
The DMK will go in favour of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail in parliament if there is a debate followed by voting, party chief M. Karunanidhi said Tuesday.
"There is no denying ... the possibility of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government falling if the debate on FDI in retail is taken under Rule 184 of parliament as demanded by BJP and other parties," Karunanidhi said in a statement here.
Stressing that the party was against FDI in retail, Karunanidhi said "communal parties" like the BJP would take advantage of the situations if the government collapsed.
He said no opportunity should be given for a government of the BJP or any other government which has the BJP's backing.
Sachin retained in squad for Kolkata Test
The Indian selectors have made just one change in the squad for the third Test against England in Kolkata. The injured Umesh Yadav has been replaced by Ashok Dinda.The selectors have reposed faith in struggling maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who has had a miserable run in Tests lately.
The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm.
Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day minutes after it reconvened. This time protests against quota in promotions in government jobs were holding up proceedings.
The BJP has said that it will not change its stand on FDI in retail. The party is insisting on a vote on the matter. 'Government has not kept its assurance to Parliament that the decision on FDI will be taken only after discussing the issue with all stakeholders. The sense of the House on the issue can be known only through voting. So, the government should give up its adamant attitude,' BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
The body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has been exhumed. This is being done so that international forensic experts could search for additional clues to his death. The new investigation into Arafat's death was sparked earlier this year by the discovery of a lethal radioactive substance, polonium, on clothing said to be his.Arafat died in November 2004 in a French military hospital, a month after suddenly falling ill. While the immediate cause of death was a stroke, the underlying source of an illness he suffered in his final weeks has never been clear, leading to persistent speculation in the Arab world that Israel poisoned him. Israel has denied such allegations.
The Bombay high court on Monday transferred Ramchandra Bagade, the first-class judicial magistrate at Palghar who had given the girls who posted comments about Bal Thackeray on Facebook bail of Rs 15,000 each.
The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 12 pm as the deadlock over FDI continues.
The opposition MPs have started raising slogans against FDI immediately after proceedings began in the Lok Sabha. Speaker of the house is trying to contain the ruckus and continue on with the question hour. Meanwhile the Rajya Sabha has been adjourned.
Ram Jethmalani has written a letter to BJP president Nitin Gadkari in which he questions Arun Jaitley's role in the appointment of the new CBI director.He also said that he as a senior member of the party in the Rajya Sabha was not consulted on the Lokpal Bill. He also accused Gadkari of "dragging" the BJP down with him.
Former Congress legislator Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, who was charge sheeted in the Adarsh Society scam, died here today following a brief illness.Gidwani, 64, was undergoing treatment at the Breach Candy Hospital here and died due to a heart ailment, family sources saidHe was the chief promoter of the controversial Adarsh Society in Colaba and had also worked as spokesperson of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.
Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, an accused in the Adarsh scam has passed away. He died of a heart attack in a Mumbai hospital.
Fire kills 14 at German workshop for disabled
At least 14 people died and seven injured in southern Germany after a fire broke out at a workshop, having disabled people as employees, police said Monday.The blaze occurred in a workshop, which employs some 120 mentally−or physically−handicapped workers for jobs in metal and wood processing or electrical assembly, at the small town of Titisee−Neustadt, in the Black Forest in Germany, Xinhua reported.Three others were reported missing after the blaze, police said.
Slight intensity quake in Andaman Islands
A slight intensity earthquake, measuring 4.8 on Richter scale, jolted region of Andaman Islands today.The quake, which struck at 4:44 AM today, was measured 4.8 on the Richter Scale, the India Meteorological Department said.The epicentre of the quake was located at 14.1 degrees north on the latitude and 93.5 degrees east on the longitude.No loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in the region.
Army bans usage of pen drives
In the wake of increasing threat to cyber security, the Indian Army has banned the usage of pen drives on Internet computers."Union government is aware that cyber-crime is becoming a major threat to national security and armed forces are bracing to cope with the challenge. Usage of pen drive on Internet computers has been banned as a policy due to inherent security threat posed by pen drives," Defence Minister AK Antony said in the Lok Sabha on Monday."Computers and communication systems in Ministry of Defence are procured from recognized Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)/Companies as per the procurement procedures of the Government," he said. A Cyber Security Policy 2008 issued by the Ministry of Defence is under implementation, which inter-alia, includes continuous awareness campaign, audit of networks, strengthening of cyber security activities and maintaining of air gaps. "Cyber security issues are also coordinated by National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) at the national level," he said.
7.30 am:Ashes of late Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray will be immersed at 'Thriveni' at Kanyakumari.The ashes would be brought to the Kerala's capital by Sena MLA Deepak Savant tomorrow morning, according to a party release.The ashes would be received at the airport by Shiv Sena state chief M S Bhuvanachandran and other party functionaries. It would be taken to East Fort in the city and kept there for the public.Later in the day, it would be taken to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu for immersion, Shiv Sena state general secretary Peoorkkada Harikumar said.