Live: Tamil actress Kanaka no more?

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 12:07 hrs

5.15 pm:

Kanaka is no more?

According to certain Internet sites and Television channels, Malayalam and Tamil heroine Kanaka has passed away today (July 30)!!

But the news has not been confirmed yet. She had been admitted to the Cancer Paliative Centre in Alappuzha. But sources close to her say that she is fine and is currently undergoing treatment in Chennai.

Read More

4.30 pm:

Congress MP demands statehood for Vidarbha

Amid speculation that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) could accede to the demand for Telangana, a Congress MP has asked party chief Sonia Gandhi to consider a separate state for Vidarba.

Vilas Muttemwar, Congress MP from Nagpur, told IANS Tuesday that he has written to Sonia Gandhi demanding that the party leadership consider demand for a separate state of Vidarbha out of Maharashtra.

"The demand of statehood for Vidarbha is stronger and older than Telangana," Muttemwar, a seven-time member of the Lok Sabha, told IANS.

He said that the first state reorganisation commission had made a recommendation for Vidarbha statehood but the then leadership in the region decided to join Maharashtra, following "intervention of the then party high command and assurance that their interests will be protected".

"No promises have been fulfilled. There have been 45,000 farmer suicides (in Vidarbha). Thousands have died due to malnutrition. There is no industry," Muttemwar said.

4.00 pm:

Kiran Reddy is party's obedient soldier, says Congress

Denying reports of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy's resignation, Congress Tuesday said he was an "obedient soldier" of the party.

Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said: "This wild, distorted news is being put out without substantiating... He (Reddy) is a very obedient soldier of the party."

"The rumour is being spread to affect local elections in the state," she said.

Reports of Reddy's resignation were afloat as the chief minister came to Delhi to meet Congress leaders, while an announcement on the formation of Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh is being expected.

Reddy, who belongs to Rayalaseema, is reportedly upset with the centre's decision to grant statehood to Telangana and had said Friday: "I will not be a party to any destructive decision."

Chowdhary added that there was "no question" of Reddy resigning. "He merely expressed his opinion about the ground realty and his personal emotional pain," Chowdhary said.

3.30 pm:

Bihar BJP removes spokesperson for opposing Modi

The Bharatiya Janata Party has removed Ram Kishore Singh as its Bihar spokesperson Tuesday, a day after he questioned Narendra Modi's popularity and his development model.

State BJP president Mangal Pandey removed Ram Kishore Singh following action demanded by some party leaders, including former minister Giriraj Singh, who is a vocal supporter of the Gujarat chief minister.

"Party has also issued a show-cause notice to Singh in this connection," Pandey said.

While negating Modi's claim on development, Ram Kishore Singh Monday praised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for inclusive growth of the state.

"Modi's so-called appeal will be exposed in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. It will not be possible for the BJP to reach the magic number of 273 with allies Shiv Sena and Akali Dal. If it happens, it will be a miracle," he said.

3.00 pm:

Delhi biker death: Biker's mother demands CBI inquiry

The mother of the stunt biker who was shot dead by Delhi Police Monday has demanded a CBI inquiry into her son's death.

"I want a CBI inquiry to be conducted because I do not believe in the investigation being conducted so far," Manju Pandey, mother of the deceased Karan Pandey, told IANS Tuesday.

Karan Pandey was cremated Tuesday at the Malviya Nagar crematorium in south Delhi.

"The policeman who fired at my son should be arrested as he took his life without any reason," she added.

Stunt biking by around 100 young men led to a tragedy in the heart of Delhi early Sunday when police opened fire, killing Karan Pandey, who was riding pillion on Punit Sharma's motorcycle, police said. Sharma was injured.

2.30 pm:

High court moved over UP official's suspension

The issue of IAS official Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension reached the Allahabad High Court Tuesday with a petitioner seeking direction to the central government to probe the matter and quash the action if found illegal.

Lucknow-based social activist Nutan Thakur filed a petition before the high court's bench here and said the central government was the cadre controlling authority of Indian Administrative Service officials like Nagpal.

The central government should be told to seek details from the Uttar Pradesh government about her suspension and quash it if found illegal and improper, Thakur said.

Nagpal, sub-divisional magistrate of Noida, was suspended Sunday by the state government for allegedly illegally ordering demolition of a wall of an under- construction mosque.

Thakur alleged that there was a serious problem of illegal sand mining and illegal religious structures on public land all over the country.

The petitioner contended that the Supreme Court had issued strict instructions to check this menace.

2.00 pm:

Batla House encounter case: Accused Shahzad Ahmed gets life sentence

A Delhi court today awarded life sentence to Shahzad Ahmed, convicted last week in the controversial 2008 Batla house encounter case.

Read full report here

1.30 pm:

Air India plane grounded due to tyre burst in Chennai

Tension prevailed at the international air terminal in the city on Monday after an Air India express flight, carrying 85 passengers, scheduled to go to Male via Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram, was grounded as the tyre of its right wheel burst.

The plane was forced to halt on the taxi track when smoke emerged from the aircraft’s wheel. Captain S. S. Venkat immediately alerted the airport fire station and the fire tenders moved in quickly and contained the smoke.

Read full report here

12.45 pm:

Voting starts for Pakistan's new president

Members of the national parliament and provincial assemblies in Pakistan began voting for the country's new president Tuesday amid the boycott of the poll by main opposition parties.

Polling opened at 10 a.m. in the joint session of the National Assembly and the Senate, and in the four provincial assemblies and would continue until 3 p.m. without any break, reported Xinhua.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has fielded senior party leader Mamnoon Hussain for the office of the president. The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or Justice Movement has nominated a former court judge Wajihuddin Ahmed.

It is an one-on-one contest as the major opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has boycotted the elections over the change in the original date of polling, together with two other parties, namely the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Awami National Party (ANP).

12.20 pm:

HC declares BCCI panel illegal, orders new probe

Bombay High Court holds as "illegal" and "unconstitutional" BCCI panel probe into spot-fixing and betting charges.

11.30 am:

Nepal sees remarkable rise in tiger numbers

The tiger population has zoomed by more than 50 percent in Nepal but the big cat still faces plenty of dangers.

The government Monday came out with its latest tiger census, putting their number across the country at 198. This is a rise of 63 percent compared to 2009 when the last count was taken.

Although Nepal had vowed to double the tiger population by 2022, illegal trade with China and India, uncontrolled poaching, habitat disturbance and conservation are the major concerns.

"Nepal's results are an important milestone to reaching the goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022," said Megh Bahadur Pandey, the head of the department of national parks and wildlife conservation.

"Tigers are a part of Nepal's natural wealth, and we are committed to ensuring these magnificent wild cats have their prey, protection and space to thrive."

Tigers are found in the Terai arc stretching some 960 km across 15 protected area networks in Nepal and India.

11.20 am:

RBI keeps Repo, CRR rate unchanged

RBI left interest rates unchanged on Tuesday as it supports a battered rupee but said it will roll back recent liquidity tightening measures when stability returns to the currency market, enabling it to resume supporting growth.

As expected, the Reserve Bank of India left its policy repo rate at 7.25 percent but took a dovish tone as it cut its growth forecast for Asia's third-largest economy to 5.5 percent for the fiscal year, from 5.7 percent previously.

It held the cash reserve ratio at 4.00 percent.

The RBI said recent liquidity tightening steps "will be rolled back in a calibrated manner as stability is restored to the foreign exchange market, enabling monetary policy to revert to supporting growth with continuing vigil on inflation."

11.15 am:

Andhra CM denies resignation reports

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has denied reports that he has resigned in view of the Congress leadership's decision to carve out a separate Telangana state.

The chief minister's office has termed the resignation reports in a section of the media as 'incorrect and baseless'.

Kiran Kumar Tuesday morning left for New Delhi on summons by the party leadership ahead of the meetings of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coordination panel and the Congress Working Committee.

Congress sources have not ruled out Kiran Kumar submitting his resignation if the party announces a decision to bifurcate the state. He has already conveyed to the leadership that he can't preside over the state's division.

10.30 am:

Congress decision on Telangana likely today, tight security across Andhra Pradesh

The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's highest policy making body, is likely to take a decision on the formation of a separate state of Telangana today.

According to television reports, the UPA Coordination Committee will first meet at around 4 p.m. This will be followed by a meeting of the CWC at 5.30 p.m.

These meetings come a time when the Congress high command is said to be inclined towards bifurcating Andhra Pradesh notwithstanding the opposition from within the party and its state leadership.

Meanwhile, additional forces, including CRPF, Rapid Action Forces and State Special Police, have been rushed to Andhra Pradesh, to deal with any situation which may arise in the wake of fresh developments over the statehood demand for Telangana.

According to certain media reports, Hyderabad is likely to be a Union Territory for five years and will act as joint capital of the two states to be created out of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The Union Territory will be administered by a Lieutenant Governor. The Governor of Telangana state will be the ex-officio Lieutenant Governor of Hyderabad in these five years.

10.00 am:

'Angry' Maradona accused of kicking photographer in groin

Argentine football great Diego Maradona has been accused by a celebrity magazine photographer of kicking him in the groin.

The footballer has reportedly filed a police complaint against Maradona.

Sport24 reports that according to 'Gente' magazine photographer Enrique Medina, the attack happened outside the house of Maradona's father on Sunday night as he waited to take a picture of the 1986 World Cup winner.

Claiming that Maradona ran at him 'like he was taking a free kick', Medina alleged that the former footballer had kicked him so hard in the groin and upper leg area that he 'doubled over in pain', adding that Maradona seemed angry and out of his mind as if something had happened in his father's house.

Medina also alleged that Maradona's kick was not the kick of an ordinary person and was the kick of someone, who is used to kicking.

According to the report, Maradona, who is a global sports ambassador for Dubai, had often complained that that the media follow him too closely and had fired an air gun at reporters in 1994, for which he was given a suspended sentence, adding that more recently in May, Maradona threw rocks at cameramen following him from the airport.

9.40 am:

Antony, Ratan Tata may give evidence in Finmeccanica trial

Defence minister A.K. Antony, together with a former UK defence minister and ex-chairman of Tata Group, have been lined up as witnesses in a trial of former bosses of Italy's Finmeccanica over corruption in a helicopter deal with India.

The trial has raised the prospect that Finmeccanica could be blacklisted in India, the world's largest arms importer and an important growth market for the state-owned aerospace and defence group.

On Monday, a judge in the northern Italian city of Busto Arsizio cleared more than 80 people as possible witnesses, including businessman Ratan N. Tata and former British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon. Those cleared, however, may not be called to testify.

Prosecutors have accused ex-Finmeccanica Chairman Giuseppe Orsi of paying bribes to intermediaries to secure the 560 million euro deal in 2010 when he was head of AgustaWestland, the Finmeccanica unit that sold the helicopters.

Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland, is being tried alongside Orsi on the same charges. Both deny wrongdoing.

9.00 am

Andhra CM Reddy upset over granting statehood to Telangana

NDTV: Top decision-making body of the Congress, its Working Committee, will formally endorse the move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

United Andhra Pradesh supporters have intensified their agitation with protests across the state likely to mark the day today. An additional 1,000 paramilitary soldiers have been sent from the Centre to the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who belongs to Rayalaseema, is reportedly upset with the Centre's decision to grant statehood to Telangana, although sources say he is unlikely to resign over the issue.

8.30 am

'Who am I to judge?' pope says of gay priests

A remarkably candid Pope Francis struck a conciliatory stance toward gays Monday, saying "who am I to judge" when it comes to the sexual orientation of priests.

"We shouldn't marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society," Francis said during an extraordinary 82-minute exchange with reporters aboard his plane returning from his first papal trip, to celebrate World Youth Day in Brazil.

Read more

8.00 am

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has asked party leaders from Gujarat to build pressure on the Narendra Modi government by strongly raising issues concerning people, party sources said.

They said that Gandhi told senior party leaders from Gujarat including Arjun Modhwadia and Shankarsinh Vaghela to forcefully raise issues which will build pressure on the Modi government.

Gandhi is also leant to have discussed agitational programmes with Gujarat leaders.

He also asked the party leaders to inform people about the welfare programmes of the central government, the sources said.

Modi has been named chief of campaign committee by the Bharatiya Janata Party for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and is expected to spend a lot of time outside Gujarat in run up to the general elections.

The Congress is keen to stem any wave of support in Modi's favour in the state if he is projected prime ministerial candidate by the BJP.

More from Sify: