Live: China visit fruitful, talks on border row soon, says Khurshid

Last Updated: Sat, May 11, 2013 11:01 hrs

4.00 pm:

China visit fruitful, talks on border row soon, says Khurshid

Rediff: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who recently completed a two-day official visit, said that his meeting with the Chinese foreign minister was a fruitful one.

He added that Beijing had made certain suggestions on border protocols and the two sides will hold talks on the issue in a few months.

India and China will issue a joint statement after the visit of the Chinese premier later in May, he said.

Khurshid added that India had already drawn the economic agreements that was to be signed during the Chinese PM's visit.

He agreed that the two nations needed to address the trade imbalance.

2.00 pm:

Kapil Sibal is the new Law Minister, CP Joshi to handle Railways

NDTV: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal will be the new Law Minister and CP Joshi will handle the additional charge of the Railways. They will replace Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal who resigned as Union ministers yesterday.

Mr Bansal, who became the first Congressman in 17 years to be appointed Railways minister in October last year, was under tremendous pressure to quit after his nephew Vijay Singla was arrested last week for allegedly accepting bribe to organise a plum posting for a senior official in the Railways. The CBI is expected to interrogate Mr Bansal to follow up on allegations of his involvement in the case as new details are emerging in its investigations. 

1.00 pm:

Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar speaks to the media

NDTV: A day after he resigned as Law Minister, Ashwani Kumar spoke to the media. Mr Kumar had to resign after getting into trouble for making deletions in a CBI report on its coal allocation investigations meant for the Supreme Court.

Highlights of his press conference:

- No adverse comments made against me by the Supreme Court.
- I resigned to put an end to controversy.
- My conscience remains clear.
- I will stand vindicated.
- When papers for resignation are put in, it does not imply wrongdoing. 
- Certain political decisions are necessary.
- I'm a loyal foot soldier of the party.

12.30 pm:

Indian kid in UC Berkeley leaves academia awestruck

TOI:  A Kolkata-born Indian teenager has become the youngest medalist in a century of the famed University of California, Berkeley, in the process completing a double major in bioengineering and chemical biology in only three years - all the age of 18.

Adding to the lore of the preternaturally bright Indian students, some 100,000 of who are studying in the US at any given time, Ritankar Das is also the first student from the University's College of Chemistry in 58 years - and the first ever from the Department of Bioengineering - to earn the honor, UC Berkeley officials said on Thursday.

12.20 pm:

Massive landslide in Mizoram; 8 dead, 11 missing

Thunderstorm and landslides have claimed eight lives, rendered 11 missing and left 25 others injured in the state capital, police said on Saturday.

Nine houses in Laipuitland locality here were swept away in a massive landslide early on Saturday morning, killing eight persons, superintendent of police (traffic) Lallianmawia, who was supervising the rescue work, said.

Eleven persons were missing and 9 others injured in the landslide, he said.

Rescue work was underway with volunteers and policemen searching the debris for bodies and survivors, he said.

11.50 am:

5-year-old rape victim discharged from hospital

The five-year-old girl, who was abducted, brutalised and raped allegedly by two youth in east Delhi, was discharged from hospital after 23 days of treatment.

She was discharged from AIIMS hospital where she was shifted on April 19, two days after she was brought to Swami Dayanand hospital.

"Her further surgery will be planned after two-three months. She is passing urine normally and is on semi-solid diet," AIIMS spokesperson Dr Y K Gupta said.

Widespread protests were witnessed across the national capital after the brutal assault in April, as people were infuriated over the alleged insensitivity of the Delhi Police in handling the case.

The two accused were later arrested from Bihar.

11.00 am:

Bomb attack in Karachi wounds 12 as voting begins

AFP: A bomb blast targeting an election candidate wounded at least 12 people in Pakistan's commercial hub of Karachi as historic elections got underway on Saturday, police told AFP.

"At least 12 people have been wounded. The target was an election candidate of ANP (Awami National Party). He was travelling in his car when the bomb exploded," senior police official Mazhar Nawaz told AFP.

The target of the attack, Amanullah Mehsud, escaped unhurt, Nawaz said. Another police official, Tahir Naveed, confirmed the attack.

10.30 am:

India to commission its first supersonic naval fighter squadron

TOI:  India on Saturday will commission its first-ever squadron of naval supersonic fighters, the MiG-29K "air superiority" jets, which will eventually operate from the decks of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya ( Admiral Gorshkov) as well as the indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC).

Defence minister AK Antony will do the honours at the ceremony at the naval airbase INS Hansa in Goa, which will also mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of the fleet's "air arm" of the force. While celebrations are certainly in order, it also underlines the lack of long-term strategic planning and timely decision-making in the country.

10.00 am:

Turkey says Syrians Showed signs Of chemical attack

Reuters: Syrian casualties treated in Turkey show signs of being victims of chemical weapons, the Turkish foreign minister said on Friday, adding to indications that President Barack Obama's 'red line' on the use of such arms may have been crossed.

Wary of the false intelligence used to justify the 2003 war in Iraq, the United States says it wants proof that chemical weapons have been used before taking any action in Syria.

But if the evidence is confirmed it would increase the possibility of western intervention against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the two-year civil war, even as the United States and Russia try to bring the sides to peace talks.

9.30 am:

Congress legislators meet to choose new Karnataka CM

Karnataka's newly elected Congress lawmakers Monday met here in the presence of the party's central observers to select the state's new chief minister for which there are at least five contenders.

The Congress observers team, led by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, will ascertain from the 121 newly elected legislators their choice to lead the government.

The contenders are Siddaramaiah, who was leader of the opposition in the outgoing assembly; G. Parameshwara, head of the party's state unit; Mallikarjun Kharge, union labour and employment minister; R.V. Deshpande, former chief of the state Congress and D.K. Shivakumar, former working president of the state unit.

Siddaramaiah, Deshpande and Shivakumar won the assembly elections held Sunday but Parameshwara lost. The party won the majority in the 225-member assembly to return to power on its own after nine years.

A decision on who the legislators have chosen is expected to be announced after the Antony-led team briefs Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who will take the final decision.

9.00 am:

Boston Marathon bombing suspect buried in Virginia cemetery

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in a cemetery in central Virginia, infuriating some members of the area's Islamic community who say they weren't consulted and flooring at least one neighbor who said she didn't even know she lived near a burial ground.

The secret interment this week at a small Islamic cemetery ended a frustrating search for a community willing to take the body, which had been kept at a funeral parlor in Worcester, Mass, as cemeteries in Massachusetts and several other states refused to accept the remains.

8.30 am:

Spacewalk planned to fix space station leak: Nasa

Two astronauts will make a precedent-setting spacewalk Saturday to try to fix an ammonia leak in the International Space Station's power system. Spacewalks are rarely done on such short notice, but the US space agency says the six-member crew is not in danger. 

The ammonia leak was discovered Thursday and forced the shutdown of one of eight solar panels that power the station, but the outpost can operate fine with only seven, Nasa spokesman Kelly Humphries said. 

8.00 am:

Teen shot dead by relative in Delhi 

An 18-year-old girl, awaiting her Class 12 results, was shot dead Friday morning by a distant relative who barged into her home in south Delhi's Munirka locality and pumped a bullet into her chest, police said. The accused was arrested from Ghaziabad late Friday.

Pinki alias Sakhi was killed around 10.45 a.m. when the accused Subhash, believed to be a distant relative in his early 20s, strode into the house in the congested Buddh Vihar area in Munirka with a gun, police said.

After a few minutes, the accused opened fire and fled from the scene. Pinki's aunt, present in another room of the house, rushed on hearing the sound of gunfire to find the girl lying in a pool of blood.

"The girl was lying in a pool of blood. We called the police and took her to Safdurjung hospital where she was declared dead by doctors," Bheesham, 30, a neighbour, said.

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