Live: Sri Lanka security forces raped, tortured Tamil detainees

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 12:14 hrs

5. 45 pm

Rail Budget will increase burden on common man: Opposition

The Opposition today slammed the Rail Budget for increasing the burden on the common man, with BJP terming it as "pedestrian" and "discriminatory" while Left said it does not give any hope on railways' future.

Key outside UPA allies Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party too were unhappy saying it was anti-poor and ignored areas of Uttar Pradesh which need rail infrastructure for economic development.

BJP leader Gopinath Munde said it was more of a 'Rae Bareli budget', claiming it has favoured Sonia Gandhi's constituency while SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said it was a "budget for the Congress".

"This is not rail budget but Rae Bareli budget. This budget has not been prepared keeping in mind the whole country and this is the reason one could see an attempt to disrupt the budget presentation due to unrest among the MPs," Munde, who Deputy Leader of BJP, told reporters outside Parliament.

5.00 pm:

Man jailed for life for raping, sodomising daughter

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court here for raping and sodomising his nine-year-old daughter, saying that the girl child is to be "worshipped" and not "raped".

A fast track court, trying sexual offence cases against women, said the crime committed by the convict, being the father of the victim, was "intensely grave, serious and barbaric in nature" and also made it clear that he would not be entitled to any clemency till he spends at least 20 years in jail.

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4.30 pm:

Sri Lanka security forces raped, tortured Tamil detainees

Sri Lankan security forces have used rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected members or supporters of the Tamil Tigers, Human Rights Watch ((HRW) said on Tuesday.

While widespread rape in custody occurred during the armed conflict that ended in 2009, HRW found that politically motivated sexual violence by the military and police continues to the present.

A 140-page report, "'We Will Teach You a Lesson': Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces," provides detailed accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse during 2006-12 in both official and secret detention centres in Sri Lanka.

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4.00 pm:

Owaisi falls ill, taken to hospital in Hyderabad

MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was on Tuesday admitted to a hospital here after he complained of severe stomach pain.

His personal physician told IANS that the legislator has been admitted to Apollo Hospital at Jubliee Hills here. "His condition is critical and he is undergoing treatment in intensive care unit," said Mazharuddin Ali Khan.

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader fell ill while returning to Hyderabad from Nizamabad, where he appeared before a court on Tuesday in a hate speech case.

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3.45 pm:

Hyderabad blast: NIA seeks custody of suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives

The NIA has moved a Delhi court seeking custody of two alleged operatives of banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen to interrogate them in connection with the twin blasts in Hyderabad which claimed 16 lives.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) moved a plea before District Judge I S Mehta, who issued production warrants for tomorrow against Syed Maqbool and Imran Khan.

The two are lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody after being arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in connection with the August 2012 Pune blasts.

The court has directed the Tihar Jail authorities to produce both the alleged IM operatives before it tomorrow when it will hear the NIA's plea seeking their custodial interrogation.

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2.55 pm:

Sri Lankan navy attacks Tamil Nadu fishermen

A group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu were on Tuesday allegedly attacked by Sri Lankan naval men while they were fishing near Katchatheevu, fisheries department officials said.

The fishermen from this coastal area had ventured for fishing in 20 boats, officials said, adding, the Lankan naval men allegedly attacked them with ropes and steel pipes causing extensive damage to their fishing nets and communication equipment.

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2.22 pm:

A train has mowed down two children at the Central Railway's Gulabganj railway station, Madhya Pradesh, after a wrong announcement was allegedly made about the train. A mob has set fire to station property in protest of this accident

The railway station has no foot overbridge, because of which people cross the tracks to reach the station.

An announcement was made at the station for a train leaving on the up line. Hearing the announcement, some people, including the children, tried to cross the down line by crawling under a goods train which was stationed there.

However, the station master wrongly issued a green signal for the goods train, which suddenly started moving crushing the two children under it to death, railway police said.

The children - Mohammad Ali (5) and his eight-year-old sister, whose name was yet to be ascertained - died on the spot

1.50 pm:

Rare countrywide power blackout plunges Pakistan into total darkness for two hours

A rare countrywide blackout had left Pakistan without electricity for almost two hours overnight. The authorities blamed technical problems for the breakdown, insisting it was not caused by sabotage.

Rai Sikandar, an official at the ministry of electricity and water, says there was a malfunction at a plant in the country's southwest around midnight Sunday that put pressure on all major power producing systems, which subsequently stopped working. He says the country "plunged into total darkness" for at least two hours.

1.30 pm:

ISKCON builds world's largest temple at Mayapur

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) announced the progress in making their largest project for the Krishna devotees- the ‘Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir’- which is under construction and is going to be an international institute for Vedic literature for the spiritualists across the globe on the philosophy of Shrila Prabhupada, the founder of the ISKCON.

Radha Jivan Das, another saint, devotee and the spokesperson of the ISKCON said, “By 2016 the phase -1 of the construction of our holy temple will be completed and this 340 ft. tall temple will rise more than Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and if we get to see the diameter, the dome and floor space will be larger than St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.”

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1.00 pm:

Bomb recovered in front of IOC refinery in Assam

A powerful country-made bomb was recovered from a bag near the main gate of the Indian Oil Corporation's (IOC) oil refinery today.

The bomb was kept in a bag in front of the gate of the refinery in Noonmati area of the city, police said.

Bomb disposal squad safely defused it, they said.

Amonium nitrate and cycle bombs were found inside the bag that could have caused largescale destruction, they said.

A massive search operation has been launched for the culprits and security measures tightened in and around the refinery area.

12.30 pm:

Hot air balloon crash in Egypt kills 19 foreigners

An Egyptian security official says at least 19 foreign tourists were killed as their hot air balloon crashed near the famed ancient city of Luxor. The casualties included French, British and other nationals.

The official says there was a fire and an explosion and that the balloon then plunged from the sky and crashed into sugar cane fields west of Luxor on Tuesday. Luxor is 510 kilometers (320 miles) south of Cairo.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

An Associated Press reporter at the crash site says he counted eight bodies as they were put into body bags and taken away.

11. 45 am

Indian shot at in US in suspected hate crime

A Sikh man has been admitted to a hospital after being shot at several times by some unidentified attackers in the US state of Florida.

The victim Kanwaljit Singh, 46, was attacked by the truck-borne assailants near Daytona Beach last Saturday night.

Accompanied by his son who managed to escape unhurt, Kanwaljit received multiple injuries in his thigh and torso and is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

10. 50 am

The Onion apologises for vulgar tweet on 9-Year old Oscar nominee

The Onion is apologising for calling the 9-year-old star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quvenzhane Wallis a vulgar and offensive name on Twitter.

The satirical newspaper on Sunday referred Quvenzhane (kwuh-VEHN'-juh-nay) Wallis with an expletive intended to denigrate women. The Onion was lambasted overnight, and asked for forgiveness on Monday.

CEO Steve Hannah wrote: "It was crude and offensive - not to mention inconsistent with The Onion's commitment to parody and satire, however biting."

Hannah said the offensive tweet was taken down in an hour and the newspaper has "instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures" to ensure it will not happen again.

He said those responsible would be disciplined.

Said Hannah: "Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry."

10.20 am:

Pistorius' handwriting indicates 'multiple personalities', claim experts

A thank-you note written by Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius to a fan in 2011 has revealed his complex character with multiple personality traits, according to experts.

Analyzing the note which was posted on a fan's online blog, Australian graphologist Caro Duncan said that the fact that Pistorius' signature does not match with the rest of his writing meant that there are two persons, a private and a public persona, hidden within him, reports.

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9.45 am:

Sensex falls over 75 points ahead of railway budget

The BSE benchmark Sensex fell over 75 points in early trade today, as funds and retail investors booked profits ahead of the railway budget amid a weak Asian trend.

The 30-share index fell by 75.34 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 19,256.35, with auto, metal and oil and gas sector stocks coming under pressure. The index had gained 14.68 points in the previous session.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty shed 28.75 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 5,826.

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9.05 am:

Apophis asteroid may strike Earth in 2068

The 325-metre asteroid 99942 Apophis, that will safely fly by the Earth in 2029 and 2036, may strike the planet in 2068, says an article published on the NASA website.

The chances of it striking Earth are slim, however, with impact odds being about 2.3 in a million.

The asteroid has been the focus of considerable attention after it was discovered in December 2004 to have a significant probability of Earth impact in April 2029.

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8.35 am:

Italy faces political gridlock after crucial elections

Italy faced political paralysis Monday as near-complete results in crucial national elections showed no clear winner and raised the possibility of a hung parliament. The uncertainty bodes ill for the nation's efforts to pass the tough reforms it needs to snuff out its economic crisis and prevent a new round of global financial turmoil.

The chaotic election scenes in the eurozone's third-biggest economy quickly snaked around globe — sending the Dow Jones index plunging more than 200 points in its sharpest drop since November and causing Tokyo's red-hot benchmark index to sink nearly 2 percent at open.

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8.00 am:

Tibetan monks self-immolate in anti-China protest

Two Tibetan monks in their early twenties have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule, near dozens of pilgrims who had gathered for prayers to mark the end of the Tibetan New Year festival.

The Washington, D.C.-based International Campaign for Tibet said one of the monks self-immolated on Monday outside a temple in Luqu county in northwestern Gansu province while the other set himself ablaze Sunday at a monastery in neighboring Qinghai province. Both died.

The latest burning protests bring the total since 2009 to 106.

The protests have come despite an intensified crackdown in Tibetan areas by Chinese authorities hoping to stop the self-immolations. Authorities have detained and jailed Tibetans they accuse of helping others self-immolate, an act that Beijing now considers a crime.

7.30 am: 

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal will present his first Rail Budget today.

The proposed Railway Budget may see a possible hike in passenger fares, announcement of new trains, besides other measures aimed at mobilising resources to neutralise the burden of the recent diesel price hike.

Bansal is reported to have had several discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the Planning Commission and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in connection with the draft Railway Budget for fiscal 2013-14. 

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