'Tremendous yearning' in youth for change, says PM
There is "tremendous yearning" among Indian youth to transform the country and they are willing and prepared to participate in shaping polity and society in a way which responds to their aspirations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday. Singh said it was an extremely positive development as an aware and engaged youth is a force that can truly transform the country and enable it to get rid of poverty, disease, underdevelopment and ignorance.
Addressing the annual National Cadet Corps rally, he urged people to follow the dictum of Mahatma Gandhi that 'we must become the change we want to see'. "We are living in a rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world. It is only natural therefore that there is tremendous yearning amongst our youth to transform our society for the better," he said.
The event, Singh said, has been an annual rite for the past 10 years and it renews his faith in the country, "in the values we stand for and in the youth "I see before me getting ready to assume tomorrow's responsibilities and therefore in the future of our country".
Robbers loot away 6 crore in daylight
In a sensational daylight robbery, armed men robbed a businessman of more than Rs 6 crore at gunpoint in Lajpat Nagar area of South Delhi when he was on his way to deposit the money in a bank. Police said the robbery took place at around 9 AM near Lajpat Nagar Metro Station when the property dealer was on his way to Karol Bagh in a car to deposit cash in a bank.
"The property dealer told us that he was carrying over Rs six crore in his car," a police official said.
When the property dealer reached a point near Lajpat Nagar Metro Station, the armed men, who were in a car, intercepted his vehicle, trained guns at him and asked him to alight from his car, police sources said. The robbers then fled from the scene in the property dealer's car carrying the cash, leaving their vehicle at the spot.
The victim then reached Lajpat Nagar Police station and reported the incident. Police found that the car which was abandoned by the robbers was a stolen one. Police is checking the CCTV footage of the area to identify the culprits.
MNS workers go on rampage at Bandra sea link toll plaza
Continuing their violence against the toll taxes imposed by the Maharashtra Government, Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) activists vandalized a toll plaza at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai on Tuesday.
As per TV reports, the workers pelted stones at the toll collectors and also at the plaza. This comes a day after the MNS party volunteers had gone on a rampage in eight cities following their leader Raj Thackeray's call to violence if asked for toll tax.
India lifts ban on world's largest passenger plane
India has lifted a ban on Airbus superjumbo planes, allowing flights on the world's largest passenger jet into New Delhi, Mumbai and two other cities equipped to handle the aircraft. Despite ever-growing passenger numbers, India had restricted flights on Airbus A380s in 2008 in an effort to help struggling domestic carriers cope with global competition.
Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said that lifting the restrictions would help bring more revenue to airports and boost India's international reputation as a flight destination. The ministry said Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa have expressed interest in flying A380s into India. Only airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore can accommodate the double-decker planes, which can seat up to 850 passengers.
Air travel has been growing at annual rates of 10-20 percent in India.
Surpreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea by the centre and NGO Naz Foundation seeking the review of its Dec 12, 2013 verdict holding homosexuality to be an offence.
Karunanidhi hits out at Alagiri
DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday hit out at his eldest son MK Alagiri, on suspension from the party. Karunanidhi, the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, slammed Alagiri who had said that his younger brother and political rival MK Stalin will die soon. "Alagiri said that Stalin will die soon. How can a father tolerate when one says such a thing about the other?" the party patriarch asked.
Karunanidhi also informed that Alagiri is under temporary suspension and that the party will take a decision on his expulsion soon.
Atherton slams proposed ICC revamp
Former England captain Michael Atherton has hit out at India, England and Australia's plan to jointly-control the International Cricket Council, saying the proposals recalled a time when the cricket governing body was known as the "Imperial Cricket Conference."
India is the main player in the entire revamp plan, as they generate 80 percent of world cricket's income and want a greater share of revenue. Australia and England will also benefit immensely if the plan is passed.
Writing for his column in the Times, Atherton advised those at the helm of affairs to take guidance from the 2012 Woolf Report, ICC's independent governance review, which proposed sweeping changes to the way the game of cricket was being run. The report also called for the ICC's executive board to be independent and free from the clutches of the bigger nations.
A year later, it turns out that the BCCI, Cricket Australia and ECB or the 'Big three', as they are being referred to, are increasing pressure on the ICC to give them complete control of the way things should operate. Atherton said the tone of the proposal is arrogant and high-handed and it recalls an earlier age when the organisation began as the Imperial Cricket Conference.
UK marks centenary of Sardar Patel's call to the Bar
Britain marked 100 years since the day Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was called to the Bar in London with the unveiling of a special commemorative plaque. UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve was joined by Indian High Commissioner to the UK Ranjan Mathai at a special event yesterday evening at the iconic Middle Temple, one of London's four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers.
"Sardar Patel's is a remarkable story and this plaque will remind students hereafter of the immense contribution he made to Indian national life and ultimately to human kind," Grieve said, referring to India's first home minister.
"Sardar's unique role in the creation of our republic is well documented but he also played a crucial role in designing India's partnership with Britain within the Commonwealth. He truly valued the ties between our two countries," said Mathai.
Folk singer, activist Pete Seeger dies in NY
American troubadour, folk music singer and activist Pete Seeger has died at a hospital in New York. He was 94. Seeger's grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, says Seeger died on Monday night after being hospitalized for six days.
Seeger gained fame as a member of The Weavers, the quartet formed in 1948 and had hits such as "Goodnight Irene." He continued performing and recording for six decades afterward and was still an activist as recently as October 2011 when he marched in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
He was onstage in January 2009 for a gala Washington concert two days before Barack Obama was inaugurated. But in the 1950s, his leftist politics got him blacklisted and he was kept off commercial television for more than a decade.
Syria talks turn to political issues, question of aid stalls: UN
Discussions on humanitarian issues at the Syria talks in Geneva "have not produced much," said the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on Monday, but he added "there is still hope," and the talks will resume Tuesday.
Lakhdar Brahimi briefed journalists at the Palais des Nations after a third day of talks with him acting as a buffer between representatives of the Syrian Government and opposition groups.
"In the morning we discussed a paper presented by the Government, general principles, most of those principles are already in the Geneva Declaration," he said. "And Tuesday we are going to talk about the Geneva Declaration itself and see if we can start debate."
The discussions focused this weekend on getting an aid convoy into Homs, and on allowing civilians to leave the besieged city, cut off from supplies. The idea is that if agreement can be reached on humanitarian issues, it could bring the parties together to work through the political challenges.
The Syrian Government has agreed to allow women and children to exit "immediately", but has asked for a list of the men's names before letting the rest of the civilians pass.
The RBI has raised repo rates by 0.25% to 8%. The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) stays unchanged at 4%.
More details to follow
Tejpal charge sheet by February 5
The charge sheet against Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal in connection with the sexual assault case would be filed by next week. "The charge sheet in Tehelka case would be filed by February 5. The investigation in the case is almost over," a senior crime branch official said.
A former junior woman journalist of the Tehelka magazine had alleged that Tejpal had sexually assaulted her inside the lift of a five-star hotel during an event in Goa in November last year. Tejpal(50) was arrested by the crime branch police on November 30 in Goa after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a local court. He is currently lodged in Sada sub jail after the court sent him in judicial custody.
The investigating officer has already recorded several statements, including that of former Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury and Tejpal's daughter, along with the deposition of the victim in connection with the case. The crime branch officials expect to file a 'water tight' case against Tejpal.
Deserved to win Oz open, insists Wawrikna
Stanislas Wawrinka has reportedly insisted that he deserved to win the Australian Open upsetting World No.1Rafael Nadal. Wawrinka admitted that winning the Grand Slam title was a 'big surprise' after years in the shadow of fellow Swiss Roger Federer, whom he will pass in the ranking as he rises to World No. 3.
According to Sport24, the Swiss eighth seed was on top of Nadal from the off, eventually winning in four sets, but there will be question marks over the victory after the Spaniard was badly hampered by a back injury. The last outsider to bring home the title in the era dominated by the "Big Four" of Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open.
The 28-year old Swiss said that it was an amazing feeling, he has seen Federer winning so many Grand Slams in the past, and now it was his turn to win one.Wawrinka further said that he would need time to realise what he did in these two weeks and even if Nadal was injured, he deserved that Grand Slam because he won against Djokovic, the number two, and against Nadal.
Kejriwal in Twitter controversy
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal found himself in yet another controversy when he retweeted music director Vishal Daldani's tweet that had obvious references to BJP's Narendra Modi and the Congress' Rahul Gandhi.
At around 11 pm, Kejriwal endorsed Daldani's "Stuck between a moron and a murderer....what now, India!?" which came soon after Rahul's interview to Times Now. Daldani is an Aam Aadmi Party supporter.
But the BJP's Nirmala Sitharamam hit out at the Delhi CM saying, "He has no business to retweet and strike this language on a public domain...he is not doing public discourse any favour." She also warned Kejriwal to be 'careful about what he tweets.'
Fire engulfs heritage building in Shimla
A major fire broke out in a British-era building in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh town early on Tuesday, officials said. The fire was reported in the top floor of the Gorton Castle, housing the office of Audit and Accountant General, a fire department official told IANS.
Deputy Commissioner Dinesh Malhotra said fire tenders of civil and the Indian Army have been pressed into service. He said the fire was on the top floor of the wooden building. Sources said that most of records in the top floor were burnt.
Officials said the fire possibly broke out in the midnight. So far, eight fire-tenders have been pressed in service. Built with stone and timber, Gorton Castle represents the typical European architecture.
US still working towards a 'true partnership' with Pak
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that he has been working toward a 'true partnership' with Pakistan since taking office a year ago. The top American envoy made the remarks as he reopened the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue at the State Department with Sartaj Aziz, the adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on national security and foreign affairs.
"We all know there've been occasional hiccups and challenges, but we really believe that there are fundamental interests that we need to unite around, and particularly in economic and security spheres," Kerry said.
The dialogue was initiated in 2010 and three sessions were held in quick succession in March, July and October that year, but had been held off since over disputes including a unilateral US military raid that killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan in 2011.
"I think many of you know this, but building stronger ties with the people of Pakistan -- I emphasise, with the people of Pakistan broadly writ -- has been a personal commitment of mine for some period of time," Kerry said.
"Particularly since I was nominated by President (Barack) Obama to serve as secretary of state, I've been pleased to work to elevate this relationship to a true partnership," he added.
Top court to hear petition of Article 377 today
The Supreme Court will take up petitions filed by Centre and rights activists seeking review of its verdict declaring gay sex an offence punishable up to life imprisonment. A bench of justices HL Dattu and SJ Mukhopadhaya will take up the petition in chamber to decide whether the verdict needs to be re-looked or not.
Seeking stay on the operation of the judgement, gay rights activists, including NGO Naz Foundation, said thousands from the LGBT community became open about their sexual identity during the past four years after the high court decriminalised gay sex and they are now facing the threat of being prosecuted. They submitted that criminalising gay sex amounts to violation of fundamental rights of the LGBT community.
The NGO submitted there are a number of "grave errors of law" and "wrong application of law" in the judgement which needs to be corrected.