Live: Pranab rejects mercy pleas of Veerappan aides

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 13:32 hrs

7. 00 pm

Australian media decide to boycott photo coverage of India series

Major Australian media houses have decided to boycott photo coverage of the upcoming Test series against India starting on February 22 in Chennai in protest against the BCCI's decision to deny accreditation to a photo news agency.

NEWS Limited and AAP said they will not publish images and show videos from Australia's tour of India after the BCCI locked out Getty Images, which supplies images to four of the biggest media companies in Australia.

Getty Images provides images to major Australian publishers, including News Limited, Fairfax Media, APN News & Media and Seven West Media.

The boycott comes a day after Australian Broadcasting Corporation decided not to broadcast or report live from the tour after veteran radio commentator Jim Maxwell was denied accreditation by the BCCI.

A similar boycott had happened during England's tour of India last year after the BCCI denied accreditation to two international photo news agencies, Getty Images and Action Images.

6.00 pm:

Supplementary chargesheet likely in gangrape case tomorrow

Police is likely to file a supplementary charge sheet on Thursday in the gangrape case relating to the robbing of Ramadhar Singh, a vegetable seller, before the accused assaulted the girl in a moving bus on December 16.

The six accused had allegedly robbed Ramadhar of his day's earnings after luring him into the bus.

The juvenile, who was acting as the conductor, has been named in this case and a separate charge sheet will be filed against him before the Juvenile Justice Board.

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5.45 pm:

President Pranab rejects mercy pleas of Veerappan aides

Days after rejecting the mercy petition of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, President Pranab Mukherjee today rejected the mercy petitions moved by four associates of late forest brigand Veerappan, according to media reports.

The four Veerappan aides were sentenced to death in a landmine blast case in Karnataka.

The accused - Gnanprakasham, Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran - were sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in January 2004 in connection with the killing of 21 policemen in a landmine blast at Palar in Karnataka near the inter-state border in 1993.

They were sentenced to undergo life imprisonment by the Mysore court. But the government moved the Supreme Court, which awarded them the death sentence. Their mercy pleas have been pending since 2004.

5.25 pm:

A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court in connection with the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, seeking probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

4.45 pm:

Kolkata college violence: 12 arrested

The police on Wednesday said they have arrested 12 people, including prime accused Suhan, in connection to a violence in Kolkata's Garden Reach area where a police sub-inspector was killed.

Suhan has been accused of firing at the cop during the violence at Harimohan Ghose College in Garden Reach area on Tuesday.

The Opposition alleged that Suhan is close to Trinamool Congress (TMC) councillor Mohammed Iqbal.

TV footage by local channels claimed Iqbal also attempted to slap a cop.

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4.17 pm:

Woman thrown off roof for giving birth to girl

A woman was injured when her mother-in-law allegedly pushed her off the roof of the house in Shivpuri, more than 300 kilometers north of Bhopal on Tuesday. The victim, Deepti Kushwaha, 24, got fracture in both of her legs apart from injuries on the hands and stomach.

3.50 pm:

Pope says he's resigning for the 'good of church'

Pope Benedict XVI is telling the faithful in his first public appearance since announcing his resignation that he stepping down for "the good of the church."

Benedict received a lengthy standing ovation when he entered the packed audience hall Wednesday. He was interrupted by applause by the throngs of people, many of whom had tears in their eyes.

At the start of his audience, he repeated in Italian what he had told cardinals Monday in Latin: that he simply didn't have the strength to continue. He said "I did this in full liberty for the good of the church."

3.40 pm:

Omar says no media gag, papers chose not to print

As several media offices resumed functioning today after a gap of four days, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said there was no ban imposed on publication of newspapers but the dailies had chosen not to print as curfew had made distribution impossible.

"There is NO ban on newspapers in Kashmir. Papers are choosing not to print because restrictions make delivery of newspapers impossible," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site

He said in case a ban had been imposed on newspapers, it would have been extended to their Internet editions as well, which was not the case. 

He said the newspapers will resume publishing once the restrictions are eased.

"As the restrictions ease the newspapers will resume publication because the problem isn't with printing. It's with them being unable to (distribute)," he said.

"And those continuously going on about a "government gag" would be well advised to produce a single copy of this gag order," he added.

3.20 pm:

Former Maldives President Nasheed takes refuge in Indian Embassy in Male

Anti-riots police have surrounded the Indian High Commission in Male after former President Mohamed Nasheed went there, soon after an arrest warrant was issued against him by a Maldivian court.

The former President, who is due to attend a hearing regarding his detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012, was inside the Indian High Commission at 1:00 PM on Wednesday afternoon following the announcement of the court order.

Nasheed is "seeking advice" in Indian High Commission, Minivan News reported.

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3.04 pm:

Five Cardinals from India will participate in the conclave at the Vatican in the 'Holy Week' beginning from March 24 and vote to elect the next Pope.

2.35 pm:

Poet Gulzar and Director Vishal Bardwaj who were visiting Pakistan have decided to cut short their visit. This is due to personal reasons and not because they were asked to leave the country according to the Indian High Commission.

2.20 pm:

Augusta Westland deal: BJP hints at Italian connection, alleges cover up by Govt.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday hinted at Italian connection and sought an answer from Defence Minister A.K. Antony as to why the government went so slow in the Augusta Westland copter deal.

BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that his party would soon finalise its strategy on this issue, but added that he sees it the making of a second Bofors.

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2.00 pm:

'Good ties with US,Iran has placed India in significant place'

India feels its good relations with the US and Iran has placed itself in a "significant position" to bridge the gap needed for a meaningful dialogue between the two countries, at loggerheads over Tehran's nuclear programme.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid admitted that Iran felt "disappointed" over India voting against it at the United Nations but expressed happiness over the fact that both countries are able to continue their relationship and count on each other as "good friends".

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1.30 pm:

Apollo 16 astronaut left a family photo on the moon

Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke did not just leave his footprints on the Moon, he also left a family photograph on his historic trip to the lunar surface 40 years ago. Astronauts Charlie Duke and John Young embarked on a lunar mission on April 23 1972, to explore the Moon's Descartes Highlands in a Lunar Roving Vehicle.

Before setting up a Solar Wind Collector, Lunar Module pilot Duke left a photograph of himself with his wife and their two sons, Thomas and Charles, sitting on a bench. It remains there till this day, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The reverse of the photo is signed by Duke's family and bears the message: "This is the family of Astronaut Duke from Planet Earth. Landed on the Moon, April 1972." Duke photographed the family picture with a Hasselblad camera as it rested on the dusty surface next to one of his boot prints.

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12.45 pm:

Suryanelli case: Kurien's wife rubbishes rape charge against him

Amid growing clamour for resignation of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien in the Suryanelli gangrape case, his wife has rubbished the allegations against him and said those hurling "malicious charges" never bothered to appreciate sentiments of her family.

Susan Kurien, a retired high school teacher, said in a statement that her husband had reached home and they had supper together on the day he was alleged to have abused the victim in a guest house at distant Kumali.

 "I am sure that the allegations against my husband are baseless. Myself and my two daughters firmly believe that the truth will prevail in this matter," Susan said.

She said her family was deeply pained that Kurien was being haunted through media (by those levelling charges) after a span of 17 years, raising the same allegations which were found baseless by repeated investigations and judicial scrutiny. "Those who are fighting for women's right should not forget the fact that Prof Kurien too has a family", she said.

11.27 am:

Car runs over several people; 5 dead

Two people were reportedly killed and five injured on Wednesday after a Honda Accord ran over several people in Khar area in the western suburb of Mumbai.

The car reportedly belonged to a foreigner but was being driven by her driver at the time of the accident.
More details awaited.

11.25 am:

Lenders to start recovery of Kingfisher Airlines' loans

Kingfisher lenders, on Tuesday,decided to start the process of recovering Rs. 7,500 crore outstanding loans from the grounded airline, saying the company has failed to come up with any specific revival plan.

"We have decided to recall (initiating the recovery process) the loans given to Kingfisher Airlines. However, each bank board will decide the future course of action," Shyamal Acharya, the Deputy Managing Director (Mid-Corporates) of SBI, which is leader of consortium of lenders, told reporters after a two-hour meeting of bankers with company representatives.

Besides five bankers led by SBI, the meeting was attended by the airline's management, including CEO, Sanjay Agarwal, and UB Group president and CFO, Ravi Nedungadi, who did not address the waiting reporters.

11.23 am:

Afzal Guru's letter to wife is delivered in 26 hours despite curfew

11.06 am:

Amitabh Bachchan all set to act in a daily soap which is set to go on air later this year. He has not signed any major films this year. 

10.57 am: 

Finmeccanica chopper deal to be scrapped if charges proved: Antony

India will blacklist Finmeccanica Spa and cancel its deal to buy 12 helicopters from the Italian defence group if allegations of bribery are proven against the company, defence minister AK Antony said on Wednesday.

10.31 am:

Julian Assange to run for Victorian Senate seat

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently hold up in Ecuador embassy in London, will stand for the Senate in Victoria for the September federal poll as the lead candidate of a newly formed WikiLeaks Party.

According to 'The Age' yesterday, the 41-year-old hacker- turned activist's application for electoral enrolment in the state was received by Australian Electoral Commission here.

10.15 am:

Grave reserved for Afzal Guru in Srinagar

Days after his execution, Kashmiri separatists have reserved a grave for Afzal Guru at the Mazar-e-Shahuda (martyrs graveyard) at Eidgah in downturn Srinagar.

9.26 am:

The Home Secretary of Assam has said that one person has died due to a firing incident last night in the state. Curfew has been imposed in 2 areas. Additional forces have been deployed which includes 8 columns of the army.

9.11 am:

Women paraded naked in Odisha, three arrested 

At least three people were arrested in Odisha's Sundergarh district on Tuesday for parading three women and an elderly man naked in a village for allegedly practising witchcraft, police said.

The inhuman act occurred at Kiralaga village under Subdega block, about 450 km from state capital Bhubaneswar on Monday.

9.00 am:

Anoushka Shankar reveals she suffered sexual, emotional abuse 

Anoushka Shankar, daughter of legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar, has thrown her weight behind an online campaign demanding an end to crime against women, in the wake of the Delhi gangrape. The 31-year-old sitarist has invited one billion women and those who love them, via the website, to walk out, "Dance, rise up, and demand" an end to this violence this Valentine's Day, February 14.

8.33 am: 

Obama spells out 2nd term agenda; doesn't budge on his offer of cuts, taxes

President Barack Obama is telling congressional Republicans that he is still willing to reduce the deficit but only with a mix of increased taxes and reduced spending, an offer he made during budget talks that collapsed at the end of last year. Republicans say they reject raising more tax revenue.

8.10 am: 

The Centre on Tuesday agreed to allow hanged Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s family to perform prayers at his grave in Tihar jail, but Afzal’s family rejected the offer, insisting it wanted custody of the body. 

7.30 am: 

The papal ring will be destroyed, along with other powerful emblems of authority, just as they are after a papal death. The retiring pope will live in a monastery on the edge of the Vatican gardens and will likely even give up his beloved theological writing.

The Vatican went out of its way Tuesday to declare that for Pope Benedict XVI, retirement means just that: Retirement.

With speculation swirling about his future role, the Vatican's chief spokesman explicitly stated that Benedict will not influence the election of his successor.

And the Rev. Frederico Lombardi deepened the sense of finality by saying that after his Feb. 28 abdication, "objects strictly connected" with the papal ministry will be "terminated." Among these is the papal ring, used as a seal for documents, which is smashed upon a pope's death.

And while the first papal resignation in 600 years has left behind a vast uncharted territory to navigate — how does one address or even dress a retired pope? — the church sought to send a clear message that Benedict will not be pulling strings from behind the scenes.

"The pope will surely say absolutely nothing about the process of the election," Lombardi told reporters at a briefing. "He will not interfere in any way."

The Vatican has already picked out the pope's future home: A four-story building attached to a monastery on the northern edge of the Vatican gardens where cloistered nuns used to live. It has been under renovation for several months, although only a handful of Vatican officials knew that it would one day be Benedict's retirement home.

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