The war between the media and corporate continued unabated today. Zee News and Zee Business went on the offensive right after Naveen Jindal held a press conference, officially accusing Zee News of demanding 100 crores to suppress a story against his company - Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.
Jindal made the accusations on the basis of a 'sting' video, in which officials from Zee News are seen asking money from Jindal.
Zee News and Zee Business began to immediately air stories against Jindal, questioning the role his company played in the coal scam and loudly asking why the government was not taking action against his company.
The Channels also claimed to have further evidence on how bribes were offered to journalists to suppress certain stories.
In an interesting angle, Zee claimed that the sting was actually done to prove that Jindal was willing to pay them 100 crores to suppress the story, and the 100 crore contract was a dummy one.
While the truth is difficult to find in this air of press conference trials, the public screaming match has well and truly begun.
Petrol price to go up by 30 paisa per litre, diesel by 18 paisa as government decides to hike petrol pump dealers commission.
Cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, will Rahul be inducted?
The Union Council of Ministers is likely to undergo a substantive reshuffle which could see the possible induction of Rahul Gandhi into the Cabinet along with some other new faces and the exit of a few ministers.
The changes, expected to take place on Sunday, could also witness ministers holding more than one portfolio shed their extra responsibilities, according to political sources.
It is no no secret that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is keen to have Rahul Gandhi inducted into his Cabinet but so far the young MP was not not inclined as he was focused on building the Congress organisation, especially the youth wing.
Sunil Gangopadhyay cremated
The mortal remains of eminent Bengali litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyay who died here two days ago were consigned to flames today.
His son Souvik, who arrived from Boston yesterday performed the last rites at the Keoratala cremation grounds.
Souvik told PTI that his father had once expressed a desire to donate his body after death.
"But there is no such will of his. It was just a thought in his mind and so we did not donate his body," he said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, cabinet colleagues and mourners walked the five kilometres from Rabindra Sadan, the state auditorium, to the cremation ground in south Kolkata with the Kolkata Police escorting the cortege.
At the Rabindra Sadan there was an unending stream of mourners who waited to pay their last respects and Banerjee, mike in hand, intervened to control the crowd.
Earlier, cutting across party lines Banerjee, cabinet colleagues Partha Chatterjee and Subrata Mukherjee, WBPCC president Pradeep Bhattacharya, former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee, Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Leader of the Opposition Surayakanta Mishra laid wreaths on the body.
Film-makers Mrinal Sen, Aparna Sen, poet Sankha Ghosh, writers Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay and Mani Shankar Mukhopadhyay, popularly known as 'Shankar', were also present.
Some admirers of the writer who was born at Faridpur in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh also turned up.
In the morning the body was taken to the office of Anandabazar Patrika, where Gangopadhyay had begun his career as a sub-editor and was associated with 'Desh' magazine published by them.
Congress MP Naveen Jindal has sued Zee TV over an alleged extortion bid by the broadcaster.
Jindal claims that a senior journalist from the channel had tried asking for an advertising deal worth Rs 100 crores from representatives of his company, Jindal Steel and Power Limited. A story about the company's involvement in the coalgate scam would not be aired in return.
He has submitted a video tape of the sting operation in which he claimed to have caught the Zee TV editor demanding the deal.
Bihar sounds dengue alert
Bihar has sounded a high alert after two people died of dengue and the number of those infected rose to about 200 in various parts of the state, the health minister said Thursday.
"A control room has been set up in Patna to keep a close watch on the situation. Health officials have been directed to take preventive measures and provide proper treatment to dengue patients," Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey told IANS over the phone.
Dengue has claimed two lives in Samastipur district, while nearly 80 people with the disease have been admitted to various hospitals. Dengue cases have also been reported from Purnia, Begusarai, Patna, Vaishali and Gaya districts, a health official said.
The health minister visited Jawharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in the district headquarters town of Bhagalpur Thursday to take a stock of the situation.
Over two dozen people suffering from dengue have been admitted to different hospitals in Bhagalpur, according to a health official.
Choubey said that he has directed hospital authorities across the state to provide adequate treatment and medicines to those suffering from the disease.
"I asked all the district civil surgeons to ensure measures like proper sanitation, regular fogging and spraying to prevent spread of dengue," Choubey said, adding that the situation was under control.
McLaren expecting intense end to season
Formula 1 team McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael is expecting an intense contest to the Nov 25 end of the season due to the closeness of the competition among the top teams.
"We're going to push to the end. The thing is the gaps are very small now and it only takes one or two-tenths to swing things from one way to another. It's great for everyone watching Grand Prix racing, but it makes our life very difficult. But we believe we can pose a challenge to them in the last four races, Michael was quoted saying by the official Formula 1 website.
"Basically if you're not bringing typically 0.1s, 0.15s on average to every Grand Prix you're not going to stay competitive. And anything you bring above that on average you should start pulling away, or making up ground on our main competitors."
Red Bull have won the last three Grands Prix as McLaren dropped to third in the standings at the last round in Korea, where an accident for Jenson Button and car issues for Lewis Hamilton meant the team scored just one point.
However, Michael is convinced that they can take the fight to the defending champions Red Bull over the closing rounds.
McLaren have 284 points heading into this weekend's Indian Grand Prix, six short of Ferrari and 73 behind leaders Red Bull.
Hamilton is fourth in the driver standings on 153 points, 62 adrift of leader Sebastian Vettel with Button a further 22 points adrift in sixth.2.30pm:Kingfisher Airlines crisis to end soon, claims management
The Kingfisher Airlines
management claims their staff have agreed to the offer of three months of pay by November 13, according to reports.
The company has, however, not issued a clarification about how many employees have agreed to the offer.
The Kingfisher Airlines shares gained 4.35% on the back of hopes that striking workers will return to work.
The stock's recovery follows a slump of 17.5% over the previous four sessions.
The IT departments from Mumbai and Nagpur are set to probe into BJP president Nitin Gadkari's Purti group. The IT departments will be investigating the 18 investor companies and their fund sources according to media reports.
The report will be submitted to the Central Board of Direct Taxes. Vijay Mallya: 'King of Good Times' no more
Chennai-based SUN TV Network acquired the Indian Premier League (IPL) Hyderabad franchise Thursday for a whopping Rs. 85.05 crore per year, it was announced here.
The franchise has reportedly been acquired for the next five seasons, which makes the total winning bid Rs. 425 crore.
The franchise, earlier owned by Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. (DCHL), was made defunct by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the owners failed to produce a Rs. 100-crore bank guarantee before the Bombay High Court, a condition that had been set for the struggling team's survival in the league.
The Deccan Chargers franchise's failure to furnish the guarantee money led BCCI to float a fresh tender for a new franchisee.Read more
Sun TV wins contract for new IPL team
Sun TV has won the bid for an IPL franchise from Hyderabad after agreeing to shell out a staggering Rs 850 crore over a ten year period.
There were only two bidders for the team, reports suggest. The real reasons behind Kingfisher's fall
Sun will be filling in the vacancy which arose from the Deccan Chargers being thrown out of the IPL earlier this month.
India mourns Jaspal Bhatti's death
Indian TV viewers, including eminent personalities from different walks of life, mourned the death of actor and political satirist Jaspal Bhatti on Thursday.
Bhatti, 57, died in a road accident that occurred when he was on way to Jalandhar from Bhatinda along with son Jasraj and actress Suril Gautam for promotion of his new film 'Power Cut’
His car hit a tree and a trawler and he succumbed to his injuries in the hospital where he was rushed. His son and the actress were also wounded in the accident but they survived.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "Jaspal Bhatti's demise is unfortunate. He filled our lives with much needed humour. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace."
Evict Aseem Trivedi from 'Bigg Boss', says RPI
Angry Dalits from different parts of the state marched Thursday morning to the "Bigg Boss" home demanding eviction of one of its inmates, cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, a Republican Party of India (RPI) member said.
About 5,000 marchers, led by RPI chief Ramdas Athavale, have gathered here from Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik and other parts, party spokesperson Mayur Borkar said.
"Last week, Athavale had raised objections to Colors TV channel including Trivedi in its reality show, 'Bigg Boss', as he had committed insults to various symbols of India and denigrated the constitution. He had given one week's time to the TV channel to evict him or face action," he told IANS.
Goa's Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has objected to the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the ban on mining in his state. ' The government has to find a solution, not the court,' said Parrikar
Maoist shutdown hits road traffic in Odisha
Commercial vehicles in the interiors of Odisha stayed off the roads Thursday due to a statewide shutdown called by the Maoists against the central government's economic policy, particularly hiking diesel prices and putting a cap on subsidised cooking gas cylinders.
Normal life was affected in Narayanpatna area of Koraput district and Kalyansinghpur area of Rayagada district as the rebels felled trees on roads at some places.
"The Maoists have felled trees in some places of Kalayansinghpur area for the first time," Vinod Lakra, a police officer from the region told IANS.
Operators have kept their vehicles off the roads apprehending attacks, he said.
The Kashipur-Niyamgiri area committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist has circulated posters and banners in areas considered as their stronghold, appealing to people to oppose the central government's economic policy.
The rebels are active in more than half of Odisha's 30 districts. However, the impact of the 24-hour shutdown has not been felt so far in other parts of the state.
Today's Highlights in History: The day Gadhafi was buried
On Oct. 25, 1962, in a dramatic confrontation before the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson II demanded that Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin confirm or deny the existence of Soviet-built missile bases in Cuba; when Zorin declined to respond, Stevenson said he was prepared to wait "until hell freezes over" for an answer. Stevenson then presented photographic evidence of the bases to the Council.
In 1760, Britain's King George III succeeded his late grandfather, George II.
In 1854, the "Charge of the Light Brigade" took place during the Crimean War as an English brigade of more than 600 men charged the Russian army, suffering heavy losses.
In 1945, Taiwan became independent of Japanese colonial rule.
In 1962, American author John Steinbeck was named winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.
In 1971, the U.N. General Assembly voted to admit mainland China and expel Taiwan.
In 2002: Actor Richard Harris died in London at age 72.
In 2011: Deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his son Muatassim and former Defense Minister Abu Bakr Younis were buried at dawn in a secret location, five days after Gadhafi was slain by revolutionary fighters.10.50am: Bollywood mourns Jaspal Bhatti's passing
Famous satirist-actor Jaspal Bhatti died in a road accident near Punjab's Nakodar town early on Thursday.
Bollywood took to Twitter to bid him goodbye.
RITEISH DESHMUKH @Riteishd
RIP JASPAL BHATTI - one of the first ppl to entertain audience with his political satires. Condolences to the family- a big n untimely loss.
Ayushmann Khurrana @ayushmannk
#RIP Jaspal Bhatti uncle. My dad's closest pal. May God give strength to Jasraj and Rabia and Savita aunty.
Shreya Ghoshal @shreyaghoshal
R.I.P. Jaspal Bhatti. :(:(
barkha dutt @BDUTT
Satirist Jaspal Bhatti dies in a road accident. The rest of us should remember that Mortality is not funny. Its the great leveler.
Probe into Gadkari investor firms
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has launched a probe against Nitin Gadkari's investor companies. The Registrar is set to investigate if these companies had suppressed facts. The initial probe will be carried out by the registrar of companies in Mumbai and Nagpur.
Earlier, Gadkari has cancelled his trip to Delhi and had chosen to stay put in Nagpur.
Cabinet rejig soon, MPs close to Rahul likely to be inducted
All those in the Union council of ministers with two portfolios are likely to lose at least one and major administrative changes are expected in a Cabinet reshuffle due on October 28 or 29 on the return of President Pranab Mukherjee from Durga Puja celebrations in West Bengal.
Kapil Sibal (Human Resource Development and Telecom); Salman Khurshid (Law & Justice and Minority Affairs); Anand Sharma (Commerce & Industry and Textiles); Vayalar Ravi (Medium & Small Industries, Earth Sciences and Overseas Indians); Kishore Chandra Deo (Panchayati Raj and Tribal Empowerment); Veerappa Moily (Power and Corporate Affairs) and C P Joshi (Railways and Surface Transport and Highways) are set to see the departments in their charge pared down to one.
The Cabinet rejig is slated to induct new faces, with several young MPs close to Rahul Gandhi likely to make the cut. This reshuffle assumes importance as it is likely to be the last before the crucial 2014 general elections.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari has cancelled his trip to Delhi and has chosen to stay put in Nagpur. He is currently facing allegations of corruption.
Rajat Gupta sentenced to two years in jail
Rajat Gupta, a former Indian-American director of Goldman Sachs Group, has been sentenced to two years in prison for leaking boardroom secrets to the former Sri Lankan-American hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.
Judge Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan Wednesday handed down Kolkata, India born Gupta, 63, a more lenient prison sentence than the eight to 10 years stipulated by non-binding federal sentencing guidelines.
He was also ordered to pay a $5 million fine.
In a statement, Preet Bharara the Indian-American attorney in Manhattan, said of Gupta, "His conduct has forever tarnished a once-sterling reputation that took years to cultivate."
"We hope that others who might consider breaking the securities laws will take heed from this sad occasion and choose not to follow in Gupta's footsteps," he added.
The mortal remains of eminent Bengali litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyay would be consigned to flames in Kolkata later today.