Ready to be hanged if Found Guilty : Uma Bharati

Bhopal, June 30: As the Liberhan Commission probe report on the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was submitted to the government Tuesday, former Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader Uma Bharati said she does not regret the destruction and would be ready to be hanged if found guilty.

‘I wanted the old structure to be destroyed though not in that way,’ Uma Bharati, now heading the Bharatiya Janshakti Party after quitting the BJP, told reporters here.

Liberhan report: BJP adopts wait and watch attitude

New Delhi, June 30: The BJP has adopted a “wait-and-watch posture in the wake of the Liberhan Commission submitting its report on Babri Mosque demolition and is waiting for the government’s next move on it before firming up its own strategy.

“As of now, we don’t know how the Congress-led UPA government will handle the Commission’s report. Once the picture becomes clear, we will plan our response to it,” a senior BJP leader said.

BJP veterans L K Advani and M M Joshi, along with former party leaders Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh, are accused in the Babri mosque demolition case.

With Liberhan report in, the focus will be on court now

New Delhi, June 30: With the Liberhan Commission submitting its report today after seventeen years, the focus will now be on the final outcome of the CBI investigations into the the Babri Masjid demolition episode.

The CBI, which in 1992 had taken up the investigations into the demolition as well as raising of provocative slogans, has registered 49 FIRs in various capacities.

Some of the accused include senior BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and others like former HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti among others.

“We got rid of communal riots in the state:” Guj govt

Gandhinagar, June 30: Gujarat government on Monday claimed in the assembly that it has got rid of the communal riots in the state.

During his budget speech in the assembly today, State Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala said, “We have successfully got rid of terrorism and communal riots in the state.”

However, Chief Minister Narendra Modi is often blamed for the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat which had claimed over 1200 human lives.

Nirupama Rao to be next Foreign Secretary

New Delhi, June 30: Nirupama Rao, India’s Ambassador to China, will be the next Foreign Secretary becoming the second woman to hold the post of the top diplomat at a time when India’s relations with Pakistan are going through tough times in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack.

The 1973-batch IFS officer will succeed Shivshankar Menon who will be retiring on July 31 after an eventful three-year stint as Foreign Secretary.

The decision to appoint Rao as the Foreign Secretary was taken by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet today.

Michael Vaughan retires

Edgbaston, June 30: Tired of battling poor form and a nagging knee injury, England’s most successful Test captain Michael Vaughan today announced his retirement
from all forms of professional cricket with immediate effect.

“After a great deal of consideration, I’ve decided that now is the right time to retire from cricket,” the 34-year-old Yorkshire batsman said in a statement.

Mother, children named MJ estate custodians

Washington, June 30: A 2002 will of Michael Jackson grants the custody of his estate to his mother, Katherine and his three children but excludes his father, according to the Wall Street Journal.

However, pop star’s family has not seen the document, the Journal said quoting family lawyer L Londell McMillan.

“No will has been presented to family or us. We will review any will when we see it,” McMillan said.

BJP leader K Naresh resigns from party

Hyderabad, June 30: Telugu film actor and BJP leader K Naresh today resigned from the primary membership of the party in Andhra Pradesh.

Naresh, who unsuccessfully contested from Hindupur Lok Sabha constituency in Anantapur district on party ticket,today sent his resignation letter to the state unit chief Bandaru Dattatreya, party sources said.

Naresh, who was state party’s vice-president, had recently resigned from the post which was accepted by the party.

Lalu asks PM to table Liberhan Commission report in LS

Patna, June 30: RJD supremo Lalu Prasad today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to table the report of the Liberhan Commission, that probed the 1992 demolition of Barbri Masjid in Ayodhya, in the coming session of Lok Sabha.

“I urge PM to submit the report of the Commission in the Lok Sabha,” Prasad told reporters here.

Though the entire country and the world knew about the real culprits, the people would still like to know what were the Commission’s findings, he said.

‘Jizya’ an internal matter of Pakistan: Preneet

Ghanour (Patiala), June 30: The Minister of state for External Affairs Preneet Kaur today said that levying of ‘Jizya’ on Hindus and Sikhs by Taliban in Swat region was an internal matter of Pakistan though the government was concerned about it.

“We have taken up the matter with them and in future also we will raise it at an appropriate level and time,” she said while addressing a ‘thanksgiving’ rally here after scoring a hatrick of victories from the Patiala Lok Sabha seat.

She also expressed concern over racial attacks involving Indian students in Australia.

Qaida warns France of revenge over burqa stance

Dubai, June 30: Al-Qaida’s North Africa wing threatened on Tuesday to take revenge on France for its opposition to the burqa, calling on Muslims to retaliate
against the country, the US monitoring service SITE Intelligence reported.

France President Nicolas Sarkozy had said earlier this month that the burqa, which covers the whole face, was not welcome in the strictly secular country.

Venus crushes Polish challenge to set up date with Safina – Update

London, June 30: Five-time winner Venus Williams marched into the semi-finals of the Wimbledon Championships Tuesday without the loss of a set so far, pounding out a 6-1 6-2 defeat of 11th seed Agnieszka Radwanska. The American winner will face top-seeded world number one Dinara Safina, who overcame 15 double-faults to finally beat upcoming German challenger Sabine Lisicki 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-1.

Fourth seed Eena Dementieva joined her fellow Russian in the last four as she put out Italy’s Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-2.

No reference from Petroleum Ministry: Law Ministry

New Delhi, June 30: The Law Ministry today said it has not so far received any reference from the Petroleum Ministry on K G Basin gas settlement dispute between the Ambani brothers.

The Ministry in a statement said it has also “not expressed any view in the matter after the Bombay High Court judgement on the issue.”

The Law Ministry was responding to reports that the government will intervene in KG Basin gas settlement between Anil Ambani-led Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL).

Iraqi leaders urge unity as US troops withdraw from towns

Baghdad, June 30: Iraqi leaders Tuesday called for vigilance and unity, as the country marked the planned withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi cities and towns.

‘Bless you. Bless you for your efforts to achieve this great success,’ Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told the ministers of defence, interior and national security and associated officers from the security services, in remarks broadcast on state television.

Training facilities at The Sevens fascinate Indian footballers

New Delhi, June 30: Forced to practise out of India due to lack of infrastructure, the national football team was pleasantly surprised with the training facilities at The Sevens, the state of the art rugby complex on the outskirts of Dubai, to prepare for their Nehru Cup title defence at home in August.

Star striker and national captain Bhaichung Bhutia and midfielder Steven Dias were all praise for the facilities at The Sevens, which is the new home of rugby in the middle-east. The complex is spread over 3.6 million square metres and is 20 minutes drive from the city.

No official to greet hockey girls home after Kazan win

New Delhi, June 30: The women’s hockey team that returned home early Tuesday after winning the Champions Challenge II tournament was disappointed to see no official to receive them at the Indira Gandhi International airport here.

Coach M.K Kaushik said they were expecting somebody from the official circles to welcome them at the airport on their return from Kazan, Russia.

IARI suggests farmers to adopt drought tolerant crops

New Delhi, June 30: Warning that absence of pre- monsoon showers are already having impact on growth of Kharif crops, Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI) today suggested farmers to go for drought tolerant crops.

“If farmers do not have assured irrigation facility, they should opt for low water requiring or drought tolerant crops and varieties,” IARI said in a statement.

India win three medals at Asian Youth Games

New Delhi, June 30: Indian athletes won three medals on the first day of the inaugural Asian Youth Games in Singapore.

Delhi lad Arjun Kumar won the first gold medal of the event with an effort of 58.72 metres in discus throw.

Rahul Kumar bagged silver in the men’s 1500m clocking 4:05.01 seconds while Pooja Varhade got the bronze medal in the 1500m event for women with a timing of 4:39.04 sec.

Arjun said he was happy with his performance. ‘It’s a reward for my hard work,’ he said.


‘Cocktail of issues’ behind attacks on Indians, says Australian MP

Sydney, June 30: The disconnect between the ‘established Indian order’ and students was a matter of concern, says a prominent Australian parliamentarian who blames a ‘cocktail of issues’ for the recent attacks on Indian students in his country.

‘Basically it is a cocktail of issues that are affecting Indian students. They are socio-economic reasons and security is also an aspect, especially for those who live in the suburbs,’ said Laurie Ferguson, MP and parliamentary secretary for multicultural affairs and settlement services.

Bangalore teenagers welcome court ban on tobacco

Bangalore, June 30: As more and more teenagers of India’s IT hub Bangalore are falling prey to smoking, the Karnataka High Court order barring tobacco products’ sale near schools and colleges has been welcomed by the youngsters themselves. This should help them stay away from the harmful addiction, they say.

Dutch abortion medics protest violence against clinics, women

Amsterdam, June 30: Employees of abortion clinics in the Netherlands will hold a minute of silence on July 1 to raise awareness about violence against women seeking abortions and against the doctors and clinics conducting them.

“This is a silent protest against those who are violent against women who want to undergo an abortion and their physicians,” Thea Schipper, director of the Bea Huis en Bloemenkliniek which performs abortions, told the Agencies.


Obama inspires most confidence among all world leaders: Poll

Washington, June 30: US President Barack Obama inspires the most confidence as compared to any other contemporary political leader in the world, according to a new poll by an international public opinion network.

Sixty-One percent of respondents in some 20 countries have expressed confidence that Obama would ‘do the right thing regarding world affairs’, showed the poll conducted by, a global network working on public opinion on international issues.

Mamata opposes Buddha’s proposal on land for industry

Kolkata, June 30: Opposing West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s demand, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said the central government should not hand over to the state lands of closed and sick state-run units for setting up new industries.

‘We want the land of closed and sick PSUs (public sector units) to be used for industrial purposes. But the centre should take the initiatives on its own and not hand over the land to the state government,’ Banerjee, chief of the state’s principal opposition Trinamool Congress, told reporters here.

Thai wildlife trafficker gets two years in the pen

Bangkok, June 30: One of Thailand’s major wildlife traffickers has been sentenced to two years in jail for trying to smuggle 245 Malayan Pangolins and 63 Black Marsh Turtles into Bangkok three years ago, police sources said Tuesday. The Pangolins, an endangered scaly ant-eater indigenous to South-East Asia, were believed to be destined for China where they are deemed a culinary treat.