‘MJ spent $50,000 per month on drugs’

London, June 30: Pop legend Michael Jackson was battling with numerous disorders and was spending 30,000 pounds ($50,000) a month on prescription drugs like narcotic pain relievers, muscle relaxants and anti-depressants before his death.

The ailing “Thriller” star, who died last week, was said to have consumed “mountains of medication” as he battled numerous disorders in the year leading up to his death, reported thesun.co.uk.

Buchanan meets Flower to reveal Australian secrets

Birmingham, June 30: Unthinkable to an ordinary Australian, John Buchanan has revealed that he has shared with England coach Andy Flower some of the secrets of his long association with Ricky Ponting’s men which could be used in the home team’s advantage in the Ashes beginning July 8.

Buchanan, who guided Australia to a whitewash in the last Ashes has arrived here after agreeing to an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) deal to work as a coaching consultant.

Praja Rajyam gearing up to keep tribe together

Hyderabad, June 30: In order to avert an exodus of its tribe, Praja Rajyam leaders will be fanning out to the districts from July 1.

Two leaders will be made in-charges of each district and tasked with holding meetings with candidates, leaders and key workers at the district headquarters up to July 7. Later, they will tour the constituencies for an in-depth study of the party position at the grasssroots.

‘Well done!’ CM lauds TTD EO

Hyderabad, June 30: Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy Monday lauded TTD Executive Officer IYR Krishna Rao joining the Sarva Darshan queue of the devotees at Shankumitta as a common devotee, waiting for almost 12 hours for the darshan of Lord Venkateswara.

Rao said he noted down all the problems of the pilgrims in the Sarva Darshan queue and would take remedial action soon. He said he would join the common devotee’s queue every week to have the darshan of the Lord.

Why didn’t BJP scrap Liberhan Commission: Cong

New Delhi, June 30: Congress today launched a sharp attack on BJP over the Liberhan Commission report on Babri Masjid demolition asking it why it did not scrap the panel during its six-year rule if it felt that the move was a political vendetta.

It also said “excessive protests” by BJP even before contents of the Liberhan Commission report are out reflected a “guilty mind”.

AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters that if BJP was now crying vendetta, then why it did not wound up the Commission when it was in power and on the other hand gave it extensions after extensions.

TD MLA goes on fast amid high drama

Hyderabad, June 30: High drama unfolded on Monday, first at the BR Ambedkar statue near Tank Bund and later at the Gandhinagar police station, as Telugu Desam Party MLA from Kovvur TV Ramarao went on a hunger strike demanding withdrawal of ‘false’ cases against him.

Ramarao is facing charges of ‘rape and murder’ of a nursing student in his college. The case has been handed over to the CID for investigation.

Pakistan to start production of JF-17 combat jets

Islamabad, June 30: Pakistan will begin production of JF-17 thunder jets, a lightweight multi-role combat aircraft, in collaboration with China, the Online news agency reported Tuesday.

The countries signed an agreement in March for the production of 42 JF-17 fighters at the Pakistan Aeronautical complex in Kamra in Punjab province. Some parts of the aircraft would also be manufactured in China.

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) plans to raise its first squadron of JF-17 jets by the end of this year, sources said.

Chiranjeevi yearning for greasepaint?

Hyderabad, June 30: Is Praja Rajyam party president Chiranjeevi yearning to hear the words “Lights… Camera… Action!”? Is nostalgia tugging at him? Is the megastar raring to enthral his fans once again? These questions are doing the rounds in party circles and office corridors, and it was his speech at the audio release function of his son Ramcharan Tej’s film, “Magadheera”, that perhaps set them off.

Dikshit demands action plan as power, water woes continue

New Delhi, June 30: Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit demanded a detailed action plan to overcome the city’s power woes Tuesday, the day that the capital’s power demand peaked to a new high and residents took to the streets to protest the acute water and electricity shortages.

Dikshit had called for a meeting with power distribution companies and legislators to address the crisis and work out remedial measures.

Spain asks EU countries to recall ambassadors to Honduras

Spain, June 30: Spain asks EU countries to recall ambassadors to Honduras Madrid – Spain has asked European Union countries to call their ambassadors to Honduras for consultations to demonstrate their disapproval of Sunday’s coup in the Latin American country, Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Tuesday.

Moratinos said Spain had contacted the Czech EU presidency to allow the union to take a decision on recalling the ambassadors as soon as possible.

Spain would not lend any kind of legitimacy to soldiers who toppled Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, Moratinos stressed.

CBI files charges against former BJP MP for human trafficking

New Delhi, June 30: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday filed a charge sheet in a court here accusing former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ganga Ram Koli and seven others of helping nine people to fly away to the Netherlands by misrepresenting facts. Eight of the nine did not return to India.

Government decides to go in for cooperative farming

Hyderabad, June 30: In a bid to increase agricultural productivity and to benefit the farming community, the Rajasekhara Reddy Government has decided to implement cooperative farming on an experimental basis in near future, either during this Kharif or the next Rabi season. It has, however, made it clear that the project will be implemented only if farmers come forward voluntarily to be a part of the project.

Onus on Danam and other ministers: YSR

Hyderabad, June 30: Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy Monday warned the ministers concerned that they would be held responsible for the party’s performance in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections which are likely to be held in August.

It may be recalled that M Mareppa and Maganti Babu were forced to resign as ministers when the party’s candidates had lost local ZPTC byelections to Alur and Dendulur segments last year.

State Congress can choose its allies

Hyderabad, June 30: Exuding confidence that the ruling Congress would win the coming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, likely to take place in Aug, Union Minister and in charge of AP affairs M Veerappa Moily Monday said the party State unit was free to choose its allies in the polls.

After a good performance in the Central and State elections that ensured its return to power, the party was well on its way to repeating the show in the GHMC and other local body polls, he claimed at a press conference following a PCC meeting at Gandhi Bhavan.

Kaif still hopeful of making a comebak into Team India

Jaipur, June 30: Banking on his Ranji Trophy performances last season, India discard Mohammed Kaif is still hopeful of staging a comeback and regaining his spot in the national team.

”I belief in god and I am still hopeful of making a comeback in Team India”, Kaif, who was here to participate in four-day Rajasthan Royals training session at Sawai Man Singh Stadium, told UNI today.

Panel of experts to answer gay question

Hyderabad, June 30: The government will examine redefining Section 377 of the IPC which makes homosexuality a crime.

Replying to a question at a news conference here on Monday, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said: ‘‘We will not act in haste in repealing the controversial Section 377.’’ The provision, which has come to be known as anti-gay law, has pushed the government into a catch-22 situation with gays demanding its repeal and Christian and Muslim leaders opposing any amendment to the same,.

India among 60 nations attending Kazakh world religious meet

Astana, June 30: Academics, clerics and leaders from 60 nations, including India, have gathered in the Kazakhstan capital for a global conference of faith and civilisations where they will deliberate on prospects of peaceful coexistence among the world’s religions amid growing extremism and violence.

Bodies of Yemen Airways crash victims spotted

Sana’a (Yemen), June 30: Eyewitnesses have spotted bodies and an oil slick in waters near the Comoros Islands following the crash of a Yemen Airways flight with 153 people on board in the India Ocean early Tuesday, Yemeni officials said Tuesday.

‘Some bodies were seen in the area of the crash,’ said Muhammed Abdul-Qadber, chairman of the Yemeni National Civil Aviation Association. ‘There is no further information available about the survivors.’

Man attacks lady love for refusing to marry him

Ongole, June 30: In yet another atrocity on women, a B.Ed student Marella Nagamani, was attacked by her beau, Gummadi Kumar Babu, right inside her house in the town Monday. Babu inflicted deep injuries in Nagamani’s neck, right hand and the right shoulder with a sickle. The girl was immediately shifted to the Ongole General Hospital where the doctors said she was out of danger.

Congress equally responsible for Babri demolition: Mayawati

Lucknow, June 30: Asking the central government to make public the Liberhan Commission report , Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Tuesday alleged that the Congress was as much responsible as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

‘Timely intervention by the Congress, which was ruling at the centre at that time, could have prevented the demolition of the Babri Masjid,’ Mayawati told reporters here.

SAfrica union strike to affect World Cup stadiums

Pretoria, June 30: South Africa’s biggest union said on Tuesday 50,000 construction workers would launch a strike over pay from next Wednesday, halting work across the economy including on stadiums for the 2010 soccer World Cup.

A prolonged strike could cause the partial shut down of an economy in recession and could scare foreign investors.

Several sectors in Africa’s biggest economy are holding wage negotiations, some of which cover a two-year period, and unions are demanding above-inflation increases.

Italy gas train derails and explodes, killing 16

Rome, June 30: A rail tanker car lies on its side after a derailment and explosion in Viareggio,… Enlarge Photo A rail tanker car lies on its side after a derailment and explosion in Viareggio,…

At least 16 people were killed and 50 injured overnight in Italy when a freight train hauling liquefied petroleum gas derailed and exploded as it passed their homes, officials said on Tuesday.

About 1,000 people were evacuated following the blast just before midnight on Monday in the Tuscan seaside town of Viareggio, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Rome.

Israeli drones targeted civilians in Gaza: Rights group

Jerusalem, June 30: Israel killed 87 civilians, including at least eight children, during its offensive against Gaza militants last winter, with missiles fired from remote pilotless vehicles (RPVs), Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report Tuesday.

The report, titled “Precisely Wrong: Gaza civilians killed by Israeli drone-launched missiles”, details six specific incidents which resulted in 29 civilian deaths.

Five Indian fishermen escape Lankan naval attack

Rameswaram, June 30: Five Indian fishermen had a miraculous escape when their fishing trawler was damaged in an attack by Sri Lankan navy in mid sea, today. Official sources said a group of more than 600 mechanized fishing trawlers had ventured into the sea for fishing yesterday from the island town of Rameswaram. In the wee hours of today, A Lankan naval vessel intercepted one of the boats and forcibly rammed into it in the wee hours of today. In the attack, the rear portion of the boat was damaged.

BCI for contempt action against Minister

New Delhi, June 30: Bar Council of India, the apex regulatory body in legal profession, today said the Madras High Court judge should initiate contempt proceeding against a union minister who allegedly tried to influence him in a criminal case.

“The Judge should have started the contempt proceeding straight away against the minister concerned and seeking unqualified apology is a lenient approach,” BCI Chairman S N P Sinha told PTI.