Sub-inspector granted bail

Guntur, August 31: Ponnur police sub-inspector B Ranganath Gowd, arrested for allegedly cheating a girl, was granted bail today.

Gowd was arrested on August 18 for allegedly cheating a girl by having a relationship with her on the pretext of marrying her.


BMC has no alternative plan to tackle water woes in Mumbai

Mumbai, August 31: With scanty rainfall, insufficent water in lakes, cloud seeding methods not yielding much results, the BMC seems to have no alternative plan to tackle water woes faced by Mumbaikars in the metropolis.

When BJP Corporator Ashish Shelar asked the BMC today about the alternative ways it has to solve water shortage, the civic body said it will review the situation with the officials and come up with a conclusion.

“We will review the situation with the officials and come up with a conclusion,” BMC Standing Committee Chairperson Ravindra Waikar said.

Megan Fox exempted from Batman

Washington, August 31: The happening Hollywood actress “Megan Fox” is not featuring as ‘Catwoman’ in the Batman series’ next movie.As it was considered earlier.

People magazine writes, Warner Bros. has not plumped for the sexy actress; rather, there is no plan at all for her to be featured in.

As per the sources: “Its rumour. There is no script. There is no project for Megan to cast in.” Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry appeared with the role in earlier versions of the movie.


Sudhakar refuses to quit, Somanna obliges

Bangalore, August 31: Karnataka Housing Minister V Somanna, who lost the Aug 18 Assembly bypoll, today resigned but Social Welfare Minister D Sudhakar chargesheeted by CBI in a bank cheating case struck a defiant posture and declined to heed Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s advice to quit.

Sudhakar’s reluctance to put in his papers not only brought embarrassment to the Chief Minister but also to the BJP leadership, prompting Yeddyurappa to deploy a team of emissaries to convince him to resign.

China gives 225 railway carriages to Myanmar

Yangon, August 31: China Monday announced the handing over of 225 railway carriages to Myanmar as part of a deal agreed by the two countries in 2008.
The carriages include 20 passenger and 200 freight coaches, and five engines.

China offered the carriages during the visit of Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein to the country to attend the China-ASEAN Economic and Investment Summit in Nanning in October 2008.

A seven-member Chinese railway delegation Monday attended a ceremony here to mark the occasion.

Chaos at Ambedkar Stadium for India-Syria final

New Delhi, August 31: The Delhi Soccer Association’s (DSA) bid to fill the Ambedkar Stadium by distributing free passes back-fired as hundreds of ticket-holders were denied entry into an already packed venue to watch the final of the ONGC Nehru Cup football between defending champions India and Syria here Monday.

Though it was heartening to see some 20,000 fans pack the Ambedkar Stadium stands with seating capacity of 17,000, chaos prevailed as some 1000 fans were denied entry and police had to resort to baton charge to bring the crowd in control.

‘Khazana building’ proposed for Telangana museum

Hyderabad, August 31: A proposal to house a museum to exhibit artefacts from Telangana at ‘Khazana khana’ within the precincts of Golconda fort emerged at a meeting of Telangana Jagruti, a social organisation working for preservation of Telangana culture, here on Sunday evening.

It came from film producer and director B. Narsing Rao, who said the building was an ideal place to locate the museum as it had a plinth area of one lakh sq.ft.

President Patil heads to Russia, Tajikistan Wednesday

New Delhi, August 31: President Pratibha Patil leaves Wednesday on a week-long visit to Russia and Tajikistan that is set to boost India’s time-tested relations with Moscow and the energy-rich Central Asian republic.

Patil will be accompanied by Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, two members of parliament and senior officials.

“India’s relationship with Russia is a partnership based on mutual trust, friendship and all-round cooperation,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters ahead of the president’s visit.

Dhoni, Harbhajan in Chandigarh for Corporate Cup

Chandigarh, August 31: Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh arrived here Monday to represent the ‘Air India Blue’ team in the Corporate Cup that begins here Tuesday.

Leading international and domestic players will be seen in action in the eight-day tournament that will be held at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium at Mohali.

Newspaper owners, editors court arrest in Tripura

Agartala, August 31: Editors and proprietors of newspapers in Tripura courted arrest Monday demanding withdrawal of the new newspapers guidelines, which they claimed has led to slashing of advertisement rates by 42 percent, even though the “production cost and other expenditure of the newspapers has risen”.

“The police arrested the 16 editors, owners and publishers of local newspapers while they were protesting against the new newspapers’ guidelines in front of the Tripura assembly, whose week-long monsoon session began Monday,” a police spokesman said.

Macaulay Culkin father of Jackson’s youngest son?

London, August 31: “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin is reportedly the biological father of late pop legend Michael Jackson’s youngest son Prince Michael II.

Culkin was 10 years old when he met Jackson in 1990 and they became friends. He reportedly donated sperm to an unknown surrogate mother who gave birth to Prince Michael II, also known as Blanket, in 2002, reports

“It is well-known Jackson and Macaulay shared a unique bond. Now rumours are spreading like wildfire that Macaulay, who Jackson nicknamed Mack, is actually Blanket’s biological dad,” said a source.

‘Recession, drought will hit India’s growth target’

Bangalore, August 31:Global recession and drought will bring down India’s nine percent growth target for its 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said.

“We set a growth target of 9-10 percent for the 11th Plan. Though we began well in the first year (2007-08), the global meltdown impacted the growth rate in the second year and a drought this year will hamper it even more,” Ahluwalia told IANS here.

‘Congress has nothing to do with Press Club politics’

New Delhi, August 31: The Congress Monday said its president Sonia Gandhi’s accepting the honorary membership of the Press Club of India had nothing to do with the internal politics of the club.

“(The) Congress president accepted the honorary membership because she was getting repeated requests for it and she, acceding to these requests, has nothing to do with the factionalism in the club,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters.

5.9-magnitude quake rocks northwestern China

Xining (China), August 31: An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale Monday jolted the Qinghai province in northwestern China, officials said.

The quake occurred at 6.15 p.m. Monday, the China earthquake administration said.

There was no immediate report of casualties or property losses, according to local administration.

The quake occurred three days after a 6.4-magnitude quake hit the region.


Asif should be given time to return to form: Younis

Karachi, August 31: Pakistan cricket captain Younis Khan Monday said fast bowler Mohammad Asif, making a comeback after a year-long doping ban, should be given time to return to form and not burdened with unrealistic expectations.

“He hasn’t played any international cricket for the last 18 months and to expect him to start delivering right away would be a bit unfair,” said Younis.

“It would be better if Asif is left alone and given ample time to regain his rhythm.”

Contract killer’s death penalty converted to life imprisonment

New Delhi, August 31: The Delhi High Court Monday converted the sentence of a contract killer who had killed a witness six years ago from death penalty to life imprisonment on the grounds that the case did not fall in the category of rarest of the rare.

Mani Gopal had murdered the witness, an eunuch, inside the Tis Hazari court premises in 2003 when she was going to record her evidence in a murder case.

India monitoring Pakistan missile report

New Delhi, August 31: India has noted a US media report suggesting Pakistan had modified US Harpoon anti-ship missiles to hit possible targets in this country and is examining its impact on national security, a senior official said here Monday.

“We have seen the report and studied its contents. The government of India is closely monitoring all the developments having a bearing on national security,” the official said.

“We will take necessary steps,” the official added.

Lashkar militant killed in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu, August 31: A top commander of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was killed in a gunbattle with the security forces in a forest in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, an army official said Monday.

The official said Kalim Ullah, who was operating in Mahore area for the past two years, was killed after four-hour-long gunbattle. Mahore is 150 km from here.

A huge quantity of arms and ammunition has been recovered from the battle site, the official said.

In the last three weeks, the security forces have gunned down 10 militants in the forests of Mahore.


Jharkhand bureaucrat under CBI scanner for Rs.1.3 bn scam

New Delhi/Ranchi, August 31: A senior civil servant of Jharkhand is under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) scanner for his alleged involvement in a Rs.1.3 billion scam in the state’s health department.

Pradeep Kumar, former Jharkhand health secretary, has been named in the case for misusing his official position and “fraudulently and dishonestly” purchasing medicines, medical equipment and appliances for hospitals from 19 suppliers worth over Rs.130 crore (Rs.1.3 billion), a statement said Monday.

Kingfisher Airlines to raise $100 mn

New Delhi, August 31: Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines Monday said it planned to raise $100 million (about Rs.500 crore) in Global Depository Receipts (GDRs).

In a regulatory statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), it said the funds would be raised subject to shareholders’ approval.

It also apprised the BSE of a decision taken July 28 to induct up to $100 million by way of a rights issue.

The board also approved raising the company’s authorised share capital to Rs.1,000 crore from Rs.500 crore, subject to shareholders approval, Kingfisher said.

New ministerial panel on Reliance gas needed: Deora

New Delhi, August 31: The petroleum ministry has approached the Prime Minister’s Office for a ministerial panel for identifying new buyers for additional gas produced by Reliance Industries from the Krishna-Godavari hydrocarbon basin in Andhra Pradesh.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora Monday said he had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reconstitute a new group of ministers and had met with his Principal Secretary T.K.A. Nair Sunday.

concerned over Pakistan’s action in Northern Areas

New Delhi, August 31: India views Pakistan’s decision to grant province-like status to the disputed Northern Areas with concern as it believes these areas are an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir and India.

“The Northern Areas are an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir and an integral part of India,” a senior official said here Monday.

“We view these developments with concern. We are trying to obtain more details,” the official said.

When Witherspoon paid a stranger’s bill

London, August 31: Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon took pity on a stranger at a Los Angeles food store by paying her grocery bill after the woman said she had forgotten her wallet.

Witherspoon, 33 and mother of two, was at the Whole Foods store in LA, reports

“Reese knows that kids make you lose your mind. When she spotted a harried mom who had forgotten her wallet, she picked up the tab… The woman was so flustered and embarrassed. But Reese said she would gladly take care of the $70 bill and no apology was necessary,” said an onlooker.


Ban for Australian zoo that sold antelope to hunter

Sydney, August 31:An Australian zoo that sold endangered antelope to a hunting enthusiast has been barred from trading in animals until an investigation into the incident is completed, a media report said Monday.

The Sydney Morning Herald said authorities in New South Wales state imposed the ban after the Western Plains Zoo sold 16 blackbuck antelope to Bob McComb, who owns a property he wants to turn into a game reserve.

Blackbuck antelope, which are listed as threatened in India and Nepal, are prized by hunters for their large spiral horns.

Decision on visa is based more on interview

Hyderabad, August 31: Q. I applied for a tourist visa but was not granted the visa. I am 61 yrs old. I am unmarried and am living with my sister and her family. My niece and her husband who are in the U.S. sponsored my visit. As I am unmar