Advani to play major role in reorganising BJP

New Delhi, September 01: under attack from some of his colleagues, will play a key role as he passes the baton to a younger leadership, party sources said on Monday. A BJP insider who met Advani earlier in the day told media that the veteran politician was “not going away anywhere for some time to come”. At the same time, he was not ready to give his side of the story to the media.

US ‘needs new Afghan strategy’

Washington, September 01: The top US general in Afghanistan says Washington and its allies need a new strategy to defeat the Taliban.

In a review submitted to the Pentagon and Nato on Monday, General Stanley McChrystal described the Afghan situation as “serious” but said the war could still be won.

“The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort,” the general, who is also the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, said.

Australian minister rescued alive

Sydney, September 01: Victorian minister Tim Holding has been reunited with his parents and partner following his rescue from Mt Feathertop in the state’s northeast.

Embarking from a helicopter on the Bright football oval, a smiling Mr Holding, wearing a blue jacket, hugged his mother, shook hands with his father and kissed his partner.

He also shook hands with police rescuers and Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe.

Moments before the helicopter landed, Mr Holding’s mother Caroline expressed great relief.

Designer Anand Jon gets 59 years for rape

Los Angeles, September 01: Indian-born fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander convicted of sexually assaulting several girls and young women was Monday sentenced to 59 years in prison by a Los Angeles court.

The designer, who appeared on the reality television show “America’s Next Top Model”, was convicted of 16 charges, including rape and sexual assault in November.

According to prosecutors, he enticed the girls, mostly aspiring models, with the promise of modelling jobs and forced them into sex, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Katrina Kaif’s laugh riot

Mumbai, September 01: Katrina Kaif is all set to tickle your funny bone. The actor will soon be seen in a new avatar in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahaani.

A unit member says, “This is for the first time that Katrina has done a full-length comedy role. It was quite a challenge for her.”

It seems Katrina has done all the comedy scenes with ease. Santoshi was pretty impressed by her comic timing.

Arjun Rampal’s choosy about his Lap dance

Mumbai, September 01: Arjun Rampal and AD Singh’s new nightclub Lap, which just opened in New Delhi with a power party that included Shah Rukh Khan, Parmeshwar Godrej, Karan Johar and Kalyani Chawla, is gonna play hard to get when it comes to membership.

Arjun Rampal and AD Singh’s new nightclub Lapis gonna play hard to get when it comes to membership. Arjun told DNA that all entries would be strictly by invitation and would be decided by a special panel. No wonder even the likes of Parmeshwar Godrej seem interested in getting a membership.

Rani Mukerji stretches it

Mumbai, September 01: Wonder how Rani Mukerji got to shed all those kilos before stepping in front of the camera for her film Dil Bole Hadippa? Regular yoga sessions and a carefully manipulated weight training programme seem to have done the trick.

Sources say that it took Rani over a year to knock off about 10 kilos that was making her look a little bloated in front of the camera. Rani had hired a team of experts to get into her new slim avatar which included fitness instructor Satyajit Churasia and yoga teacher Payal Gidwani.

Three government employees arrested in graft case in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, September 01: Three state government employees including prohibition and excise superintendent were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in an illegal gratification case in Andhra Pradesh today.

Srinivas Rao accepted the money on behalf of Chandramouleswara Rao, superintendent, and P Prabhakar Raju, assistant prohibition and excise superintendent, Tenali, who demanded the bribe from S Nageswara Rao, owner of a restaurant and bar for granting permission for alteration in the design of his bar.

Man arrested for raping German girl 12 years ago

New Delhi: The Delhi crime branch arrested a transport company owner in Punjab for allegedly raping a German girl in Germany 12 years ago when he was illegally living there.

Jaswant Singh lived in Germany from 1992 to 1997. He worked as a cook in a hotel. There he befriended Karan Singh and Mohammad Shahzad. On August 2, 1997, the trio spotted a 17-year-old girl walking alone after she had missed her train. They dragged her to a nearby park and raped her. Later, they beat her up.

70 complaints cleared in hours

Mumbai, September 01: The Bhandup municipal ward, which had not looked into even one of the 111 illegal construction complaints it received through the citizens’ helpline — 1916– in the past three months, addressed as many as 70 of them in just a few hours on Monday.

DNA carried a story in its August 31 edition, branding the ward, under which comes Vikhroli, Powai, Nahir and Bhandup, as the worst performer among the 24 municipal wards in Mumbai.

Bal Thackeray takes a dig at LK Advani

Mumbai, September 01: After senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janaya Party (BJP), it is Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s turn to take potshots at LK Advani. Thackeray on Monday indirectly blamed Advani for “poor communication” between Sena and the BJP, who are allies in the state since 1986.

“When Atalji and Pramod (Mahajan) were around, it was different. There were meetings and talks, at least on telephone,” Thackeray stated in an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana. He taunted that Advani must be hurt that people have accepted a “weak” prime minister in Manmohan Singh.

Property tax for 16 lakh slum families

Mumbai, September 01: Slum dwellers living in semi-permanent and kuchcha structures will have to pay property tax from the next financial year. Even those residing in illegal slums will be taxed once the new system is in place.

NA Pathan, assessor and collector, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said, “The existing property tax structure does not exempt the slums. But it has no provision for hutments to be taxed individually.

Mirza, Devvarman charge into round two at US Open

New York, September 01: Sania Mirza defeated Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 India’s Sania Mirza and Somdev Devvarman have already had a successful US Open only one day into the year’s last Grand Slam tournament thanks to impressive first-round triumphs for each on Monday.

In a historic double for their homeland, Mirza defeated Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, while qualifier Devvarman downed Portugal’s Frederico Gil 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the second round on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.

Sri Lanka journalist jailed on ‘terror’ charges

Colombo, September 01: Sri Lanka’s High Court sentenced a Tamil journalist to 20 years in prison on Monday after convicting him on terrorism charges, officials said.

JS Tissainayagam, 45, who contributed to the local Sunday Times and ran a website,, that focused on the island’s Tamil population, was found guilty of causing “racial hatred” and “supporting terrorism,” a court official said.

The court found that he had received money from the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to fund his website.

Heroin worth Rs.200 mn seized in Punjab

Amritsar, September 01: The Punjab Police arrested five people here Monday and recovered four kilograms of heroin from their possession, officials said.

According to a senior official of Punjab Police, the seized contraband is worth Rs.200 million (Rs.20 crore) in the international market.

“We had got a tip-off from our source that some smugglers were going in a Alto car to deliver the drugs to some peddler. We laid a trap and arrested five of them while one of them managed to escape,” the official said.


AIFF announce cash awards for Indian football team

New Delhi, September 01: All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced cash awards for the Indian football team after they beat Syria to retain the Nehru Cup title at the Ambedkar Stadium here Monday night.

AIFF president Praful Patel said he would personally give a cash award of Rs.500,000 each to skipper Bhaichung Bhutia and goalkeeper Subrata Paul, whose brilliant saves in the tie-breaker won the match for India.

He also said that all members of the team and the support staff will get Rs.200,000 each.


Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan

London, September 01: Two British soldiers have been killed in a roadside blast in southern Afghanistan, the British defence ministry said here Monday.

The soldiers, from The Black Watch regiment, were killed in an explosion north of Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province. The deaths bring to 210 the total number of British military fatalities since the conflict began in late 2001.

On a visit to troops in Afghanistan Saturday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised to provide greater protection from roadside bombs which have claimed dozens of lives in recent months.


Action, comedy are boring, Akshay wants some romance now

London, September 01: He has done loads of action films and made audiences laugh in rib-tickling comedies, but Bollywood star Akshay Kumar now says he’s bored and wants some romance…on screen of course! “I want to do more romance. I’ve actually gotten bored of comedy and action.

Yes, I just want to do some romantic films. And that’s what my next thing is going to be,” Akshay told Myleen Klass in an interview for CNN’s “The Screening Room Xtra” programme.

Germany, France reiterate Iran ultimatum

Berlin, September 01: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy Monday called for tougher sanctions against Iran, if the country fails enter talks on its nuclear programme ahead of a September deadline.

“We have supported (US) President Obama’s outstretched hand to the Iranian leaders, but this hand cannot remain extended indefinitely to leaders who do not respond,” Sarkozy added.

Speaking after talks in Berlin, Both leaders said discussions on further sanctions would take place in September, should Iran refuse to cooperate.

Walt Disney to acquire Marvel for $4 bn

Mumbai, September 01: In what can be touted as one of the biggest acquisitions in recent times in the media and entertainment sector, The Walt Disney Company has said that it will acquire Marvel Entertainment in a deal valued at $4 billion.

US files for disclosure of 4,500 Swiss accounts

Geneva, September 01: The US tax agency Monday filed with Swiss authorities for administrative assistance on information related to 4,500 bank accounts, following a deal reached between the two governments earlier this month.

The out-of-court settlement required that the country’s largest bank UBS AG hand over to US authorities information on accounts that are believed to belong to clients who hid their assets from the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying taxes. Swiss confidentiality laws generally mandate that banks are not allowed to divulge client information.

UPA govt is not for ‘aam admi’: Buddhadeb

Kolkata, September 01: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee alleged that the Congress-backed UPA government have failed to live up to their ‘aam admi’ slogan in face of the price rise of daily commodities.

“UPA government is not for ‘aam admi’ (common man). The Congress claims that the UPA government is an aam admi ka sarkar. But their own records show that 30 crore people are going hungry. What kind of aam admi ka sarkar is it at the Centre?” Bhattacharjee said in Kolkata.

TMC, Cong spreading terror in WB: Jyoti Basu

Kolkata, September 01: Former West Bengal Chief Minister and communist patriarch Jyoti Basu said opposition parties Trinamool Congress (TMC) and its ally Congress, along with Maoists are trying to spread terror in the state.

In his written speech read out by Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) state secretary Biman Bose, Basu said: “Trimaool, Congress and Maoists are trying to stop development in West Bengal through anarchy and terror. We have to counter their efforts by mobilizing common people…they know who are their friends and who their foe.”

Federer makes impressive start in US Open

New York, September 01: Roger Federer used his vast experience to tame a green American teenager appearing on the big stage for the first time, with a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 defeat of Devin Britton to reach the second round of the US Open Monday.

The Swiss, bidding for an historic six straight titles at Flushing Meadows, had his minor niggles against the number 1,370-ranked Britton, a US university tennis champion making his first appearance at the senior level of a Grand Slam.