26/11: Court sacks Kasab lawyer for ‘delaying trial’

Mumbai, Dec 01: Lawyer Abbas Kazmi, defending Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 trial, was removed from the case by special sessions judge M L Tahaliyani on Monday on charges of “non-cooperation” and “purposely delaying the trial”. This was after he refused to accept affidavits submitted by the prosecution as formal evidence.

Kazmi’s assistant K P Pawar has now been appointed Kasab’s defence lawyer by the court.

The court had chosen Kazmi to defend Kasab after lawyer Anjali Waghmare was removed on charges of “professional misconduct” in April.

‘Paa’ to release on 700 screens worldwide

Mumbai, Dec 01: Directed by R. Balakrishnan aka Balki, ‘Paa’, an AB Corp Ltd. presentation in association with Reliance BIG Pictures, is all set to cast an Auro spell worldwide.

Come 4th December, Reliance BIG Pictures will release PAA in 700 screens worldwide, including print and digital. It will release in 20 countries worldwide, including India, U.K., U.S., Canada, U.A.E., Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and many others.

Serena fined $175,000 for U.S. Open tirade

London, Dec 01: World number one Serena Williams has been fined $175,000 and put on probation for two years for her foul-mouthed tirade at the U.S. Open, the Grand Slam Committee said on Monday.

The committee said a further major offence at a grand slam in the next two years would see her suspended from the U.S. Open in 2010, 2011 or 2012. The fine will be reduced to $82,500 if she commits no further major offence through 2011.

Mercury dips, chilly days ahead

Pune, Dec 01: The city is likely to experience chilly conditions in next two days as the temperature has dropped below normal for the last two days. The city recorded this winter season’s lowest temperature at 11.5 degree Celsius on Monday, which is less than 0.5 degree Celsius compared to normal minimum temperature in November.

Builder dead, 4 suspects held

Pune, Dec 01: The city police arrested four persons for demanding a ransom of Rs 10 lakh from builder Nikhil Ramkrishna Rane, who was shot at by unidentified assailants on November 23. Rane who was attacked while heading to his office on Jangli Maharaj Road and was admitted to Sancheti Hospital breathed his last at 10.45 am on Monday.

Crackers cause bomb scare

Hyderabad, December 01: The ‘recovery’ of explosive material near the Osmania University campus at a time when the Telangana Rashtra Samithi-sponsored bandh turned violent, created a scare on Monday. The material later turned out to be fire-crackers.

A few hours after the OU students went on a rampage near the Tarnaka crossroads, police found a gunny bag placed on a row of stones beside a chopped off tree on the roadside near the National Institute for Nutrition (NIN), just a few feet away from Tarnaka. Police claimed that they were tipped off by some passers-by who spotted the bag.

Sensex seen higher on strong GDP data

Mumbai, Dec 01: The BSE Sensex should extend gains on Tuesday after a sharp jump in economic growth in the September quarter and supported by higher Asian stocks.

Asia’s third-largest economy grew 7.9 per cent in the past quarter from a year earlier, smashing forecasts of 6.3 per cent, data showed on Monday.

“We should open positive … the most comforting factor is the GDP growth rate which surprised on the positive end yesterday,” said V.K. Sharma, head of private client group at HDFC Securities.

OU students go wild, cops watch

Hyderabad, December 01: Students of the Osmania University went on the rampage on Monday damaging half-a-dozen police vehicles, several private vehicles and ransacking commercial establishments. All this in front of a strong contingent of policemen who watched in mute resignation.

Though the TRS-sponsored bandh was near total in the city and its outskirts, it turned violent in the campus and several buses were damaged in other parts of the city.

US will act if Pakistan cannot deliver: Obama

Washington, December 01: In a blunt warning to Pakistan, US President Barack Obama has said its use of terror groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba to advance policy goals “cannot continue”, making it clear that Washington may be impelled to use any means at its disposal to rout insurgents if Islamabad cannot deliver.

Obama’s warning is contained in a letter to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, delivered by National Security Adviser James L Jones earlier this month. It names LeT among five extremist groups on which the US wants resolute Pakistani action.

David Headley’s detention hearing deferred indefinitely

Chicago, Dec 01: The detention hearing of terror suspect David Coleman Headley, arrested by the FBI for plotting attacks in India at the behest of Lashkar-e-Taiba, scheduled for December 4 at a court here has been indefinitely deferred.

“The detention and preliminary hearing for David Coleman Headley that was scheduled for Friday in US District Court in Chicago is cancelled and will not be held (as scheduled). There is no new date and no further information available at this time,” US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois, announced here today.

UN makes largest appeal for humanitarian aid

United Nations, Dec 01: The United Nations has appealed for USD 7.1 billion to provide urgent humanitarian aid to 48 million people in 25 countries in 2010.

The 2010 Humanitarian Appeal is the largest ever since the creation of the Consolidated Appeal Process in 1991.

The appeal covers 12 of the world’s most severe, prolonged crises — Afghanistan, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, the Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Big Bang machine sets power record

Geneva, Dec 01: It comes after various advances on the machine, which underwent extensive repairs and improvements after it collapsed last year

Scientists say the world’s largest atom smasher has broken the record for proton acceleration, sending beams of the particles at 1.18 trillion electron volts.

A statement by the European Organization for Nuclear Research says the Large Hadron Collider eclipses the previous high, which was just short of 1 Tev at Fermilab outside Chicago.

Lok Sabha debate on Liberhan report postponed

New Delhi, Dec 01: The debate on the report of the Liberhan Commission scheduled for Tuesday in the Lok Sabha has been put off till next week. The official reason: some MPs have objected to non-availability of a Hindi translation of the voluminous report.

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday met Speaker Meira Kumar to register his protest that lack of a Hindi translation meant that he and many others would not be able to take part in this important debate on the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

Ishrat case: proceedings in High Court stayed

New Delhi, Dec 01: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed till December 7 all proceedings in the Gujarat High Court in the case of the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan on June 15, 2004.

A Bench of Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and Deepak Verma was acting on a special leave petition filed by Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kaushar. She had challenged the September 9 High Court order that stayed Metropolitan Magistrate S.P. Tamang’s report, which said the incident was a fake encounter.

No significant change in activities by China along LAC: Antony

New Delhi, Dec 01: The government on Monday said that over the last few years there has not been any significant change in activities by China along the Line of Actual Control between the two countries.

Stating that there is no commonly delineated LAC between India and China, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Lok Sabha that incidents of incursions were taken up with China through the established mechanism.

Jobs a mirage, Indian students roughing it in London

London, Dec 01: Hundreds of “destitute” Indian students, unable to find part-time jobs because of recession, have been forced to scrounge for free food in gurdwaras at Southhall, a west London suburb, according to a documentary.

Didar Singh Randhawa, president of the two Sri Guru Singh Sabha temples in the area, told the programme that many had no place to live and they either sought shelter in gurdwaras or slept rough.

Messi wins Golden Ball award

Paris, Dec 01: Argentina’s Lionel Messi has won the Golden Ball awarded to the European Footballer of the Year, becoming the sixth Barcelona player to take the award and the first since Brazilian Ronaldinho in 2005.

Messi beat last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo into second place while Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez finished third in the poll results released by France Football magazine early Tuesday.

Engagement with Pak, key element of new Afghan policy: US

Washington, Dec 01: Diplomatic engagement with Pakistan will be a key element in the new US policy towards Afghanistan, which is to be announced by President Barack Obama today, the White House has said.

“I think you can anticipate that a good portion of the President’s speech tomorrow (Tuesday) will discuss our relationship with Pakistan and touch on going back to the very beginning of this administration in a renewed engagement diplomatically with the Pakistanis to jointly address violent extremism,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

US, India to work together to defeat Lashkar

Washington, Dec 01: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returned to India after his first state visit to the US, American ambassador Timothy J Roemer on Monday said President Barack Obama had conveyed to Singh of their determination to jointly defeat the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and ensure that the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack suspects are prosecuted.