Merkel to sway China against Iran

Beijing, February 01: Despite Beijing’s outright refusal to join the EU and US-sponsored unilateral sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has arranged a visit to China to convince the country to reduce Iranian oil import.

A German government source told a news briefing on Tuesday that “It is in German interests that China does not raise its imports [from Iran]. It would be good if China would reduce its imports.”

According to the source, Merkel will begin her trip to China on Wednesday.

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Cong promises jobs, minority quota in UP

Lucknow, February 01: Massive employment opportunities for the youth, expansion of educational and health facilities, quotas for minorities and free electricity connections to poor were among the promises the Congress made Tuesday in its election manifesto for Uttar Pradesh released in Lucknow and nine other centres.

One lakh vacant government posts would be filled immediately and 20 lakh youths would be given jobs in five years if the Congress comes to power, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal said while releasing the manifesto.

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Thai PM orders investigation into army shooting of 4 Muslims

Bangkok, February 01: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the shooting deaths of four Muslims by paramilitaries in the restive south on Sunday, local media reported.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha to investigate the incident and report his findings in detail immediately. She said if those killed and wounded in the incident were found to be innocent villagers, the government would fully take care of them, the Bangkok Post reported.

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Radcliffe comfortable with nudity

London, February 01 (IANS) “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe, set to go naked for his new film “Kill Your Darlings”, says he is comfortable with nudity.

The actor first stripped off for psychological drama “Equus” on the West End stage.

“I’m comfortable with my body,” Radcliffe told Heat magazine.

However, the actor also admits he will never be able to compete with “Harry Potter” co-star Rupert Grint’s muscular body.

“I’m not going to try to compete with Rupert on the arms front. His dad is a big guy, so if anyone was going to get the proper muscleman build, it was Rupert.

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We did not pose threat to Rushdie: Muslim bodies

Jaipur, February 01: Muslim organisations in Rajasthan on Tuesday said they had not posed a life threat to controversial author Salman Rushdie during his proposed visit to the recently concluded Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF).

“Ever since the Jaipur Literature Festival ended with a fiasco on January 24, an impression is being created that Muslim organisations of Rajasthan had issued threats to the life of Rushdie or threatened to disrupt the prestigious literary event by resorting to violence,” Rajasthan Muslim Forum said.

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SC puts off hearing on uniform fee for engg colleges

New Delhi, February 01 (INN): A division bench of Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on petition on uniform fee structure for engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh to Thursday.

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2002 riots: HC to decide whether Modi should depose

New Delhi, February 01: The Gujarat High Court is expected to decide on Wednesday whether Chief Minister Narendra Modi will have to depose before the Justice Nanavati-Mehta Commission probing the 2002 riots case. NGOs had moved court after the Gujarat government refused to depose before the panel.

Riot victims had earlier approached the High Court, seeking Modi’s deposition before the riots inquiry commission. A division bench of the Gujarat High Court comprising of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Sonia Gokani is expected to pass an order on the matter on Wednesday.

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Muslim youths giving a miss to RYK Employment Mission in AP

Hyderabad, February 01: The Rajiv Employment Mission (Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu), the most ambitious project of the government of Andhra Pradesh to provide 15 lakh jobs to the unemployed youths, expectedly generated lot of excitement among job aspirants. But the Muslim community, though having a huge number of unemployed youths compared to other communities, has not shown much interest in the recruitment drive.

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West fears Islamic thought, not nukes

Tehran, February 01: A senior Iranian official has dismissed the West’s alleged concerns over the country’s civilian nuclear program, saying Iran’s Islamic patterns frighten the West.

“The [global] arrogance, more than being afraid of Iran’s nuclear activities, is angry with the Islamic Republic’s religious pattern for progress,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili said at a meeting with a Palestinian leader on Tuesday.

“Today we witness the return of religious concepts to the political, economic and cultural arenas,” Jalili stated.

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Govt will honour promises made with striking employees: Anam

Hyderabad, February 01 (INN): The State Government would honour all the promises that it made with the employees to end the Sakala Janula Samme or the general strike.

This was stated by Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy after he held a cabinet sub-meeting comprising Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimhan Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy and R&B Minister B Dharmana Prasad at the State Secretariat here on Tuesday. Anam said that the cabinet sub-committee would hold a meeting with the senior officials including Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi on February 2 to discuss the issue.

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Emaar case: Sunil Reddy sent to Chanchalguda Jail

Hyderabad, February 01 (INN): The CBI special court on Tuesday rejected the petition of CBI seeking extension of custody of Sunil Reddy, an accused in the Emaar case.

The court gave these directions when the CBI sleuths produced him in the court after the end of his two-and-half days’ custody on Tuesday. He was later remanded to judicial custody till February 1 and sent to Chanchalguda Central Jail.

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Court extends Vijay Sai’s judicial custody till Feb 14

Hyderabad, February 01 (INN): The CBI Special Court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Vijay Sai Reddy till February 14. Reddy, the vice-chairman of Jagathi Publications, was arrested by the CBI in the disproportionate assets case of YSR Congress party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

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CBI Jt Director meets CS over Emaar scam

Hyderabad, February 01 (INN): CBI joint director VV Laxminarayana on Tuesday denied allegations that the agency was using third degree methods to extract information from the accused in Emaar or other scams.

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Split on Modi, Guj Muslims take battle to poll-bound UP

Ahmedabad, February 01: Even as a Muslim cleric snubbed by Narendra Modi has vowed to follow and counter the Chief Minister on his campaign trail in UP, a team of state BJP minority cell is headed for poll-bound UP in a bid to garner Muslim votes for the party by showcasing development in Gujarat and the “social security” Muslims enjoy in the state.

The month-long, seven-phase polls in UP start in the first week of February and all parties in the fray are aggressively courting Muslims.

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80-yr-old raped; redefine rape laws: Court

New Delhi, February 01: A Delhi court on Tuesday wanted the legislature to redefine the offence of rape while sentencing a youngster to 10 years in jail for assaulting an 80-year-old woman in 2011.

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Shahrukh, Shirish Kunder Patch Up

Mumbai, February 01: In a patch up bid, choreographer turned director Farah Khan and her husband Shirish Kunder visited Shah Rukh Khan’s residence today over the fracas at Sanjay Dutt’s party and claimed to have sorted out the matter.

Kunder, who had said he was slapped by SRK at the party on Sunday night, went to the actor’s house Mannat in suburban Bandra with his wife, director brother-in-law Sajid Khan and producer Sajid Nadiadwala to clear the misunderstanding.

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Barack Obama Confirms US Drone Strikes In Pakistan

Washington, February 01: President Barack Obama on Monday confirmed that US drone aircraft have struck Taliban and al-Qaida targets within Pakistan — operations that until now had not been officially acknowledged.

When asked about the use of drones by his administration in a chat with web users on Google+ and YouTube, Obama said “a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA” — Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

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Angry Pak Calls US Missile Strikes ‘Unlawful’

Islamabad, February 01: Hours after President Barack Obama confirmed that US drones regularly target militants in its tribal belt, Pakistan today said such attacks were “unlawful” and a violation of its sovereignty.

“Our position on drone strikes is clear and based on principles. Drone attacks are unlawful, counter-productive and hence unacceptable,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in a text message sent to PTI.

“We cannot condone the violation of our sovereignty,” he said.

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Pilotless Aircraft Lakshya Successfully Test Flown

Balasore (Odisha), February 01: Indigenously developed micro-light and pilot-less target aircraft ‘Lakshya-1’ was successfully test flown from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur near here today.

’Lakshya-1’, fitted with an advanced digitally controlled engine was successfully test flown at about 11.40 AM to check the validity of its engine and duration enhancement, defence sources said here.

”It is a routine trial by the users,” the sources said.

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SRK Told Him He’ll Teach Salman A Lesson Too

Mumbai, February 01: Farah Khan’s husband Shirish Kunder on Monday challenged Bollywood superstar Shah rukh Khan to a duel.

Shirish thundered, “Next time, I will challenge him (SRK) to come in front of me to fight.

“I will give it right back to him. Someone please ask him to stop behaving like an old, spineless, frustrated man.

“He kept telling me go back to your friend and tell him main uski ***** marunga If he has some problem with that friend of mine, why doesn’t he have the guts to confront him?”

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US must get Iraq’s okay to use drones

Baghdad, February 01: Iraq has censured the United States over the use of surveillance drones in the country, saying Washington has to request Baghdad’s permission prior to carrying out such flights.

Ali al-Dabbagh, an Iraqi government spokesman, said on Tuesday the US embassy “needs to get the approvals from the Iraqi government for any sort of surveillance which is needed.”

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