England team in Kolkata for Eden Test

Having squared the series 1-1 with a convincing win over India at Mumbai, a relaxed and buoyant England team arrived here Friday for the third Test to be played at the iconic Eden Gardens from Dec 5.

The England team led by Alastair Cook, who cracked back to back hundreds in the first two Tests, flew into the eastern metropolis by a chartered flight and checked into a five star hotel in South Kolkata amid stringent security.

Bolwing coach Mushtaq Ahmed, however, did not come with the squad. “He will be coming tomorrow or the day after,” said a team source.

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Urdu university pays tributes to its first chancellor Gujral

The Maulana Azad National Urdu University Friday paid rich tributes to former prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral, who was also its first chancellor, saying he had left an “indelible mark” on the institution.

Vice-Chancellor Mohammad Miyan described Gujral, who passed away Friday, as a true representative of Urdu language and culture. “He left indelible mark during the formative stages of this university,” he said in his condolence message.

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Haj pilgrims’ last batch reaches Hyderabad

All the pilgrims who went on Haj pilgrimage from Hyderabad Embarkation Point have returned after performing Haj and visiting the holy tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

Altogether, 7967 pilgrims, including 776 from Karnataka had left Hyderabad for Haj out of which 7961 have returned back to Hyderabad. Eight pilgrims passed away during Haj in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who were buried in the sacred land itself.

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Efforts on to seek release of Andhra couple in Norway

Indian authorities are making efforts to seek release of a couple from Andhra Pradesh who has been arrested in Norway for chiding their son.

According to their family, an officer of the Indian embassy met Chandrashekar Vallabhaneni, who is in police custody, in Oslo Friday and assured him full assistance. According to information reaching here, the officer collected all the details of the case and spoke to Chandrashekhar, an employee of software giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

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Hate speech case: Court frames charges against Varun Gandhi

After three years of legal process, a local court in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh framed (UP) charges against Varun Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Pilibhit, in the 2009 hate speech case. Varun had allegedly made inflammatory comments against Muslims in his speeches at public meetings in Pilibhit during 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign.

Framing of charges by the court means that Varun will have to face the trial. The development has come amid speculation that the UP government may withdraw cases lodged against Varun during the previous Mayawati regime.

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Another anti-Bal Thackeray Facebook post

In yet another case emerging from Palghar town in the district, police here have received a complaint about some “objectionable” matter relating to late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray posted on a “fake” Facebook account of a local newspaper.

Mohammed Hussain Nadi Sarwar Khan (30), editor of “Palghar Mirror”, a fortnightly newspaper in Hindi and Marathi, complained to police that a fake Facebook account had been opened in his newspaper’s name and objectionable photo and comments were posted against Thackeray.

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Call for woman empowerment on Valentine’s Day

Over 100 women’s organisation Friday appealed to women in the country to stand up together against violence on Valentine’s Day Feb 14.

“We appeal to women to celebrate love on February 14 by gathering in their cities, towns, colleges and schools and talk about violence against women,” said Jagori director Sunita Dhar.

“We want peace and love, not violence,” she said at a gathering at Jantar Mantar.

The call is part of ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign in support of victims of violence across the world, with people from 160 countries taking part.

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Blast in Beed injures four

Four persons of a family were injured following a blast near the Ambejogai town in the Beed district of Marathwada region of Maharashtra on Friday.

Reports reaching Mumbai, the state capital, said that the exact nature of the blast is not yet known, but officials from the Forensic Department are conducting the investigations.

A team of the Anti-Terrorism Squad from Aurangabad is also rushing to Beed to join investigations currently being carried out by the Beed police.

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Government declares seven-day mourning on Gujral’s death

The government Friday declared a seven-day state mourning on the death of former prime minister I.K. Gujral.

“While passing a resolution, the union cabinet decided that the departed leader will be given a state funeral,” said a government official.

The cabinet, at a special session, expressed profound sorrow at the death of Gujral.

According to a government press statement, in Gujral’s death “India has lost a great patriot, a visionary leader and a freedom fighter”.

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Mamata tries to mollify Trinamool Congress veteran

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Friday stepped in to mollify aggrieved veteran party leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who had threatened to quit after being assaulted by activists of a rival party faction at Calcutta University.

Banerjee called Chattopadhyay and heard him out on the incident.

“She requested me to ensure that my supporters do not take out any procession during the day to protest the assault on me. Since my supreme leader has made the request, as a disciplined soldier of the party I have decided to keep the procession on hold,” said Chattopadhay.

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Mamata assures dole to Singur farmers

To contain the rising resentment among Singur farmers, who had stood by her during the peasant movement against the Nano factory in 2007-2008, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday assured them of regular supply of rice and Rs.2,000 in cash.

In her first visit to this rural belt in Hooghly district after taking over as chief minister last year, Banerjee said: “We have not been able to return lands to the farmers because of the ongoing court case. Once the court case is solved, I am confident we will be in a position to return the lands.”

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Pakistan, Afghanistan to hold religious talks

Pakistan and Afghanistan will hold a conference of religious scholars in Kabul in January to seek their help in the Afghan peace process, officials said after Friday’s ministerial talks here.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar assured her Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rassoul that her country will continue to play the role of a facilitator in the peace process.

“Pakistan will pursue the track which the Afghans choose for itself,” Xinhua quoted Khar as saying at a joint press conference.

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Rare pictures of British era to be exhibited

At least 200 rare pictures and documents pertaining to the British era starting with the first British settlement in Kerala would be on display here for two days starting Saturday.

This exhibition is being organised by the local branch of the Association of British Scholars (ABS) and would be inaugurated by the erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore, Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, who incidentally owns these pictures and documents, said a release by the group.

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Infosys to trade shares on NYSE from Dec 12

Indian IT bellwether Infosys Friday decided to transfer its American Depository Shares (ADS) to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) from Nasdaq global stock market, where they will start trading Dec 12.

“Our shares will begin trading on the NYSE Euronext markets in the US under ‘INFY’ ticker symbol from Dec 12,” the company said in a statement here.

The global software major is also seeking to list its shares on the Paris and London exchanges of NYSE Euronext.

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Narendra Modi files nomination for Gujarat polls

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Friday filed his nomination papers from the Maninagar constituency for the state assembly elections on Dec 17.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also launched a new campaign slogan “Vikas, Vishwaas, and Vijay (development, trust, and victory)” for the state polls.

The two-phased Gujarat polls are being held Dec 13 and 17. The votes will be counted on Dec 20.

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India, China discuss steps for border peace

Ahead of NSA Shivshankar Menon’s visit to Beijing, India and China Friday ended a second meeting of a working group and discussed steps to maintain peace along their disputed border.

At the second meeting of the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs held here, the two sides also exchanged ideas on ways to maintain border peace and tranquillity.

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Woman held for duping businessman of Rs.10 lakh

A woman who posed as a Briton has been arrested for cheating a businessman on the pretext of making huge investments in his business, police said Friday.

Theresa Jovita D’Souza alias Rhea Jannet Mallon (39) of Goa was taken into custody at a hotel in Paharganj in central Delhi Nov 27, the day a complaint was filed, said Joint Commissioner of Police Sandeep Goel.

Businessman P. Rahmatullah, who deals in granite stones and lives in Andhra Pradesh, reported that in July a man, Johnson Mallon, claiming to be a Briton, showed interest in becoming his business partner.

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Former Prime Minister I K Gujral no more

Former Prime Minister I K Gujral, who headed a rickety coalition government in the late 1990s, died today after a brief illness.

Gujral, 92, breathed his last at 3.27 PM in a private hospital after a multi-organ failure. He was admitted to the hospital on November 19 with a lung infection, family sources said.

The former Prime Minister, who was ventilator support, had been unwell for sometime. He was on dialysis for over a year and suffered a serious chest infection some days ago.

He will be cremated in nearby Delhi tomorrow.

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Eight Siasat Millat Coaching Centres instigated in Assam

Chirang/Hyderabad, November 30: As reported earlier, Siasat has begun providing educational aid to Assam victims through Siasat Millat Fund.

After announcing the collection of Siasat Millat fund for the victims of Assam, readers , philanthropists of India and abroad sent generous donations.

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Norway arrests Indian couple for spanking child

V Chandrasekhar, a software professional from Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district working in Oslo, never imagined that he and his wife would be arrested by Norwegian Police for trying to discipline his 7-year-old son.

Chandrasekhar along with his wife Anupama was taken into custody by the police in Oslo for allegedly trying to discipline their son, their family here claimed.

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Namdhari booked under murder charges: Police to court

Sacked Uttarakahnd minority panel chief Sukhdev Singh Namdhari has been booked on charges of murder in liquor baron Ponty Chadha’s shootout case, the Delhi police today told a court, which extended the police custody of the politico by three more days.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav extended Namdhari’s police custody till December 2 saying the Crime Branch has to unearth the conspiracy behind the November 17 shootout, in which Ponty and his brother Hardeep had lost their lives.

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South director S S Rajamouli wants to direct Aamir Khan

Renowned Telugu director S S Rajamouli has expressed his desire to make a Bollywood film with superstar Aamir Khan.

“I love all actors from here. But I love Aamir Khan the most. I adore him and treat him as a guru. I like the way he makes films, the way he promotes them. If there is a chance, I would jump to direct him because I would learn so much from him,” Rajamouli told PTI, adding that from ‘Sarfarosh’, he loved all of Aamir’s films.

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Excited to come to Goa: Paris Hilton

American socialite Paris Hilton says she felt ‘blessed and magical’ as she landed in Goa after a tiring journey from her country.

“So happy! I am in paradise with @riverviiperi in a beautiful villa on the water. So peaceful here. Such a magical feeling. Feel so blessed,” Hilton tweeted, after she arrived here to perform at the the India Resort Fashion Week (IRFW) 2012, currently underway at Candolim beach in Goa.

Hilton would be DJ-ing tomorrow, the last day of the IRFW, which is a mix of fashion and music.

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Kiran asks people to reduce power usage in view of shortage

In addition, Rs 1,800 crore is being levied as FSA for the first quarter of the current fiscal year, while another Rs 980 crore will be levied for the second quarter.

Besides, another Rs 1,400 crore is due for collection for FY 2009-10 but it has been put on hold because of a case pending in the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

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‘Pakistan to remain aligned with Afghan Pashtuns’

Pakistan’s strategic planners have decided in principle to remain closely aligned with Afghan Pashtuns instead of seeking new allies in Afghanistan ahead of the drawdown of foreign forces in the war-torn country, according to a media report today.

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