Rodman tells Kim Jong Un he has ‘friend for life’

Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman met North Korea’s Kim Jong Un today on the third day of his improbable journey to Pyongyang, telling the leader “You have a friend for life,” a delegation spokesman said.

Rodman and Kim sat side by side at an exhibition game in Pyongyang today, chatting as they watched players from North Korea and the US play in mixed teams, Alex Detrick, a spokesman for the New York-based VICE media company, told The Associated Press.

Rodman later addressed Kim before a crowd of thousands, telling him, “You have a friend for life,” Detrick said.

Man with over 200 cases produced in court

A 43-year-old man from Delhi, with 212 theft and robbery cases registered against him in Kerala alone, was produced before a local court in connection with a chain snatching case here, police said.

Jitendra Singh was brought from Kerala after he reportedly confessed to a chain snatching case in Peelamedu
limits here some seven months ago, police said.

He was produced before the sixth Judicial Magistrate, Karthikeyan, who ordered that he be taken into custody of
police for two days for interrogation, sources added.


Raj Thackeray holds discussions with party men in Aurangabad

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray held a discussion with his party workers at Subhedari circuit house here on today.

Amidst tight police security, after violent incidents between MNS and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) activists, Raj is on a Marathwada tour for three days.

He will halt at a three-star hotel and will address a rally in Jalna city on March two. He has twice said that he would reply to the Sharad Pawar-Ajit Pawar uncle and nephew duo during this rally.

Practice on matting pitches was imperative for Pak: Hanif

Former captain Hanif Muhammad says had Pakistani batsmen practiced on matting pitches before going to South Africa, as suggested by him, they would not have struggled on fast pitches there.

Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in the recently concluded three-Test series in South Africa.

I had advised they practice on matting pitches but I don’t know what happened but this didn’t happen. Maybe because of the tight schedule of the players and shortage of time but it would have helped them definitely,” Hanif said.

Hyderabad blasts: sketches of suspects to be released soon

A week after the twin bomb blasts at Dilsukhnagar here, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy today said sketches of suspects were being prepared, and he was hoping for a breakthrough.

There are a lot of eye-witnesses and with inputs provided by those injured in the blasts we are trying to
prepare the sketches of suspects, which will be released shortly,” the DGP told reporters.

Investigators were working on some clues, he said.

Mob on rampage after girl’s dies in road accident

A mob pelted stones on police and set ablaze a car today after a girl was killed in a road accident here, forcing the cops to resort to lathi-charge them.

The victim, a class XI student, was on her way to college in an auto which turned turtle after being rammed by the
speeding car, police said.

While Neelam died on the spot, three other passengers including the car driver sustained injuries and were admitted
to the hospital, they said.

Enraged over the accident, local villagers blocked the traffic by keeping the victim’s body on the road and set

Will talk only to US, not Pak or Afghanistan, says Taliban

Refuting Afghan claims that Taliban representatives are willing to hold talks with the Hamid Karzai administration, a former leader of the ultraorthodox Taliban militia has reiterated an oft-repeated statement that they would only talk to the United States. Syed Muhammad Akbar Agha said the Afghan Taliban have never invited Pakistan or Afghanistan for talks, adding that the Taliban are a reality and they do not feel a need to sit across the table with Pakistan. He, however, said the outfit would hold peace talks only with the US.

SP, BSP slam government over ‘anti-poor, anti-farmer’ Union Budget

The two ally partners of the UPA Government, providing crucial support from outside, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday expressed disappointment over the Union Budget and dubbed it as ‘anti-poor, anti-labour and anti-farmer’ budget.

SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav, while talking to reporters outside Parliament, said the budget has been prepared for only ten percent people of this country.

Govt to set up Srinagar-Leh power transmission link

The government on Thursday announced construction of a power transmission link between Srinagar and Leh at an investment of Rs 1,840 crore.

“To improve power supply in the Leh-Kargil region (Jammu & Kashmir) and connect it to the northern grid, the government will construct a transmission system from Srinagar to Leh at a cost of Rs 1,840 crore,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in his Budget speech.

He said, “I propose to provide Rs 226 crore in 2013-14 for the project. ”

The transmission link would be constructed by the central transmission utility Power Grid Corporation.

Animals help autistic children interact better

Interaction of autistic children with animals can enhance their social skills like talking, smiling, laughing and also enable them to connect well with others, according to an Australian study.

The presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviours in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marguerite E. O’Haire and colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Would have traded 175-run knock for Indian win: Tendulkar

Senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar says he would have “gladly traded” his knock of 175 against Australia in 2009 for an Indian victory even though he “certainly” rates it as one of the very best in his glorious ODI career.

Chasing 351 runs in the fifth of the seven-match ODI series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, Tendulkar fell awfully close to pulling off an unlikely win with an incredible innings.

“It was certainly one of my best innings, but I would have gladly traded those 175 runs for a victory,” Tendulkar said about the match which India lost by three runs.

Air India to get Rs.5,000 crore as budgetary support

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday proposed to pump in Rs.5,000 crore ($909.09 million) into ailing national carrier Air India in the next fiscal.

“Budgetary support of Rs.5,000 crore has been earmarked for equity infusion in Air India Limited,” said the expenditure budget presented to the Lok Sabha for the financial year starting April 1, 2013.

In his last budget (2012-13), then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had allocated Rs.4,000 crore for the flag carrier.

‘Footprints of security forces being reduced in J&K’

The presence of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir is being reduced gradually following an improvement in situation in the past few years, Governor NN Vohra on Thursday said, noting that the restoration of normalcy is bringing the state back on the path of development.

Listing out various initiatives taken by the state government, Vohra, in his Budget address to the joint session of state Legislature, said incidents of violence in the state have progressively declined in the past two years.

India hikes military spending 14 percent

India Thursday hiked its military spending to Rs 203,672 crore (Rs 2.03 trillion/$37 billion), an increase of five percent over the Rs.193,407 crore outlay for 2012-13 but an increase of 14 percent in real terms.

The budget hike, in real terms, amounts to Rs. 25,168 crore ($4.57 billion) over the revised estimates of Rs 178, 504 crore for the fiscal ending March 31. It translates into 14 percent increase.

PM applauds Union Budget, calls for accelerated growth tempo

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the country must not lose any time and get its act together to accelerate the tempo of growth after Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented the Union Budget with higher-than-expected spending for the fiscal year 2013-14.

Talking to reporters after the budget was presented, the Prime Minister said that Chidambaram had laid out a roadmap to achieve the eight percent growth rate.

Birth certificate blunders

Birth certificate and death certificate are the most important certificates for citizens. But unfortunately the infamous GHMC department indulges in criminal negligence while issuing birth and death certificates.

Recently a birth certificate was issued by the GHMC in which girl’s father’s name has been mentioned in the place of mother’s name and her father’s name was mentioned in the place of her name. As per the certificate issued by the GHMC the girl’s name is Amena Fatima, her mother’s name is Iftekhar Ahmed and her father’s name is also Amena Fatima.

Budget disappointing, says YSRCP

Terming the union budget for 2013-14 as disappointing, YSR Congress has said the insight suggests that hard days are ahead as UPA II seems to have given up all efforts to revitalise the economy and failed to raise any new hopes.

“The Finance Minister hinting at imports of coal and gas only suggest that there would be more hike in power tariff which also leads to unemployment, “senior leader DA Somayajulu told reporters here on Thursday.

Aadhar card registration by phone

In a bid to ease the problems faced by the the citizens in connection with Aadhar card registration, authorities are going to implement phone registration and also online registration facility from March 1st. From March 1st onward anyone can book a slot by dialing the toll free number 1100 from any service. They will have to visit your nearest centre with all necessary documents on the scheduled date.

Stormy start to Jammu and Kashmir budget session

The Jammu and Kashmir assembly’s budget session began Thursday on a stormy note as independent member Abdul Rashid Engineer raised the issue of Afzal Guru’s hanging during the governor’s address.

Engineer got up as soon as Governor N.N. Vohra began his address to the joint session of the legislature.

As Engineer was forced out of the house by marshals, Bhartiya Janata Party members rose to protest the lack of security to panchayat members in the state.

They raised slogans demanding protective cover for panchayat members, particularly in the Kashmir Valley.

Budget not for common man, says NaIdu

The Telugu Desam Party has said that the Union budget 2013-14 was not useful to the common man.

TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu, who is on his padayatra, said that the budget has nothing to offer to the small and medium industries and this will raise unemployment. Over 1.50 lakh farmers have committed suicides during the UPA-II and the government could not contain inflation, he said.

Budget is jugglery of figures, says TRS

The Telangana Rashstra Samithi has described the union budget as jugglery of figures and said it has nothing new to offer.

TRS leader K Tarakarama Rao said that farmers were disappointed as there was no mention of waiver of crop loans. The budget has nothing new to offer to any section, he said.

KTR also criticised the State Government for not representing the Babli case properly. (INN)

TNGOs welcome appointment of new Pay Revision Commissioner

The Telangana Gazetted Officers Central Association expressed thanks to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for appointing Special Chief Secretary and present Director General of National Academy of Construction PK Agarwal for revision of pay scales of State Government employees.

The Association said that the appointment of Pay Revision Commissioner shows the commitment of the Chief Minister towards employees’ welfare.

Mixed reactions to tax hike on cigarettes, SUVs

The increase in the excise duty on cigarettes, cigars, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and mobile phones announced in the union budget 2013-14 Thursday received mixed reactions from people.

Excise duty on cigarettes was raised to 18 percent, on SUVs from 27 to 30 percent and six percent on mobile phones with a price tag of more than Rs.2,000. However, SUVs registered as taxis were exempted from the duty.

Tripura polls: ‘CPI(M) win reflects re-emergence of Left Parties’

The return of the CPI(M)-led Left Front in Tripura and Forward Bloc wresting the Nalhati seat from Congress in West Bengal reflects “re-emergence” of the Left parties, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said on Thursday.

“We congratulate the people of Tripura to have given us two-thirds majority for the seventh Left Front government in the state and sixth in a row,” he told reporters when his reaction was sought on the poll results.

Married man fakes death to wed another girl

A 22-year-old married man allegedly faked his death to get rid of his wife and marry another girl, police said today.

Mehandra Rager, resident of Ajeta village of Gandoli police station area, went missing last Saturday when he was returning from Kota, Additional Superintend of Police N L Pavan said.

His car was found with blood on the steering wheel, while his shoes were found near a canal on Kota-Khatkat road, Pavan said.