SC rap ‘well deserved’: Arun Jaitley on coalgate

Terming the Supreme Court rap on the coal issue as “well deserved”, BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Tuesday charged the government with denigrating the institution of law officers that led to this embarrassment and sought changes in the Lokpal legislation.

He asked the government to accept the suggestions made by him and his colleagues to the Select Committee looking into the Lokpal legislation that will help restore credibility of such institutions and rebuild them.

CBI should be liberated from political interference: SC

In a damning indictment, the Supreme Court today said CBI’s act of sharing the status report on Coalgate with the government has “shaken” the entire investigation process and vowed to “liberate” the agency from political influence and interference.

Notwithstanding some strong words, the Supreme Court’s observations and directions in the coal blocks allocation scam came as a breather for the beleaguered government as the CBI Director has been given time till May six to file a fresh affidavit in the case. The matter will come up for hearing on May eight.

Coal scam fallout: Haren Raval resigns as Additional Solicitor General

Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval, who sparked a controversy by telling the Supreme Court that CBI status report on Coalgate was not shared with the government, on Tuesday resigned from his post, the first head to roll on the issue.

Raval handed over his resignation to Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar. “I have submitted my resignation to the Law Minister,” he told PTI.

MP polls 2013: Not in the race for chief ministership, says Digvijay

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Tuesday said that he is not in the race for the Chief Ministership of Madhya Pradesh and would not contest the state Assembly elections slated later this year.

“I want to make it clear that come what may I am not in the race for the Chief Ministership of Madhya Pradesh and I am sure not to contest the Assembly elections in the state this year,” Singh told reporters here.

“However, I would contest next year’s Lok Sabha elections if the party allows me to do so,” he said.

Mosque, shops attacked in fresh Myanmar unrest: Govt

Police in central Myanmar fired warning shots to disperse a crowd after a mosque and shops were attacked Tuesday, the president’s spokesman said, in the latest religious unrest to hit the country.

The fighting was sparked in the small town of Oakkan, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Yangon, after a woman accidentally bumped into a young novice monk and knocked his alms bowl onto the ground, according to Ye Htut.

Russia bans passenger flights over Syria: Aviation agency

Russia’s air transport agency on Tuesday banned all Russian civilian planes from flying through Syrian air space after the crew of a Russian passenger jet reported coming under threat over the war-torn country.

The federal agency Rosaviation said the ban on flights over Syria went into force on Monday and will remain in place until further notice.


Jordanian kills sister to ‘cleanse family honour’

A Jordanian has confessed to slitting his sister’s throat and stabbing her 20 times in the face and chest because she was rarely home, apparently “to cleanse the family honour,” police said Tuesday.

“People last night found the body of a girl in her twenties. She had been stabbed 20 times in face and chest before she had her throat slit,” a police spokesman said.

“Police arrested her brother, who confessed to committing the crime because his sister spent so little time at the family home. His confession indicates that he sought to cleanse the family honour.”

Europe court rules Tymoshenko jailing ‘unlawful’

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ruled that Ukraine’s detention of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was unlawful, in a decision the opposition leader’s camp saw as a key step towards her release.

“The court considered that the detention had been arbitrary and unlawful during the entire period,” the judges of the Strasbourg-based court said.

The European Union is mulling a trade and association accord with the ex-Soviet republic and has clearly said it wanted Kiev to release the charismatic Tymoshenko.

Blast at Chinese university: One killed, three hurt

One person was killed and three others were injured on Tuesday in an explosion at a university in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province.

The explosion took place in a disused laboratory at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology, destroying the lab and shattering windows in nearby homes, according to the municipal fire department, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The university said the explosion occurred while the lab was being demolished by a construction crew.

Pro-Assad Syrian hackers target UK’s Guardian newspaper

One of Britain’s leading left-wing newspapers, the Guardian, has reported that its Twitter feeds have been targeted in a cyber attack by Syrian hackers.

The Guardian newspaper said that the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has claimed responsibility for an attack on its Twitter accounts over the weekend, having previously targeted the BBC, France 24 TV, and National Public Radio in the US.

“We are aware that a number of Guardian Twitter accounts have been compromised and we are working actively to resolve this,” a Guardian news and media spokesperson said yesterday.

Pakistan Court bans Pervez Musharraf from contesting polls for life

Virtually sealing his political comeback plans, a provincial High Court today banned former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf from contesting elections for the rest of his life on a day another put him in judicial custody till three days after the general elections on May 11.

A four-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court headed by Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan imposed the ban while dismissing Musharraf’s appeal challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for May 11 general election.

Imran Khan confident of ‘crushing’ PML-N during May 11 polls

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan is confident of defeating Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the May 11 elections.

Khan, who was addressing a public meeting, said no force could withstand the “youth tsunami”. He said PTI, with the support of strong-willed youth would secure a thumping victory in the coming elections, reports The Dawn.

He said the PTI would defeat the corrupt and plunderers of national wealth with massive public support.

Pakistan vote candidate shot dead: Officials

A Pakistani candidate for elections next week was shot dead Tuesday in an exchange of fire with security forces at a checkpoint in restive southwestern Baluchistan province, officials said.

Violence has spiked in the nuclear-armed country ahead of national elections on May 11 with at least 61 people killed in attacks on politicians and political parties since April 11, according to an AFP tally.

Karzai confirms receiving cash deliveries from CIA

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that the Central Intelligence Agency has been dropping off bags of cash at his office for a decade, and saying that the money was used for “various purposes”.

Karzai expressed gratitude to the US for making the payments. He said that the office of national security has been receiving support from the US for the past 10 years. He described the sums delivered by the CIA as a “small amount”.

Benazir murder case: Pervez Musharraf sent to 14 days JC

Pakistan’s former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf will spend the election day under house arrest with an anti-terrorism court on Tuesday sending him to judicial custody for a fortnight in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case in 2007.

Musharraf was not presented before the judge for today’s hearing for security reasons, said chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali of the Federal Investigation Agency.

Eight core sector industries output grow by 2.9% in March

Eight core sector industries’ growth has slowed down to 2.9 percent in March 2013 from 3 percent in the same month last year due to drop in production of coal and crude oil.

“The marginal decline in growth in March was on account of negative growth witnessed in the production of natural gas and low growth recorded in the production of coal and crude oil,” an official release said Tuesday.

I-T returns may require disclosure of all assets

In a bid to counter tax evasion, the Finance Ministry is contemplating making it mandatory for individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) to report Indian assets and liabilities in income-tax (I-T) return forms.

“The government is considering to introduce a new income tax return form that will require individuals to disclose all their assets and liabilities, rather than just annual income from various sources,” a senior finance ministry official said.

The official further said that the decision will be taken in the next two days.

‘Earth smelled like rotten eggs 1,900 mn yrs ago’

Tiny 1,900 million-year-old fossils from rocks around Lake Superior, Canada, has given the first ever snapshot of organisms eating each other and suggest what the ancient Earth would have smelled like.

The fossils, preserved in Gunflint chert, capture ancient microbes in the act of feasting on a cyanobacterium-like fossil called Gunflintia – with the perforated sheaths of Gunflintia being the discarded leftovers of this early meal.

Whale shark found dead

A giant whale shark was found dead near Madhwad port at Kodinar, forest official said.

A local fisherman saw a dead whale shark in the sea and informed officials of the fisheries department who took it to veterinary hospital at sasan for post mortem.

The post mortem report revealed that some of internal organs including liver were missing prompting the officials to suspect that the whale shark might have been poached.

India to launch Mars mission in Oct-Nov this year

Aspiring to join the select group of countries that have explored Mars, India would launch its space mission to the Red Planet in October-November this year, a top ISRO official said today.

“The (Mars Orbiter) mission is planned when Mars would be closest to the Earth. It would be launched either in the last week of October or the first week of November this year,” Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Radhakrishnan said.

Aamir Khan`s defining quality is his commitment for cinema: Kiran Rao

Filmmaker Kiran Rao feels her actor-husband Aamir Khan`s passion and commitment for cinema has kept him alive in Bollywood for 25 years.

“More than perfection, the defining quality is his passion towards cinema and art. He does all out of love. And that is why his commitment and performance has remained the same over the years and that`s why he has been here,” Kiran told reporters at the special screening of `Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak` here last night, after it completed 25 years.

QSQT should not be remade: Imran Khan

Imran Khan, who cried after watching the climax of his uncle Aamir Khan`s debut film ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ (QSQT) at a special screening to mark 25 years of the hit movie, says it should not be remade.

“The film is still fresh and very enjoyable. To tell you the truth, I cried during the climax of the film. Yes, I was seeing it on the big screen for the first time and it was a lot of fun,” the 30-year-old told reporters post screening.

Zoya Akhtar nervous about `Bombay Talkies`

`Bombay Talkies`, a film comprising four shorts by four directors, is ready to hit the screens Friday. Zoya Akhtar, who has made on of the films, says she is nervous.

The film has been made to pay tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema. Apart from Zoya, it has contributions by Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar and Dibaker Banerjee.

After year`s gap, Dhanush back on screen

After more than a year, the ever busy Tamil actor Dhanush will be seen on the silver screen in ‘Edhir Neechal’.

He was last seen in Tamil romantic-drama ‘3’. Directed by his wife Aishwarya, it was released in March last year and garnered lacklustre response at the box-office.

“After more than a year, I`m appearing on silver screen on May 1 through `Local Boys` song in `Edhir Neechal`. I dedicate the song to my fans,” posted Dhanush on his Twitter page.

Five music composers for Prakash Jha`s `Satyagraha`

Prakash Jha will team up with five music composers for his political drama ‘Satyagraha’, a first for the filmmaker.

“The idea is to have an ensemble music album for `Satyagraha`. Prakashji is roping in celebrated musicians and composers to collaborate for a youthful album for the film. As of now Salim-Sulaiman and Indian Ocean have been signed on. There will be three other composers,” a source close to the team said.