Iran denounces US sentencing over Saudi envoy Plot

Iran’s foreign ministry has denounced the US for sentencing an Iranian-American to 25 years in prison over a plot to kill the Saudi envoy to Washington.

The reaction came a day after a New York court sentenced Iranian-born Manssor Arbabsiar, a former used car salesman from Texas, for plotting to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador by bombing a Washington restaurant.

Online Muslims more open to Western culture: poll analysis

Muslims outside the United States who use the Internet are more likely to have a favorable opinion of Western popular culture than those who don’t go online, the Pew Research Center said today.

Crunching the numbers of its recent wide-ranging survey of Muslims in 39 countries, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found a median of 18 percent of respondents use the Internet at home, work or school.

Internet use varied widely, however, between the African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern nations surveyed — from two percent in Afghanistan to 59 percent in Kosovo.

HC allows 1993 blasts convict to attend daughter’s wedding

The Bombay High Court on Friday granted permission from June 1 to June 6 to a life-term convict of the 1993 serial blasts to attend his daughter’s wedding in Ahmedabad with the police escort.

A vacation bench headed by Justice AM Thipsay was hearing a petition filed by Mohammad Mushtaq Tarani seeking to be released on parole for the purpose.

The state government had rejected the parole petition but said Tarani could be allowed to attend the function with the police escort.

Sonia meets party leaders as Telangana issue haunts Cong again

With Telangana issue returning to haunt Congress, Sonia Gandhi on Friday held deliberations with senior leaders in the wake of two sitting MPs and a prominent state leader deciding to join TRS, which is spearheading the statehood movement.

Gandhi held confabulations with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and AICC general secretary in-charge for the state Ghulam Nabi Azad and her political secretary Ahmed Patel on the issue.

Two arrested with fake stamp papers worth Rs.21 lakh

The Special Task Force (STF) of Bihar Police Friday arrested two people and recovered fake stamp papers worth Rs.21 lakh from them, police officials said.

“An STF team seized fake stamp papers from Gandhi Maidan and Sultanganj locality and arrested two people,” Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said.

According to STF officials, the arrested duo confessed that the fake stamp papers were to be sent to Assam.


IPL scam: Two hotels owned by Vikram Aggarwal searched

Tamil Nadu Police Friday searched two hotels owned by Vikram Aggarwal, who is allegedly involved in cricket betting, police said.

Aggarwal, who appeared before Mumbai police Friday in response to their summons, owns two hotel properties – the 129-room Fortune Select Palms near here and the 162-room Radisson Blu Hotel City Centre here.

He had not appeared before the Tamil Nadu Police Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CBCID) despite a summons issued to him.

His application for anticipatory bail was dismissed Thursday by the Madras High Court.

PM regrets bills stuck due to ‘impatient’ opposition

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said his great regret as prime minister was that many bills had not been passed due to the “obstructionist” and “impatient” attitude of the opposition.

“The obstructionist role of the opposition increased in recent years. My great regret is that many important bills have not been passed (due to the opposition’s attitude),” Singh told journalists on board his special aircraft while returning from a five-day official visit to Japan and Thailand.

Gurgaon firm booked for not dropping female staff at doorstep

A Gurgaon-based company has been booked for violating the orders of Delhi Police wherein companies have to arrange for female employees to be dropped at their doorstep after office, police said Friday.

“A case under section 188 (disobedience of an official order) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the company based in Gurgaon, Haryana,” a Delhi Police statement said.

BJP accuses UPA government of misusing IB

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday accused the UPA government of misusing the Intelligence Bureau for political gains, saying the agency is made to withdraw affidavits as and when the home minister changes.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the party has cautioned repeatedly that the misuse of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was rampant under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.

“We fear the Intelligence Bureau too is being misused by the UPA government,” she said.

Speeding bus kills engineer in Delhi

A 26-year-old engineer was killed after being hit by a bus here Friday morning, police said.

Bhagwan was going to his office when a Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus knocked down his motorcycle near M.B. Road in Saket area in south Delhi.

He was taken to All India Institute of Medical Science hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Bus driver Rai Singh has been arrested.


BJP asks Jogi to depose before judicial panel

Saying that there were “conspiracy theories from the Congress household” doing rounds regarding the last week’s Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh, the BJP Friday demanded that former chief minister Ajit Jogi testify before the panel probing the incident.

“The Congress rumour mills are active… Conspiracy theories are coming out of the Congress household,” Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Petrol price hiked by 75 paise per litre, diesel by 50 paise

Indian Oil Corp Friday hiked petrol price by 75 paise per litre and that of diesel by 50 paise per litre, both rates excluding local taxes, effective midnight, it was officially announced.

IOC said the increase is required mainly due to depreciation of the rupee from Rs.54.26 to Rs.55.32 per US dollar.

The price of petrol was last revised on May 1 — downwards by Rs.2.50 a litre

Oil marketing companies have been authorised to increase the retail selling price of diesel within a small range every month.

Chinese president leaves for three-nation visit, Obama meeting

President Xi Jinping left Friday morning for state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico , as well as a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Xi is making the visits at the invitation of President of Trinidad and Tobago Anthony Carmona, President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.S. President Barack Obama.

Tunisia fines female activist for illegal possession of pepper spray

A Tunisian member of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen was fined for the pepper spray charge, the official TAP press agency reported Friday.

Amina Sboui, known by her pseudonym Tyler, appeared in court in the Tunisian holy city of Kairouan on Thursday. She was sentenced to pay 300 dinar (about 200 U.S. dollars) fine on the charge of illegal possession of pepper spray.

The 19-year-old activist, who triggered controversy in Tunisia two months ago by posting topless pictures of herself online, was remanded in custody and will go on trial for two other charges on June 5.

139 political parties register for Nov. polls in Nepal

One hundred thirty nine political parties have been registered at Nepal’s Election Commission (EC) for new Constituent Assembly (CA) election that government plans to hold in November.

Out of the 139 political parties, 76 are new ones that were not in existence during the 2008 CA election. CPN-Maoist, a breakaway faction of UCPN (Maoist), has not registered its party at EC saying that election is not possible under the current circumstances.

“As election is not possible under current political situation, we did not register the party,” CPN-Maoist Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal told Xinhua.

Roadside bomb kills Pakistani soldier

A Pakistani soldier was killed and three others were injured in a roadside bomb blast near the North Waziristan tribal region Friday morning, security officials said.

A vehicle of the Bomb Disposal Squad was hit by a landmine at Jani Khel, a town at the edge of North Waziristan, killing a soldier on the spot.

Members of the squad were scanning the area for the convoy of security forces when the blast occurred.

The vehicle was completely destroyed in the blast. The injured were taken to a military hospital in Bannu, a main city in the region.

UN panel recommends ‘ambitious’ roadmap to curb extreme poverty by 2030

United Nations (UN) has chalked out roadmaps to combat world’s major challenges, especially poverty and plans to eradicate extreme poverty in all countries by 2030.

The UN panel appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last year has recommended the development agenda to cut extreme poverty by half, stop the

HIV/AIDS pandemic and increase the number of people with access to clean water and sanitation, Fox News reports.

HRD Ministry constitutes National Testing Agency

The HRD Ministry has decided to set up a seven-member task force under the chairmanship of Ex-Director IIT Prof. Sanjay Dhande to prepare a blue print for creating a special purpose vehicle to take the concept of National Testing Agency (NTA) forward.

The task force will have the representatives from CBSE, UGC, NCERT, AICTE and from the HRD Ministry.

President Mukherjee lauds contribution of armed forces

President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said the contribution of the armed forces in strengthening our democratic polity and pluralistic society is unique.

President Mukherjee, who attended the seventh convocation of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) here today, speaking on the occassion said ‘our country desires a stable and rule-based international system’.