Russia gets two Putin New Year speeches after ‘glitch’

Russians today heard two different versions of President Vladimir Putin’s New Year’s address after a “technical glitch” meant some inhabitants of the Far East watched a pre-recorded broadcast that made no mention of the Volgograd suicide attacks.

The Far Eastern Kamchatka, Chukotka and Magadan regions, which are eight hours ahead of Moscow, were shown a version that showed Putin speaking from within the Kremlin walls in Moscow.

Indian diplomat’s UN application review still on, says US

The US is still reviewing the application for the transfer of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade to UN and issue the necessary documents for full diplomatic immunity, a top official said here, giving no timeline for its decision.

“It is under review. We cannot predict when that review will be complete,” said a State Department spokesperson yesterday in response to a question on the status of the UN request to grant full diplomatic status to Khobragade.

Salary of embassy staff based upon prevailing local wages: US

The US has said that the salary of its embassy staff in countries around the world is based on prevailing wages in conjunction with the local law.

“Generally, compensation plans for locally employed staff at US Missions abroad are based upon prevailing wage rates and compensation practices for corresponding types of positions in the employment locality,” a State Department Spokesperson said yesterday.

The spokesperson was responding to a question on whether the US Embassy complies with local wage laws.

Lalu meets Sonia Gandhi, offers alliance in Bihar

Lalu meets Sonia Gandhi, offers alliance in Bihar
PTI [ Updated 31 Dec 2013, 21:18:35 ]
Lalu meets Sonia Gandhi, offers alliance in Bihar

New Delhi: RJD chief Lalu Prasad today met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and later vowed not to repeat the 2009 mistake of allowing breakdown of alliance with Congress.

After the nearly 10-minute meeting, Prasad said Gandhi has said she will meet him again this month to discuss with him the issue of alliance.

Kejriwal announces 50 percent tariff cut in electricity bills up to 400 units

Delivering on yet another poll promise, the Aam Aadmi government today announced a 50 per cent subsidy on power consumption up to 400 units in Delhi and was well on course to ordering a CAG audit into the finances of three private power distribution companies.

The decision to subsidise power tariff, which will involve a cash outgo of Rs 61 crores in the next three months, was announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after a meeting of the cabinet.

The subsidy, one of the major promises of AAP during the Assembly elections, will benefit 28 lakh consumers.

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Estimated Rs 7,700 crore worth realty NPAs up for sale: Report

Indicating the worsening stress on the realty sector, an estimated Rs 7,700 crore worth of commercial and residential properties loans are up for sale, according to an industry report.

Data compiled by, a portal that focuses on resolution of stressed assets, shows that there are around 2,200 units in the commercial category and nearly 11,000 units in the residential segment funded by banks and other financial institutions and valued at over Rs 7,700 crore, which have turned NPAs and are on the block.