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Arvind Kejriwal agrees to submit personal bail bond in defamation case - 5/27/2014

Indian Express

Former Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal today accepted the suggestion of the Delhi High Court to furnish a personal bond for getting bail in a criminal defamation case filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and advocate Prashant Bhushan, who met Kejriwal in Tihar Jail in the afternoon to discuss the court’s suggestion, told a bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta that he has agreed to the proposal and has signed a bond of Rs 10,000

The bench asked Kejriwal’s lawyers to present the bond to the magistrate concerned or duty magistrate today itself, adding that furnishing of the same would be subject to final outcome of the legal issues raised by him.

Earlier today, the Court told Prashant and Shanti Bhushan to advise Kejriwal to submit a personal bond in the case. The AAP leader was sent to judicial custody after his refusal to furnish a bail bond.

The bench of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Sunita Gupta said it will look into the legal challenge to the demand for bail bond later. “Why do you want him to stay in jail? Submit the personal bond and seek his release. We will look at the legal issues,” said the HC bench.

The court gave special permission to Bhushans to meet Kejriwal outside the Tihar jail. Advocate Pinki Anand appearing for Nitin Gadkari said the AAP wants special laws for themselves. “Kejriwal should not be allowed to issue statements to the media from jail. No procedure is being followed,” added Anand.

On May 21, the court had granted bail to Kejriwal in the defamation complaint, saying the offence under Section 500 of IPC was bailable and had asked him to furnish a personal bond.

He, however, was taken into custody after he refused to give the bail bond, saying the case was politically motivated and he does not wish to seek bail. He had said that he was ready to give an undertaking that he would appear in the court whenever required. (With PTI inputs)

Modi Government's First Decision: Special Investigation Team on Black Money - 5/27/2014

NDTV   Complying with the Supreme Court directive, the new government on its first day in office today constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to bring back black money stashed abroad.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I want to share two issues which were discussed at the meeting today. It is a matter a great satisfaction that we have constituted a SIT (Special Investigation Team) to bring back black money as per Supreme Court orders," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a briefing later.

"This indicates the commitment of the new government of India," Mr Prasad said adding that the SIT will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice MB Shah.

The Supreme Court, which appointed the two judges, had last week granted the government time till Wednesday to set up the SIT.

"Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the last date (for setting up of SIT), therefore the very first agenda in accordance with its policy commitment was to have this very high-profile SIT," Mr Prasad said.

It was a busy day for Mr Modi who left Gujarat Bhawan early on Tuesday morning for his South Block office, where he laid rose petals and bowed before a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi. He then sat at his table and signed papers.

His first tweet of the day was a tribute to India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who died on May 27, 50 years ago.
The new Prime Minister had begun work soon after being sworn in on Monday evening, meeting senior officials of his government. He hasn't shifted yet to the official residence of the Prime Minister at 7 Race Course Road and will reportedly stay at the Gujarat Bhawan for a few more days. (Meet Narendra Modi's Council of Ministers)

With his new External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj by his side, Mr Modi held a series of meetings this morning with the South Asian leaders who attended his oath ceremony at Delhi's Hyderabad House.

The highlight was his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in which both leaders took tentative steps forward and deciding that their foreign secretaries would be in touch, or meet, to discuss how to resume talks suspended since January, 2013. Mr Modi, however, also talked tough on terror and raised the slow pace of the 26/11 trial in Pakistan. (In Meeting With Sharif, PM Modi Raises Terror, 26/11 Attacks)

In Mr Modi's top four ministries are BJP chief Rajnath Singh, who is Home Minister and Number 2 in government. Last evening, he took oath immediately after Mr Modi. He was followed by Ms Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. Mr Jaitley will be Finance Minister and will also have additional charge of Defence.

Before meeting his new ministers, Mr Modi also called on his predecessor Manmohan Singh.

Either Article 370 will exist, or J&K won't be a part of India, Omar Abdullah tweets - 5/27/2014

TOI NEW DELHI: A statement by minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office, Jitendra Singh, on Tuesday sparked the new government's first controversy when he said the Narendra Modi government was open to debate on Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir,while making it clear that efforts would be made through this exercise to "convince" the "unconvinced".

Soon after, Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah strongly objected to the minister's statement and tweeted, "So the new MOS PMO says process/discussions to revoke Art 370 have started. Wow, that was a quick beginning. Not sure who is talking."

He went on to add, "Mark my words & save this tweet - long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either J&K won't be part of India or Art 370 will still exist."

"Art 370 is the ONLY constitutional link between J&K & rest of India. Talk of revocation of not just ill informed it's irresponsible," he added.

NDTV later quoted Jitendra Singh as saying, "the statement on Article 370 has been misquoted, the controversy is totally baseless,"

Repeating the stand of Modi during his rally in December last year, Singh, a first time Parliament member and a surprise choice as minister of state in the PMO, had earlier in the day said, "his (Modi's) intention and that of the government is that we have a debate so that we can convince the unconvinced about the disadvantages of Article 370," PTI reported.

"If we do not have debate and discussion how would you be able to tell those who have been unable to understand what they have been deprived of on account of Article 370," he said after taking over as minister of state in-charge of department of personnel and training, which has administrative control over the CBI.

READ ALSO: Govt open to debate on Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir: PMO

57-year-old Singh said Article 370 was more of a psychological barrier than a physical one and added that the Modi-led government was open to debate with all stakeholders, including youths, pros and cons of retaining or withdrawing the Article.

Singh said Modi supports debate on Article 370 keeping in mind democratic values. "The Prime Minister had said we want to have a debate. This does not mean that we want to have a debate because certain section of media interpreted that Prime Minister deviated from its stand. It's not so. He said so with respect to the highest values of democratic system."

Singh, a doctor by profession, noted that BJP has won half of the six Lok Sabha seats from Jammu & Kashmir. "You see BJP has won half of the seats in Parliament from J&K. While BJP won three seats, PDP bagged the remaining three.

"If you take voter account, we have more that 50 per cent vote share, he said."

Singh said his party has been inviting all stakeholders to get on board and succeeded to a greater extent in the Valley particularly with the youth. He said people in J&K need to have an outlet. "A mainstream opposition outlet to dissent which we would not stifle because if you stifle that, that will lead them to an undemocratic outlet.

"But within that framework we also want to explain to them how they have been deprived of enormous advantage which the other states of this country have enjoyed because they were not under the constraint of Article 370. Please remember that Article 370 off late has been more of a psychological barrier than a physical barrier," he said.

Singh, who won from Udhampur constituency in Jammu & Kashmir, said the BJP has already gained considerable success through its discussion with all stakeholders on Article 370.

"We have tried to interact with them (stakeholders) through media, through discussion and through seminars. We have already gained considerable success in this," the minister said.

Asked whether discussions have been held with Kashmiri youths and separatists, Singh said the process is already on.

"No youth has separatist written on his forehead. We have tried to convince the youths of Kashmir that look here if you have a grievance against the Government of India, that does not necessarily make you a separatist and if it is done then it is unfair to them," said Singh.

Singh said J&K has come out of a difficult phase of militancy which was there for last 20-25 years and it appears that there is normalcy. "Our efforts will be to support it. The youth section there is demoralized due to unemployment and many other reasons, due to militancy.

"Our efforts would be to ensure sufficient opportunities of employment to them. For example, Narendra Modi has clearly said that he will take forward the initiatives started by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with regard to J&K," he said.

Modi's team: Jaitley gets finance, defence; Rajnath home, Sushma MEA - 5/26/2014

TOI NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Monday sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India along with his key colleagues in the Cabinet.

According to ANI some TV channels, some of his key minister are senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley who has been given the charge of finance ministry and additional charge of the defence ministry in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Apart from Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj has been given charge of ministry of external affairs and Rajnath Singh was given charge of the home ministry.

This is the list of ministers as given by ANI and some TV channels: 

Sushma Swaraj — Ministry of external affairs

Ananth Kumar — Parliamentary affairs and additional charge of chemicals and fertilizers

Nitin Gadkari — Surface transport ministry and shipping ministry

Sadanand Gowda — Railways ministry

Venkaiah Naidu — Urban development ministry and parliamentary affairs

Ravi Shankar Prasad — Telecom ministry, law and justice ministry

Maneka Gandhi — Women and child development ministry

Najma Heptulla — Ministry of minorities

Smriti Irani - Human resource development ministry

Radha Mohan Singh — Agriculture ministry

Nirmala Sitharaman — Ministry of state for commerce

Piyush Goel - Minister of state power (independent)

Prakash Javadekar — Minister of state information & broadcasting

Ram Vilas Paswan — Food and civil supplies ministry

Rajnath Singh — Minister for home affairs

Arun Jaitley — Finance ministry and additional charge of the defence ministry

Uma Bharati — Union minister for water resources and Ganga

Jual Oram — Cabinet minister for tribal affairs.

Narendra Modi Sworn In as India's 15th Prime Minister - 5/26/2014

NDTV Narendra Modi Sworn In as India's 15th Prime Minister

New DelhiNarendra Damodar Modi, 63, took oath as India's Prime Minister on Monday evening. Almost 4000 people were present at the ceremony held in the forecourt of the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan. Lakhs more, including Mr Modi's mother, watched on television.

Minutes after he was sworn in a new website of the Prime Minister's Office was launched with a short first message from Mr Modi. "On 16th May 2014 the people of India gave their verdict. They delivered a mandate for development, good governance and stability. As we devote ourselves to take India's development journey to newer heights, we seek your support, blessings and active participation."

The new PM also said, "Together we will script a glorious future for India. Let us together dream of a strong, developed and inclusive India that actively engages with the global community to strengthen the cause of world peace and development." He promised in his signed message to use the "website as a very important medium of direct communication between us."

Mr Modi invited leaders from eight South Asian neighbours to his swearing-in ceremony, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, an unprecedented gesture that was as much a show of his determination to be a key player on the global stage as a celebration of his stunning election victory 10 days ago.

At Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mr Sharif sat next to Mr Modi's predecessor, Manmohan Singh. On Dr Singh's other side was Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mauritian Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan and Bangladesh parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin also attended.

In the audience were two former presidents, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi of the defeated Congress, top industrialists, Bollywood actors and saints and seers in saffron robes. 

BJP president Rajnath Singh will be Mr Modi's number 2 in government as Home Minister and took oath immediately after him. He was followed by senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. Mr Jaitley will be Finance Minister and will also have additional charge of Defence.

Ms Swaraj will be Minister for External Affairs. 

On Sunday, Mr Modi promised that he would head a lean Cabinet with a focus on "minimum government and maximum governance". On Monday evening, after he had seen off visiting dignitaries and the crowds began to melt, the PM posed for a group photo with his team - at 45 ministers the leanest council of ministers yet. 

There are 23 ministers of Cabinet rank, 10 Ministers of State with Independent charge and 12 Ministers of State in the new union council of ministers. The oldest is Najma Heptulla, 74, the youngest Smriti Irani, 38.

Saudi employer 'pours boiling water on Filipino maid' - 5/21/2014


A horrific picture of a Filipina maid left savagely burned after her Saudi boss allegedly threw boiling water on her has been posted on Facebook by her cousin.

The Daily Mail reports the maid's employer was punishing her for not making coffee quickly enough.

The maid, 23, only received treatment in a Riyadh hospital hours later, when she was able to get nurses to call her cousin for help.

She is now being cared for by The Philippine Embassy, the Mail has reported.

The scalding happened because her employer's mother was angry at not getting her coffee quickly enough, according to ABS-CBN News.

The Facebook post read: This is my cousin, who works as a domestic helper in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, according to the Mail.

Her female Saudi employer poured boiling water on her. She has only been in Riyadh for two months.

She was beaten up within five days of her arrival by her male employer and was sometimes deprived of food.

She was only taken to the hospital six hours after boiling water was poured on her.

She was then taken home to continue working despite her extensive injuries.

Mangalore: Mount Carmel Central School, Mary Hill gets 100% Results in SSLC - 5/20/2014


Mangalore, May 20, 2014 : Mount Carmel Central School, Mary Hill, here secured 100 percent results in SSLC (CBSE) exams held recently. 

Five students with the topmost – 10 CGPA grade are Ajay Bhat, Ashritha M Rai, G Deeksha Prasad, Mohammed Nifson Yusuf and Neethika D’Mello.


Out of the total of 40 students appeared for the exams, 20 students secured distinction with 85 percent marks each, and rest of 20 students passed with first class with 60 percent.


Epic flooding in Balkans raises fears about landmines surfacing - 5/19/2014

cnn (CNN) -- As if the deadly flooding inundating much of the Balkans wasn't alarming enough, rescuers must now grapple with another concern: the risk of landmines from the Bosnian war resurfacing.

"A vast number of landslides have worsened the situation and relief efforts,"the Red Cross said, describing the rains as the "worst floods in more than a century."

"There are reports that landmines buried during the conflict and not yet removed are in some instances being shifted with the landslides, adding (to) the dangers of people living in the areas as well as rescuers," the Red Cross said.

The mammoth flooding has already killed at least two dozen people in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Massive swaths of Croatia are also submerged.

Photos: Record flooding in Balkans Photos: Record flooding in Balkans

Even though the intense rainfall is subsiding Monday, the disaster is far from over. CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said flooding in the region will last at least another week -- and in some places, it could get worse.

The Serbian capital of Belgrade, for example, sits at the crux of the swollen Sava and Danube rivers. As water rushes downstream, the flood level in Belgrade is expected to rise through Thursday, Javaheri said.

Bosnian President Bakir Izetbegovic said his country is facing an unmeasurable crisis.

Map: Areas affected by the floodsMap: Areas affected by the floods

"This is the worst thing that we've faced after the war, that we had 20 years ago," he told CNN's Christian Amanpour. "In some cities, in some villages in Northern Bosnia, there are 2 or 3 meters of water. So the rivers are out, and now it looks like lakes."

The water has caused landslides throughout Bosnia.

"The landslides are absolutely destroying the country. We have registered up to 2,000," said Dr. Zlatko Lagumdzija, Bosina's minister of foreign affairs.

After a day of assessments, property damage alone is estimated a $1.37 billion (1 billion euros) said Elvir Camdzic, a presidential adviser.

"When combined with the overall economic losses due to the flooding, the full scale of the damage will be measured in billions of euros," Camdzic said.

'Happy that we didn't drown'

In Serbia alone, more than 24,000 people have evacuated to escape water that is chest-high in some areas.

"People were in a panic, running," an evacuee told CNN affiliate N1 in Belgrade, Serbia. "I left with a kid. I was really happy that we didn't drown."

The woman's house is now flooded, and she says she has no idea where she will live.

But many Serbians wouldn't budge.

"Some people simply do not want to leave their homes," said Novica Biorac, a volunteer from a rafting club in Raska. "We are trying to convince them to leave, but it's very difficult."

Deadly situation

The Serbian government said at least 12 bodies have been found in the town of Obrenovac, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the capital of Belgrade. But one of the 12 was someone who had already died "of natural causes," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said.

One of the deceased was a rescuer, said Dragan Radovanovic, president of the Serbian branch of the Red Cross.

Authorities estimate that 90% of Obrenovac has been flooded.

Serbia's not alone. In nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina, at least 13 people have died, Deputy Minister of Security Samir Agic said. The catastrophic weather has prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnian authorities say the flooded town of Maglaj received the average rainfall for two months in less than two days.

The epic flooding is the worst Serbia has seen since the country began keeping records 120 years ago, meteorologists said.

"Many cities and villages in western Serbia are completely under water," the Serbian Embassy in Washington said in a statement Sunday, describing the situation as an "unimaginable catastrophe."

Fighting the flood

Soldiers, rescue workers and volunteers rushed to stack sandbags in towns near rivers throughout Serbia.

The Sava River has already reached 6.3 meters (20.7 feet) -- a historic high, the Serbian government said. The Prime Minister said workers have erected a dam 7.3 meters (24 feet) tall in the area of Sabac.

In Kostolac, along the Danube River, workers built sandbag walls to protect a thermal power plant -- one that the energy minister called the most important power facility in Serbia. The plant produces 20% of the nation's power.

The Prime Minister thanked countries that have already come to Serbia's aid. He said he was especially grateful to members of the Russian special forces, including one member who swam 200 meters (656 feet) in cold water to save several people.

But rescuers fear what might be found after the floodwaters subside. Officials expect the death toll to rise.

Nitish Kumar's decision to resign as Bihar CM is final, Sharad Yadav says - 5/19/2014


New Delhi LS seat won by woman candidate after 54 years - 5/18/2014

Indian Express

The New Delhi Lok Sabha seat has been bagged by a woman candidate after a gap of 54 years.

In the just-concluded elections for the 16th Lok Sabha, BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi defeated sitting MP and Congress heavyweight Ajay Maken from New Delhi seat by a huge margin.

Lawyer-turned-politician Lekhi, is the second woman to have gained victory on this seat after freedom fighter and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Sucheta Kriplani.

Kriplani was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1952 and 1957 from the same constituency.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had won from the New Delhi LS seat in 1977 on a Janata party ticket. He managed to retain the seat in 1980 but on a BJP ticket.

In 1984, KC Pant of the Congress was declared elected from New Delhi. In the next two subsequent elections (1989 and 1991), the seat was wrested from the Congress by BJP’s L K Advani.

In the subsequent by-election in 1992, cinestar Rajesh Khanna defeated Advani and bagged the seat on a Congress ticket. However, he lost to senior BJP leader Jagmohan in the 1996 elections who retained the seat in the next elections as well.

Jagmohan was defeated by Congress’ Ajay Maken who dominated the seat from 2004 to 2014 and was defeated by Meenakshi Lekhi this time.

Lekhi secured 4,53,350 votes, followed by AAP’s Ashish Khaitan finishing second with 2,90,642 votes and Congress’ Ajay Maken managing a mere 1,82,893 to end up third.

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