Flash floods and landslips triggered by the monsoon fury left eight more persons dead, taking the number of people killed in calamity-hit Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh to 138 even as 2700 pilgrims and locals were rescued from Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts.
Speak about terrorism being made into a political tool, and there cannot be a better case than the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. In his interrogation, 26/11 convict David Headley told the National Investigation Agency that Ishrat was a fidayeen, in 2010. Despite this fact, the home ministry allegedly asked the NIA to not include this angle in the Headley probe. Vicky Nanjappa finds out why.
The Delhi government has decided to refer to the Union home ministry a decision on the execution of death row convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar following a medical board report that he is under severe mental depression.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting that the situation in Uttarakhand is better than what it was on Tuesday and Food Minister K V Thomas is taking steps to rush more food grains to the flood-hit Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
The Republican-controlled United States House of Representatives has approved a legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most stringent pro-life bills to pass a Congressional chamber in a decade.
The 50th International Paris Air Show, which began on Monday at the Le Bourget exhibition centre, will culminate on June 23 and will bring together all the aviation industry's players across the globe to showcase the latest technological innovations. More than 2100 exhibitors from 45 countries are showcasing their flying wonders in the 192,000 square metres of exhibition space.
The Taliban today claimed an audacious attack in Afghanistan that killed four US troops mere hours after Washington said it would talk to the insurgents about ending more than a decade of war.The deadly rocket attack on Bagram, Afghanistans biggest US-led military base just north of Kabul, was a stark reminder of the potency of an Islamist insurgency that has time and again hit major targets.Prior to the Bagram attack, US President Barack Obama had welcomed the planned talks in Qatar as an important first step. But he warned of a bumpy road ahead as NATO troops enter the final stage of a 12-year foreign intervention.Last night two big rockets were launched at Bagram (air base) which hit the target, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP by telephone.Four soldiers are dead and six others are wounded. The rockets caused a major fire.A US defence official confirmed that four Americans were killed in the attack, but provided no further details.The Taliban broke off contact with the Americans last year and have always refused to negotiate with Kabul. Yesterday, they unveiled an office in Qatar to open dialogue between the Taliban and the world. Their statement, however, made no direct reference to peace talks.Yesterday also saw NATOs formal transfer of responsibility for security to the Afghan police and army. About 100,000 foreign combat troops, 68,000 of them from the US, are due to withdraw by the end of next year.A divided insurgency is also likely to complicate talks, amid doubts as to whether the Haqqani network of warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former CIA asset turned Al-Qaeda ally, is ready to embrace negotiation.A Taliban spokesman in Qatar, Mohammad Sohail Shaheen, confirmed before the Bagram strike that the armed group would continue to attack US targets in Afghanistan at the same time as holding any talks.There is no ceasefire (with the US) now. They are attacking us and we are attacking them, Shaheen told the Al-Jazeera news channel, adding that the Taliban simultaneously follows political and military options.Obama insisted the Taliban would have to renounce ties to Al-Qaeda, halt violence and commit to the protection of women and minorities. He warned that US-led NATO forces remain fully committed to battling Al-Qaeda.An Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process is the best way to end the violence and to ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and the region, Obama said on the sidelines of a G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Assuming charge of the Railway Ministry, Mallikarjun Kharge today said he would hold a discussion with officials on issues being faced by the national transporter before deciding on priorities.I will discuss the issues and then I will have to decide on priorities, Kharge said after assuming charge at Rail Bhawan.Asked about his priorities, he said, Unless I talk to them (officers) and discuss the issues I will not comment.Kharge, an MP from Gulbarga constituency in Karnataka, is the sixth Railway Minister in the last four years.His immediate predecessor Pawan Kumar Bansal had to quit last month in the wake of cash-for-post scam in railways.Asked about the vacancies in the Railway Board, Kharge said, All these things are there. I will discuss with them (officers) as to what can be done within a shortspan of time.Though he was given the responsibility of railways day before yesterday, the Karnataka Congress veteran took charge today.Railways have to show some urgency in shortlisting the possible names for the key posts in Railway Board and submit them to the DoPT for consideration.Currently, Member Staff Mahesh Kumar is behind the bars and under suspension as he is accused of bribing Vijay Singla, nephew of former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, for a top post in Railways.Besides, the post of Member Traffic is vacant while Chairman Railway Board Vinay Mittal and Financial Commissioner Vijaykanth are retiring on June 30.Besides filling up vacant posts, he has to decide on the constitution of the long-pending Rail Tariff Authority also.
CBI sources said a case has been lodged against Rathi Steel and Power Limited, its Director Udit Rathi and unknown others for alleged cheating and misrepresentation of facts while applying for a coal block.
Five-time champion Venus Williams announced that she has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to injury.Williams, who has fallen to 34th in the world rankings, posted on her Facebook page that an injury will keep her out of competition until next month, reports Xinhua.Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in Wimbledon this year. I am extremely disappointed as I have always loved the Championships, but I need to take time to let my back heal, wrote the American Monday, celebrating her 33rd birthday.Williams won at the All England Club in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008. Last year, she lost in the first round for the first time since she made her debut at Wimbledon in 1997.She had been expected to make her 17th straight appearance at the tournament.I look forward to returning to the courts as soon as possible. Many thanks to my fans for the love and support and I will be seeing you very soon back on the courts, Venus said.Williams has four further Wimbledon doubles titles to her name, all won with her sister Serena.
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai distanced himself from U.S. peace talks with Taliban insurgents that are likely to begin on Thursday, and, as a mark of displeasure, said the government was suspending negotiations with Washington over a troop agreement.
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