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Cash transfer scheme: Centre says it has not violated any election code of condu ct Dec 3, 9:22 PM Government

said it had not violated any election code of conduct in connection w ith its ambitious direct cash transfer scheme as it was announced in the budget speech by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Monday, Telecom minister Kapil Sibal said direct cash transfer is only an implementation of an announcement that has alrea dy been made. Mr Sibal said the government would file a detailed reply on the questions raised by the Election Commission on the issue. The Commission had on Sunday conveyed its unhappiness to the government over ann ouncement of its direct cash transfer scheme when the Model Code was in force in poll-bound Gujarat. The Election Commission is likely to decide tomorrow whether the government viol ated the model code of conduct by announcing direct cash transfer scheme while G ujarat goes to poll in two phase on 13th and 17th of this month. The opposition BJP has filed a complaint with Commission alleging that the annou ncement of the direct cash transfer scheme violates the model code of conduct. The government submitted its written explanation to the Commission, which had de manded a response by 4 pm Monday. The government has reportedly reiterated that the scheme is an old one that was announced months ago when then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented this year's union budget. // SC restores limit of 200 SMSes per day per SIM Dec 3, 9:23 PM The Supreme Court has stayed Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal ,TDSAT's order, which had quashed the sector regulator TRAI's circular limiting the number of SMSes to 200 per day per SIM. In a brief hearing on Monday, a bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi stayed the t ribunal's order and issued notice to late Bal Thackeray's grandson Aditya on who se plea TDSAT had passed the order. The apex court passed the order on an appeal filed by TRAI challenging tribunal' s order and asked Thackeray to respond to regulator's plea within six weeks. With today's stay order, the sector regulator can enforce the circular till the apex court vacates its stay on the verdict by the TDSAT. TDSAT had on July 17th termed the ceiling on SMSes as arbitrary and against the right of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution and had set aside the sector regulator TRAI's circular. // SC raps Sahara group for not refunding investor's money

Dec 3, 9:23 PM The Supreme Court on Monday rapped Sahara group for not refunding Rs 27,000 cror e to investors, who had put their money into its two companies. A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir asked Sahara India Real Estate Cor poration Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) to tell on Tu esday whether they would be able to refund the entire amount to their investors within a week. Justice Kabir said the firms' plea does not merit any hearing. The bench, however, granted a day's time to the two firms to inform it if they w ould be able to refund the money or not. Market regulator SEBI has also opposed Sahara's petition and submitted that it h as already filed a contempt petition against them and said that a strong action should be taken against them. // Lankan navy captures 37 Indian fishermen, 5 boats off Pulmoddai

Dec 3 Sri Lankan navy today captured 37 Indian fishermen and 5 boats off Pulmoddai. Th ey have been detained at the Navy camp in Trincomalee for further questioning. Speaking to All India Radio, Navy Spokesperson Commander Kosala said that the fi shermen would be handed over to Harbor Police for further legal action. He claimed that the fishing boats had come deep inside Sri Lankan waters when th e arrests were made. On November 22, four Indian fishermen were allegly attacks from Sri Lanka Navy. But the Sri Lankan authorities subsequently denied the charges. // Ranjit Sinha takes over as CBI Director

Dec 3 Senior IPS officer Ranjit Sinha on Monday took over as the new CBI Director and said he would lay special emphasis on addressing delays in execution of Letters Rogatory and improving forensic capabilities of the agency. Addressing the media after assuming charge, Sinha said he was aware of challenge s facing the agency like shortage of manpower, delays in execution of Letters Ro gatory and in the forensic field and would try to address them during his tenure . To a question whether the CBI Director should have a five-year fixed tenure, he said it is a policy matter and at present it is a two-year tenure. Delving on the rigours associated with the job, Sinha said in his opening remark s that public and constitutional courts have reposed faith in the agency and thi

s bond would be strengthened under his supervision. A 1974-batch Bihar cadre officer, Sinha, who is also holding charge as Director General Indo-Tibetan Border Police, succeeds A P Singh who retired on November 3 0th. 59-year old Sinha, who will have a two-year tenure, had served in the agency as DIG and Joint Director during his earlier stints. // Modernisation of Chinese Navy cause of concern, says Navy Chief

Dec 3 Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi made it clear that India will protect its interests in the disputed South China Sea, even if it means sending forces there. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Admiral Joshi said the mod ernisation of Chinese Navy is truly impressive and actually a major cause of con cern for India. Admiral Joshi said the Indian Navy continuously evaluate and work out options an d strategies. // Centre starts scheme named Ganga Action Plan to clean Ganga

Dec 3 The Central government has started a mega scheme named Ganga Action Plan to clea n the river Ganga. One billion dollars have been approved from the World Bank to fund an eight-year project. The focus is on clearing large stretches of the riv er heavily polluted by industrial effluents and domestic waste. The accumulation of silt deposit, discharge of industrial effluents and domestic waste along the banks has worried the environmentalists along with the shrinkin g size of the river.In Kanpur Utterpradesh and in Patna Bihar campaigns have bee n launched. // CMDC describes de-allocation of coal block as unfair

Dec 3 Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation -CMDC has described de-allocation o f its coal block as "unfair". AIR Correspondent reports that CMDC, Managing Director Prem Kumar said that it w ill take up the matter with Union Coal Ministry besides considering legal measur es if required. The Ministry of Coal de-allocated Shankarpur (Bhatgaon-II) & Ext coal block allo cated to CMDC and directed forfeiture of 50 per cent of bank guarantee. Both these coal blocks were in the centre of a controversy after the CMDC entere d into a joint venture of Nagpur based SMS Infrastructure of BJP leader Ajay San cheti.

Sancheti is known to be close to BJP President Mr. Nitin Gadkari. Meanwhile , Pr adesh Congress Committee of Chhattisgarh demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter. // Kamal Nath: Govt committed to Constitution Amendment Bill on SC/ST promotions in govt jobs Dec 3 Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has said the government is committed t o the Constitution Amendment Bill on promotions for Scheduled Castes and Schedul ed Tribes in government jobs. Talking to reporters outside Parliament today, Mr Nath said the Constitution Amendment Bill is pending before the Rajya Sabha. Mr Nath urged all political parties to keep politics away from the debate on For eign Direct Investment (FDI). He said that this is the first time that FDI polic y has been announced by the government which enables the states to avail it. // National disability awards function postponed Dec 3 The national disability awards function scheduled to be held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi this evening, has been postponed in view of the state mourning due to the demise of former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has informed that the new date for the award ceremony will be announced later and communicated to the awardees and invitees. // Admiral Gorshkov likely to be commissioned by end of 2013: Navy chief Dec 3 The much-awaited aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, currently undergoing trials in Russia, is likely to be commissioned in Indian Navy by the end of next year. Addressing the annual Navy Day press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Navy chi ef Admiral D K Joshi said that a good news for the nation regarding indigenously developed nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant will be made very soon. The vessel was expected to be launched for sea trials soon as part of efforts to wards completing India's nuclear triad and achieving a credible and invulnerable retaliatory strike capability. Accepting that the development of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) too has been delayed, Admiral Joshi said that the project is finally picking up pace at the Kochi shipyard. On future inductions in the force in the next one year, he said, Kolkata-class d estroyer, one P-28 Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette, one Catamaran Hull Survey Ve ssel, one Offshore Patrol Vessel and sixteen Fast Interceptor Craft are likely t o be inducted by next year. // NHRC notice to Rly Board Chairman for arrest of person with dementia

Dec 3 The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, on Monday issued notice to the Chair man of the Railway Board on a report alleging that a person with mild dementia a nd impaired speech was arrested by the Railway Protection Force on 2nd of last m onth. The police did not allow him to contact his family. Taking a suo motu cognizance of media reports, the NHRC asked the Chairman to su bmit a report within four weeks in this regard. Reportedly, the person was found traveling on the Ranaghat-Sealdah ladies specia l in violation of the rules and he could not pay the fine of Rs 500. // LS speaker calls for implementation of schemes for welfare of disabled Dec 3 Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called for implementation of legislative provi sions for welfare of disabilities in the right spirit so that benefits reach tar get groups. Interacting with a group of differently-abled children in New Delhi on the occas ion of International Day for persons with disabilities, Ms. Kumar said all effor ts should be made to ensure the mainstreaming of persons with disabilities to en able them to purposefully contribute to national and social life. The Speaker also urged them to have a strong will-power to dismantle barriers th at impede their march towards progress. // India-China hold border talks in Beijing

Dec 3 National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon today held talks in Bejing with seni or Chinese diplomat and his counterpart for the boundary negotiations Dai Binggu o and discussed wide-ranging bilateral issues. Menon, who arrived yesterday on a three-day visit, met Dai at the Diaoyutai Stat e Guesthouse and the two officials along with their delegations held talks on th e border dispute as well on other issues. He is also expected to meet some of China's new leaders elected during the last month's Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China to succeed the outgoing administration headed by President Hu Jintao. The NSA is expected to call on Vice Premier Li Keqiang, the number two leader in the seven member new Standing Committee of the party, headed by General Secreta ry Xi Jinping, who succeeded Hu. Li is tipped to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao when he steps down in March after whi ch a new administration headed by Xi would assume power formally. Besides talks with Chinese leaders, Menon will also release the book of Chinese translation of the works of Prof P C Bagchi, regarded as India's most eminent sc

holar on Chinese culture. He would also deliver a talk on India-China relations at the Indian Embassy in Bejing on December 4. // Left parties vow to continue struggle against UPA on FDI in retail Dec 3 Opposing FDI in retail, Left parties on Monday asserted that their struggle agai nst the UPA government on this issue will not end with a vote in Parliament but will spill over to the streets and continue till the policy is rolled back. The Left parties were also critical of SP and BSP which have not made clear thei r stand on a vote against FDI in retail in both houses of Parliament, alleging t hat the government appears to have arranged votes through wholesale trading. Addressing a Convention Against FDI in Multi-brand Retail Trade, leaders of all four Left parties sought to put the Congress-led coalition on notice by asking i t to get ready for another round of battle on the amendments to the Foreign Exch ange Management Act (FEMA). CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said,the issue does not end with vote in Parliament. All Opposition parties have opposed to the policy and even some UPA allies are n ot with the Congress on this issue. Lok Sabha will begin a discussion on FDI tom orrow. CPI(M) MP Sitaram Yechury said, if parties like SP, TDP and JD(S), who were with left on streets to protest, also vote against FDI, the government will be defea ted. CPI leader A B Bardhan said one has to wait and watch how many people would be b ought by the government to win the vote in Parliament, while criticising the non committal approach of SP and BSP which oppose the FDI outside the Parliament bu t are not clear on the vote. // B desh Home Minister arrives tomorrow on 5-day India tour Dec 3 Bangladesh Home Minister Dr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir is scheduled to visit India from Tuesday on a five day tour at the invitation of Minister of Home Affairs Mr . Sushilkumar Shinde. During their meeting the two ministers are expected to discuss the entire range of issues related to bilateral cooperation in the areas of security, border mana gement, capacity building and infrastructure development at the international bo rder outposts. The Bangladesh Home minister will be accompanied by a nine-member delegation whi ch includes Additional Home Secretaries Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Shafiqul Islam an d Additional Inspector General of Police Mukhlesur Rahman during his tour to Ind ia. The Bangladesh Home Minister is also scheduled to visit the National Police Acad emy, Hyderabad, where Bangladesh Police Officers are expected to be trained soon .

Earlier during the Home Secretary level talks held in Dhaka in the month of Octo ber this year, India had offered to conduct training programmes for Bangladesh p olice officials as part of its support to Bangladesh in its police capacity buil ding. // Parl adjourned till tomorrow in honour of ex PM I.K. Gujral

Dec 3 Both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day today as a mark of resp ect to former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral who passed away on Friday. Making an obituary reference in the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Mohammed Hamid Ansari said in the passing away of Mr. Gujral the country has lost a veteran freedom fi ghter, a great statesman, an able administrator, an erudite scholar and a distin guished Parliamentarian. The Chairman said Mr Gujral, who hailed from a family of freedom fighters, had a ctively participated in the freedom struggle and was jailed during the Quit Indi a Movement. Mr Gujral was a member of the Rajya Sabha for three terms and was th e Leader of the House twice. Paying tributes in the Lok Sabha, Speaker Meira Kumar recalled that Gujral had r epresented India as a Special Envoy to more than seven countries. He had led man y delegations to the United Nations. Mr Gujral represented the Jalandhar Constituency in Punjab in the House for two terms. Members in both the Houses stood in silence as a mark of respect in memor y of the departed leader. Mr Gujral had served as Union Minister for External Affairs and Water Resources. Earlier, he was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and Communic ations. Mr Gujral was Prime Minister from April 1997 to March 1998. Earlier, both the Houses also made a reference to Bhopal Gas tragedy, which took place on this day 28 years ago. Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammed Hamid Ansari said the tragedy still haunts the cou ntry in the form of incapacitated people and children born with deformities. He said it was indeed a human tragedy of unparalleled magnitude whicvh shocked t he conscience of the world. He said the criminal human folly that caused this tr agedy has been compounded by indifferent attitude in subsequent years. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said it was one of the most horrific man-made trag edies in which thousands of people lost their lives and a very large number were physically disabled. // FinSer secy D K Mittal given additional charge of Disinvestment Dept Dec 3 Secretary in the Department of Financial Services D K Mittal has been given addi tional charge of the Disinvestment Department. An official statement said, the a dditional charge is for a period of two months . The current secretary in the Disinvestment department Mohammad Haleem Khan retir

ed on November 30th. Mittal, a 1977 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, was appointed the S ecretary in the Department of Financial Services in August last year. Prior to that he was Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs from Februar y 2011. Mittal was additional secretary in the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Comme rce and Industry, prior to becoming corporate affairs secretary. // 'India can diplomatically do something' in Norway child abuse case: Ravi Dec 3 India can diplomatically do something in the alleged child abuse case involving an Indian couple in Norway. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi on Monday said, government can diplomatically do s omething. AIR correspondent reports, the couple - Chandrasekhar Vallabhaneni, a software p rofessional from Andhra Pradesh, and his wife Anupama - have been charged with g ross or repeated maltreatment of their child and remanded in custody. Earlier, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said that the issue did n ot relate to the government but to a private citizen and to the local law of tha t country. // PM assures political parties to resolve issues of jailed 'innocent' Muslims Dec 3 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday gave an assurance to political parties t hat the government would set up a mechanism to resolve the issue of Muslims lodg ed in jails even after terror charges against them have not been proved. CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters after the delegation met Dr. Singh at his Parliament office that the prime minister has assured that he will not o nly forward the memorandum to the home minister but he will discuss with the hom e minister and ask him to set up a mechanism by which this problem is resolved. Besides Yechury, Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Mani Shankar Aiyar (Congress), D Raja ( CPI), Ramgopal Yadav (SP), Premchand Gupta (RJD), Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) and MP s from DMK, National Conference, TDP and BSP submitted the memorandum to the pri me minister seeking his intervention to the release of innocent Muslims lodged i n jails across the country. // BSP indicates support to govt in Parliament on FDI

Dec 3 BSP has indicated that it will support the government in Parliament on the issue of FDI , saying the fact that the Centre has not thrust the policy on states an d the aim of keeping communal forces at bay will determine its stand.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday BSP chief Mayawati said her party feels the FDI in multi-brand is needed for the country's economic growth but the policy should be implemented with certain conditions to prevent the harm ful impact of some of its provisions on the poor and the middle class. She pointed out that though BSP has not yet taken a decision on the issue, when the matter comes up in Parliament these two issues will determine its stand. She said, in case of voting on the FDI in retail issue her party will keep these two factors in mind while taking the right and proper decision in the interest of the country. Asked if BSP is putting the passage of the Reservation in promotion for SC/ST as a pre-condition to pledge support to the UPA government, Mayawati replied in th e negative. The BSP chief, however, maintained that her party still has certain reservations about the FDI policy in its present form and suggested that the gov ernment do a serious analysis of its impact on the poor and the middle class bef ore implementing it. // Delhi HC blast accused Wasim Akram Malik to face waging war charge

Dec 3 The Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the trial court to frame charges on Wasim Akram Malik of waging war against the state for his role in the September 7, 20 11 terror strike in the Delhi High court premises . 15 people were killed and 79 others injured in the blast. A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and S P Garg allowed National Investigation Ag ency,NIA's plea against the trial court order. The NIA had said, terror attack was plotted with an aim to get the death sentenc e of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru commuted to life term. The agency had filed a charge sheet against six persons, including three arreste d accused Malik, Dev and a minor, besides three others - Amir Kamal, Junaid Akra m Malik and Shakir Hussain Seikh alias Chota Hafiz, who are suspected members of banned terror outfit Hizb-ul Mujahideen and evading arrest. The minor's case is being adjudicated separately. // UN Climate Change Conference in Doha runs into rough weather

Dec 3 The UN Climate Change Conference in Doha has run into rough weather with the dif ferences on the Kyoto Protocol extension, Climate financing, Closure of Long ter m co-operative Action, issue of unused emission credits among the participating countries. However, the negotiators from around 200 countries are optimistic tha t the issues might be thrashed at the Ministerial level talks beginning on Tuesd ay. AIR West Asia Correspondent reports, India and G-77 Countries have opposed the m

ove to rush through the text of Long term Co-operation Action, LCA since it made no mention of the concerns raised over finance, technology transfer, equity int ellectual property rights and unilateral action in climate change. Developed countries say its time to wind up LCA since the work under it is compl ete as in 2009.2010 and 2011. Indian delegation maintained that the LCA text needs consultation from the parti es and should be closed after addressing their concerns. The LCA or the Long term co-operative Action is one of the instruments to tackle climate change through adaptation or mitigation by capacity building , financin g and technology. On Climate financing, India s Chief Negotiator at the talks, Mei ra Mahrishi said the developing countries want to know when will the rich nation s meet their financial commitments and obligations under the Durban platform. Meanwhile G-77 has suggested $60 billion during the period 2013-17 for Green Cli mate Fund. // GMR row: Maldives says no such injunction can be issued against sovereign state

Dec 3 Unperturbed by the Singapore High Court stay on its termination of Male airport contract given to GMR, Maldives today said no such injunction can be issued agai nst a sovereign state. Maldives President Mohamed Waheed's press secretary Masood Imad told PTI that th e government's decision is very clear. It is non-reversible and non-negotiable. The decision was based on legal advice the have got from their lawyers in UK and Singapore. The Singapore High Court today stayed the Maldives government's decision to term inate the USD 500 million contract awarded to a GMR-led consortium for modernisi ng the Male international airport. Asked about the government's reaction to the Singapore court's order, Imad said, they believe the judge was incorrect in interpreting the law. He added, Where c ompensation is adequate, an injunction cannot be issued. The official said Maldives have initiated the arbitration process and GMR will b e compensated. AIR correspondent reports, the Maldivian Airport Company Limited (MACL) had on N ovember 27th terminated the contract given to GMR in 2010 during the previous re gime of President Mohamed Nasheed.Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed had said th e contract was invalid and was signed under dubious conditions by the Nasheed re gime. The GMR spokesperson added that the company would continue to operate the airport, with the arbitration process continuing on the side. India, which had reacted sharply to the termination, had in a high-level meeting reviewed the overall relationship with the Maldives. The Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, too k into account the developments surrounding cancellation of the contract and its possible wider consequences. India had termed the termination decision a very n

egative signal to foreign investors. // Syrian govt forces continue attacks on rebels at Damascus

Dec 3 In Syria, the government forces have continued attacks on areas around Damascus as they try to push back against rebel attempts to close in on the capital. Opposition activists said Syrian forces shelled Damascus suburbs on Monday, a da y after carrying out deadly airstrikes and rocket attacks against rebel-held are as. Fighters opposed to President Bashar al-Assad have been trying to secure a perim eter around Damascus from their strongholds on the outskirts of the city. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department on Monday said it is hopeful NATO will appr ove a plan to deploy Patriot missiles near Turkey's border with Syria. A senior State Department official said that if NATO signs off on the plan, it w ill likely still be a matter of weeks before the missiles are deployed. NATO for eign ministers are meeting tomorrow and the day after in Brussels. Syrian ally Russia has warned against the missile plan, saying it would not prom ote stability in the region. // Extreme weather calls for action, says WMO Chief

Dec 3 The rise in global warming is leading to extreme weather conditions from melting of polar ice caps to Super storm Sandy are a wake up call to the international community to urgently address the issues related to climate change. Addressing the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, the Chief of the World Mete orological Organization, Michael Jarraud called for urgent action to tackle such changes before it is too late. The negotiators from over 194 countries are busy working out the details for Min isterial and Head of States level talks at the Conference in Doha. Our correspon dent reports that more than 100 Cabinet Ministers are expected to attend the Min isterial levels talks beginning tomorrow. // At least 9 killed after Japanese road tunnel collapses

Dec 3 At least nine people died after a major Japanese road tunnel collapsed, trapping vehicles and sparking a blaze. The bodies were found in three vehicles that were crushed by fallen concrete pan els in the Sasago tunnel, about 80 kilometres west of the capital Tokyo. A fire broke out after the tunnel caved in yesterday and a number of survivors f led to safety on foot.

// Russia, Turkey talks: Syrian war likely to be centre of discussion Dec 3 The deepening civil war in Syria is expected to be at the centre of talks in Ist anbul later today between the Russian and Turkish leaders. President Vladimir Putin will meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan t o discuss the Syrian conflict, which has strained bilateral relations between th e two countries. Moscow is a key ally of Syria, while Ankara is backing the rebe ls trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In October, Turkey intercepted a Syria-bound plane which it said had Russian-mad e defence equipment - a claim rejected by both Moscow and Damascus. Russia and T urkey were involved in a diplomatic row over the intercepted Syria-bound plane. Ahead of today's meeting, Mr Putin's chief foreign policy aide was quoted as say ing that both sides will have a detailed conversation on Syria. // Ban Ki-moon: Israel settlement to deliver fatal blow on peace deal Dec 3 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned that new building plans by Israel in occupied territory will deliver an almost fatal blow to chances of a peace deal with the Palestinians.He said Palestinians in East Jerusalem could be completel y cut off from the rest of the West Bank. In a statement yesterday, Mr Ban expressed grave concern and disappointment over the 3,000 newly authorised Israeli settlement units in East Jerusalem and the W est Bank. The UN Chief called on all concerned to resume negotiations. Israel announced the building plans in response to a UN vote which upgraded the Palestinian status to that of a non-member observer state. Israeli Prime Ministe r Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue with the building plans. The US had said earlier that the expansion plan was counter-productive and would make it harder to resume peace talks.EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton a lso said she was extremely worried. // Typhoon nears Philippines, authorities order evacuation Dec 3 A powerful typhoon barreled towards the Philippines today, prompting authorities to order the immediate evacuation of thousands of people from coastal and low-l ying areas. Typhoon Bopha, packing winds of up to 210 kilometres an hour, is expected to hit a southern fishing village. The mayor of Hinatuan has urged the village of 39,0 00 people to prepare for the worst, ordering those living along the coastal and low-lying areas to move to government shelters. The weather service said Bopha was expected to bring intense to heavy rainfall o ver Hinatuan and surrounding areas as well as the central Philippine islands. It said the as of this morning, the centre of the typhoon was 550 kilometres south

east of Hinatuan. // Differences deepen between Lankan Parl & SC Dec 3 Differences have deepened between Sri Lankan Parliament and the Supreme Court. T he island government decried the move by the Sri Lanka's Chief Justice, Ms Shira ni Bhandaranayake to convene a surprise meeting of all District Judges and Magis trates. The government in a statement in Colombo said that the move will cause great inc onvenience to petitioners and witnesses across the country. The next hearing of the impeachment process before the Parliamentary Select Committee is to take pla ce tomorrow. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Army has charged an army deserter of deceiving the Canadia ns. The deserter Captain W.B.R.Priyashantha has alleged wide-spread atrocities b y army against Tamil speaking people during last phase of civil war in the islan d nation that ended in 2009. // 2 Pak police killed, 2 injured in explosion Dec 3 In Pakistan, two police men including a sub-inspector were killed and two others injured in an explosion targeting a police van at Kohat Road in Peshawar today. According to Police, the explosion was caused by a planted bomb. Further investi gations are underway. Meanwhile, the area has been cordoned off . // IFAD to provide $39.4 mn to Nepal for agriculture devolpment Dec 3 The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) is to provide 39.4 mil lion dollars to the government of Nepal for the devolpment of this sector. 19.7 million dollars will be provided as grant and another 19.7 million dollars as loan for the implementation of improved seeds for farmers program. An agreeme nt to this effect was signed in Kathmandu yesterday. One of the aims of the project is to scale up an agriculture-led growth model. T he IFAD project is expected to benefit about 150,000 households. The program is for seven years. // Suspected Islamic militants kill over 10 Christians in Nigeria Dec 3 Suspected Islamic militants have gone on a murderous rampage in a village in nor thern Nigeria, killing at least 10 Christians. Residents of Chibok in Borno state said the gunmen stormed into the village and targeted them. Witnesses said the killers slit the throats of their victims and

burned down their homes. Nigerian officials have not yet confirmed the details of the attack, but one off icial said it is likely the work of the radical Islamic group Boko Haram. // 20 yrs of text messaging Dec 3 It is 20 years to the day since the first text message or SMS was sent. In 1992, a British phone company employee wished a colleague Merry Christmas. Since then , trillions of text messages have been sent. The first text message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone. In those days , it was not possible to send a message from the phone. Now sending SMS has beco me a global phenomenon. AIR news is also available through SMS. // Norway child abuse case: Indian couple to be sentence tomorrow Dec 3 The Indian couple in Norway facing criminal charges of gross or repeated maltrea tment of their child will be sentenced tomorrow even as the prosecution termed t he case as very serious and justified their arrest ahead of the court verdict. Kurt Lir, Head of Prosecution, Oslo Police Department, told PTI in Oslo, there w ere burn marks and scars on the body of the child, who has also been beaten by t he belt. Asked why the police arrested the couple --Chandrasekhar Vallabhaneni, a softwar e professional from Andhra Pradesh, and his wife Anupama before the sentencing, Lir said, it is feared that they will evade prosecution by returning to India. He also said prosecution has proposed a sentence of 15 months for the mother and 18 months for the father in the case. Anupama's lawyer Marte Brotrome said it was wrong to keep the Indian couple in p rison in Norway as they didn't hurt their children. The police arrested Chandrasekhar, nine months after the child complained to his school teachers that his parents were threatening to send him back to India for his acts. India has already indicated that it will not intervene in the legal process of t hat country. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, this is an issue th at relates not to the government. It relates to a private citizen and to the loc al law of that country. // 90 workers injured as oil rig tilts in Singapore Dec 3 In Singapore, about 90 workers were injured on Tuesday after a jackup rig at a s hipyard in tilted to one side.

The Ministry of manpower said the injured workers were rushed to hospital and on e of the workers was in critical condition and 22 others were seriously injured. Preliminary investigations showed that the jack- up mechanism of one of the legs of the three-legged jackup rig failed, causing the rig to tilt to one side. Local media said most of the workers are from India and Bangladesh. // BJP releases party s manifesto for Gujarat state Assembly elections

Dec 3 BJP has released party s manifesto for the Gujarat state Assembly elections on Mon day. Releasing the manifesto, Chief Minister Narendra Modi has said that it is a blueprint for development of all sections of the society. BJP s manifesto promises to address the problems of urban and rural housing, water , irrigation apart from resolving issues of farmers. AIR Ahmedabad Correspondent reports that main highlights of the manifesto- is th e construction of 50 lac houses for rural and urban people in next 5 years and f ree accidental insurance to the people of the state. Earlier, Congress has charged ruling BJP in Gujarat with not full filling any pr omises given to the public in earlier manifesto. Addressing the press conference at Ahmedabad, State Congress President Arjun Mod hwadia has said that law and order situation in the state has deteriorated in th e past 10 years under the BJP rule. Chairman of Congress Election Campaign Committee Shankarsinh Waghela alleged tha t BJP has betrayed the people of the state and it has no moral right to go to th e people for vote. // J&K Govt to add teeth to Pre-Conception, Pre-Natal Sex Selection/ Determination Act

Dec 3 Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to add teeth to the existing Pre-Concep tion and Pre-Natal Sex Selection/ Determination Act by making certain amendments in the existing rules to incorporate the provision of three years imprisonment and fine up to fifty thousand rupees on the person found running unregistered cl inics. The Government has also recommended to introduce medical audit of the Ultrasound clinics to ensure their proper monitoring under the Law. The medical audit of clinics would include scrutiny of records in respect of all pre-conception or pregnancy related procedures to curb the rampant misuse of me dical technology for sex-selection. // Stage all set for 182 seats of Gujarat Assembly Elections

Dec 3 In Gujarat, stage is set for 182 seats of State Assembly Elections following wit hdrawal of nomination papers for the second phase on Monday. According to official sources, large number of nomination papers has been withdr awn in 95 Assembly Constituencies. District Returning Officers are compiling the final picture after the withdrawal of nominations in Kutch and North and Centra l Gujarat. AIR Ahmedabad correspondent reports that total 1374 candidates have filed their nomination papers for the second phase of polling, out of which 1083 nomination papers were found valid. Polling for the first phase on 87 seats in Saurashtra, South Gujarat and parts o f Ahmedabad district will be held on 13thDecember, while polling for the second phase will be held on 17th December. Counting of votes will be taken up on 20th December. // 5 killed in WB road accident

Dec 3 In West Bengal, 5 persons were killed in a road accident near Kadamtala at North 24 Pargana district today. According to police sources the incident occurred wh en a truck collided with the private car coming from opposite direction. Two persons died on the spot while 3 others succumbed to injuries on way to hosp ital. The condition of the 3 injured persons stated to be critical. // Bhopal gas tragedy 28th anniversary: Organizations paying homage to persons who lost their lives

Dec 3 On the 28th anniversary of Bhopal Gas leak tragedy different organizations in Bh opal are paying homage to the persons who have lost their lives . A prayer assembly of all religions was held at Bhopal. Prominent persons of the all religions were present on the occasion. Yesterday non government organizatio ns and other social organizations organized a candle march and paid homage to th e deceased and also a race was took place in the memory of died persons. An Effi gy of Warren Anderson the main accused of the tragedy was also lit on fire . // Polling underway in J&K amidst tight security Dec 3 Amidst tight security, polling is underway today for the four Legislative Counci l seats in Jammu and Kashmir under the Panchayat quota. Polls for the reserved s eats are being held after a gap of 38 years as Panchayat elections in the state were held last year after a gap over three decades.

As many as 33,450 panchayat members will decide the fate of 37 candidates in the fray.Election officials said while polling has been brisk in some areas of Jamm u, the response so far in the Valley has been poor due to cold conditions early in the morning. National Conference and Congress - partners in the ruling coalition - are contes ting elections jointly and have fielded two candidates each for the four seats. The opposition parties, including PDP and Panthers Party,have fielded candidates in all four seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting in three seats -- two from Jammu region and one from Kashmir Valley.The Bahujan Samaj Party ha s also fielded three candidates. Tight security arrangements have been made in place with para-military and state police personnel deployed in sensitive areas to deal with any untoward incident . Counting of votes will take place on December 6 and the EVMs will be shifted fro m all district headquarters to Jammu and Srinagar on December 4 and 5. // IAS officer V S Singh dies in Jaipur road accident Dec 3 Additional Chief Secretary Forest and Environment of Rajastahan V S Singh today died in a road accident. The accident occured when a speeding car hit him at Jaipur. He was returning aft er morning walk from central park when the incident took place. He was rushed to SMS hosiptal where V S Singh died. 57-year old Singh was 1978 b atch IAS officer .The police has arrested the car driver. // Railway to run spl train to clear extra rush Dec 3 The Railways have decided to run special trains for Jammu, Udhampur, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Varanasi to clear the extra rush of passengers during winter season . Informing this in New Delhi, the Northern Railways PRO said that the special t rains have been pressed into service from 1st of this month and will continue to run till 6th of this month. It has also decided to extend the biweekly special festival trains between Delhi and Mumbai from December 5 to 12. // Leaders pay floral tributes to Dr. Rajendra Prasad on his 128th birth anniversar y Dec 3 The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Home Minis ter Sushil Kumar Shinde and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj toda y paid floral tributes at the portrait of Dr. Rajendra Prasad in the Central Hal l of Parliament on his 128th birth anniversary. The Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sab ha Prof. P.J. Kurien, the senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, several Union Ministers and Members of Parliaments also paid floral tributes. On this occasion, a bookl

et containing the profile of first President of India brought out in Hindi and E nglish by the Lok Sabha Secretariat. // Delhi Court dismisses bail pleas of two Zee News editors Dec 3 The Delhi court on Monday dismissed the bail pleas of two Zee News channel edito rs, arrested for allegedly trying to extort Rs 100 crore from the Congress MP Na veen Jindal's firm for not telecasting reports linking it to coal block allocati on scam. Metropolitan Magistrate Rajinder Singh dismissed the bail pleas saying Zee News head Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business Editor Samir Ahluwalia have not given any new ground for their release on bail in the fresh application after dismissal o f their first ones on November 28th. It added, the dismissal of bail application does preclude the accused from movin g successive bail applications. // Sohrabuddin fake encounter: Three accused police officers seek bail from HC Dec 3 Three Gujarat police officers, held for their complicity in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and subsequent killing of his wife Kausarbi, on Mond ay appealed to the Bombay High Court for bail. Two Deputy Superintendents of Police -- Narendra Amin and M L Parmar -- along wi th police inspector Balkrishna Rajendra Prasad moved the court seeking bail. The hearing will continue on Tuesday. On September 27th, the Supreme Court had ordered the transfer of the case to Mah arashtra after CBI submitted that witnesses were being intimidated and a free an d fair trial was not possible in Gujarat. // Polling ends for four Legislative Council seats in JK Dec 3 Amidst tight security, polling concluded for the four Legislative Council seats in Jammu and Kashmir under the Panchayat quota. The polls for the reserved seats were held after a gap of 38 years as the Panchayat elections in the state were held last year after a gap over three decades. In Jammu Division, Udhampur district recorded 93.62% polling, Kathua district 92 %, Ramban district 94% polling, Poonch and Reasi district recorded above 98% pol ling. Samba district recorded 98.6% polling while as border district of Rajouri recorded 95% polling. A total of 37 candidates (21 from Jammu Division and 16 from Kashmir Division) a re in the fray and their fate will be known on December 6, 2012 . The polls for the reserved seats were held after a gap of 38 years as the Pancha yat elections in the state were held last year after a gap over three decades.

// EC announces dates for local body election in Puducherry Dec 3 In Puducherry, the State Election Commission has announced the polling dates for the Local Body Elections. There will be three-phased polling which will be held on 4th, 8th and 10th of January 2013. Talking to the Press persons in Puducherry today, the State Election Commissione r Mr. Uddipta Ray said, the counting will be held on 12th of January 2013. About 8.32 lakh electors in the Union Territory will cast their vote, of which 4 .88 lakh are from five Municipalities and 3.44 lakh from 10 Commune Panchayats. Mr. Ray said that 1326 polling stations have been identified wherein 7300 office rs will be deployed for conduct of polls. Earlier the Madras High Court had directed the Union Territory and State Electio n Commission to hold Civic Elections by 15th January 2013. // Biman Bose criticizes minister for his remarks on HC verdict on Singur Dec 3 The West Bengal Left Front Chairman Mr. Biman Bose has criticized a state minist er for his remarks on the High Court verdict on Singur and suggested that the Ch ief Minister educate her ministers on the constitution. Mr. Bose wondered how a minister could use such a language. Commenting on the Minister of State for Agriculture, Becharam Manna s statement in Singur, that people will frame laws even if the court verdict went against the state government, the CPIM leader alleged that many ministers in Miss. Mamata Banerjee s ministry were unaware of the constitution and its provisions. Mr . Bose suggested that the Chief Minister hold a workshop for her ministers to ma ke them aware of the constitution. // Cochin airport 1st in India to use solar power for its grid Cochin International Airport is set to become the first airport in the country t o use solar power for running its utility grid system. A Kolkata-based solar module manufacturing company, Vikram Solar, would be insta lling a 100 kWp solar power facility at the airport situated at Nedumbassery in Cochin. Giving details of the system, a senior company official said Vikram Solar would design, install and commission the solar photo-voltaic (PV) power system consist ing of mounted solar panels. "The panels would generate DC electric power, which unlike the general practise, would not be fed directly into the utility grid," Gyanesh Chaudhary, Director o f the company said.

"Instead, inverters would convert the direct current output from the solar array into a grid-compliant AC voltage which will feed it into the utility grid syste m to be used for lighting in the terminal building," Chaudhary said. Power thus generated would be connected with low transmission voltage for local and grid usage. The proposed energy production would be at an estimated 148 MWh per year with a capacity of 100 kilowatts-peak (kWp). The energy capacity of each PV module woul d reach up to 240-250 Wp. Terming the initiative of Cochin Airport Authority as an "excellent opportunity and a path-breaking vision" to encourage use of green energy for critical servic e utilities at the airport, Shaibal Ghosh, company's president said, "It would open the door s for all other airports and utility services for use of sustainable 'Clean and Green Power' and help support to re-energise the environment." The company is also installing a 30 KW solar power facility at the famous Jagann ath temple in Puri in Odisha. // India to erect floating fence along Sir Creek border with Pakistan India will soon erect a 'floating fence', anchored by submerged metallic meshes, along the disputed Sir Creek border area with Pakistan. The 96-km strip in the Rann of Kutch marshes is notorious for illegal crossings and smuggling of narcotics and arms and is patrolled round-the-clock by BSF mari ne commandos. Top sources involved in the project said after mulling over various options, the Union Home Ministry entrusted the CPWD and NBCC to install an all-weather 'gabi on box' fence along the stretch. While the National Buildings Construction Corporation will erect the fence on ab out 75 km of the watery strip, the Central Public Works Department has already s tarted work in the rest of the area, sources said. A 'gabion box' is a meshed metallic box-like structure with hexagonal wire netti ngs and it is lowered down the bed of the water body after big stones are filled inside it. "The fence would be erected on the 'gabion boxes' which will have the usual allweather concertina wires and poles. The Sir Creek area is characteristic with sh allow and slushy water and these boxes would be the best material to be sunk und er water considering the difficulty of the terrain to execute such a difficult p roject," an official privy to the development said. The 'gabion box' is a regular technology used for flood water control and preven tion of rock breaking along coasts by the impact of the saline ocean water. India and Pakistan are continuously in talks with regard to the maritime boundar y dispute in this area. Sources said the fence would be erected, despite the ongoing talks, in order to safeguard Indian security interest. Officials said a number of other plans, including erecting a pontoon fence, were also discussed with engineering experts but the Home Ministry found the 'gabion

box' technique apt for this project. The entire project, sources said, would have an estimated cost of about Rs 1,200 crore and the financial sanctions in this regard would be granted soon to the e xecuting agencies. The Sir Creek area, including a particular stretch called 'harami nala', vulnera ble for infiltration, will also be covered by the fencing. A number of instances of the Border Security Force apprehending Pakistani fisher men and trawlers are reported from the Sir Creek area regularly and hence the bo rder guarding force has raised and deployed a special unit called 'crocodile' co mmandos in the marshy territory. // CVC probe finds loopholes in empanelment of advocates A Central Vigilance Commission probe has found some loopholes in the empanelment of advocates allegedly on the basis of political recommendations and disproport ionate allotment of work among them by the Ministry of Law and Justice. The alleged irregularities were found in Judicial Section under the Department o f Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law and Justice which is responsible for the appointment of law officers to assist it in legal matters. "Examination of allocation of cases to the panel counsels under Panel A for the period September 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010 showed that four out of 167 panel counsels got 27 per cent share of the total number of cases as each one of them got more than 500 cases. "On the whole, 74 per cent share of the total number of cases during the period went to 12 per cent of the panel counsels. On the other hand, 48 per cent of the panel counsels did not get any case during the period and 20 per cent of them w ere given insignificant quantity of work i.e. between 1 and 10 cases each during the year," according to the investigation, which began last year. The stakes were higher in the allocation of work for Panel A counsels as the rem uneration was higher. For regular appearance a Panel A counsel was paid Rs 4,500 per case per day and Rs 3,000 per case per day for other litigation matters, it said. As per the norms, advocates are empanelled as panel counsels to assist the law o fficers in dealing with the litigations on behalf of the Central government. The empanelment of advocates is done in three categories Panel-A, Panel-B and Panel-C-as per their seniority and experience. The probe also found that the very categorisation of panel counsels as specialis ed in revenue and non revenue cases was not supported by a due process of scruti ny of experience or profile of the panel counsels. "Examination by the CVC team showed that the empanelment of advocates as panel c ounsels by the judicial section of the Department of Legal Affairs was based lar gely on recommendations. "Recommendations from very important persons viz. Solicitors or Additional Solic itors General of India, Ministers, Members of Parliament and other prominent per sons were received by the Minister of Law and Justice and sometimes by the Secre

tary of the Department," it said in its report which has yet not reached its log ical conclusion. The probe, done on the basis of files pertaining empanelment of panel counsels c onducted by the Judicial Wing for 2009 and 2010 among others method, was done by a team of senior CVC officials apparently on the basis of complaints of alleged corruption received by the probity watchdog. The CVC team also observed that there was no system of monitoring of a litigatio n from starting to its conclusion. // Sahara Group seeks time from SC on investor refund Dec 4 Sahara Group has sought more time from Supreme Court to make a statement on refu nding 27,000 crore rupees to its investors.The apex court has deffered the heari ng on Sahara Group's plea till tomorrow // Crude falls in Asia on disappointing US manufacturing data Dec 4 Crude prices fell in Asia today after data showed US manufacturing activity cont racted last month. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January deliv ery fell 18 cents to 88.91 dollar a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for January shed 14 cents to 110.78 dollar. On the energy markets, oil continued to edge do wn on the disappointing US data. // FIPB clearance must for FI in existing domestic pharma companies Dec 4 The government has decided to allow foreign investments in the existing domestic pharma companies only after clearance by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). The decision taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ma nmohan Singh yesterday comes in the wake of mounting concerns over availability of affordable essential drugs in the wake of multinationals acquiring local comp anies. As per decision, any foreign company acquiring an Indian firm, which had been producing essential medicines, would have to continue to do so till the tim e the Competition Commission of India(CCI) was empowered to vet such deals. The government is also checking the legality of inserting new sectoral specific clau ses in the Act so that the CCI could direct foreign firms to produce a specific quantity of essential medicines after acquiring an Indian company. It is also ex amining whether the threshold limit for foreign investment in brownfield project s that would require CCI clearance should be revised from the existing about 750 crore rupee limit. // Srinagar hosting international cycling event- Tour de India Dec 4 In Srinagar, an international cycle event "Tour de India" is underway on the ban ks of world famous Dal lake. Nearly 140 athletes are participating in the event which is being held in Kashmir valley for the first time. The state Chief Minist er and the Sports Minister flagged off these cyclists at Royal Spring Golf Cours e. The event will conclude by afternoon today. // Chanpions Trophy hockey: India lose 3-2 against Germany Dec 4 Indian Hockey team lost 3-2 against Germany in the FIH Champions Trophy in Melbo urne today. Though India lost the first battle today but won the Pool A war. The Germans earned the come-from-behind win, but India won Pool A thanks to a bette

r goal difference. As the top seed out of Group A, India will face Belgium in Th ursday s quarterfinal, which finished last in Pool B. Germany closes out the preli minary round in second place and will take on the third-place team from Pool B i n its quarterfinal. // Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly release book on Late Pankaj Roy Senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar and former India captain Sourav Ganguly today re leased a book on former India opener Late Pankaj Roy in the presence of the enti re Indian squad. The book named 'Pankaj, Bengal's Forgotten Hero' has been written by Bengali spo rts journalist Gautam Bhattacharya and has been edited by late cricketer's son Pranab, who had also pl ayed couple of Test matches and had been a national selector. "I never met him (Roy). But I've heard a lot of stories about his contribution t o cricket. It's an honour to launch a book written on him," Tendulkar said after unveiling the book. Pankaj Roy had played 43 Tests for India in a span of 10 years scoring 2442 runs with five centuries. However he will always be remembered for the record 413-ru n opening partnership with Vinoo Mankad against New Zealand in 1954-55. He also captained India in a Test match in England in 1959. Tendulkar released the Bengali edition of the book, while the English edition wa s unveiled by Ganguly and current skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Roy was inarguably the greatest cricketer from Bengal before Ganguly arrived and the stylish left-hander admitted that he grew up idolising the man who had take n on the likes of Roy Gilchrist and Charlie Griffith during his heydays. "There were no helmets during those times and as an opening batsman, he faced al l the world class fast bowlers. 10 runs scored during that time would be equival ent to 20 runs today (because of the helmet factor)," he said. "During those days, there wasn't this big a media coverage so not many people kn ew about him. But we (in Bengal) grew up idolising him," Ganguly told the gather ing. Dhoni, who made his ODI debut when Roy's son Pranab was the East Zone selector, also remembered about him. "I was not fortunate enough to meet him but I know about him from my U-19 days t hrough his son (Pranab Roy)." Pranab, who is now a BCCI match referee recollected how his father used to get e xcited when he watched Tendulkar's straight drive. "He always watched it with contentment and a smile his face. He was really proud of Tendulkar and Ganguly," Pranab said. Meanwhile, Apollo signed a pact with Yuvraj Singh Foundation under which they wo uld screen one lakh odd people to diagnose and treat cancer. // World Squash rankings: Pallikal becomes 1st Indian to come under top 10 Squash ace Dipika Pallikal has become the first Indian to break into the top 10 of the world rankings. Pallikal jumped three places to be ranked 10th by the Wom en's International Squash Players Association with 5175.75 points. //

LS speaker calls for implementation of schemes for welfare of disabled Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called for implementation of legislative provi sions for welfare of disabilities in the right spirit so that benefits reach tar get groups. Interacting with a group of differently-abled children in New Delhi on the occas ion of International Day for persons with disabilities, Ms. Kumar said all effor ts should be made to ensure the mainstreaming of persons with disabilities to en able them to purposefully contribute to national and social life. The Speaker also urged them to have a strong will-power to dismantle barriers th at impede their march towards progress. // India s manufacturing sector growth hits 5-month high in Nov

India's manufacturing sector beat the expectations of economists to grow at its fastest pace in five months in November, boosted by strong export orders and a s urge in output. The HSBC manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which gauges the busine ss activity of India's factories but not its utilities, rose to 53.7 in November . The new export orders sub-index rose to a six-month high of 55.9 in November, gi ving thrust to overall orders and factory output both of which expanded at their fastest pace since July. The survey also showed both input and output prices rose sharply in November, af ter rising at a slower pace in October. That could put renewed pressure on India's headline inflation rate which at 7.5 percent in October, is well above the Reserve Bank of India's commonly perceived comfort zone around 5 percent. // LS speaker calls for implementation of schemes for welfare of disabled Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called for implementation of legislative provi sions for welfare of disabilities in the right spirit so that benefits reach tar get groups. Interacting with a group of differently-abled children in New Delhi on the occas ion of International Day for persons with disabilities, Ms. Kumar said all effor ts should be made to ensure the mainstreaming of persons with disabilities to en able them to purposefully contribute to national and social life. The Speaker also urged them to have a strong will-power to dismantle barriers th at impede their march towards progress. // 90 workers injured as oil rig tilts in Singapore In Singapore, about 90 workers were injured on Tuesday after a jackup rig at a s hipyard in tilted to one side. The Ministry of manpower said the injured workers were rushed to hospital and on

e of the workers was in critical condition and 22 others were seriously injured. Preliminary investigations showed that the jack- up mechanism of one of the legs of the three-legged jackup rig failed, causing the rig to tilt to one side. Local media said most of the workers are from India and Bangladesh. // Andhra HC dismisses Mopidevi's bail plea in DA case The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday dismissed the bail petition of former Mi nister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao, an accused in the disproportionate assets ca se involving YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. Mopidevi, arrested by CBI on May the 24th , is presently under judicial remand a nd lodged in Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad. Justice B Seshasayana Reddy who pronounced the orders observed that it is not de sirable to enlarge the petitioner on bail as the CBI was still enquiring into ir regularities committed in the Vadrevu and Nizampatnam Port Industrial Corridor ( VANPIC) project. The judge further pointed out allegation of CBI that the accuse d had misled the Cabinet, is not without substance. The CBI had earlier alleged that Mopidevi, who was the then Minister for Infrast ructure and Investments during YSR regime, approved the Cabinet memorandum conta ining proposals for awarding of the VANPIC project by with holding many importan t aspects related to it such as total extent of land decided for the project. The defence had earlier requested the court for grant of bail . According to CBI, industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, who is VANPIC promoter, got n early 24,000 acres of land sanctioned by AP government for the project as quid-p ro-quo for investments made by him in Jagan's businesses when late Y S Rajasekha ra Reddy was the Chief Minister. // Haryana ranks 2nd after Punjab in fish production Haryana ranks second after Punjab in fish production in the country, with an ave rage fish production of 5600 kg per hectare per year. Stating this at Chandigarh on Monday, an official spokesman said that the Pancha yats were earning about Rs 25 crore per year by giving village ponds on lease fo r fish farming. He said that with a view to increase the income of fish farmers and promote fish farming, VAT on fish feed and fish meal has been waived off by the State Govern ment and the tariff of electricity supply to the fisheries sector has been reduc ed by 25 paisa per unit. It is at par with that of agriculture sector. He said that State Fish Seed Farm having a capacity to produce 30 lakh fish seed per year is functional at Ottu in district Sirsa. He said that 5135 families belonging to Scheduled Castes engaged in the fish far ming have been benefited during the last seven and a-half . // NHRC notice to Rly Board Chairman for arrest of person with dementia

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, on Monday issued notice to the Chair man of the Railway Board on a report alleging that a person with mild dementia a nd impaired speech was arrested by the Railway Protection Force on 2nd of last m onth. The police did not allow him to contact his family. Taking a suo motu cognizance of media reports, the NHRC asked the Chairman to su bmit a report within four weeks in this regard. Reportedly, the person was found traveling on the Ranaghat-Sealdah ladies specia l in violation of the rules and he could not pay the fine of Rs 500. // EC announces dates for local body election in Puducherry In Puducherry, the State Election Commission has announced the polling dates for the Local Body Elections. There will be three-phased polling which will be held on 4th, 8th and 10th of January 2013. Talking to the Press persons in Puducherry today, the State Election Commissione r Mr. Uddipta Ray said, the counting will be held on 12th of January 2013. About 8.32 lakh electors in the Union Territory will cast their vote, of which 4 .88 lakh are from five Municipalities and 3.44 lakh from 10 Commune Panchayats. Mr. Ray said that 1326 polling stations have been identified wherein 7300 office rs will be deployed for conduct of polls. Earlier the Madras High Court had directed the Union Territory and State Electio n Commission to hold Civic Elections by 15th January 2013. // Nagaland observes International Day of Person with Disabilities Along with the rest of the world, Nagaland on Monday observed the International Day of Person with Disabilities. Addressing the gathering as the chief guest, Health and Family Welfare Minister Kuzholuzo Nienu said that the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons w ith disabilities. Pointing out that the day provides an opportunity to focus on promoting accessibility and removing all types of barriers in society, the Minis ter called upon State parties to take measures to ensure that persons with disab ilities have access to all aspects of society on an equal basis with others. The Minister further urged upon the parents and guardians of the disables to off er continuous love and care to their ward and also assured of the fullest suppor t and cooperation from the Government. Unlike other years, this year the programme which was made a part of the Hornbil l Festival was attended by courageous disabled persons, family and well wishers. // Left parties vow to continue struggle against UPA on FDI in retail Opposing FDI in retail, Left parties on Monday asserted that their struggle agai nst the UPA government on this issue will not end with a vote in Parliament but will spill over to the streets and continue till the policy is rolled back. The Left parties were also critical of SP and BSP which have not made clear thei

r stand on a vote against FDI in retail in both houses of Parliament, alleging t hat the government appears to have arranged votes through wholesale trading. Addressing a Convention Against FDI in Multi-brand Retail Trade, leaders of all four Left parties sought to put the Congress-led coalition on notice by asking i t to get ready for another round of battle on the amendments to the Foreign Exch ange Management Act (FEMA). CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said,the issue does not end with vote in Parliament. All Opposition parties have opposed to the policy and even some UPA allies are n ot with the Congress on this issue. Lok Sabha will begin a discussion on FDI tom orrow. CPI(M) MP Sitaram Yechury said, if parties like SP, TDP and JD(S), who were with left on streets to protest, also vote against FDI, the government will be defea ted. CPI leader A B Bardhan said one has to wait and watch how many people would be b ought by the government to win the vote in Parliament, while criticising the non committal approach of SP and BSP which oppose the FDI outside the Parliament bu t are not clear on the vote. // PM assures political parties to resolve issues of jailed 'innocent' Muslims Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday gave an assurance to political parties t hat the government would set up a mechanism to resolve the issue of Muslims lodg ed in jails even after terror charges against them have not been proved. CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters after the delegation met Dr. Singh at his Parliament office that the prime minister has assured that he will not o nly forward the memorandum to the home minister but he will discuss with the hom e minister and ask him to set up a mechanism by which this problem is resolved. Besides Yechury, Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Mani Shankar Aiyar (Congress), D Raja ( CPI), Ramgopal Yadav (SP), Premchand Gupta (RJD), Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) and MP s from DMK, National Conference, TDP and BSP submitted the memorandum to the pri me minister seeking his intervention to the release of innocent Muslims lodged i n jails across the country. // Sohrabuddin fake encounter: Three accused police officers seek bail from HC Three Gujarat police officers, held for their complicity in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and subsequent killing of his wife Kausarbi, on Mond ay appealed to the Bombay High Court for bail. Two Deputy Superintendents of Police -- Narendra Amin and M L Parmar -- along wi th police inspector Balkrishna Rajendra Prasad moved the court seeking bail. The hearing will continue on Tuesday. On September 27th, the Supreme Court had ordered the transfer of the case to Mah arashtra after CBI submitted that witnesses were being intimidated and a free an d fair trial was not possible in Gujarat. // Winter session of MP assembly begins tomorrow

In Madhya Pradesh, the winter session of the state legislative assembly begins f rom Tuesday. The eleven day session will have in all nine sittings. The state government is expected to table several bills and its second supplemen tary budget for the current financial session during the session. // 'India can diplomatically do something' in Norway child abuse case: Ravi India can diplomatically do something in the alleged child abuse case involving an Indian couple in Norway. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi on Monday said, government can diplomatically do s omething. AIR correspondent reports, the couple - Chandrasekhar Vallabhaneni, a software p rofessional from Andhra Pradesh, and his wife Anupama - have been charged with g ross or repeated maltreatment of their child and remanded in custody. Earlier, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said that the issue did n ot relate to the government but to a private citizen and to the local law of tha t country. // AP Assembly passes sub-plans for SC/ST Andhra Pradesh Assembly has enacted the historic legislation providing statutory status for implementation of the sub-plans for Scheduled Casts and Scheduled Tr ibes. The Andhra Pradesh assembly has passed a bill late last evening after a three da y debate . The legislation will ensure fund allocation proportionate to the SC and ST popul ation and is expected to prevent diversion of sub-plan funds for other activitie s and not allowing them unspent. With this, Andhra Pradesh has become the first state in the country to enacting such legislation. // Bhopal gas tragedy 28th anniversary: Organizations paying homage to persons who lost their lives On the 28th anniversary of Bhopal Gas leak tragedy different organizations in Bh opal are paying homage to the persons who have lost their lives . A prayer assembly of all religions was held at Bhopal. Prominent persons of the all religions were present on the occasion. Yesterday non government organizatio ns and other social organizations organized a candle march and paid homage to th e deceased and also a race was took place in the memory of died persons. An Effi gy of Warren Anderson the main accused of the tragedy was also lit on fire . // Singapore HC stays Maldives Govt's decision to terminate GMR Male airport contra ct The Singapore High Court today stayed the Maldivian Government's decision to ter minate the 500 million US Dollar contract awarded to Indian infrastructure major

GMR-led consortium for modernising Male international airport, paving the way f or operations to continue. As per the contract, in case of differences between v arious parties, the law of either Singapore or UK would apply. A GMR spokesperson said that the Singapore High Court passed an injunctio n against the Maldivian Airport Company Limited (MACL) and the government from t aking any action based on a November 27 letter. The MACL, based on directions of the new Maldivian government, had on November 2 7th terminated the contract given to GMR in 2010 during the previous regime of P resident Mohamed Nasheed.Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed had said the contract was invalid and was signed under "dubious" conditions by the Nasheed regime. The GMR spokespers on added that the company would continue to operate the airport, with the arbitr ation process continuing on the side. India, which had reacted sharply to the termination, had in a high-level meeting reviewed the overall relationship with the Maldives. The Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, too k into account the developments surrounding cancellation of the contract and its possible wider consequences. India had termed the termination decision a "very negative signal" to foreign investors. The GMR company obtained a stay order from a Singapore court on the Maldivian go vernment's decision to cancel its 511 million Dollars Male airport development c ontract. Arun Bhagat, group spokesman for GMR,said that they have obtained a stay on the operations of the letter by the Maldives Government that terminating the contrac t. // CBI Director Ranjit Sinha: Upgradation of forensic laboratories, more manpower t o be priorities New CBI director Ranjit Sinha, today said that upgradation of forensic labortori es and more manpower for the investigation agency will be his priorities. Speaking to media in New Delhi after he took over as the 25th director, Mr Sinha said CBI's motto of integrity and impartiality will be upheld at any costs. // CMDC describes de-allocation of coal block as unfair Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation -CMDC has described de-allocation o f its coal block as "unfair". AIR Correspondent reports that CMDC, Managing Director Prem Kumar said that it w ill take up the matter with Union Coal Ministry besides considering legal measur es if required. The Ministry of Coal de-allocated Shankarpur (Bhatgaon-II) & Ext coal block allo cated to CMDC and directed forfeiture of 50 per cent of bank guarantee. Both these coal blocks were in the centre of a controversy after the CMDC entere d into a joint venture of Nagpur based SMS Infrastructure of BJP leader Ajay San cheti.

Sancheti is known to be close to BJP President Mr. Nitin Gadkari. Meanwhile , Pr adesh Congress Committee of Chhattisgarh demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter. // Differences deepen between Lankan Parl & SC Differences have deepened between Sri Lankan Parliament and the Supreme Court. T he island government decried the move by the Sri Lanka's Chief Justice, Ms Shira ni Bhandaranayake to convene a surprise meeting of all District Judges and Magis trates. The government in a statement in Colombo said that the move will cause great inc onvenience to petitioners and witnesses across the country. The next hearing of the impeachment process before the Parliamentary Select Committee is to take pla ce tomorrow. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Army has charged an army deserter of deceiving the Canadia ns. The deserter Captain W.B.R.Priyashantha has alleged wide-spread atrocities b y army against Tamil speaking people during last phase of civil war in the islan d nation that ended in 2009. // Ban Ki-moon: Israel settlement to deliver fatal blow on peace deal UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned that new building plans by Israel in occupied territory will deliver an almost fatal blow to chances of a peace deal with the Palestinians.He said Palestinians in East Jerusalem could be completel y cut off from the rest of the West Bank. In a statement yesterday, Mr Ban expressed grave concern and disappointment over the 3,000 newly authorised Israeli settlement units in East Jerusalem and the W est Bank. The UN Chief called on all concerned to resume negotiations. Israel announced the building plans in response to a UN vote which upgraded the Palestinian status to that of a non-member observer state. Israeli Prime Ministe r Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue with the building plans. The US had said earlier that the expansion plan was counter-productive and would make it harder to resume peace talks.EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton a lso said she was extremely worried. // Extreme weather calls for action, says WMO Chief The rise in global warming is leading to extreme weather conditions from melting of polar ice caps to Super storm Sandy are a wake up call to the international community to urgently address the issues related to climate change. Addressing the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, the Chief of the World Mete orological Organization, Michael Jarraud called for urgent action to tackle such changes before it is too late. The negotiators from over 194 countries are busy working out the details for Min isterial and Head of States level talks at the Conference in Doha. Our correspon dent reports that more than 100 Cabinet Ministers are expected to attend the Min isterial levels talks beginning tomorrow. // Anna Ushenina claims Women's World Chess Championship crown Anna Ushenina of Ukraine has claimed the women's World Chess Championship crown.

In the first set of tie-break games at Khanty Mansiysk in Russia, Ushenina defe ated Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria. After a 2-2 deadlock in the normal games, the stage was set for an exciting finale and Ushenina came up triumph winning th e second game under rapid time control after the first game had ended in a draw. The Ukrainian won 60,000 US Dollars for her efforts in the championship. She wil l play the next World Championship against Yifan Hou of China next year as part of the new cycle in the women's World Championship. // Countries need to do more to cut greenhouse gases emissions says WMO Chief The rise in global warming is leading to extreme weather conditions from melting of polar ice caps to Super storm Sandy are a wake up call to the international community to urgently address the issues related to climate change. The Chief of the World Meteorological Organization, WMO Michael Jarraud told that the countr ies need to do more to cut greenhouse gases emissions. Addressing the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, he called for urgent action to tackle such changes b efore it is too late. He said that the first 10 months of 2012 were the ninth wa rmest since the records began in mid 19th century and the shrinking of ice float ing on the Arctic Ocean was a record low in September. The Head of the UN Panel of Climate Scientists, IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri said the costs of defenses against higher sea levels would rise towards 2100 and could a mount to five to 10 percent of gross domestic product of low-lying nations. He a lso warned that between 75 and 250 million people in Africa alone could face gre ater stress on water supplies by 2020, hitting food output. It would further adv ersely affect food security and exacerbate malnutrition. Meanwhile the group of BASIC nations consisting of Brazil, South Africa, India a nd China have reiterated that rich nations should agree for the second commitmen t under the renewed Kyoyo Protocol and at the same time fulfill their financial obligations to assist the poor nations in addressing the issues related to clima te change. // Luka Kipkemoi Chelimo declared winner of Pune International Marathon Luka Kipkemoi Chelimo of Kenya has won the in the 27th edition of Pune International w course record of 2 hours, 13 minutes, 03 ompatriot Simon Kiprugut Kirui was second, stood third. grueling 42.195 kilometres men's race Marathon. In the event, Luka set a ne seconds to win the race. His Kenyan c and Danel Aschenik Derese of Ethiopia

Luka earned a cheque of three lakh rupees for his effort. Kenya also displayed their supremacy in the women's 21 kilometres race by sweepi ng the first three places. Kumulu Pauline Kaveke set a new course record of One hour, 8 minutes, and 37 seconds. The Keyan bettered the previous best time of Musyyoka Helen Nzembi (1:10:11) als o of Kenya three years back. The Indian challenge in the men's section fizzled out in the face of a tough com petition. However, Kavita Raut brought some cheers in the Indian camp by bagging 10th place in the women's event with a time of 1:17:39. // Ismail Ssenyange of Uganda wins Wipro Chennai Marathon Ismail Ssenyange of Uganda has won the Wipro Chennai Marathon 2012. He clocked 2

hours, 36 minutes and 22 seconds to cross the distance. The event saw over 5500 persons participating in the 42-kilometre run in Chennai on Sunday. In the women's category, Indresh Dhiraj emerged victorious with a time of 3 hour s, 29 minutes and 39 seconds. The men's half marathon (21.1 kilometers) was won by R Rajesh. Michelle Sharma w on the women's category. Nanjundappa Nanjunda and Andrea Genuini won the men's and women's 10 kilometre r un respectively. // 3.9 degree temp. recorded in Churu, Rajasthan In Rajasthan, the temperature has dipped in some parts of the state with the ons et of winter. The Metrological Department said that the lowest minimum temperatu re of 3.9 degree has been recorded in Churu. // Coal Ministry to de-allocate two coal blocks over delay in production

The Coal Ministry has decided to de-allocate two coal blocks, one each of Chhatt isgarh Mineral Development Corporation and Odisha Mining Corporation, for delayi ng production from the mines. In case of Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corpor ation, the Ministry has also forfeited 50 percent of bank guarantee related to t he development of coal block. The Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) had recommended de-allocation of 13 coal block s allocated to private companies and 11 blocks to Public Sector Undertakings (PS Us). It had also recommended deduction of bank guarantee in case of 14 blocks al located to private firms and 5 blocks to PSUs, besides imposing bank guarantee i n one coal block of a private company and in 11 coal blocks of PSUs. The Governm ent has accepted the recommendations and initiated action accordingly. The IMG was constituted in June this year to review the progress of coal blocks allocated to firms for captive use. // Police register FIR against unknown persons regarding explosion in Beed, Maharas htra

The Maharashtra Police have registered an FIR against unidentified persons in co nnection with the radio set explosion at Kalegaon village in Kaij Tehsil of Beed district. Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Sunday detained two people for interrog ation in connection with the incident. The Police Sub-Inspector Dinkar Dambale said that a case has been registered aga inst unidentified persons under sections 336 (act endangering life or personal s afety of others), 337 and 338 of IPC and Explosives Act. Beed Superintendent of Police, Dattatreya Mandlik assured that they will find ou t the culprit soon and are waiting for the report from Aurangabad-based forensic laboratory to know the exact nature of the material used in the explosion. Four persons were injured in the radio set explosion at Kalegaon village in the dist rict. // Centre in touch with Karn ka and TN Chief Ministers on Cauvery dispute

The Centre is in touch with Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery Water dispute between the two states. Union Water Resources Minister Ha rish Rawat on Sunday said that he has asked for a detailed report on the recentl y held meeting between Karnataka Chief Minister and his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa over the issue. Mr. Rawat hoped that the dispute between the two states will be resolved soon. // Red Ribbon Express arrives in Saharanpur, UP to keep people aware about HIV &AID S Carrying powerful message of 'Zindagi Zindabad', the Red Ribbon Express has reac hed SaharaPalestinians have a state now, says Mahmoud Abbasnpur district of Utta r Pradesh on Sunday. District Collector AK Singh inaugurated the HIV and AIDS aw areness exhibition train in the presence of thousands of visitors. The current edition of Red Ribbon Express, which embarked upon a journey of 23 s tates, starting from Delhi on National Youth day, i.e. 12th January this year, w ill reach Meerut Monday. The specially designed exhibition train is getting overwhelming response from yo ungsters and students, who flock the train to know more about HIV/AIDS and Sexua lly Transmitted Diseases. // Govt. issues 29 notices to channels for showing adult, obscene or inappropriate content The Government has issued 29 show cause notices to different channels for violat ing Programming Rules by telecasting adult, obscene or inappropriate content. In most cases, the channels have submitted replies to the notices, which are bei ng considered, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said this in reply to a question raised by BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in the Rajya Sabha. // The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told thousand of supporters in the W est Bank that they have a state now. Mr. Abbas was given a hero's welcome on his return from the United Nations in New York, where he secured a vote upgrading t he Palestinian status to a Non-Member observer state. Earlier, Israeli Finance M inister said he would not transfer tax funds collected by Israel for the Palesti nians this month in response to their successful move at the UN. He said the mon ey would instead be used to pay the Palestinian authorities' debts to an Israeli Electricity Company. // Ravindra Jadeja becomes first Indian batsman to hit three triple centuries in fi rst-class

Ravindra Jadeja became the first Indian batsman and only the eighth in the first -class history to hit three triple-centuries as his career-best unbeaten 320 hel ped Saurashtra reach a mammoth 534 for six against the Railways in a Ranji Troph y Group A match, in Rajkot on Sunday. Jadeja, who had smashed 303 in the first match of the season against Gujarat, sc ored his second triple ton and third overall to become the only Indian cricketer to achieve such a feat. While VVS Laxman and Wasim Jaffer have two triple centuries each in Ranji Trophy , Virender Sehwag has scored has couple of 300 plus scores in Test matches.

Jadeja joined an elite list of seven others who have three triple tons to their credit. They are Sir Don Bradman, Brian Lara, Bill Ponsford, Wally Hammond, WG G race, Graeme Hick, and Mike Hussey. The left-hander hit 28 fours and seven sixes during a marathon 11-and-a-half hou r knock, facing 491 deliveries. Jadeja added 274 runs for the unbroken seventh w icket partnership with Kamlesh Makvana, who is batting on 78. Jadeja's knock is even more praiseworthy as Saurashtra were reeling at 90 for fo ur when the India discard joined hands with Shitanshu Kotak (68) to add 170 runs for the fifth wicket on day two of the clash. In the process of completing a coveted triple century, Jadeja also reached 3000 first-class runs when he crossed the 303-run mark. Brief Scores: Saurashtra 1st innings: 534 for 6 in 180 overs. (Ravindra Jadeja 320 batting, Ka mlesh Makvana 78 batting; KK Upadhyay 2/125. // UP initiates magisterial probe into suspected honour killing case The Uttar Pradesh Government has initiated a magisterial probe into the suspecte d honour killing case of Abdul Hakim in Bulandshahr district. Police have arrest ed five persons in this case so far. AIR correspondent reports that after meeting Ms Mahvish, the widow of Abdul Haki m, the chairman of Khadi Gramodyog of the state, Mr. Riyaz Ahmed, who has the st atus of Minister of State said that an ex-gratia of five lakh rupees would also be given to the widow from the Chief Minister's Fund. According to Mahvish,her husband was shot dead by her family members on 22nd Nov ember. However, the State police have denied it as a case of honour killing. // SC defers ruling on legal validity of new Constituent Assembly in Egypt

The Supreme Court in Egypt has deferred its ruling on the legal validity of the new Constituent Assembly, which drafted the new Constitution of the country amid st protests by the supporters of Muslim Brotherhood. No fresh dates have been an nounced for the judgment. The apex court postponed its ruling citing administrative reasons. According to reports, a large crowd of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood gathered around t he court premises in a bid not to allow the judges to enter the court. The draft new constitution has been ratified by President Mohamed Morsey after t he approval by the Parliament. In a televised address on Saturday, the Egyptian President announced that a nationwide referendum will be held on the new constit ution on 15th December. He urged the people to take part in the referendum. He a ppreciated the role of the judiciary in observing past elections. The President told that the referendum will be a milestone in Egypt's democratic experience. T he draft constitution was voted upon by the Islamist party MPs on Friday. Howeve r, the liberal and secular opposition didn t take part either in framing or in the vote on the draft new constitution. // Major roads to have dedicated emergency lane in Delhi soon

Almost all major roads in Delhi will soon have a dedicated emergency lane and dr iving on them during time of any disaster will be a punishable offence. The Delhi Government has identified 162 roads in which emergency lanes will be r eserved on the extreme right for plying of ambulances, fire-tenders and other em ergency services vehicles. This is a part of efforts to strengthen the disaster management system in the ci ty. Official sources said the government will put in place an emergency public w arning system under which sirens will be installed across the city and restricti ons on movement of vehicles in emergency lanes will come into effect once the si rens are sounded. The emergency lanes will be painted blue and during normal days there will be no restrictions on plying of vehicles in them. Major roads identified for the emergency lanes include August Kranti Marg, Bahad ur Shah Zafar Marg, Jail Road, Pankha Road, Noida Link Road, Rohtak Road and Vik as Marg. // Cheque signature mismatch may lead to criminal proceedings: SC The Supreme Court has said, a person may face criminal proceedings if a cheque i ssued by him gets dishonoured on the ground that his signature does not match th e specimen signature available with the bank. The apex court, however, said that in such cases, the account holder must be giv en a notice and an opportunity to arrange the payments before initiation of crim inal proceedings against him. A bench of justices T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Mishra set aside the verdict of Gu jarat High Court which had held that criminal proceedings for dishonouring of ch eque can be initiated only when the cheque is dishonoured because of lack of suf ficient amount in the bank account and not in case where a cheque is returned du e to mismatch of signature of account holder. // Entry of big multinationals to benefit local farmers, says Tarun Gogoi

Coming out in favour of the Centre's decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said that entry of big multinational companies would benefit local farmers. Addressing a farmers' m eet in Guwahati on Sunday, Mr. Gogoi said that the big companies will buy direct ly from local farmers and this will benefit the farm sector. FDI in farm sector would also do away with the problem of middlemen. // Government will carry through FEMA notification on FDI in retail in Parliament, says Kamal Nath

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr. Kamal Nath has expressed confidence that the Government will be able to carry through the Federal Emergency Management A gency (FEMA) notification dealing with the FDI in retail in both Houses of Parli ament. He said he is confident of his numbers and has good reason to believe tha t the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party will vote with the UPA Government

as they are responsible parties and understand the politics of it. The Minister said, he is in talks with everybody, including political parties on the issue. H e denied that the Government is trying to manipulate the numbers. Speaking at a TV programme, Mr. Nath said that the FEMA notification has to be p assed by only one House, belying the Opposition stand that the decision can not be implemented, if it falls in the Rajya Sabha. CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yachuri h ad said had earlier said that as per the rules, FEMA notification on allowing 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail has to be laid and passed in both the Houses of Parliament and failure to do so would be challenged in court. Mr. Nath, however, accepted that FEMA notification which can be passed in the Bu dget session as well as the Government has 30 working days of Parliament to get the nod - may drag into the next session, which is three months away. // 10 political parties have 2,490 crore income

Ten main political parties of the country had 2,490 crore of tax-exempted income in the last five years. The information from the Income Tax Department through an RTI plea said that of this amount, the ruling Congress and the main Oppositio n party BJP have more than 80 per cent. The figures of political parties' income in this period received under the RTI d oes not include the donations or income below 20,000 rupees. It is worth to recall that the political parties are exempted from tax on their income through section 13 A of IT Act 1961. // Israeli Cabinet decides to withhold $100 mn Palestinian fund

The Israeli other funds ce Minister oney to pay bodies.

Cabinet has decided to collected by Israel on Yuval Steinitz told in down their debt to the

withhold more than $100 million in taxes and behalf of the Palestinians. The Israeli Finan Jerusalem that the Government would use the m Israel Electric Corporation and other Israeli

The Israeli Cabinet at its weekly meeting on Sunday also passed a resolution say ing it would not negotiate on the basis of the UN General Assembly s recognition o f a state of Palestine in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. The move comes in the wake of the Palestinian bid to win the status of upgraded non memb er Observer State at the UN General Assembly. This is the second act of reprisal by Israel after it announced its decision to build over 3000 new Jewish settlem ents in the occupied territory. // First direct image of double helix of DNA captured Scientists have for the first time captured a direct image of the double helix o f Deoxyribonucleic Acid, DNA the structure that encodes the genetic instructions of all living organisms. The Daily Mail reported that Enzo di Fabrizio and colleagues from the University of Genoa, Italy, developed a technique to capture the double helix of DNA using a scanning electron microscope. Previously the DNA helix could only be detected using a technique known as X-ray

crystallography, which involves scattering X rays off atoms in crystallised arrays of DNA.The DNA molecules enco de the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. Along with RNA and proteins, DNA is one of the three major macromolecules that a re essential for all known forms of life. // Jupiter to be biggest and brightest on Monday night Jupiter, the largest after the Sun in the solar system, will be at its biggest a nd brightest on Monday night. N Sri Raghunandan Kumar of Planetary Society of India said the planet, which has a system of rings, is at its closest approach and thus would appear bigger and brighter than usual. He said that the planet can be seen with naked eyes an hour after the sunset in the eastern direction. It will be visible all through the night and at midnight one can spot it in the southern direction at a higher elevation. // Supreme Court asks Government to act as a model employer

The Supreme Court has said that the Government should act as a model employer an d ensure that its employees are treated fairly in appointment and promotion. A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said the concept of good g overnance can be concretized, only when the Government employees are sure that t hey will be treated fairly and their trust shall not be betrayed. The bench rapped the Assam Government for not following proper rules in appointm ent and promotion of its employees. // Centre decides to de-allocate 2 coal blocks for delaying production The government has decided to de-allocate two coal blocks - one each of Chhattis garh Mineral Development Corporation and Odisha Mining Corporation - for delayin g production from the mines. The Coal Ministry said in a letter to the PSU, the recommendation of the Inter-M inisterial Group has since been considered and accepted by the government. Accordingly, Shankarpur (Bhatgaon-II) & Ext coal block allotted to Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation is de-allocated.The letter also said that the Ba nk Guarantee to the extent of 1.59 crore rupees i.e. 50 per cent of the BG relat ed to development of the coal block be forfeited. The Coal Ministry in another letter to Odisha Mining Corporation said, Utkal-D c oal block allocated to Odisha Mining Corporation is de-allocated. It said, the c ompany shall not be eligible for allocation of coal block in lieu of the de-allo cated coal block. // Leadership development scheme initiated for women of minority community The government has initiated a special scheme for leadership development of wome

n belonging to minority community in the country. It has also set up a target to provide training to forty thousand women during t his year at a cost of 15 crore rupees under the scheme. This information was giv en by the Minister of State for Minority Affairs, Ninong Ering in a written repl y in Lok Sabha. The scheme aims to empower and instill confidence among women of the community i ncluding their neighbours living in the same village by providing knowledge, too ls and techniques for interacting with government systems, Banks and other insti tutions at all levels. // Disconnection of inactive SIMs: TRAI initiates debate Telecom regulator, TRAI has initiated debate on the issue of operators arbitrari ly disconnecting services of customers on the grounds of non-usage of numbers or inactive SIM connections. According to information provided by telecom operators to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, around 20 crore SIMs were inactive for over a certain perio d of time and the total balance on that account stood at over 128 crore rupees. Trai has said that telecom subscribers at various forums have represented that t heir mobile connections were being disconnected arbitrarily by telecom operators . As a result, consumers suffer from a potential loss of activity in both personal and professional set-ups causing an adverse impact on livelihood. // FEMA notification on FDI needs nod of only one House, claims Kamal Nath Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has claimed that FEMA notification dea ling with FDI in retail has to be passed by only one House of Parliament, belyin g the Opposition stand that the decision cannot be implemented if it falls in Ra jya Sabha, where UPA lacks majority. Speaking at TV programme, he however, accepted that FEMA notification - which ca n be passed in the budget session as well as the government has 30 working days of Parliament to get the nod - may drag into the next session which is three mon ths away. CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury had last week said that as per rules, FEMA notifica tion on allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail has to be laid and passed in both Houses of Parliament. He said, failure to do so will be challenged in c ourt. Mr Nath did not agree with this contention of the Opposition. He said anything c an go to court and if it goes the government will deal with it. // Rescue teams recover bodies of 12 of the 18 people buried by snow slides in PoK In the Pak Occupied Kashmir, rescue teams have found the bodies of 12 people, in cluding six Pakistani soldiers, who were buried by snow slides in Neelam Valley along the Line of Control. A military spokesman said in Islamabad that bodies of six soldiers, including an officer, and six civilians were dug out of the snow by search and rescue teams

yesterday. A snow slide in the Sharda or Kel sector of the LoC killed three Pakistani soldi ers on Friday, and eighteen persons including eight soldiers sent to rescue them went missing after being hit by a second snow slide. // New Delhi seeks extradition of Mumbai terror accused Headley, Rana from US New Delhi has sought extradition of Pakistani-American LeT terrorist and Mumbai terror accused David Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana from the U S. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has written to his US counterpart Hill ary Clinton requesting their extradition. Official sources said that Khurshid has written the letter to Clinton for extrad ition of the two before their sentencing there in January. Sources say, India is hopeful that the US will take a favourable decision on its request which was sent in the first week of November. New Delhi is awaiting a r esponse from Washington. Though, India had limited access to 52-year-old Pakistani-American Headley, who conducted a recce for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack targets for the LeT, it has so far not been able to quiz his Pakistani-Canadian businessman friend Rana. // Kuwait Elections: Pro-Govt candidates bag maximum number of seats In Kuwait, the election results have been declared for all the 50 seats of the N ational Assembly. The results indicate that the pro Government candidates have b agged the maximum number of seats in the parliament. 18 former MPs including thr ee women have emerged victorious. Shiite candidates won 17 seats posting their h ighest ever total in the parliament. AIR West Asia correspondent reports, the sixth election in five years in Kuwait was marked by a boycott from the opposition and low voter turnout. The Sunni maj ority opposition which bagged nearly two third majority in the outgoing National Assembly boycotted the polls in protest against the amendment of electoral law. The minority Shiite opposition who comprise around 30 percent of Kuwait's native population of 1.2 million gained maximum as they increased their tally from 9 i n the outgoing parliament to 17. Thirty new faces have been elected to the National Assembly while three women wi ll find a place in the house this time. Six members from the outgoing National A ssembly have also been elected. The opposition said that the low voter turnout vindicates its stand. However, th e Kuwaiti Information Minister told that the voting has been on a positive side and urged those having different political views to work together for strengthen ing democracy in the gulf nation. // National Security Advisor Menon arrives in Beijing National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon arrived in Beijing today for wide-ra nging talks on bilateral ties, including the vexed border issue. During his thre e-days stay Mr. Menon would be meeting some of the new leaders elected during la st month's Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) to succeed the

outgoing administration headed by President Hu Jintao. According to official sources, besides holding talks with his counterpart and Ch ina's top diplomat Dai Bingguo, Mr.Menon is expected to call on Vice Premier Li Keqiang, the number two leader in the seven-member new Standing Committee of the party headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping. // Centre plans to set up All India Institute of Homoeopathy The government has planned to set-up an All India Institute of Homoeopathy durin g the 12th Five Year Plan. It has also taken several steps to promote and popula rise homoeopathic treatment and medicines in the country. The Under Graduate and post Graduate seats at National Institute of Homoeopathy Kolkata have been incr eased. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha this week, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, S. Gandhiselvan said the Center has decided to set up the No rth Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy at Shillong in Meghalaya at a cost of around 72 crore rupees. The Minister said that Homoeopathic Units have also been established in Primary Health Centres and Community Health Centres under the National Rural Health Miss ion across the country. // Haryana top among states in exceeding revenue mobilisation target Haryana has topped the chart of the states which have significantly exceeded rev enue mobilisation target during the 11th Five Year Plan. According Planning Commission's latest report on state finances, Haryana mopped up 64,123 crore rupees during the five year policy period which was 192 per cent of the targeted resource mobilisation in the 11th Plan. The report indicates that majority of states have failed to meet the projected p lanned resources as collectively they could fetch only 92.5 per cent of target. About eight states in the country including Haryana, Assam, Odisha, Karnataka, G oa, Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh could mop up more than their targets. // India likely to sign MLAT in criminal matters with Israel, Nepal India is likely to sign Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, MLAT in criminal matters with Israel and Nepal among other countries to facilitate easy access in invest igation of crime and service of Letters Rogatory. The Ministry of Home Affairs s aid in reply to an RTI query, the MLAT facilitates mutual assistance in preventi on, investigation and prosecution of crime, service of summons and other judicia l documents, execution of warrants and other judicial commissions and tracing, r estraint, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds and instruments of crimes. Currently, India has the treaty in criminal matters with 32 countries including Iran, Kuwait, Mauritius, Switzerland, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam and Kazakhstan. // Training programme launched for strengthening maritime security Government has started a special training programme for fishermen and coastal vi llagers to strengthen the maritime security and safety. The programme has starte d in more than 200 villages along western coastline. During the training, fisher men and coastal villagers are learning to monitor the movement of ships and fish ing boats and immediately alert security forces if anything suspicious is found

in seas. The programme is part of the government's steady and sustained efforts to shore up defences as it continues to review vulnerabilities along the coastli ne. // Nepal Prez invited to receive honorary doctorates of letters from BHU Senior Congress leader and Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University Dr. Karan Sing h has formally invited President of Nepal Ram Baran Yadav to receive an honorary doctorates of letters from the university on 25th of December. This will be giv en at the conclusion of the year long commemoration of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malv iya 150th birth anniversary celebrations. Dr. Karan Singh who was on a visit to Nepal unveiled the 700 year old renovated Lok Kriti Mahavihar monument in Lalitpur yesterday . It has been repaired and re stored under the India -Nepal development partnership . Speaking on the occasion , Dr. Singh called for close cooperation between India and Nepal in promoting th e birth place of Buddha in Lumbini in Nepal and places such as Bodh Gaya, Sarnat h and Kushinagar in India as part of a Buddhist circuit. Dr. Singh presided over a function at the Indian Cultural Centre, Kathmandu, in his capacity as the President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. He a lso met with various leaders of the political parties at a dinner hosted by Pres ident of Rashtriya Prajatnatra party Pashupati Shumsher Rana. // US urges North Korea to scrap plans to launch rocket The United States has urged North Korea to scrap plans to launch a rocket later this month, warning the highly provocative move would destabilize the region. St ate Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement devoting scarce r esources to the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles will only further isolate and impoverish North Korea. Nuland said the US calls on North K orea to comply fully with its obligations under all relevant UN Security Council resolutions. She said Washington was consulting closely with its allies on a response. Nuland 's comments came after Pyongyang announced it would conduct between December 10 and 22 its second long-range rocket launch this year following a much-hyped but failed attempt in April. As in April, the North said it would be a purely peacef ul, scientific mission aimed at placing a polar-orbiting earth observation satel lite into orbit. // Earthquake jolts southwest China's Sichuan Province A 4.3-magnitude earthquake jolted Beichuan County, southwest China's Sichuan Pro vince last night. The China Earthquake Networks Center said the quake hit at 11. 16 p.m. Beijing Time with a depth of 18 kilometres. The tremor was felt 160 kilo metres away in Sichuan's capital city of Chengdu. Authorities said they had not received any reports of casualties or damage. // Brazilians hold protest against plans to privatise Maracana stadium In Brazil, hundreds of people have held a protest in Rio, against plans to priva tise the city's iconic Maracana stadium ahead of the 2014 World Cup. They say, the stadium is a symbol of Rio - along with other buildings in the Mar acana complex such as an indigenous museum, which may be demolished. They accuse the state government of not consulting the city's residents on the s tadium's future. Rio de Janeiro's famous Maracana stadium has been undergoing re novation since August 2010, in preparation for high-profile sporting events to b

e hosted by Brazil - including the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. // Prez Nieto promises to bring peace in Mexico The new Mexican leader Enrique Pena Nieto has promised to bring peace to the cou ntry in his first speech as President. Speaking shortly after his inauguration, Mr.Pena Nieto said he would not just fi ght crime with force but would launch a crime prevention programme. He promised to boost economic growth and tackle drug-related violence. Some 60,0 00 people were killed in drug-related violence during the rule of his predecesso r, Felipe Calderon. // Global warming is on the rise, warns environmental scientists The Environmental scientists have warned that global warming was on the rise and the UN objective of limiting the global warming to below two degrees centigrade is getting out of reach. A study by the Climate Action Tracker points out that the greenhouse gases emiss ions must be reduced by roughly 15 percent from present levels by 2020 to hold t he global warming below 2 degree Centigrade by 2100. The report released in Doha on the sidelines of UN Conference on Climate Change said that the UN goal can be met only with political ambitions backed by rapid a ction starting now. The Climate action Tracker report also said that the four major emitters of the greenhouse gases , neither China, United States, European Union nor Russia were making adequate pledges to tackle their pollution. In the run up to the Climate Change Conference, the World bank forecast says the re is a 20-percent likelihood of a 4 degree centigrade rise by 2100. The UN Envi ronment Program, UNEP has predicted a three to five degree centigrade rise in gl obal temperatures on the basis of current pledges. The World Meteorological Organization in its report has said that the levels of carbon dioxide -- the single most important man-made polluter has gone up to 390 .9 parts per million in 2011, which is 2 ppm higher than in 2010. It has reporte d that from 1990 to 2011, the warming effect of greenhouse gases has risen by 30 percent. // Peace keeping force allowed in Syria only if Assad leaves power, says Coalition Syria s newly-formed opposition coalition said that it might allow an internationa l peacekeeping force into Syria if President Bashar al-Assad and his allies leav e power. Coalition spokesman Walid al-Bunni told in Cairo that coalition was open to any proposal if Assad and his allies, including top officers in the military and sec urity apparatus, were removed. He was responding to the remarks made by the UN Special envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi that a ceasefire would only hold if overseen by a peacekeeping mission. The issue of peacekeepers is highly sensitive. The opposition leaders have raised fears that it could lead to a division of the country along ethnic and religious lines, creating a sanctuary for the loyalist s of President Assad in an area near the Mediterranean where many of the minorit

y Alawite sect live. // Delhi CM directs agencies to provide night shelters for homeless Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit yesterday directed agencies concerned to pro vide accommodation to pavement dwellers in the city during this winter. Mrs. Dik shit said, 150 night shelters have been made functional to provide shelter to th e homeless during the winter season. As per estimates, the city has around 60,00 0 homeless people. For the past three years, the Supreme Court has been passing periodical directiv es to the authorities across the country including Delhi to provide night shelte r facilities to the homeless during winter. Mrs. Dikshit directed Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board to improve facilitie s at the night shelters to ensure a comfortable stay of the homeless people. She also instructed the agency to publi cise the facilities available in the night shelters with the help of NGOs workin g in the area so that homeless people come and stay there. The government had set a side 6 crore rupees for providing various facilities to the homeless at the night shelters in the 2012-2013. Officials said 84 temporar y and 66 permanent shelters have been made available for the homeless. // World AIDS Day observed across the country World AIDS Day was observed across the country with awareness rallies being stag ed in several cities. Hundreds of youth and children carrying placards and raisi ng slogans prominently displayed the anti-AIDS icon Red Ribbon as they passed th rough the main city centres. A report of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) released on Friday rev eals great success in retarding the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country as the Nat ional AIDS Control Programme (NACP) Phase-3 completes its fifth year next month. There has been a sharp 57 percent drop in the rate of new HIV infections in the last decade, a fact also hailed by the UNAIDS, the United Nations' arm working t o achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals of halting and reversing the epide mic by 2015. Six years after the first HIV epidemic was recognised in the country in 1986, th e Central government launched the NACO programme in 1992. Two decades later the efforts of the ambitious programme have proved their merit . With over one lakh new HIV cases added last year the fight to check the spread o f the deadly infectious disease is still far from over, but the spread of the in fection has started slowing down. With the UNAIDS programme roping in Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as its International Goodwill Ambassador two months ago, it is hoped that the huge popularity of the former Miss World and a proud mother will impart momentum to c

ombat the incurable disease by spreading awareness." // Gold import ban will push up smuggling, says C Rangarajan Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan said in Mumbai on Saturday that banning gold imports will result in the increase in smuggling o f the precious metal. Addresing the silver jubilee celebrations of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Deve lopment research, C. Rangarajan said that there are already indications of smugg ling of gold going up in the last three months. Stating that people use gold as a hedge against price rise, he said that gold im ports will come down only when inflation comes down. He also informed that Revenue Department officials have told him that the seizur es of smuggled gold have gone up in the recent past. Speaking at the same event RBI governor , D. Subbarao clarified that although th ere are growing concerns over increasing imports of gold, the RBI has not put an y new restriction on gold imports. He clarified that the RBI's announcement to stop lending for gold purchases was only a reiteration of an older decision. // Chidambaram highlights benefits of direct cash transfer scheme Union Minister for Finance P. Chidambaram on Saturday highlighted the benefits o f the direct cash transfer scheme introduced by the UPA - II Government. Speaking at an election workshop in Mumbai for the 2014 Lok Sabha election and M aharashtra assembly elections , he dwelt on the merits of the direct cash transf er scheme. Around 200 office-bearers and state congress leaders attended the event organise d by the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committe. Union ministers Salman Khurshid, K Rahman and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithvi raj Chavan also addressed the day-long conclave. Senior party leaders analysed the prevailing political situation in Maharashtra at the day long workshop. Meanwhile Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Manikrao Thackeray said, to celebrate 127 years of the Congress Party, the MPCC will organise a gatherin g of all congress party workers on 28th of this month. All prominent leaders of the party are expected to attend the function. //

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