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LIVE! Priyanka reacts to 'pretty' comments: Shows BJP's mindset towards women

14:30  Kailash Kher, Kohli, Deepa Karmakar… full list of 2017 Padma winners:  The government today announced the full list of Padma Awards for 2017. Eminent personalities from different fields like public service, sports and entertainment will be awarded the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.  The names on the list include…

Kailash Kher (singer )
Anuradha Paudwal (singer )
TK Vishwanathan (secretary general of the Lok Sabha)
Kanwal Sibal (ex-foreign Secy)
Prof G Venkataraman Subbaiah (academician)
Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri (poet)
Birka Bahadur Limbu Morenga (literature)
Warepa Naba Nil (theatre actor)
Mukund Nayar (singer)
Sukri Bommegowda 
Basanti Visht (dancer)
Chemanchari Kuni Raman Nayyar (dancer)
Sadhu Mehr (theatre actor)
TK Murthi (musician)
Imrat Khan (musician)
Virender Singh (musician)
Baoa Devi (painter)
Tilak Gitai (painting)
Narendra Kohli (writer)
Bhawna Somaiya (journalist)
Kashinath Pandit (author)
Virat Kohli (sportsperson)
Sakshi Malik (sportsperson)
Deepa Karmakar (sportsperson)
Vikas Gowda (sportsperson)
Shreejesh (sportsperson)


14:02  Priyanka reacts to ‘pretty’ comments: Shows BJP’s mindset towards women :  Priyanka Gandhi laughs off sexist remarks. Reacting to BJP MP Vinay Katiyar’s remarks today that there are “prettier star campaigners” than her: Unse jyada bohut si sundar mahilayen hai jo star campaigner hain”, the Congress party’s star campaigner said he exposes BJP’s mindset towards the better half of the population of India.

“Makes me laugh that its all he sees in my brave, beautiful colleagues. My colleagues have battled hardships to get to where they are. Laughable that’s all he sees in them,” Priyanka said.

Katiyars comment comes only hours after former JD(U) president and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadavs derogatory comment on women surfaced in the media. Yadav, while speaking at a gathering on people in Patna, had compared a daughters honour with that of votes and said that the latter had to be given higher importance than the former.


13:43  Why Gandhi can never be erased from history:  As India sprints towards its 68th Republic Day tomorrow, here’s looking at the man who made the long walk to freedom possible — the Mahatma. It all started from a remote corner at the edge of this vast country, 100 years ago in Bhitiharwa in Champaran, Bihar.’s Archana Masih revisits history. Do read


13:32  And the Padma winners are…:  Padma honours announced: Olympic medallists PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, and Paralympics medallist Deepa Malik, India skipper Virat Kohli, singers Kailash Kher and Anuradha Paudwal, among winners of Padma awards, India’s highest civilian honour.


13:24  Army officer killed in avalanche in Sonmarg:  An army officer who was reported missing following an avalanche near
the army camp in the Sonmarg area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, has been confirmed dead. The army sent out a statement saying no armyman is missing in the avalanche.

In a separate incident, four members of a family died as an avalanche buried their house in Gurez sector near the Line of Control in Kashmir. The avalanche struck at Badoogam village in Tulail area of Gurez in the wee hours and buried the house of Mehraj-ud-Din Lone, a police official said.
He said the house collapsed under the debris of the avalanche resulting in death of 55-year-old Lone, his wife Azizi (50), 22-year-old son Irfan and daughter Gulshan (19).  Lone’s another son, Reyaz Ahmad, was rescued by the authorities and admitted to a hospital, the official said.

Surface and air links between Kashmir and rest of the country have been cut off today due to snowfall in the valley as the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic and all flights to Srinagar Airport cancelled.

Authorities in Kashmir have issued avalanche warning for higher reaches of the Valley following fresh snowfall yesterday and advised people to stay away from the mountains and foothills. 

Image: A train moves on the snow-covered Baramulla-Qazigund railway track. Photograph: Umar Ganie


12:46  There are prettier star campaigners than Priyanka: BJP MP scores self goal:  A classic self goal for the BJP.

Party MP Vinay Katiyar on Wednesday remarks that there are “prettier star campaigners” than Priyanka Gandhi, will set to become an embarrassment   for the BJP.

Unse jyada bohut si sundar mahilayen hai jo star campaigner hain (There are several prettier ladies than Priyanka Gandhi who are star campaigners), he said.

Katiyars comment comes only hours after former JD(U) president and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadavs derogatory comment on women surfaced in the media. Yadav, while speaking at a gathering on people in Patna, had compared a daughters honour with that of votes and said that the latter had to be given higher importance than the former.

Taking note of the issue, NCW chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam said that they will be sending a notice and if necessary summons to Yadav for his comment.

Katiar also questioned how Rahul  Gandhi could compare the BJP government as a suit-boot sarkar and used a fair and lovely metaphor for the finance ministry’s approach to the economy. Katiar believes both the comments are sexist and is now waiting for the Congress VP to withdraw the comments before he does likewise for Priyanka Gandhi.


11:31  Black buck case: Salman to appear before Jodhpur court today :  Salman Khan will appear before a Jodhpur court on Wednesday in connection with the black buck poaching case. Actors Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Sonali Bendre and one Dushyant Singh have also been asked to appear before the court. Last week, Khan was acquitted by a Jodhpur court in an Arms Act case linked to the killing of a black buck 18 years ago.

The prosecution witnesses have already recorded their statements in the court. The accused in the case, including actor Salman Khan, will record their statements in the 1998 case. During the shooting of Sooraj Barjatya’s movie, ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’, Salman Khan allegedly went on a shooting expedition along with actors Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Sonali Bendre and Tabu, killing two blackbucks in Kankani village.


11:23  Washington DC and the new president of the United States :  Different people gave different reasons why Trump’s swearing-in is best skipped. One view was that the anger among the new president’s most ardent champions against the media was so deep and so venomous that journalists were vulnerable – even foreign correspondents like me, who were observers of the election, not participants like domestic US journalists who tried their best to damage Trump’s poll prospects. One person predicted an attack on the media section that is at a vantage position on the Capitol’s west front and is, therefore, easily identifiable since the layout for the swearing-in of a new president has not changed since 1981.

Read veteran journalist KP Nayar’s column for the Telegraph.


11:17  Jallikattu Act: TN govt dragged to court :  The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and other animal welfare bodies have moved the Supreme Court challenging the conduct of jallikattu in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

After a week of widespread protests across Tamil Nadu, the Assembly on Monday unanimously passed an amendment Bill for conducting the bull taming sport.

The Tamil Nadu government issued an ordinance on January 21, to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to pave the way for the conduct of the post-Pongal event.              

The Centre, on Tuesday, told the Supreme Court that it would withdraw its 2016 notification allowing the bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu in view of the fresh legislation, passed by the State assembly, on the issue.


11:10  Pak-based terrorists with Afghan IDs may attack on R-Day: Intel agencies:  Pakistan-based terror groups may use Afghan IDs to sneak into India and carry out attacks, intelligence agencies have warned ahead of Republic Day celebrations on Thursday, reports

The Special Protection Group, which provides security to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other top leaders of the country, has asked the Delhi Police to widen its searches and scan all buildings within 2.5 km of Rajpath, where the Republic Day parade is held.

IB warnings of terror attacks and extra security measures are de rigeur ahead of Republic Day.

Government buildings, offices in the heart of Delhi are shut a day before the parade for security.

Delhi has been brought under ground-to-air security cover with thousands of armed personnel on guard.

11:05  Jallikattu case: The Supreme Court decides to hear all petitions filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and other bodies challenging the law. A bench of the Supreme Court is expected to hear the petitions on Monday, January 30.


10:34  Cheers to the republic:  As India ushers in its 68th Republic Day tomorrow, this is an image of the 1st Republic Day celebrations in 1950. The photograph was taken by Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman photographer.

Sheikh Mohammad bin Zated Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is the chief guest for the celebrations this year.  


10:20  Dogs like you will be stoned: Alleged messages by Bastar top cop to activists:  In further evidence of the targeting of activists associated with the insurgency-prone region of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, activists, lawyers and human rights defenders claim to have received a string of abusive and threatening messages purportedly from phone numbers belonging to the region’s senior most police official, SRP Kalluri, reports NDTV.

Their ‘crime’: sending messages of concern to Kalluri regarding the hounding of the activist Bela Bhatia. On Monday Bhatia, an independent researcher, was threatened by a mob at her home near Bastar, virtually forcing her to leave, supposedly because she was part of an effort to uncover alleged human rights abuses by security forces.

Activists have long suspected that these mobs have the tacit backing of the police, specifically Kalluri, who has a controversial record of using strong-arm methods.

NDTV reviewed SMS and WhatsApp exchanges between at least nine activists and three phone numbers belonging to Kalluri.

In one of the messages Sandeep Singh, an activist on 24th January wrote, “This can’t go long. You are not above the constitution. Don’t sell your conscience for money.”

In response he received a message from Kalluri’s number saying “Maoists and their dogs like you will be stoned out of Bastar. Beware.”

A Supreme Court lawyer, Pyoli Swatija sent a similar message to the police official on January 24 in which she wrote “Please ensure Bela Bhatia is not hounded out of her residence.” This got the following reply from Kalluri: “Naxals will be kicked out of Bastar.” When she asked, “What does your answer have to do with my query?” the message in response was, “F U.”

Another message sent to Kalluri by Vani Subramanian, a film maker and an activist again sought to ensure the safety of Bela Bhatia in which she asked “Do citizens of India not have the right to residence in Chhatisgarh?!” The reply from Kalluri’s number read “Yes, we are taking strong action. Very soon, Maoists and their dogs will be thrown out of Bastar.”

When we called to check with Kalluri on one of the numbers from which these messages had been sent, he said he “only has a few seconds” to spare. As we began reading out the messages he said “this was all false and we are conducting an inquiry into it.”

Image: Activist Bela Bhatia.


10:08  Expected Priyanaka would be star campaigner: NCP:  Hailing Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into the Congress’s star campaigner list, the Nationalist Communist Party (NCP) on Wednesday said the former was instrumental into forming alliance with the Samajwadi Party.

“It was expected that Priyanka would be the star campaigner because when alliance was doubtful and there were some hurdles, I think she plunged into it and she was instrumental as we were told in bringing about with her mother the two parties together. Therefore, she was bound to be there in the list of campaigner. But as a matter of fact, I think she would be at the top of the list of star campaigner… we won’t be surprised about it,” NCP leader Majeed Memon told ANI.

Having played a key role, along with senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, in sealing the alliance with the Samajwadi Party, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was expected to play a prominent role in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

Sources, however, suggest that her role in the elections will remain limited as she would be campaigning only in the parliamentary constituencies of her mother Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) and brother Rahul Gandhi (Amethi) much like the previous years.

After the Congress joined hands with the Samajwadi Party, the party-workers were keen that Priyanka takes the centre stage this time but it now seems their wait will continue.


10:05  Rupee falls 4 paise against dollar:  Want to exchange your dollars? This is the time…

The rupee weakened by 4 paise to quote at 68.19 against the dollar in early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market today on month-end demand for the American currency from importers and banks.

The dollar was firm against major global currencies, which dampened rupee sentiment, but a higher opening of the domestic equity market capped the fall, dealers said.

Yesterday, the rupee made a modest recovery to end higher by 5 paise at 68.15 against the American greenback in yet another day of extremely thin and lethargic trade.


09:35  Sharad Yadav’s shocker: ‘Honour of vote more important than daughter’s’:  

Raking up a controversy, Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav has said that ‘honour of vote is important than that of daughter’s’.

“Honour of vote is bigger and important than honour of daughter. If daughter’s honour is compromised, it only affects the village or community but if the vote’s honour is compromised, it impacts the entire nation,” Yadav said.

The former JD-U national oresident was addressing a public gathering on Tuesday in Bihar’s capital, when he raised brows of many by quoting this controversial remark.

Yadav, who is also a member of Rajya Sabha, was speaking on the occasion of birth anniversary of former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur.

09:29   Australian Open: Serena Williams wins 6-2 6-3 over Jo Konta to storm into the semi finals.

09:28  At least five students have been injured in a collision between a truck and a school bus in Bihar’s Darbhanga.

The injured have been rushed to the hospital.

More details are awaited.

08:48  Modi invites US President Trump to India:  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he invited US President Donald Trump to visit India during his conversation last night.

“Had warm conversation with Trump; We agreed to work closely in the coming days to further strengthen our bilateral ties,” PM Modi tweeted on Wednesday morning.


08:42  Trump expected to order Mexican border wall today:  

New York Times reports: US President Donald Trump will order the construction of a Mexican border wall on Wednesday, White House officials said, and is mulling plans to stop Syrian refugees from entering the country and to slash immigration of refugees from “terror prone” nations, perhaps as early as this week.

During an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, Trump plans to sign an executive order to direct federal funds to be shifted toward the building of a wall on the southern border that became a signature promise of his campaign. 

He has argued that doing so is vital to gaining control over the illegal flow of immigrants into the United States.


08:37  Goa: Jailbreak attempt at Sada sub jail foiled:  

As many as 45 inmates of Sada sub jail allegedly attacked the jail officials olate Tuesday night over some petty issue and then tried to flee following which several teams of police personnel were rushed to the prison near the port town of Vasco.

ANI reported later quoting police officials that the situation was under control, and that the inmates had been overpowered

Police said that the prisoners allegedly attacked the jailor and several other guards around 11 pm over some petty issue. The prisoners went berserk and “destroyed” the jail. 

“The jailor was seriously injured and he has been taken to Goa Medical College and Hospital. All the 45 inmates together launched attack on the officials, guards and jail property. They tried to flee the jail premises,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Lowrence D’Souza said.

The trouble began in the night when a prisoner Vinayak Korbatkar, who is currently shifted to Sada sub jail from central jail Colvale for murdering a fellow inmate, had an issue with the jail authorities. 

Majority of the inmates from this jail were shifted to new facility at Colvale recently, while rest of the lot was supposed to be shifted next month

08:31  What to look forward to in news today:  

* Home Minister Rajnath Singh will address election meetings in Sujanpur, Mukerian and Rajpura today

* Salman Khan to appear before Jodhpur court today in the Blackbuck poaching case.

* Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to meet PM Modi today, exchange of agreements and press statement to follow. The Crown Prince will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari today.

* President Pranab Mukherjee to address the nation today on the eve of the 68th Republic Day.

* Ruckus at Sada sub jail, Atleast 45 prisoners attempt to flee.

* Eleven months after all Central university vice-chancellors resolved to install the national flag “prominently and proudly” on their campuses, Delhi University is set to hoist its first monumental flag today.


00:19  Senate panel approves Haley’s nomination for US envoy to UN:  

A key Senate panel today approved the nomination of Indian-American Nikki Haley as the next US Ambassador to the United Nations, clearing the way for what is expected to be an easy confirmation in the full Senate.

The South Carolina Governor’s nomination now moves to the Senate floor for a vote. If confirmed, Haley, 44, the daughter of Indian immigrants, would be the first Indian-American to serve on a Cabinet rank position in any presidential administration in the US.

Haley, who will replace Samantha Power at the UN if confirmed, has already created history by becoming the first women Indian-American Governor of a US State.


00:06  China hits back at US over South China Sea claims:  

China has asserted its “indisputable sovereignty” over parts of the South China Sea after the Trump administration vowed to prevent China from taking territory in the region.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Beijing would “remain firm to defend its rights in the region”.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday the US would “make sure we protect our interests there”.

Barack Obama’s administration refused to take sides in the dispute.

Several nations claim territory in the resource-rich South China Sea, which is also an important shipping route.

The new US president has taken a tough stance against China, and Spicer told reporters “the US is going to make sure we protect our interests” in the South China Sea.

“If those islands are, in fact, in international waters and not part of China proper, yeah, we’ll make sure we defend international interests from being taken over by another country,” he said, without giving further details.

The Chinese government responded by saying that the US was “not a party to the South China Sea issue”.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China was “committed to peaceful negotiations with all countries concerned” in the dispute, and said it “respects the principles of freedom of navigation and over-flight in international waters”.

But, she went on: “Our position is clear. Our actions have been lawful.”

Source: Rediff