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LIVE! 2 Indians among 39 killed in Turkey attack: Sushma

19:06  2 Indians among 39 killed in Turkey terror attack: Sushma :  

Two Indian nationals were among the 39 people killed in a gun attack at a nightclub in Istanbul, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.

“I have a bad news from Turkey. We have lost two Indian nationals in the Istanbul attack. Indian Ambassador is on way to Istanbul,” she tweeted.

“The victims are Mr.Abis Rizvi son of former Rajya Sabha MP and Ms.Khushi Shah from Gujarat,” Swaraj said in another tweet.


18:44  Shoe hurled at Arvind Kejriwal in Haryana:   A shoe was thrown at Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal by a young man as he was addressing a rally in Haryana’s Rohtak. 

Following the attack, Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s supporters for the attack. 

“I said Modiji is a coward. Today some Modi supporters hurled a shoe at me. Modiji, we can also do this but our cultural values don’t permit us to do this,’ Kejriwal tweeted.  

This is not the first time that the Delhi Chief Minister has been the target of a shoe attack.

17:55  NSG website hacked, defaced with abusive message against PM :  Suspected Pakistan-affiliated operatives today hacked the official website of the elite National Security Guard and defaced it with a profanity-laden message against the Prime Minister and anti-India content.

Officials said the hacking attempt was noticed early today and the URL ‘” ‘” was blocked soon after by the counter-terror force from its headquarters in New Delhi. 

The hackers, identifying themselves as ‘Alone Injector’, posted the offensive content on the site’s home page.

Official sources said the hacking attempt could have been carried out by Pakistan-affiliated hackers, though they were still trying to ascertain exact details in this regard. 

The website belonging to the ‘black cat’ commandos is maintained from the NSG headquarters here and gives out basic information about the force, its origin and operations. 

The matter has been brought to the notice of the National Informatics Centre, and “remedial action” is in process. The elite commando force was raised in 1984 as the federal contingency unit to undertake counter-terror and counter-piracy operations.

17:53  Mulayam expels SP national vice president Kiranmoy Nanda for attending “unconstitutional” national convention, anti-party activities.


17:51  India’s bid to ban Azhar ‘politically motivated’: Pak:  

Pakistan today said India’s bid at the UN to ban Masood Azhar was “politically motivated” and “replete with frivolous information”, two days after its close ally China blocked the proposal to get the JeM chief and

Pathankot attack mastermind listed as a global terrorist.

Responding to reports on India failing to put Azhar on the United Nations Security Council’s 1267 Sanctions Committee, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said, “The 1267 Sanctions Committee related to ISIS/Al-Qaeda has rejected a politically motivated proposal by India. Replete with frivolous information and baseless allegations, the Indian proposal had no merit and was primarily aimed at advancing its narrow national agenda.

“The dismissal of this proposal is also a rejection of the Indian attempts to politicise and undermine the work of this important Committee of the Security Council,” he said.

“While claiming to denounce terrorism, India has in fact deployed terrorism as an instrument of state policy, and has itself been involved in perpetrating, sponsoring, supporting, and financing terrorism,” Zakaria said in a statement.

“The arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a RAW agent and serving officer of Indian navy, and his confession about involvement in terrorist activities aimed at destabilising Pakistan and killing or maiming of Pakistani citizens, is yet another proof of Indian sponsored terrorism in Pakistan.”

“With such duplicitous behaviour and blood on its hands”, India has little credibility on counter-terrorism, he claimed. 


17:24  SP family war: Ruckus at party HQ in Lucknow:  

Hours after Mulayam Singh Yadav termed all decisions taken at a convention called by the Akhilesh camp illegal, the UP CM’s supporters created chaos at party’s headquarters in Lucknow. 

Akhilesh’s supporters forcibly removed Shivpal Yadav’s nameplate from his office room. 

On Sunday, the new chapter in the family war opened with Akhilesh being appointed as SP national president replacing Mulayam in the party convention which also proposed the expulsion of “outsider” Amar  Singh and removal of Shivpal Yadav from the post of UP chief.

Mulayam later expelled Ramgopal Yadav from the party for third time .


16:26  It’s a comedy, will end in tragedy: Naidu on SP feud:  

Mocking the on-going family fed in Samajwadi Party, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said the family feud will end up in tragedy,

“It is a drama, a family drama. At times it is a comedy, sometimes it is a melody but it will end in a tragedy,” he said. 

The family war in Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party took several turns on Sunday after Akhilesh Yadav was anointed as the SP president in place of his father in a party convention which also proposed the expulsion of “outsider” Amar  Singh and removal of Shivpal Yadav from the post of UP chief.

Later, Mulayam expelled Ramgopal from the party for six years and said that resolutions passed in today’s convention called by Ramgopal are illegal and unconstitutional.   


15:53  Five injured in clash over ATM queue in UP:  At least five persons were injured in a clash that broke out between two groups over an ATM queue in Uttar Pradesh Bhokaheri village in Muzaffarnagar district, police said. 

The incident happened yesterday when an altercation broke out between the two groups after two persons from both the groups entered the ATM queue of State Bank of India.

According to Circle Officer Akil Ahmad, senior police officers were rushed to the spot and the situation is under control now. 

The injured Ankit, Devender, Abhishek, Rakchpaland Parvinder have been admitted to a hospital, they said.

Fire arms and other weapons were used following which tension prevailed in the village, police said. 

Security has been tightened as police and PAC officials have been deployed in the area to ease the tension, they said.

Image alongside used for representational purposes only.

15:14  Jet fuel price hiked by 8.6%; subsidised LPG Rs 2 a cylinder:  

Aviation turbine fuel price was today hiked by a steep 8.6 per cent and subsidised LPG rate raised by Rs 2 per cylinder, the 8th increase in cooking gas price in seven months.

ATF or jet fuel price was hiked by Rs 4,161 per kilolitre, or 8.6 per cent, to Rs 52,540.63 per kl in Delhi. The hike comes on back of a 3.7 per cent cut in rates last month. 

Also, the rate of subsidised LPG rate was hiked by Rs 2 per 14.2-kg cylinder and it will now cost Rs 434.71 a bottle as against Rs 432.71 previously, according to state-owned Oil companies.

This is the 8th increase in price since July when the government decided to go in for a small hikes of up to Rs 2 per bottle every month to cut down its subsidy outgo.

LPG rates were last hiked on December 1 by Rs 2.07 per cylinder.

The government had last year decided to take the diesel route for eliminating subsidies on LPG and kerosene. Diesel price was deregulated in November 2014 after the previous UPA government effected 50 paise hikes every month to bridge the gap with retail price and its international cost.

The Rs 2 per cylinder hike in LPG every month is also aimed at achieving the same purpose. In case of kerosene, the government has allowed state-owned oil companies to raise the price by 25 paise a litre every fortnight for 10 months. The 10th hike in kerosene, since July, was effected today.

A litre of kerosene now costs Rs 18.28 in Mumbai. Delhi has been declared a kerosene-free state and no subsidised PDS kerosene is sold in the national capital.

The price of non-subsidised cooking gas, which consumers buy after exhausting quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg each per household in a year, was hiked by Rs 1 to Rs 585. The hike comes on the back of Rs 54.5 hike on December 1.

15:11  SBI cuts lending rate by 0.9 per cent:  Flush with higher deposits following demonetisation, the country’s largest lender State Bank of India today slashed its benchmark lending rate by 0.9 per cent across various maturities, effective today. 

The bank has reduced marginal cost of funds based lending rate from 8.90 per cent to 8 per cent for 1-year tenure, SBI said in a statement.

The MCLR on overnight borrowings has been reduced to 7.75 per cent from 8.65 per cent, while the lending rate for three-year tenure has been cut from 9.05 per cent to 8.15 per cent. 

Similarly, the bank reduced the lending rate by similar percentage point for tenures including one month, three months, six months and two years.

“With this, the bank has reduced its benchmark rate by 2 per cent from January, 2015,” it said.



William Christopher, best known for playing Father Mulcahy on the hit sitcom MASH, has passed away at the age of 84.

The actor died of lung cancer at his home in Pasadena, early morning on New Year’s Eve, his agent confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

He was diagnosed with cancer a year and a half ago and had been responding well to treatment up until last month, when the disease reappeared.

“Two weeks ago, he took a turn for the worse. Hospice began this week at his home, and he went peacefully without pain this morning,” his agent said.

Christopher guest-starred on multiple TV shows such as “The Patty Duke Show” and “Good Times” before landing his recurring role as Private Lester Hummel on “Gomer Pyle, USMC”.

He later landed the part of his most recognized character, Father Francis Mulcahy, in 1972 and played the role until the sitcom’s end in 1983. He reprised his part in the sitcom’s followup series “After MASH” from 1983 to 1985.

Christopher’s notable film roles included “The Fortune Cookie,” “The Shakiest Gun in the West,” “With Six You Get Egg Roll” and “Hearts of the West.”

He most recently appeared in several episodes of “Days of Our Lives” in 2012.

His “MASH” co-star Loretta Swit, who played Major Margaret Houlihan on the show, shared, “Our Dear Bill and his goodness are a great argument for there being a heaven. I never heard him complain or loose his temper. Everyone adored him.

“A great sense of humor and a great humanitarian. He became TV’s quintessential padre as Father Mulcahy on ‘MASH’. It was the most perfect casting ever known.”

The actor is survived by his wife Barbara and two sons, John and Ned. 

14:45  Ramgopal has no authority to call natl convention: Shivpal:  

Talking on Ramgopal Yadav’s expulsion from the SP, Shivpal Yadav tweeted, “Ramgopal Yadav’s expulsion has been approved by Samajwadi Party’s Parliamentary Board Meeting held at Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence.”     

“Expulsion of Ram Gopal Yadav is still valid and he has no authority to call a National Convention,” he said in another tweet. 

The announcement came hours after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was proposed as the new national working president of the SP and removal of Shivpal from the post of UP chief at a meeting called by Ramgopal.


14:33  Mulayam expels Ramgopal again, calls another convention:  The family drama in the ruling Samajwadi Party is not yet over as Mulayam Singh Yadav has again expelled Ramgopal from the party for six years.   

Mulayam said that resolutions passed in today’s convention called by Ramgopal are illegal and unconstitutional.   

He also called another national convention on January 5.   

Earlier, upstaging Mulayam, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was anointed the SP president in place of his father in party convention which also proposed the expulsion of “outsider” Amar  Singh and removal of Shivpal Yadav from the post of UP chief.

14:16  Indonesian officials say at least 23 killed after ferry catches fire near its capital, reports AP.


14:06  Post demonetisation, Jan Dhan a/c deposits double to Rs 87K cr:  

Deposits in Jan Dhan account have more than doubled to Rs 87,000 crore in 45 days post demonetisation, prompting the tax department to “dissect” information relating to such deposits, a top government official said.

Besides, the tax department also has data on small cash deposits between Rs 30,000-50,000 made in 4.86 lakh accounts totaling to Rs 2,000 crore.

Between November 10-December 23, the total deposits in Jan Dhan accounts reported is Rs 41,523 crore in 48 lakh accounts.

This, together with the total deposits of Rs 45,637 crore as on November 9, takes the aggregate amount in Jan Dhan accounts to over Rs 87,100 crore.

“All these information received on Jan Dhan Accounts are being dissected. If it is found that money deposited in these accounts belong to some other persons, necessary action will be taken at appropriate time,” the official told PTI.

Cash deposit between Rs 30,000 and Rs 50,000 have been reported in 4.86 lakh accounts till November 30, taking the total deposits in such quantum to Rs 2,022 crore.

The official further said that inflows of funds into Jan Dhan accounts was the highest in the first week after demonetisation at Rs 20,224 crore, but after that the deposits went down substantially.


13:11  Somdev Devvarman announces retirement from professional tennis :  Somdev Devvarman, one of India’s best tennis players, announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 31.   

“Starting 2017 on a new note, retiring from pro tennis. Thanks to everyone for the love and support over the years,’ he tweeted.   

He last played nearly two years ago against Sebastian Fanselow at USA F10 Futures with the Indian losing 3-6, 2-6.


12:52  Army won’t shy away from flexing its muscles: New army chief :  

New Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today said the role of the force is to maintain peace and tranquillity at the border but it will not “shy away from flexing its muscles, if the need be”.

Eastern Army commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Southern commander Lt Gen P M Hariz will continue to serve the Army and maintain the unity, he said.

“The force is to maintain peace and tranquillity at the border but it will not shy away from flexing its muscles, if the need be,” Gen Rawat said.

All units and services of the Army are together and he would always look at each one of them as one unit, he said.

Rawat, who took over as the 27th Army chief yesterday, was speaking to reporters here after inspecting the Guard of Honour at the South Block in New Delhi.

12:34  PM condemns terror attack in Turkey:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described as “barbaric” the terror attack in Istanbul and said India stands by Turkey in this time of grief.

“Heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Turkey on the tragic loss of lives in Istanbul,” he tweeted. 

“We strongly condemn the barbaric attack and stand by Turkey in this time of grief,” the PM added.

Thirty-nine people, including foreigners, were killed when a gunman stormed an Istanbul nightclub as revelers were celebrating the New Year.


12:28  Army Chief  General Bipin Rawat earlier paid tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti. 


12:09  Ramgopal declares Akhilesh as SP national president:   Ramgopal Yadav has declared Akhilesh Yadav as the national president of the Samajwadi Party at its convention in Lucknow.   

Ramgopal proposed in the national executive meet, which was skipped by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, to sack Amar Singh from the party and Shivpal Yadav to be removed as state president.

“The convention also proposes that Mulayam Singh Yadav be considered as supreme leader of the party and top brass will take guidance from him,”said Ramgopal.

Speaking at the meet Akhilesh said, “If people are conspiring against Netaji (Mulayam) then it is my duty to speak out and act against it.”

“Netaji is my father and I will always be his son,” Akhilesh added.

“The whole country should understand that I will respect Netaji more than ever before,” the UP CM said at the meet which was declared ‘unconstitutional’ by Mulayam.  


11:42  Mulayam calls SP national convention ‘unconstitutional’:   Calling national convention called by Ramgopal Yadav ‘unconstitutional’, SP chief Mulayam Yadav today issued a letter to party workers stating those who attend the meet would be severely dealt with.   

However, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav with other senior leaders is present at the meeting.   

The convention was being held a day after the revocation of the dramatic expulsions of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party.

10:48  JUST IN: Ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir’s Poonch sector, Indian forces give befitting response to Pak firing


10:45  Mallya targets Modi: ‘PM must ensure agencies under him are impartial’:  

Vijay Mallya, the absconding liquor baron who is facing loan default case of over Rs 9,400 crore, has targeted central agencies probing cases against him while appealing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure a ‘fair’ and ‘impartial’ investigation.

In a series of tweets, the former Rajya Sabha MP, in a veiled attack on PM Modi, said that while the prime minister advocates use of technology, government agencies refuse to take his words seriously.

“In 2017 I would only hope that PM Modi Ji’s vision can be correctly fairly legally and impartially executed by his government. Our esteemed PM speaks about use of technology even for farmers. Wonder why enforcement agencies refuse use of technology,” Mallya said.

“Will our dynamic forward thinking corruption free PM care to guarantee that criminal agencies under his control are fair, impartial and legal,” he added.


10:43  Mohammad Kaif trolled on Twitter for doing surya namaskar:   Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif became the latest target of Twitter trolls after he posted photos of himself doing the Surya Namaskar.

Kaif, who often shares health and fitness tips on the social micro-blogging site, endorsed the yoga pose as a complete workout for the physical system.

However, this tweet of the 36-year-old clearly didn’t go down well with some of his fans and followers, who accused him of defying the traditions of Islam.

“Surya namashkar is adverse our culture society and traditions of islam. Why are you posting a controversial statement.”

10:38  Did Netaji script drama to give his son control of the party?:  If politicians were better actors than film stars, there could be reasons to believe that the entire SP drama was scripted by Mulayam Singh Yadav. The act may have been played out to silence opposition within the party and the family to his decision to hand over control of the party to his son Akhilesh Yadav.

Read full story HERE
10:31  Trump wishes Happy New Year to all, including his ‘many enemies’:  

US President-elect Donald Trump wished a Happy New Year for all American citizens, including his “many enemies” and those who fought and lost the battle against him and now “don’t know what to do.”

Trump, who takes office as President of the United States on January 20, used his Twitter account to post his message.

He tweeted: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”

09:27  JUST IN: Kim Jong-Un says North Korea in ‘final stages of test launching intercontinental ballistic missile’, reports AFP.


09:24  NRIs can exchange old notes up to June 30: RBI:  

Reserve Bank of India came out with conditions for exchange of defunct notes for those, including non-resident Indians, who failed to do so till Friday, the last day for depositing the invalid currency notes in banks.

Resident Indian citizens who were abroad from November 9 to December 30 can avail this facility up to March 31, 2017 and NRI citizens, who were abroad during this period, can exchange their defunct notes up to June 30, 2017, RBI said in a late evening statement.

“While there is no monetary limit for exchange for the eligible resident Indians, the limit for NRIs will be as per the relevant FEMA Regulations (Rs 25,000 per person),” it said.

Citizens can avail this facility in their individual capacity once during the period on submission of ID documents, and on submission of documentary evidence showing they were abroad during the period and that they have not availed the exchange facility earlier, the RBI said.

The statement added that no third party tender will be accepted under the facility.

09:05  PM wishes nation on New Year:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today greeted the nation on New Year. He hoped the New Year brings good health and prosperity in everyone’s lives. 

“Greetings on the start of 2017. May this year bring good health, happiness and prosperity in everyone’s lives,” he said in a tweet.

08:59  Manipur economic blockade to enter third month; UNC to intensify protest:  

The deadlock in Northeastern state of Manipur continues as the economic blockade imposed on two of its lifeline national highways is set to enter its third month.

United Naga Council, an umbrella group of Nagas, had been imposing economic blockade on National Highways 2 and 37 since November 1 protesting against the state governments decision to create seven new districts.

The UNC has now decided to further intensify its protest and there appears no hope of any early diffusion of the crisis and lifting of the blockade. The decision was taken at a meeting of the council on Wednesday.

Due to the blockade, goods-carrying vehicles are unable to enter states Imphal Valley, resulting in extreme crisis of essential commodities, including fuel and medicines.  

— Supratim Dey/Business Standard


08:32  ‘End of Demonetisation, start of DeModitisation’: Mamata slams PM’s address:  

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for deviating from the actual agenda of black money and asserted Indians will resolve to “deModitise” the nation.

“End of Demonetization & Start of DeModitization. The year 2017 will mark the year of Demoditization. This will be the New Year Resolution of all 125 crore people of this great country,” Banerjee tweeted after the PM’s address to the nation on Saturday evening in which he announced a slew of schemes to herald a prosperous 2017 for the urban and rural poor, farmers, small businessmen, senior citizens and pregnant women.

In a series of tweets, the Trinamool Congress supremo demanded the figures on recovery of black money. 

08:28  White House condemns ‘horrific’ Istanbul attack:  The White House condemned the”savagery” of at least one gunman in Istanbul who killed atleast 35 people and wounded 40 others as they celebrated theNew Year, calling the attack “horrific.”

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attack at a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey,which has left dozens dead and many more wounded,” 

National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. “That such an atrocity could be perpetrated upon innocent revellers, many of whom were celebrating New Year’s Eve,underscores the savagery of the attackers.”


07:55  Gun attack kills at least 35 at Istanbul nightclub:  

Thirty-five people were killed and 40 wounded in an attack in a nightclub early Sunday as they were celebrating the new year, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin said.

Sahin called the incident “a terror attack.”

The attacker, who has not yet been identified, opened fire inside the high-end Reina nightclub in the busy Besiktas neighborhood of Istanbul, according to Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu.

The recent wave of terrorist attacks in Turkey have left many people wary.

Source: Rediff