Opposition terms Modi's suit auction stint as damage control exercise, BJP defends

New Delhi, Feb 18 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi's controversial suit, along with 455 other gifts given to him, is being auctioned in Surat on Wednesday to raise money to clean up polluted Ganga river. Meanwhile, the Congress party raised objections to Modi's monogrammed suit being called a 'private' gift and alleged that the latter was auctioning it in 'damage control mode'. JD (U) and TMC too took a dig at the auction and said it was a damage control exercise. PM Modi flaunted the suit with his full name 'Narendra Damodardas Modi' on it while meeting US President Barack Obama in New Delhi on January 25. Meanwhile, the BJP said that the Congress party is trying to politicize the issue. Feb 18, 2015

From Timbuktu to the Oscars, film shows life under Islamists

When Islamist insurgents fled the fabled Malian city of Timbuktu two years ago they left a trail of destruction, but out of the ashes the story of the 10-month occupation has been turned into a film -- which is now up for an Oscar. Duration: 02:28 Feb 18, 2015

Bihar Crisis: BJP MLAs walk out from all party meeting called by State Assembly Speaker

Patna, Feb 18 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs on Wednesday boycotted the all-party meeting which was called by the State Assembly Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary ahead of the Assembly session. The State Assembly will be meeting on February 20 for Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi to prove his majority. Meanwhile, the Patna High Court on Wednesday will pronounce its judgment on the petition filed by the BJP which has challenged the Speaker's decision to recognize the Janata Dal (United) camp led by Nitish Kumar as the principal opposition. Feb 18, 2015

MP Assembly adjourned till tomorrow after opposition uproar

Bhopal, Feb 18 (ANI): The Madhya Pradesh Assembly has been adjourned till tomorrow following a massive uproar by the Congress Party over the Vyapam scam. The Congress MLAs staged a walkout from the assembly and demanded the resignations of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. Earlier on Monday, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh had alleged that Chief Minister Chouhan's name was replaced by Union Minister Uma Bharti and others in the Vyapam case. Singh alleged that Chouhan's name was replaced in the excel-sheet submitted by the Special Task Force in the court, apparently to shield him in the case. Feb 18, 2015

Attack on Red Cross convoy in Myanmar

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 Unknown attackers shoot at a Red Cross convoy in Myanmar. A witness says two people were wounded. The Myanmar Red Cross Society Feb 18, 2015

Myanmar to revoke minority ID cards

This woman is a part-time teacher in Yangon, who's half Rohingya Muslim. Like many others of this minority group, she has a temporary white-card ID which Myanmar's government is about to revoke. ( Feb 18, 2015

Senior official claims Coast Guard 'blew up' suspected Pak boat, Defence Experts react

New Delhi/ Bhopal, Feb 18 (ANI): In a major controversy with Defence Ministry's statement, a senior DIG of the Indian Coast Guard BK Loshali has claimed in a newspaper report that he ordered to destroy the suspected Pak boat which was found 365 miles off Porbandar coast in Gujarat. Reacting to it, Defence Expert Praful Bakshi said that such statements are always misinterpreted and added that focus should be laid on the fact that Coast Guard prevented a mishap from taking place. Major General (Retired) SR Sinho said that this statement should be taken seriously. The news created flutter in the defence establishment and subsequently Loshali has denied saying what the newspaper has reported. Loshali has issued a statement saying, he was not heading the operation. Feb 18, 2015

Chinese community in Kolkata gears up to celebrate New Year

Kolkata, Feb 18 (ANI): Chinese community in Kolkata is gearing up to celebrate Chinese New Year. This year the Lunar New Year falls on Thursday (February 19) and ends on March 5. In the Chinese calendar, each year is represented by one of twelve animals from the Chinese zodiac. However, this year, there has been confusion around the zodiac. Some are calling it a year of Sheep, while some say it to be a year of Goat. Both are appearing in Chinese decorative material being prepared for New Year. The festival's many customs, observed by millions of Chinese communities around the globe, link back to the idea of inviting good fortune and prosperity, and chasing away bad luck. People of Chinese community residing in Kolkata gathered on streets to watch the celebrations and the famous lion dance, a traditional dance in Chinese culture. The Manager of an authentic Chinese restaurant, Mainland China, Debashish, said to attract more customers, more items have been added to the menu. Feb 18, 2015

Modi Ji had told me beforehand he would auction the suit, says RK Virani who gifted the controversia

New Delhi, Feb 18 (ANI): On the day when the controversial monogrammed pinstripe suit which Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore during US President Barack Obama's visit, has reportedly been able to fetch at least Rs. 1 crore, the person who gifted Modi the suit said that PM Modi had already told him that he would auction the suit later. Ramesh Kumar Bhikabhai Virani said that he had gifted the suit to Modi on the occasion of his son's wedding. As per reports, the proceeds of the auction will go to the Namaami Gange Trust Fund for the Clean Ganga project. The auction will take place over three days. Feb 18, 2015

Foreign Minister lauds Indian community for contributing to Oman's economy

Muscat, Feb 18 (ANI): Union Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj lauded Indian community in Oman for boosting the economy of oil-rich Gulf nation. She was addressing the Indian diaspora in Muscat. Swaraj arrived in Oman on Tuesday for holding bilateral talks with the nation's leadership. She is on two-day official visit at the invitation of the Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, and will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations, regional and international issues of mutual interest. Swaraj also thanked the NRIs (non-resident Indians) for taking part in large number in the diaspora event in India's western state of Gujarat in January. During her visit Swaraj will hold extensive talks with her Omani counterpart Abdullah on Wednesday (February 18). The two are also likely to discuss Modi's possible visit to Oman later this year. Feb 18, 2015

Real face of Pak

Pakistan/Muzaffarabad, PoK, February 17, 2015: Pakistan may be in denial about its involvement in Afghanistan or about supporting Taliban, but none another it's ex President Parvez Musharraf has spilled the beans. He confirms that Pakistan's ISI is supporting Taliban. India's position stands vindicated. Former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf has said that under his regime, Pakistan had tried to undermine the Afghan government led by ex-president Hamid Karzai. He also added that spies in Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had given birth to the Taliban after 2001 because the Karzai government had an overwhelming number of non-Pashtuns and officials who were said to favour India, "In President Karzai's times, yes, indeed, he was damaging Pakistan and, therefore, we were working against his interest."That is where the intelligence work comes in. Intelligence being in contact with Taliban groups. Definitely they were in contact, and they should be," the 71-year-old former dictator told The Guardian Former Pakistani president spilled the beans but stayed mum on Pakistan's role in fomenting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Musharaf's interview has revealed what the world has been saying. Feb 18, 2015

No controversy over DIG's statement on Pak boat, says Coast Guard

New Delhi, Feb 18 (ANI): The Deputy General of Indian Coast Guard, KR Nautiyal has said that there is no controversy regarding the statement of DIG BK Loshali, as he has denied making any such statement. Nautiyal said that some information cannot be made public regarding security. He also said that if any information is found relevant there will be investigation. Feb 18, 2015

Coast Guard DIG clarifies controversy, says he was misquoted

Gandhinagar, Feb 18 (ANI): The Deputy Inspector General of Indian Coast Guard, BK Loshali, on Wednesday clarified the controversy over his statement that he ordered to blow up suspected Pak boat. Loshali said that he was not directly in-charge of the operation and all instructions came from the Commander Coastguard. He further clarified that he has been misquoted, adding that the boast set itself on fire and sunk in water. Feb 18, 2015

JD (U) suspends seven pro-Manjhi ministers

New Delhi, Feb 17 (ANI): JD (U) on Tuesday suspended seven pro-Manjhi ministers from party leadership. Party Chief Sharad Yadav said that when he was told about the ministers he took immediate action on problems faced due to the leaders. Yadav added that he assessed the situation and took immediate action by moving court. He also said that Jitan Ram Manjhi does not have majority in the house and added that the Governor should have been quick in taking the decision over Bihar politics. Meanwhile, President of JD (U) unit in Bihar, Basistha Narayan Singh said that the ministers did not resign from their post even after being directed to do so by the party, which is why they were suspended. The suspension comes ahead of floor test, to prove majority for Manjhi, on Friday. Feb 17, 2015

Syria willing to try ceasefire: UN

The UN's mediator on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, says the government has expressed willingness to test out a ceasefire in Aleppo. He says it'll look to suspend air strikes and shelling there. ( Feb 18, 2015