Strong proposition of frequent flyers gets stronger with addition of Air India: Star Alliance

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): Air India played host to the first ever Star Alliance Chief Executive Board Meeting (CEB) held in India on Wednesday. Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, Air India CMD Rohit Nandan thanked all CEOs for traveling to India and for a productive two-day meeting. Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab Star Alliance has 14 airlines serving in India and Air India has brought 51 destinations to Star Alliance. He added that the strong proposition of frequent flyers got even stronger with the addition of Air India. CEO and President of Air Canada Calin Rovinescu said that Star Alliance member carriers would be improving the quality of the network in the coming years. Dec 17, 2014

Supreme Court gives verdict on Uttar Pradesh TET case

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave its verdict in the Uttar Pradesh TET case. The court asked the government to recruit people on the basis of TET merit. The court has also directed to appoint the selected people within 6 weeks. Dec 17, 2014

SC to monitor deportation of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed a larger bench to hear petitions challenging a constitutional clause which sought to offer Indian citizenship to Bangladeshi immigrants. Several organisations from Assam have petitioned Supreme Court against Section 6A of the Indian Citizenship Act. This section offers Indian citizenship to Bangladeshis who crossed over to Assam till March 25, 1971. Millions of Bangladeshis crossed over to India during the 1971 Liberation War to escape the atrocities by Pakistani troops. The court also decided to personally monitor the Assam Accord signed in 1985 to screen and deport illegal immigrants. The 29-year-old Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) was signed between the then Indian government and the Assam Movement, which was agitating against the undocumented migrations into Assam. A lawyer representing the petitioners, Manish Goswami, hailed the Supreme Court order. Another lawyer Somiran Sharma said the court also asked the Indian government to hold talks with Bangladesh for the smooth deportation of Bangladehi immigrants. Dec 17, 2014

SC asks Centre to take its permission before appointing Central Vigilance Commissioner

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Centre to take its permission before appointing Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). The apex court directed the government to form a panel of 15 names for consideration for the post of Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). It further directed that the named be submitted to it in a sealed envelope by January 15, 2015. Earlier on the issue the court had rapped the Union government for lack of transparency in the selection process of chief vigilance commissioner and vigilance commissioners, following which government gave the assurance that no final decision will be taken without its nod. Dec 17, 2014

Life freezes in Kashmir as temperature drops below zero

Poonch, Dec 17 (ANI): Life came to a standstill in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday after temperature dropped below zero. Residents of Poonch district are finding hard to fight the cold as the temperature was recorded minus five degrees Celsius due to rain showers and snowfall. Icy winds and fresh snowfall in the hills has influenced many parts of northern India. The cold wave has also forced people to stay indoors and keep themselves warm with bonfire. A resident, Mohammad Shafiq, said they are finding it difficult to cope with the current weather conditions. Another resident, Mohammad Basheer, said the winter chill is affecting their daily routine. Dec 17, 2014

Acts of terror a 'clarion call' for believers in humanity to unite, says Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday stated that the recent acts of terror in Sydney and Peshawar was a clarion call for all those who believe in humanity to defeat terrorism, adding that India will always be ready to play its role in such an undertaking. Swaraj was reacting to Monday's hostage crisis in Sydney, where an alleged self-proclaimed cleric took 17 people, including two people of Indian origin, hostage in a cafe in that city; and Tuesday's strike on a school in Peshawar, where members of the banned terrorist organisation Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan killed 141 people, including 132 students, before being gunned down. Speaking in detail of the incident in Sydney, Swaraj said that the Indian government was in constant contact with the Australian authorities. Swaraj also talked of the terrorist attack in Peshawar, terming the incident as 'barbaric brutality' and stated that India strongly condemns the occurrence. Dec 17, 2014

Police taking necessary steps for security: BS Bassi

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said on Wednesday that the Delhi Police is taking all necessary steps to ensure security in the capital. Bassi said that in the wake of terror attacks in Peshawar, police is maintaining high security alert in the entire region. Dec 17, 2014

SC asks BCCI to explain amendment to rule 6.2.4, threatens to strike it off

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday talked tough on amendment. It asked the BCCI to explain the importance of the amendment made to rule 6.2.4 that permits BCCI officials to have stakes in the IPL. The court has warned that it would strike it off if the explanation is found to be unsatisfactory. Dec 17, 2014

Spicejet flights cancelled after oil companies refuse fuel supplies

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): Flight operations of cash-strapped SpiceJet were grounded on Wednesday due to non-supply of jet fuel by oil marketing companies. The state-run oil marketing firms have not yet taken a decision on the resumption of jet fuel supply to SpiceJet on a two-weeks credit facility. Dec 17, 2014

Govt blames Opposition and vice versa for disrupting Parliament

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): The Central government on Wednesday blamed the Opposition for disrupting the Parliamentary proceedings continuously by raising baseless demands. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the government is not able to digest rapid development which BJP is moving towards. CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that running the house is the prerogative of the ruling party and it should take care that house runs. Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary said that the BJP should realize how difficult it is for government to work when Opposition does not cooperate. Dec 17, 2014

Home Ministry gives advisory to states on security of schools

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday that an advisory has been sent to the states on increasing security in all the schools in wake of terror attacks at a school in Peshawar. Meanwhile, BJP leader Satyapal Singh said that the police officials should become more mobile in executing their duties. Dec 17, 2014

Nobel Prize winner Malala 'heartbroken' by Pakistan school attack

Birmingham, Dec17 (ANI): Pakistani child education activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, said she was heartbroken by the news that at least 141 people, mostly children, had been killed in a Taliban attack on a school in northwest Pakistan. Malala, was shot in the head on a school bus by the Taliban in 2012 and won global acclaim for her passionate advocacy of women's right to education. Dec 17, 2014

Modi warns MPs not to cross 'Lakshman Rekha'; politicos react

New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): In a stern warning to BJP MPs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked them to refrain from making controversial statements. Modi asked his ministers not to cross the 'lakshman rekha' as it hurts the government and the party. Politicos reacted on the same. Dec 17, 2014

Pakistan begins painful task of burying its dead after school carnage

Peshawar, Dec 17 (ANI): Pakistan woke up to a day of mourning on Wednesday after Taliban militants killed 141 people, nearly all of them children, at a school in Peshawat, near the border with Afghanistan, on Tuesday. Grief-stricken family members and friends buried Abdul Azam Afridi, a student of Grade 12 who was killed when Taliban gunmen stormed the school, taking hundreds of students hostage in the bloodiest insurgent attack in the country in years. At least 132 students and nine staff members were killed on Tuesday in the incident that lasted for more than five hours. Over 120 were injured, and the army said 960 students had been rescued. Sikander Azam, brother of the dead student, said they received news of the attack late in the morning. Iqbal Afridi, a relative of the victim, said security should've been heightened at the school which was on the Taliban hit list. Dec 17, 2014

Politicos express anguish over Peshawar terror attack, hope Pak to introspect

New Delhi/ Bhopal, Dec 17 (ANI): Politicos in India on Wednesday expressed anguish over the terror strike in a school in Peshawar in which 132 students and nine staff members were killed. They also hoped that Pakistan, after Tuesday's terror strike realizes that it would also have to face the heat if it supports terrorism in any way. The attack took place on Tuesday when Taliban gunmen broke into a military-run high school attended by more than 1,100 people, many of them children of army personnel, and opened fire witnesses said. Dec 17, 2014