Sushma Swaraj holds meeting with Indian envoys to SAARC nations to bolster relations

New Delhi, June 23 (ANI): Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday met Indian envoys to SAARC nations as part of new government's initiative to improve bilateral ties with neighbours. Swaraj met the envoys to take stock of current relations with each of the neighbouring countries to set down Narendra Modi led government's priorities and approach. Swaraj will pay a three-day visit to Bangladesh from June 25 during which she will hold talks with top leadership.Recently, Modi's decision to make Bhutan his first destination for his foreign trip was the latest in a series of unconventional policy choices by the new Prime Minister. Modi's government aims to make India the dominant foreign investor across South Asia as well as the main provider of infrastructure loans. Jun 23, 2014

Vyapam Scam: MP CM hits back at rival parties, says will file defamation

Bhopal/ New Delhi, June 23 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said he is preparing to file defamation suit over allegations leveled by the opposition parties against his wife and his government pertaining to the Vyapam Scam. Earlier, Congress leader K. K. Mishra, who had leveled allegations of Union Minister Uma Bharti being involved, asked Chief Minister Chouhan to order a probe in the multi-crore Vyapam Scam and also alleged the involvement of a powerful person in this case. The recruitment scam had reportedly involved manipulation in the selection process for government jobs conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB). A Special Task Force has been constituted for an investigation into the Vyapam scam which had detained Laxmikant Sharma, a former state technical education minister, for interrogation. The high profile teacher's recruitment scam in Madhya Pradesh is being linked to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's wife, Sadhna Singh. Jun 23, 2014

Black money: India to get Swiss bank details, politicos react

New Delhi, June 23 (ANI): Political leaders on Monday reacted as the Swiss government prepares to share names of Indians who have stashed untaxed money in the banks in Switzerland. The names of certain Indian individuals and entities came under the scanner of the Swiss authorities during an ongoing exercise to identify the real beneficiary owners of funds held in various banks operating in Switzerland. The list of such persons and entities is being shared with India, while further details would also be provided in due course and all necessary administrative assistance would be made available as well. Jun 23, 2014

Will Pakistan succeed in removing monster it has created in N. Waziristan?

North Waziristan, June 23: Pakistan is falling victim to the monster it has created. The Taliban and al Qaeda militants, who were backed and trained by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), are now on a rampage. Pakistan faced a major setback on June 10 this year, when the Taliban and ethnic Uzbek fighters carried out a deadly attack on the country's biggest airport in Karachi. Now, the Pakistan Government has all of a sudden decided to eliminate extremists based in volatile North Waziristan and launch Operation Zarb-e-Azb or "Strike of the Prophet's Sword". Jun 23, 2014

Kristen Bell stays fit by 'hiking'

New Delhi, June 23 (ANI): Kristen Bell swears by hiking when it comes to outdoor workout. The 33-year-old actress told a leading Magazine that though she has done a lot of hiking with her friends, she likes it best when she does it with her 15-month-old daughter Lincoln with hubby Dax Shepard, strapped on to her chest. The ' Frozen' star added that she finds hiking effective and fun in her busy routine, as it doesn't separate her or makes things difficult for her family often joins her in the activity. Bell also said that she just loves to see her little girl grow as she's at such a fun age, which though is exhausting, but is more rewarding. Jun 23, 2014

Heavy security deployed in Kashmir after shutdown call from separatists

Srinagar, June 23 (ANI): Life came to a standstill on Monday in Kashmir as curfew is imposed in some areas following a call for a strike by a separatist group to protest against the government. The curfew order followed a call by the chief of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (a separatist group), Yasin Malik, to observe June 23 as 'Quit Kashmir Day' and observe a strike to register their protest against the government. All shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices are closed and public transport are off the roads. Security personnel put up barbed wires to block the roads and patrolled the area. Kashmir region has witnessed numerous militant attacks, insurgency, and infiltration attempts from across the border in the last two decades. Jun 23, 2014

'Humshakals' manages to earn Rs 25 crores in 2 days despite negative reviews!

New Delhi, June 23 (ANI): Sajid Khan`s latest offering 'Humshakals' may have received negative reviews from all quarters. But it seems that the director has nothing to worry about as the box office reports are quite pleasing. Tagged as "the comedy of ghastly errors" and "a two-and-a-half-hour show reel of plot less, witless, joyless offensiveness", the film has managed to collect over Rs 25 crores in two days. Writer Milap Zaveri, whose adult comedy Grand Masti was praised by critics last year, is also happy with the film's performance. "Humshakals is super steady on Saturday! No drop despite the unprecedented negativity against it! Brilliant! Audiences chose to go for it!" he tweeted. Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Tammannaah Bhatia, Esha Gupta and Bipasha Basu starrer Humshakals was made on a budget of 75 crores. Jun 23, 2014

Indians return from conflict zone of Iraq, situation worsens

New Delhi, June 23 (ANI): Indians returned home from conflict zone of Iraq on Monday, as the fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) advanced to capital Baghdad, according to authorities. Many people working in Basra city of Iraq heaved a sigh of relief when they returned home safely in New Delhi. Militants from ISIL, along with other Sunni rebels, are reported to have abducted dozens of foreigners, including Indian nationals, as they swept through towns in the Tigris valley north of Baghdad in recent days. Forty Indian nationals worked for a Baghdad-based construction company, Tariq Noor Al Huda, when they were abducted in Iraq's second largest city of Mosul after it fell to Sunni Muslim rebel. On Monday, Indian national who returned from Basra city, Dharmendra Kumar Yadav, said his company made all adequate arrangements for his safe return. Another Indian who returned from Basra, Lakhbir Singh, said the situation Iraq is still tense. Jun 23, 2014

Will hike import duty on sugar to 40 per cent: Ram Vilas Paswan

New Delhi, June 23 (ANI): After a high delegation meeting called by the Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, he said that they will hike import duty on sugar to 40 per cent as against the present 15 per cent. The decision and other such decisions came in order to discuss ways to bail out the sugar industry that is unable to pay Rs 11,000 crore dues to sugarcane growers. He said that the ministry will extend sugar export subsidy of Rs 3,300 per tonne till September this year and will provide additional interest free loan of Rs. 4,400 crore to cash-strapped sugar mills to make payments to sugarcane farmers. Jun 23, 2014