President sacks Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): After forcing some governors appointed by the UPA government to quit, the Narendra Modi government late Friday sacked Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria, in the first such action against political appointees of the UPA regime. An announcement by Rashtrapati Bhavan said, "The President has directed that Shri Virendra Kataria, shall cease to hold the office of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry." Lt Gen (Retd) Ajay Kumar Singh, Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, will discharge the functions of LG of Puducherry, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements for this post are made, the Rashtrapati Bhavan press communique said. Jul 12, 2014

Raj Thackeray mocks Narendra Modi, politicos react

New Delhi/Nagpur, July 12 (ANI): MNS chief Raj Thackeray poked fun at Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a student meet organized by the party and narrated a joke circulating in social media over PM's big promises. Thackrey's joke came as a surprise as the MNS leader has openly backed Modi for the top post in the past. Jul 12, 2014

Israel- Gaza air assaults continue leaving over 100 Palestinians dead

Gaza, July 12 (ANI): The night sky above Gaza City on Saturday was filled with flashes, rocket vapour trails and muffled explosions. The scene came as four days of cross-border fighting between Israel and Gaza militants pushed the Palestinian death toll past 100. As the conflict entered its fifth day, Israel showed no signs of stopping the offensive, despite international pressure to negotiate a ceasefire with the militants in the worst flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence in almost two years. According to witnesses and medical officials, an Israeli air strike killed five youths and wounded 15 people outside a family home in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza Strip early on Saturday. Further, a rocket seriously wounded one person and injured another seven Israelis when a fuel tanker was hit at a service station in Ashdod, 30 km (20 miles) north of Gaza. Medical officials in Gaza said at least 75 civilians, including 23 children, were among 106 people killed in the aerial bombardments that Israel began on Tuesday. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the United Nations Security Council to order an immediate truce. Jul 12, 2014

Right to Food Campaign expresses disappointment over budget

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): The Right To Food Campaign (RTFC), expressed disappointment over maiden budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, saying it failed to address the issue of Food Security Act and food subsidy. The RTFC, which is a network of individuals and organizations committed to realization of right to food in India, held a meeting in New Delhi and said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not speak about national food security law in the fiscal budget of 2014-2015, which was presented in the parliament on July 10. It said that BJP’s manifesto, which defined national security as universal food security, did not address it. Director Centre for Equity Studies, Delhi, Harsh Mander, said Jaitley had continued insensitivity trend. Jul 12, 2014

Bangladesh wears festive look as Muslims celebrate holy month of Ramadan

Dhaka, July 12 (ANI): Bangladeshi Muslims celebrated the holy fasting month of Ramadan with people crowding the local markets to grab Iftar treats and thronging mosques to offer prayers. Thousands sat in rows blocking the roadways in Bangladesh as their offered prayers. Mouth watering dishes attracted customers at the local markets. A Muslim devotee Mohammad Sohag hailed the spirit of the festival that promotes oneness among the Muslim brothers. A cleric at Mazar mosque, Ashraful Haq, said the iftar parties are celebrated every year for people on fast. During Ramadan, Muslims offer special prayers called Taraweeh at the end of their usual five- times prayers.Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days and culminates in the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations. Jul 12, 2014

Senior journalist Jehangir Pocha dies of cardiac arrest

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of NewsX, Jehangir Pocha, passed away in Gurgaon Saturday morning due to cardiac arrest. Pocha was co-founder of IndiMedia Pvt Ltd, which owns the news channel NewsX. Pocha’s demise was condoled by many in the media industry. The Broadcast Editors’ Association also issued condolence message. His last rites will be held at 4.30PM at Nigambodh Ghat. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, paying his condolences, tweeted, "I am shocked and saddened to hear about Jehangir Pocha's demise. I pay my condolence to his family in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace." Jul 12, 2014

UPSC Aspirants protest outside Rajnath Singhs residence demanding removal of CSATs

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): The civil services aspirants staged a protest outside Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence in Delhi demanding scrapping of the Civil Services Aptitude Tests (CSATs) which is the preliminary level to one of the toughest examination in India. The protesters also said that the exam has degraded the value of Hindi medium students or aspirants. Police personnel were also present at the spot to control the crowd. Meanwhile, some of the aspirants met Singh and presented their increasing the number of attempts and demanded a four-year age relaxation in the examinations of these services. Jul 12, 2014

Vermicelli business in markets hit adversely due to price rise

Gorakhpur, July 12 (ANI): Demand for vermicelli, which spikes during the holy month of Ramadan, is hit due to inflation as prices of wheat flour, required for preparing vermicelli, are sky-high in the markets. Vermicelli shops in Gorakhpur are running in losses, as the sales have dropped considerably due to spiralling inflation. Shopkeepers said they were incurring losses as people were not buying more than 1-2 kilograms compared to the earlier sales that usually were over 5-6 kilograms per customer a day. Sweet vermicelli is a traditional Muslim dish which is eaten during the month of Ramadan. Jul 12, 2014

Haryana Assembly passes bill for separate SGPC

Chandigarh, July 12 (ANI): Haryana government passed a bill in state assembly to create an independent committee to monitor Sikh temples, or gurdwaras, in the state. Haryana Chief Minsiter, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, said the decision to create a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for Haryana was accepted by the ruling Congress party in the state and was introduced in the assembly. The bill, was opposed by main opposition, INLD and the BJP. INLD members claimed the Congress was eyeing Sikh votes as Haryana goes to poll in October. Jul 12, 2014

Police seize heroin, arrest people in Murshidabad

Murshidabad, July 12 (ANI): Ten members of a family were arrested for smuggling and selling heroin in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. District police conducted raids in Josoitala village, which comes under Lalgola police station limits, and arrested Rejina Deoa, who resided there with her family. Superintendent of Police (SP), Murshidabad, Humayun Kabir, said arms and ammunition were also recovered from the family. Deoa escaped to Josoitala a year back with her family after murdering two men who had killed her husband. Jul 12, 2014

Oommen Chandy happy over employment offers for Iraq returned nurses

Thiruvananthapuram, July 12 (ANI): Expressing his happiness over the employment offers and financial assistance pouring in for the nurses who recently returned from the war-torn areas of Iraq, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that he was very glad about it. He assured the nurses of better employment opportunities to safeguard their future. Forty six nurses, all from Kerala, who were kidnapped in strife-torn Iraq, arrived home in Kochi on July 05. During a meeting, Kerala’s chief minister, Oommen Chandy, questioned nurses regarding their current problems after returning from Iraq. The meeting also included Kerala’s Finance Minister, KM Mani, Industries Minister, PK Kunjalikutty. In the meeting, six companies offered jobs to the nurses. Middle East-based business magnate CK Menon promised Rs 3 lakh to each nurse while Atlas Ramachandran, who runs hospitals and jewellery shops in the Middle East, promised jobs to all of them. Jul 12, 2014