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FDI in retail: Both Houses adjourned amid uproar on Day 7

NEW DELHI: Both Houses of Parliament adjourned for the seventh day without any business being conducted as the standoff between the government and the Opposition over the former's decision to allow 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail continued. As soon the Lok Sabha met for the day, Opposition members rushed to the Well of the House demanding a rollback of the decision.

Members of the Trinamool Congress, a key partner in the government, were also seen waving placards and raising slogan like 'Cancel FDI in retail'.

With members unrelenting, Speaker Meira Kumar first adjourned the House till noon and later for the day.

The Rajya Sabha also witnessed similar scenes. It was adjourned first till noon and later for the day after agitating BJP, BSP, JD-U and AIADMK members raised slogans against the government's FDI policy.

On Tuesday, an all-party meeting convened by the Centre to end the deadlock over FDI ended inconclusively, with both the government and the Opposition failing to reach a consensus over the issue.

Last Thursday, the Cabinet approved 51 percent FDI in multi- brand retail. As per this move, many global retailers like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco can open outlets in India.

The Cabinet also decided to remove the 51 per cent cap on FDI in single-brand format, under which companies in food, lifestyle and sports business run stores. Owners of brands like Adidas, Gucci, Hermes, LVMH and Costa Coffee can have full ownership of business in India. — ANIBack



NATO attack a deliberate act of aggression: Pakistan army

ISLAMABAD: A senior Pakistani army official has said a NATO cross-border air attack that killed 24 soldiers was a deliberate, blatant act of aggression, hardening Pakistan’s stance on an incident which could hurt efforts to stabilise Afghanistan.

In a briefing to editors carried in local newspapers on Wednesday, Major General Ishfaq Nadeem, Director-General of Military Operations, also said NATO forces were alerted they were attacking Pakistani posts, but helicopters kept firing. “Detailed information of the posts was already with ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), including map references, and it was impossible that they did not know these to be our posts,” The News quoted Nadeem as saying in the briefing held at army headquarters on Tuesday.

NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military border posts in northwest Pakistan on Saturday in the worst incident of its kind since Islamabad allied itself with Washington in 2001 in the war on militancy. The helicopters appeared near the post around 15 to 20 minutes past midnight, opened fire, then left about 45 minutes later, Nadeem was quoted as saying. They reappeared at 0115 local time and attacked again for another hour, he said. Nadeem said minutes before the first attack, a US sergeant on duty at a communications centre in Afghanistan told a Pakistani Major that NATO special forces were receiving indirect fire from a location 15 km from the posts. The Pakistanis said they needed time to check and asked for coordinates. Seven minutes later, the sergeant called back and said “your Volcano post has been hit”, Nadeem quoted the sergeant as saying.

Nadeem concluded that the communication confirmed NATO knew the locations of the Pakistani posts before attacking, said The News. — ReutersBack


Blast rocks Imphal ahead of PM visit

Imphal: A man was on Wednesday seriously injured when a powerful bomb exploded at a crowded exhibition area thronged by foreigners.

The bomb exploded at around 11 am at Hapta Kangjeibung ground where Sangai festival, in which many foreigners from Thailand, Malaysia and other southeast Asian countries were taking part, was being celebrated.

The bomb was rigged to a rickshaw parked near the gate, officials said. Police identified the injured as Kora, a rickshaw puller. He was paid Rs 20 by suspected KCP militants to carry the bomb, they said.

The site of the blast is about 50 metres away from the newly-constructed City Convention Centre which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohon Singh on December 3, official sources said.

The place is at a distance of 50 feet from the the All India Radio, Imphal.

The injured was taken to Regional Institute of medical Science and hospital.

Sources said a faction of the KCP (Kangleipak Communist Party) had called a 72-hour general strike in Manipur which would end tomorrow at 6 AM tomorrow in protest against the prolonged economic blockade on national highways.

Thousands of people gather at the ground during the Sangai festival. Foreigners, mainly from south-east Asian countries, participate in large numbers and stalls sell foreign items. Sangai is a rare brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur.Back


Anna gives Dec 23 deadline to govt

New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare has put the government on notice again, with another threat of a renewed agitation towards the end of December to push for a stronger lokpal bill. His chosen stage will be a familiar one, Delhi's Ramlila Maidan.




6 Indian Mujahideen members held 

New Delhi: The Delhi Police have reportedly arrested six suspected terrorists who were involved in various bomb blast and firing cases across the country.

Sources said the six belong to the banned Indian Mujahideen terror group. Two each of the six were arrested from Delhi, Chennai and Bihar.

Reports said the suspects were involved in the February 2010 German Bakery bomb blast in Pune, the firing incident outside Delhi’s Jama Masjid just before the Commonwealth Games in October last year, and the bomb blast outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in April last year.

Sources said one Pakistani, Hamid Ansari was arrested from Bihar’s Madhubani where he claimed he had come to meet his jailed son who was under arrest for his involvement in fake currency racket.



Michael Jackson's doc gets 4-yr jail 

Houston: Conrad Murray, the personal physician of Michael Jackson, was sentenced to four years in jail for his role in the death of the music icon.




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