L A T E S T      N E W S

Samsung ordered to pay Apple $1bn 

California: In what can be called as one of the biggest patent cases in decades, Apple Inc scored a sweeping legal victory over Samsung on Friday that could have huge market repercussions.

The US jury found that Samsung had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and awarded Apple USD 1.051 billion in damages.

The verdict -- which came much sooner than expected -- could lead to an outright ban on sales of key Samsung products and will likely solidify Apple's dominance of the exploding mobile computing market.

A number of companies that sell smartphones based on Google's Android operating system may now face further legal challenges from Apple, a company that is already among the largest and most profitable in business history.

Apple's charges that Samsung copied its designs and features are widely viewed as an attack on Google Inc and its Android software, which drives Samsung's devices and has become the most-used mobile software.Back




Police warns Kejriwal against gheraoing PM's residence

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police on Saturday sought a fresh undertaking from one of the prominent members of erstwhile Team Anna to allow their dharna on the coal allocation issue while warning them against gheraoing the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari.

In an indirect rejection of application for staging a dharna at Jantar Mantar on Sunday, Additional Commissioner (New Delhi) KC Dwivedi said the police need a fresh undertaking from "such office bearer" who can exercise control over everyone participating in the protest.

The letter by Dwivedi dated August 23 was made public on Saturday on the Facebook page of India Against Corruption.

The erstwhile Team Anna had announced gherao of the residences of the Prime Minister and Gadkari and sought permission for a dharna at Jantar Mantar on Sunday through a letter by IAC activist Neeraj Kumar.

In the letter to Kumar, Dwivedi said, they had come to know about gherao of residences of Singh and Gadkari through media and these localities are placed under prohibitory orders.

"Violation of its provisions will attract legal action and will be against the conditions of the undertaking to be furnished by the organiser. It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to advise your organisation to desist from indulging in any unlawful act which may disturb law and order," he said.

Citing seven violations during their previous protest at Jantar Mantar for which Kumar gave an undertaking, Dwivedi said their past experiences shows that they cannot rely on his assurances as he was not able to direct the actions of leaders and participants as per the conditions of the undertaking.

"...it is imperative that the undertaking is furnished by such office bearer of your organisation who can exercise control over everyone participating in the proposed dharna," he said.

The letter said Kumar, who gave the undertaking for the protest from July 25 to August three, could not control the speakers or participants.

As against the undertaking, Dwivedi said the protesters had then occupied the entire Jantar Mantar Road resulting in closure of traffic for days together while participants staged fast on roads and marched to India Gate on July 29 without permission.

The letter also noted that people staged protests outside the residences of Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in contravention of the undertaking given by Kumar.

It also noted that another team member Shazia Ilmi "gave a call" to protesters at India Gate to gherao and lay siege the Prime Minister's residence which created a "riotous" situation. A case has been registered in this connection.

Another point which the police found was the opening of an open flame kitchen for preparing and distributing food to the supporters at the venue. "This could have endangered lives of the people present at Jantar Mantar Road," the letter said.

The letter also said the fasting activists Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and others did not heed to the instructions for medical intervention. — PTI




Delhi Police seeks further 7-day custody of Kanda

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police on Saturday sought further seven-day custody of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda in the Geetika Sharma suicide case. Kanda had surrendered before the Delhi Police last Saturday after evading them for 11 days following the registration of an abetment to suicide case against him.

Kanda, arrested in connection with the suicide of his former employee, has claimed innocence and said he was a victim of a conspiracy.

"Some politicians are doing this to malign me. They are misguiding media. Truth will come out," Kanda told reporters before being taken to court as his police remand ended today.

His former employee Geetika Sharma committed suicide on August 5 alleging harassment by Kanda and his employee Aruna Chaddha, whom she claimed were pressurising her to rejoin. Chaddha is presently in judicial custody.

Investigators had claimed that the suicide notes they recovered were written on the same day though they bore two dates.

After an analysis of the notes in which Geetika alleged harassment by Kanda, the police said they were written by the deceased the same night she took her life.

Confusion arose as one of the notes had a May date while the other had August date. 

Investigators also said that Kanda denied all allegations against him and told them that he was not in touch with Geetika for at least 45 days before her suicide.

He also claimed that Aruna, whom Geetika had named in her note, had called her parents on her own and asked her to join duty.

The police is also in touch with Ankita whose name also appear in the note. She is out of the country and police expect to question her soon. — PTI




Jayalalithaa writes to PM on training of Sri Lankan personnel

CHENNAI: Accusing the Centre of showing “excessive enthusiasm” in training Sri Lankan defence personnel, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday said it has “mischievously concealed” the training being given to two Sri Lankan officers in Tamil Nadu since May and demanded that they be sent back. 

“.. I have expressed in no unclear terms the strong views of my government on imparting training to defence personnel belonging to Sri Lanka”, she said in a strongly-worded letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, recalling her vehement opposition to such training earlier. 

She said nine personnel belonging to the Sri Lankan Air Force, who were undergoing technical training at the Air Force Station at Tambaram in Chennai, were relocated to the Yelahanka Air Force Station at Bangalore after her opposition. 

“This action itself was not proper because instead of sending these personnel back to Sri Lanka, the government of India exhibited excessive enthusiasm and concern for these personnel by relocating them to Yelahanka Air Force Station, Bengaluru, in order to enable them to complete their training”, Jayalalithaa said. 

Such “reprehensible attitude” on the part of the Centre was reflected in permitting two Sri Lankan defence personnel – Major Dissanayaka Mohottalalage Vengra and Captain Hewawasam Kadaudage – to undergo 11 months training at Defence Services Staff College at Wellington from May 19, she said. 

“It is very clear that this fact of ongoing training since May 2012 has been mischievously concealed from my government, showing scant regard for the views of my government as well as for the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu,” she said. 

She requested the Prime Minister to instruct the Defence Ministry to immediately halt the training being given to the two Sri Lankan defence personnel and send them back to Sri Lanka immediately. 

Jayalalithaa had in July strongly opposed the training being given to nine Sri Lankan defence personnel after which they were relocated to the Yelahanka air station at Bangalore. — PTI




Coal scam: PM may address nation on Monday 

New Delhi: Amid attempts by the BJP-led Opposition to corner him over the coal block allocation issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may address the nation on Monday to explain his stand.

The Prime Minister’s planned address to clear his position on the CAG report that alleged Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss in coal block allocations is a part of the UPA government’s strategy to counter the opposition onslaught in Parliament.

It may be noted that the opposition has not allowed Parliament to function this week, demanding the PM’s resignation for his alleged role in what is being called the ‘Coalgate’.

An all-party meeting is scheduled for Monday and if no breakthrough is reach even then and Parliament continues to get stalled, then the PM is likely to deliver the address later in the day.






Top Haqqani commander killed in US drone strikes in Pak

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: Badruddin Haqqani, the key operational commander of the al-Qaida linked Haqqani network, and top Pakistani Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah are believed to have been killed in US drone and air strikes in the tribal region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Badruddin, the son of Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, is ranked as a deputy to his elder brother and the network's chief Sirajuddin and was believed to be killed in one of the five volleys of drone strikes in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan since August 18.

Four of the missiles hit took place in Shawal Valley, considered to be traditional area of operations of Haqqani network in North Waziristan, and US reports said he may have been killed in the August 21 strike near Miranshah.

The wave of attacks drew strongest protest from Islamabad in recent years when a senior US diplomat was summoned by the Foreign Ministry to lodge their opposition to the attacks.

Badruddin, thought to be in his mid-30s, was a member of the Miranshah Shura Council, one of the Afghan Taliban's four regional commands, which controls all activities of the militant group in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Senior US officials were quoted by the New York Times as saying that they had strong indications that Badruddin, the key commander of the Haqqani network which is responsible for most of the spectacular assaults on American bases and Afghan cities in recent years, was killed in a drone strike

Meanwhile, a statement by coalition forces in Afghanistan said that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Mullah Dadullah was among 20 militants killed in a "precision airstrike in Shigal wa Sheltan district (of) Kunar province yesterday."

Dadullah, whose real name is Maulana Mohammad Jamaluddin, was made the commander of Taliban in Pakistan's Bajaur Agency in 2010. He fled to Afghanistan to escape an operation launched by the Pakistan Army. His deputy Shakir too was killed in the airstrike, the statement said.

Badruddin is one of the nine Haqqani family members who have been designated by the US as global terrorists. His brother Sirajuddin is the overall leader of the Miramshah Shura.

Siraj was designated by the State Department as a terrorist in March 2008; and in March 2009, the State Department put out a bounty of USD 5 million for information leading to his capture.

Giving details about the operation, American intelligence officials indicated to the Long War journal yesterday that the remotely piloted Predators and Reapers were targeting an "important Jihadi leader" in the region but his name was not disclosed.

"There are indications that Haqqani has met his demise," a senior US official said in Washington yesterday.

He said officials were waiting to sift through evidence, including information on jihadist websites, before they could be certain that Haqqani had been killed.

The report said their caution stemmed from previous erroneous claims by American and Pakistani officials about militant deaths in Waziristan, a difficult place to get reliable information. But if confirmed, Haqqani's death would be a "major benefit to the military coalition in Afghanistan."

"Badruddin has been at the centre of coalition attacks in Afghanistan as well as mischief in Pakistan," said the official. The Haqqani network has been blamed for some of the most spectacular assaults on US bases and Afghan cities in recent years.

By Friday evening, reports of Badruddin Haqqani's death were circulating in Pakistan's tribal belt.

In Washington, the White House and the CIA, which carries out drone strikes in Pakistan, declined to comment.

The latest string of drone attacks, most of them carried out in Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency, has renewed tensions between Pakistan and the US.

Nearly 40 suspected militants have been killed in these attacks, including a Kashmiri jihadi named "Engineer" Ahsan Aziz. Former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed recently led funeral prayers in Mirpur for Aziz, who was killed in a drone strike on August 18.

Badruddin Haqqani runs the Haqqani network's day-to-day militant operations, handles high-profile kidnappings and manages its lucrative smuggling operations, according to a report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

In August last year, Afghan intelligence released intercepts of Badruddin Haqqani directing a daring assault on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel. Three years before that, he held a reporter for The New York Times, David Rohde, hostage.

The last major successful drone strike in Pakistan was the killing of al-Qaida deputy leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in June.

US drones yesterday fired six missiles at three locations in Shawal Valley, destroying mud-walled compounds and two vehicles, Pakistani security officials and a Taliban commander said.

Among the 18 people killed was Emeti Yakuf, a senior leader of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a group from western China whose members are Chinese Uighur Muslim militants. — PTI





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