A police official in Mumbai has warned four suspected militants of Pakistani origin have entered the city, the capital of Maharashtra, India, and claims they are plotting attacks in the city. Police are now searching for the four people, thought to be members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Islamic fundamentalist militant group the Indian government holds responsible for the coordinated attacks which hit Mumbai in 2008. Joint police commissioner Himanshu Roy says intelligence suggests "the threat is serious."

Lashkar-e-Taiba are thought to be responsible for the coordinated attacks which hit Mumbai in 2008.
Image: Vinukumar Ranganathan.
A United States counter-terrorism official said the attacks are likely imminent, and will occur over the Christmas and New Year period. "There’s no question LeT remains interested in pulling off another large-scale attack in India," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, "and we are alert to the possibility that LeT might again try a holiday attack."
Speaking at a press conference, Roy said "[t]hey have recently arrived in Mumbai. We are not in a position to reveal their nationalities now but they are LeT members."
There’s no question [Lashkar-e-Taiba] remains interested in pulling off another large-scale attack in India
Armed police have been posted around high-profile destinations in the city, and roads around the Taj Mahal Palace hotel—seiged by militants in the 2008 attacks—have been closed. Police have released a sketch of one of the militants believed to be in the city.
"The police [are] on high alert all over the city. We cannot take any of these intelligence inputs lightly in the holiday season," another Mumbai official said. "Since yesterday, we are checking all the possible hideouts, small lodges and guesthouses, railway stations. We are checking all the vehicles that are coming into the city."
166 people died and hundreds more were injured in the 2008 attacks, in which multiple gunmen attacked the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, a hospital, a police station, and numerous hotels, amongst other sites. The attacks were dubbed "India’s 9/11" by local media. Only one militant survived the attacks, Ajmal Amir Kasab; in May this year he was sentenced to death by hanging, on 86 charges, including murder, terrorism, and waging war against India.

A report by the Chinese government states corruption is "very serious". Officials, it says, have investigated over 240,000 cases in the past seven years including bribery and embezzlement.

The document, released by state news agency Xinhua, states although "notable" steps have been made towards fighting corruption, attempts to flush out corrupt citizens need to be more effective. The report further warns of corruption within government, noting new regulations ordering government officials to report investment and income. It also praises the Internet and the media for exposing corruption.
In recent years China has launched several campaigns against corrupt practices, but a Chinese anti-corruption researcher told Xinhua the report indicated the Chinese government now have "a more open and cooperative attitude toward the problem."
Since the relevant mechanisms and systems are still incomplete, corruption persists, with some cases even involving huge sums of money

There have been several high profile cases of corruption in the country over the past several years; this year the highest ranking justice official in Chongqing, Wen Qiang, was executed for accepting bribes, shielding criminal gangs and rape, and in 2008 a powerful party boss was jailed for 18 years for involvement in a pension fund scandal.
Although the report notes efforts have been taken to stamp down on corruption in China, it adds ridding it completely will be difficult. "Since the relevant mechanisms and systems are still incomplete, corruption persists, with some cases even involving huge sums of money," it states. "The situation in combating corruption is still very serious, and the tasks are still abundant."

I am not sure, if it is coincidence, but it looks like cricinfo.com considers a signed bat from one M Vaughan more deserving than IPL.

On cricinfo.com’s homepage, there is a placeholder for quick links, as you can see in the image below.

Begs the question: Is cricinfo against IPL? or does it not want it be seen as supporting it.

In any case, it stinks!

I have a conspiracy theory.
The recent failure of ISRO to launch a heavy weight GSLV based satellite has actually been caused by A Raja. The total budget of the program was 125 crores which is actually painful compared to the corruption in Telecom case.

When I started to write this blog, I was merely attempting to extract some sort of humour out of this episode. But, the more I type in, the reality sinks into my not-normally-so-slow brain. A country’s reputation takes a backseat when such a failure happens, and these so-called public elected people get involved in such brazen acts of corruption that it sends shivers down the spine.
For one such corruption case, India could have sent tens of such GSLV based satellites into orbit & beyond, but only if……

Confidence and self-belief breed pride, whereas insecurity & misplaced beliefs cause arrogance.

There is a very very fine line, when it comes to differentiating between pride and arrogance, and only a few people can tell the difference.
In certain cases, the difference is only known to the person in question.

Many weeks after the scam broke out, the top man has been raided. Will it lead to any tangible action?
Is THIS the litmus test for India?

I hope so, but then again, as one of my ex-managers used to say – hope is not a strategy,
and India needs a strategy to tackle the beast known as corruption.

TAPI is in actuality a Silk Road project connecting Central Asia to the West via Gwadar, which will make Pakistan the U.S.’s gateway to Central Asia.

The significance of the signing of the intergovernmental agreement on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project (TAPI) on December 11 in Ashgabat cannot be overstated. It can only be captured if one says with a touch of swagger that TAPI has been the most significant happening in the geopolitics of the region in almost a decade since America invaded Afghanistan.

The heart of the matter is that TAPI is a Silk Road project, which holds the key to modulating many complicated issues in the region. It signifies a breakthrough in the longstanding U.S. efforts to access the fabulous mineral wealth of the Caspian and the Central Asian region. Afghanistan forms a revolving door for TAPI and its stabilisation becomes the leitmotif of the project. TAPI can meet the energy needs of Pakistan and India. The U.S. says TAPI holds the potential to kindle Pakistan-India amity, which could be a terrific thing to happen. It is a milestone in the U.S.’ “Greater Central Asia” strategy, which aims at consolidating American influence in the region.

Read the rest on thehindu.com

ADI Nagpur Spl train runs from Ahmedabad Junction to Nagpur, covering a distance of 957 km. There are a total of 14 stops including the starting and ending station. ADI Nagpur Spl runs only on Sundays, and the departure time is 16:25 hours.

ADI Nagpur Spl stops at: AHMEDABAD JN, NADIAD JN, ANAND JN, VADODARA JN, BHARUCH JN, SURAT, NANDURBAR, JALGAON JN, BHUSAVAL JN, MALKAPUR, AKOLA JN, BADNERA JN, WARDHA JN, NAGPUR

Starting Station:     Ahmedabad Junction
Ending Station:      Nagpur
Total Stops:           14
Total Distance:      957 km
Departure time:     16:25 hours
Arrival time:         12:15 hours

International police cooperation organization Interpol has put Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowers’ website Wikileaks, on its most-wanted list after a court in Sweden announced he was wanted for alleged sex crimes. Wikileaks is this week releasing more than 250,000 secret “cables” between US diplomats.
Two weeks ago, Swedish authorities ordered the arrest of Assange for suspected rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force. Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, yesterday released a “Red Notice” calling for Assange’s arrest. Interpol stated that this type of notice is not an arrest warrant, but a request “to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition.”
The incidents are alleged to have occurred in August of this year, several weeks after Assange released 75,000 documents detailing US military actions in Afghanistan. “The background is that he has to be heard in this investigation and we haven’t been able to get a hold of him to question him,” said Marianne Ny, director of prosecution in Sweden.
It was first reported that he was suspected of rape later in August, when he described the allegations as part of a “smear campaign” against Wikileaks. Wikinews reported at the time that he said “the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.” A statement posted on Wikileaks’ website after the charges were announced defended Assange. “We are deeply concerned about the seriousness of these allegations. We the people behind WikiLeaks think highly of Julian and he has our full support. While Julian is focusing on his defenses and clearing his name, WikiLeaks will be continuing its regular operations.”