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Major News and Events of 21 February 2013

What Happened on 21 February 2013

Terror in Hyderabad, 12 die in twin blasts

Twin explosions in Hyderabad on Thursday evening killed at least 12 people and injured over 50 people as per the union home ministry. The Andhra Pradesh chief minister at the same time put the toll at 11 while eyewitnesses stated there were 18 deaths. This was the first terror strike in the city since 2007, the twin near-simultaneous explosions happened in Dilsukhnagar area, south of Musi River in the southern part of Hyderabad and about 15 km from the city center. This is a busy commercial area which was crowded with people returning home. Some eyewitnesses claim there were three explosions. The first blast was at 7 p.m. near a tiffin centre opposite Venkatadri theatre and the second near Konark theatre. The bombs were installed on bicycles. The injured were taken to Yashoda Hospital at Malakpet and to the government-run Osmania Hospital. Horrific pictures of the victims without limbs were seen. Body parts of the victims were thrown several meters away from the spot with the powerful explosions. The substance used is said to be ammonium nitrate. Police cordoned off the area as sleuths from National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Intelligence Bureau rushed to the scene. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that the government had received intelligence warning of blasts but there was no mention of specific target. NIA and the National Security Guard (NSG) teams have gone to Hyderabad.

SC appoints team to scan Radia tapes

A six member team to look into the transcripts of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia's telephonic conversations has been set up Supreme Court on Thursday.  The team will analyze if there was any conversation that was against the law and warranted prosecution. The report will be submitted in four months.The team comprises five officers from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and one from Income Tax department. They will be supervised by two senior officers of the CBI. The 2G scam was revealed with the  intercepts of Radia's telephones. A Superintendent of Police (SP) rank official will supervise the team and the entire team would be under a deputy inspector general of the CBI. Four months' time has been given to complete the analysis. Radia and her associates' phones were under scanner by the Income Tax department after the home ministry got an anonymous letter alleging her foreign connections and her amazing rise in a short span of a few years.Then the Income Tax department was asked to investigate the matter.-

Bigger agitation in the fray, warn trade unions

Major trade unions issued a warning to the central government on Thursday of bigger agitation and stated that the two-day national strike was "the beginning of the chapter". All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said many factories and people have joined the strike on the last day (Thursday) and even those who opened the factories yesterday closed it today. Other leaders of several trade unions  like Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) were along with him. Dasgupta also stated that international trade unions of Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Japan and other countries supported their strike. He also blamed the government for the reported loss of Rs.26,000 crore. If the government had listened to their demands, the strike  would not have happened. As one million bankers struck work the two-day strike hampered the clearance of around 14 million cheques valued around Rs.800 million.

Series between India and Australia, a tussle for ICC ranks as well

India and Australia will face each other in a four-Test cricket series, which begins on Friday. The teams are concerned with the ICC Test rankings. South Africa have secured their position as the number-one ranked Test side much before the April 1 cut-off date and they will get reward of $450,000. Reward for the second team is $350,000, third-ranked $250,000 and fourth-placed $150,000. India and Australia, as well as second-ranked England, who will play against New Zealand in a three-Test series from March 6, will all be vying for points from their respective series that will help them secure position and receive increased incentive in the form of prize money approved by the ICC Board in 2012. Australia is ranked third and lead India which is at fifth rank by 12 ratings points. But the scenario can change depending on the result of the series. Australia would need to win the series at least 2-0 to reach second rank and if England beat New Zealand 3-0, then both Australia and England will tie at 119 ratings points, but Australia will edge above England when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point. India can edge past Pakistan and be at fourth rank if they win within the deadline the series by 1-0 or better. To go beyond Australia, India will have to win 4-0.

Abhishek Bachchan may star in 'Meerut Junction'

Filmmaker Anand Kumar is eagerly awaiting the release of his new film "Zila Ghaziabad". He has at the same time started work on his next project titled "Meerut Junction" and looks forward to cast Abhishek Bachchan in the lead. He said the movie is very much a story of the villages and he wants to rope in Abhishek Bachchan for it. He said he is in touch with him and that Abhishek has liked the script. Once they decide to work together then the process will start. According to him Abhishek will be appropriate for the role. He also stated that the character in this movie will be similar to that of Amitabh Bachchan's role in 'Kaalia'. 

India to launch Mars mission this year: President

India's Mars mission will be launched this year, this was informed by President Pranab Mukherjee. He stated that many space missions are planned this year that includes India's first mission to Mars and the launch of the first navigational satellite. The Mars Orbiter Mission, slated for October, will search for signs  of life and ascertain why there is loss of atmosphere on the red planet. The launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on Sep 9 was India's 100th space mission. In 2012, India's first remote sensing satellite RISAT-1 was also launched. The president specified that India has made considerable progress in nuclear energy and electricity generation from nuclear power plants rose by 23 percent in 2011-12 over the previous year. Two units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu will be commissioned this year.

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