- The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence awarded to 26/11 gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and rejected his appeal against his conviction and death sentence in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed. The court said that waging war against the country was the primary and foremost offence committed by Kasab.
25-year-old Kasab had filed the appeal from jail, challenging his conviction and death sentence. Kasab, during the argument in the apex court, had contended that he was not given a free and fair trial and that he was not part of any larger conspiracy for waging war against India.
The court also said that the gunman’s confession in the case was voluntary and not taken under coercion by investigating authorities, quashing his claim that it was extracted through torture. Here’s a video that will tell you more.
- A special court convicted 32 people and acquitted 29 in the Naroda Patiya massacre case in which 97 people were killed by a mob in the communal riots that followed the burning of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra.
But the biggest headache for Modi is that the court has also convicted Maya Kodnani, former Minister in his government and Naroda MLA and ex-VHP leader Babu Bajrangi.
The trial began in August 2009 and charges were framed against 62 accused. However, one of them — Vijay Shetty, died during the trial. A total of 327 people, including, eyewitnesses, victims, doctors, police and government officials, forensic experts and journalists like Ashish Khetan, who conducted a TV sting operation on the accused, were examined by the court.
Meanwhile, the Congress sees this as the perfect opportunity to get a hand over the BJP:
- Mumbai-based pilots of near-bankrupt Kingfisher Airlines have decided to strike work indefinitely over non-payment of salaries. Kingfisher, facing a severe fund crunch, has not paid salaries to most of its employees, including pilots and engineers, since March this year.
This is the second time in the last ten days that the pilots have decided to stay away from work over the non-payment of salaries.
- Over to world news and Hurricane Isaac made landfall in the US state of Louisiana, bringing high winds, soaking rains and posing the first test for the flood-protection system built after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that killed over 18,000 people in 2005.
The landfall, however, was less powerful that originally expected. But it still threatens to inundate the historically flood-prone, low-lying regions with a major storm surge and heavy rain. Over 170,000 people were plunged into darkness, media reports said.
- In sport, Andrew Strauss has decided to retire from all forms of cricket . He insists that the major reason behind the decision was his drop in batting form.
He managed an average of just 17.83 in six innings against South Africa. Alastair Cook will take over as Test captain. Strauss is still the country’s second most successful captain with 24 wins in 50 Test matches.
Also, don’t forget the Paralympic Games start tonight. India has 10 athletes participating and we have their profiles and a complete schedule on our sports page.
- Some tech news for you and Samsung unveils the second generation of its popular Galaxy Note phone-cum-tablet at Europe’s biggest electronics show in Berlin today.
The Galaxy Note, Samsung’s second most popular smartphone after its flagship Galaxy S, is not included in the list of the potential US sales ban, and Samsung hopes the phablet upgrade will lift any post-Apple gloom.
The new version of the Note is expected to feature a thinner and slightly bigger 5.5-inch screen, powerful quad-core processor, the latest version of Google’s Android operating system called Jellybean, and improved stylus function.
- And finally, Will.i.am has premiered his new single — from Mars. The NASA rover Curiosity beamed to Earth his new song Reach for the Stars on Tuesday in the first music broadcast from another planet. The song had been uploaded to the rover, which landed near the equator of Mars, and played it back — a journey of some 1,100 million kilometers.