Chatter: India on alert after Hyderabad bombings




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India remains on high alert, after yesterday's serial bombings in Hyderabad that killed 16 people and wounded more than 100. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but police revealed today that they had received warnings that Islamist militants the Indian Mujahideen were preparing to strike in Hyderabad and other cities.

Whoever the guilty are, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says, they "will not go unpunished."

Home, but not dry. Venezuela's government says President Hugo Chavez still requires hospital care after returning from his cancer treatment in Cuba. The surgery he had there was followed by a respiratory infection that left him with trouble breathing, an official statement said, "and the tendency has not been favourable, so it is still being treated."

It's the first news Caracas has given of the president's health since he made his surprise return on Monday. In this case, no news isn't good news and a little news is worse. Is El Comandante still fit to command? And what happens if he's not? Here are our best guesses.


To bail or not to bail? That's what a South African magistrate will decide today in the tangled case of the state versus Oscar Pistorius. It's been a long four days of hearings, each one more sensational than the last, but the prosecution and defense have finally finished making their cases for why the sprinter should, or shouldn't, be freed to await trial.

The judge's decision is due at 2.30pm Pretoria time.

Konnichiwa, Obama-san. The US president will today host Japan's new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, for their first one-on-one meeting since Abe came to power. The talks are expected to focus on regional security and threats to it; namely, Japan's territorial beef with China, and North Korea's nuclear beef with, well, everyone.

Abe will no doubt seek to show his neighbors that Japan has the United States' full support – and if necessary, muscle. But Obama will be careful about picking sides: China has already hit out at some of Abe's less-than-diplomatic comments ahead of today's meet.

Immunity or impunity? The United Nations has announced that it won't pay compensation to cholera victims in Haiti, despite evidence that leaky pipes at a UN peacekeeper base spread the devastating disease. The UN maintains that it is immune from compensation claims under its founding convention.

Lawyers representing the victims, meanwhile, say they'll continue to pursue the case in a national court.


How many nuns does it take to break the law? Approximately 51. That's how many were found at an illegal after-hours lock-in at a pub in Ireland, whose owner was fined €700 for the unholy congregation. We should clarify that the "nuns" weren't actually nuns, but people wearing habits for an attempt to break the world record for "most people dressed as nuns." (Who knew?)

Event organizer Christy Walsh did indeed break the record – and raised thousands of euros for charity – but was subsequently prosecuted for allowing the nun-alikes to drink in his bar well into the wee hours. His lawyer contemplated pleading that no good Catholic could turn away a thirsty sister but, probably wisely, decided to accept the fine.