Monday, May 30, 2011

Indo-Pak defence secretary-level talks begins

After a gap of three years, defence secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan on the long-pending Siachen issue will kick off in New Delhi on Monday.
"Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar will lead the Indian delegation during the two-day talks," a Defence Ministry official said, adding that "India and Pakistan decided to resume the talks last year after both Prime Ministers met in Thimpu."

Pakistan's Defence Secretary Lt General (Retd) Syed Ather Ali arrived in New Delhi on Saturday for the 12th round of talks, which will conclude on Tuesday.While the Pakistani delegation has two civilian officials and four military officers, the Indian side includes Special Secretary R K Mathur, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt General A M Verma and Surveyor General S Subha Rao, defence officials said.

Siachen, the world's highest militarised zone, has been a long pending issue between India and Pakistan over differences on the location of the 110-km long Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) which passes through the Soltoro Ridge and Siachen glacier.

India wants Pakistan to authenticate the AGPL, both on the maps and the ground, as it occupies most of the dominating posts on the Saltoro Ridge, officials said.Pakistan, in turn, has been insisting on maintaining the pre-1972 troop positions as agreed in the Simla Agreement.

Retaliating to Pakistan Army's advances in the glacier in 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot and deployed its troops in most of the dominating features in the area.The defence secretary-level talks between the two countries on Siachen dates back to 1985.

The decision to hold joint talks was taken by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Pakistan President General Zia-ul-Haq.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

US give list of five terrorist to Pak

US has drawn up a list of five terrorists it expects Pakistan to provide intelligence about immediately and possibly target in joint operations, according to a media report on Saturday.The list was discussed during three meetings between Pakistani and US officials in the past two weeks, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's talks with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad on Friday, media reports quoted a US official, a Pakistani government official and a Pakistani intelligence official as saying.

The list also includes Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar, commander Siraj Haqqani and Atiya Abdel Rahman, the Libyan operations chief of Al Qaida.The US views the list as a test of whether Pakistan is "serious about fighting terrorists who have long enjoyed safe havens within its borders", the report said.An American source too confirmed the existence of the list to the Dawn newspaper and said the US softening its position on unilateral action against terrorists found in Pakistan was conditional.

"The message given to Pakistani leaders was loud and clear: you either cooperate with us on these list of terrorists or we'll take care of them by ourselves," the source was quoted as saying by the newspaper.Ilyas Kashmiri has emerged as one of the most dangerous terrorists in recent years. He is a militant with international goals and connections across Arabia and South Asia.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Afghan president moves to stop NATO night raids

Afghan president has ordered his defence minister to tell NATO that Afghan forces and not the international troops should be the one to carry out special operations and nighttime raids.

Hamid Karzai's announcement on Saturday also says NATO should not proceed with any raids that have not been coordinated with Afghan forces.The move is meant to assuage rising popular anger over coalition searches and nighttime raids of homes.

NATO forces have faced violent protests over night raids on villages where they are trying to flush out insurgents.It's unclear what immediate impact Karzai's statement will have.NATO says the coalition understands it "must move from Afghan participation in night operations to Afghan forces having responsibility for night operations."

Friday, May 27, 2011

CMAI Delegation to CommunicAsia 2011 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

CMAI Delegation to CommunicAsia 2011 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

CMAI is pleased to announce CMAI Delegation to CommunicAsia 2011 scheduled to be held from 21-24 June, 2011 at marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
CommunicAsia2011 will feature a comprehensive myriad of key and emerging technologies from backhaul network, systems integration to software and applications to the end users. Highlighting the newest technology innovations, latest industry updates from the ICT industry and featuring thought-provoking sessions by prominent industry players in the Summit. The event is scheduled to witness over 3000 exhibitors from over 100 countries with over 70,000 international visitors. More details are available at http://www.communicasia.com/

Delegation members would be provide the following services:

1. Express Group Registration

2. Free copy of the Show Directory worth S$120

3. 20% discount on delegate fee if interested to attend any concurrent seminar

4. Guided tour around the exhibition

5. Special Networking meetings with exhibitors

6. Invitation to concurrent Networking events.

Members interested to join the delegation or members who are already travelling to the expo are requested to send in their name and email address and take advantage of the above facilities. We are also talking to Tourism Singapore to provide complimentary vouchers to the delegation.

Address by Prime Minister at the Indian Community Function

Address by Prime Minister at the Indian Community Function
Following is the text of the address by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh at the Indian Community Function in Addis Ababa:

"It is a great privilege for me to meet the members of the Indian community in Ethiopia.

Indian merchants and artisans came to this country as far back as the 19th century. They made a home here and with painstaking effort built for themselves a respected place in Ethiopian society.

I was very proud to hear that many Ethiopians have high regard for the Indian teachers who taught them. I am told that even today Ethiopian universities are keen to recruit Indian professors.

I see this spirit of selfless and dedicated service among all Indian communities I meet during my visits abroad. While retaining and carrying forward the high values, strong family traditions and work ethic of their motherland, they adapt very well in their adopted homes. They are pillars of their communities and a source of pride and achievement for Indians everywhere.

I have been in Addis Ababa for the last three days. My visit to Ethiopia has been a most rewarding experience. I have been struck by the extraordinary goodwill, love and affection for India in this country. We are indeed fortunate to have friends like the people of Ethiopia.

I have come to Africa with a message of friendship and solidarity from India. I conveyed to the African leaders how much importance the people and government of India attach to reviving our historic relations with this great continent.

We concluded the second Africa India Forum Summit yesterday. Together with leaders from across the continent of Africa, we set out an ambitious road map to comprehensively expand the India-Africa partnership.

Indian communities in Africa have an important role to play in renewing and strengthening relations between India and Africa. The rise of India and Africa is opening new opportunities for collaboration. There is much that we can do together to increase each others’ welfare and prosperity.

I have held detailed discussions on our bilateral relations with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia His Excellency Mr. Meles Zenawi. We agreed that there is vast untapped potential in developing our bilateral relations. Prime Minister Zenawi is a strong advocate of a robust and diversified relationship between India and Ethiopia.

Today India is on a path of high economic growth. There is confidence and hope among our youth and a desire for change. A new India is rising fast as a fast growing, democratic and pluralistic society. These are features we share with Ethiopia.

In recent years, Ethiopia’s economic performance, political stability and democratic polity have attracted the attention of the international community. Ethiopia's voice is heard with increasing respect because of these achievements.

I am confident that my visit will open a new chapter of multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.

In recent times, the flow of Indian investments in Ethiopia has grown. I am told that over 450 Indian companies have invested in Ethiopia with total committed investment of more than 4 billion US dollars.

I would urge the Indian business community to set high standards of professional conduct in this country. Businesses that seek a long term presence here should work hard to earn the support and goodwill of local communities. They should aim to be model corporate citizens.

Your contribution to the economic development of Ethiopia is highly appreciated. I would like you to know that your motherland recognises the value of this contribution and your hard work.

The welfare, safety and well-being of Indian citizens will always receive our close attention. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has been working hard to strengthen links of our overseas communities with India and to harness their knowledge, skills and resources.

I am happy to announce that we will shortly set an Indian Community Welfare Fund for Indian citizens in distress in Ethiopia.

I thank you all for coming here today. I wish you

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5th Renewable Energy India 2011

Industry Colleague are cordially invite you to be part of the 5th Renewable Energy India 2011 Expo - South Asia’s largest event on Renewable Energy being held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi during 10-12 August 2011.The 3-day international conference being held concurrent to the main exhibition is an ideal platform to address the challenges of innovative technologies, market developments, project financing; Government policy and regulations in the field of renewables.The focus areas are: Solar PV & Thermal, Wind, Small Hydro, Bio Energy and Electric Vehicles.It will be our pleasure to have your esteemed presence at the conference.
Conference Delegate Charges
All 3 days Rs. 15,000 / US$ 150
1 Day Rs. 5,000 / US$ 450

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Smoke erupts from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano

An eruption by Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano has put airline safety officials on alert as a billowing cloud of ash drifts toward northern Europe.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office says the volcano, which lies beneath the island's largest glacier, has been shooting plumes of smoke at least 11 kilometers into the air since Saturday. Weather officials are uncertain of the exact path of the ash cloud as it drifts across the continent, but they expect it to touch Scotland, Ireland and Britain by late this evening or early Tuesday.

They say the cloud could travel as far as Scandinavia, western France and Spain by later this week. But experts say the impact of the eruption is expected to be far less severe than last year's eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano.

Aviation authorities say they have shut down the island's main airport in the capital, Reykjavik, and may have to close the island's other airports. The city has been coated with ash, shutting out the daylight and covering the city's buildings and vehicles. Grimsvotn last erupted in 2004.

Sonia Gandhi Lays Foundation Stone of Basohli Bridge

Sonia Gandhi Lays Foundation Stone of Basohli Bridge
Border Road Organisation to Complete the Project by September 2014

The Chairperson of National Advisory Council Smt Sonia Gandhi today laid the foundation stone of Jammu and Kashmir’s first cable-stayed bridge at Basohli in Kathua district. The bridge will usher in new technology in harmony with the beautiful surroundings; provide an impetus to development and tourism by connecting the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, besides opening a new strategic route in the region.

Smt Gandhi reminisced that the project was the dream of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. She recalled that Rajiv Gandhi was to lay the foundation stone of this bridge in 1989 but the event could not take place due to the announcement of the elections.The 592 metre bridge will be built by the Border Raods Organisation of the Ministry of Defence at a cost of Rs 145 Crores.Scheduled to be constructed by September 2014, the bridge will open up avenues for commercial mining of materials like Gypsum and Lime stone.

Flanked by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister for New & Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah, the Chief Minister of J&K Shri Omar Abdullah, JKPCC Chief Saifuddin Soz, the Minister of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju, the Defence Secretary Shri Pradeep Kumar and the Director General Border Roads Lt Gen Ravi Shankar Smt Gandhi broke an auspicious coconut to mark the beginning of work on the Project. The event was preceded by a brief multi-faith ceremony.

The Basohli bridge is going to be a technological marvel. It will be a cable-stayed bridge, similar to the Second Hoogly bridge at Kolkotta, Naini Bridge at Allahabad and the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link at Mumbai. The Basohli bridge will have a tower height of about 88 metres above deck level. The decking and the span regions will only be supported by cables. There will be 1.5 metre wide footpaths on both sides. The contract for the construction of the bridge has been awarded to M/S IRCON-SPS Construction Pvt Ltd.

Earlier, welcoming the distinguished guests at an elegant ceremony, the Director General Border Roads Lt Gen S Ravi Shankar said the organization had grown from two projects at its inception in 1960 to 18 projects at present. Having constructed more than 50,000 km of roads and 38,000 metres of bridges since its inception, the BRO continues to grow, both technology-wise as well as in size.

The foundation stone laying ceremony was followed by a public rally. Addressing an impressive gathering, Smt Gandhi said, once completed, the Basohli bridge will open a new chapter in the lives of the people of three states living on either side of River Ravi. She expressed confidence that the BRO would be able to complete the project on time.

Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony assured the gathering that the State of Jammu & Kashmir will continue to receive the ‘utmost and undivided priority’ in the development of infrastructure. ‘The development of infrastructure will ensure accelerated economic progress not only in the state of J&K, but also our nation’, he said.

Shri Antony disclosed that at present feasibility studies are being carried out for two more tunnels across Zozila and Z-Morh in J&K. These tunnels will be very crucial for providing all-weather connectivity to Kargil-Leh region from Srinagar.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr Farooq Abdullah, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Shri Omar Abdullah and Shri MM Pallam Raju.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

International Day for Biodiversity

This year’s observance of the International Day for Biodiversity falls during the 2011 International Year of Forests, declared by the United Nations General Assembly to educate the global community about the value of forests and the extreme social, economic and environmental costs of losing them.

The benefits of forests are far-reaching. Forests catch and store water, stabilize soils, harbour biodiversity and make an important contribution to regulating climate and the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. They generate profits for international businesses and provide essential income and resources for hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people. Yet, despite our growing understanding and appreciation of just how much we reap from forests, they are still disappearing at an alarming rate. This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity is devoted to highlighting the need for urgent action.UN General Assembly, by its resolution 55/201 of 20 December 2000, proclaimed 22 May as The International Day for Biological Diversity, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The day was first created by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993, and the UN General Assembly, by its resolution 49/119 of 19 December 1994, designated December 29th (the date of entry into force of the Convention of Biological Diversity) the International Day for Biological Diversity. However, it was difficult for many countries to plan and carry out suitable celebrations for the date of 29 December, given the number of holidays that coincide around that time of year.

The UN General Assembly expressed, in resolution 55/201, its deep concern about the continuing loss of the world’s biological diversity, and reaffirmed the commitment to the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and the appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and technologies, and by appropriate funding.

India-Pakistan land boundary issue

India and Pakistan exchanged non-papers during talks on the Sir Creek issue that ended yesterday in a bid to find an amicable settlement to the decades-old boundary dispute. The non-papers - diplomatic parlance for negotiating texts informally circulated by countries to facilitate discussions without making any commitment to the contents - were exchanged as the two countries held their first round of talks on the Sir Creek issue in four years. A joint statement issued at the end of the two-day parleys said, the talks, held in a "friendly and cordial atmosphere", focused on the India-Pakistan land boundary in the Sir Creek area and the delimitation of the international maritime boundary between the two countries. The talks on the Sir Creek issue, held at the Defence:Ministry in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, were part of a bilateral dialogue process that was recently revived after a gap of over two years.Media agencies

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mamata Banerjee sworn in as West Bengal CM

Mamata Banerjee, who ended the uninterrupted 34-year reign of the Left in WBengal, made history when she was sworn in as the first woman Chief Minister of the state at the head of a 38-member Trinamool Congress-Congress coalition govt.

The 56-year-old leader was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of the state at an impressive ceremony in Kolkata on Friday by Governor M K Narayanan, who also administered the oath of office and secrecy to her.

Along with her, 37 MLAs--35 from Trinamool Congress and 2 from ally Congress--took oath as ministers of the two-tier ministry. Four of the Trinamool Congress MLAs were sworn in as Ministers of State.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Strauss Kahn plead innocence resigns from IMF

Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Thursday resigned as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, but insisted he was innocent.Strauss-Kahn is locked up in a New York prison since Saturday when he was bundled out of a Paris-bound flight and taken into custody on charges of sexually assaulting a chambermaid at a Manhattan hotel."Dominique Strauss-Kahn has today informed the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of his intention to resign as Managing Director with immediate effect," the IMF said in a statement on Thursday after it received a formal letter in this regard from Strauss-Kahn.In his letter Strauss-Kahn maintained his innocence and said he would fight off the charges."It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF," he wrote.The IMF said John Lipsky, the First Deputy Director, remains the acting MD of the agency."I think at this time first of my wife whom I love more than anything of my children, of my family, of my friends. I think also of my colleagues at the Fund, together we have accomplished such great things over the last three years and more," the former MD wrote in his resignation letter to the IMF Executive Board.

"To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me. "I want to protect this institution which I have served with honour and devotion, and especially I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence," he said.
Strauss-Kahn was earlier denied bail by a New York court in the case and is scheduled to attend another court hearing to seek release on bail.
The IMF said in a statement that it will communicate in the near future on the Executive Board's process of selecting a new Managing Director.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Egypt's foreign minister is Arab League chief

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil El-Arabi has been unanimously elected as Arab League's new Secretary General, taking on a challenging task at a time when the region is witnessing political upheaval.El-Arabi replaces Amr Moussa, 73, who is running for the post of Egyptian president after leading Arab League for a decade. El-Arabi, who backed the uprising against longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, was chosen by consensus yesterday after Qatar withdrew its choice Abdel-Rahman al-Attiyah for the top post.Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim said his country withdrew its candidate, diplomat Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah, "in appreciation of Egypt and the revolution of January 25."

The choice of El-Arabi went into effect and became final after Egypt received the OKs of the Arab heads of state and the foreign ministers. Earlier, Egypt had nominated Mustafa al-Fiqi, head of the foreign affairs committee at the Egyptian parliament before it was dissolved.The nomination was crticized by many people who described al-Fiqi as a cornerstone of the old regime and hence should have been toppled with the regime when it fell after 25th January revolution.
Egypt then withdrew the nomination of Al-Fiqi and presented the name of El-Arabi.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

President Obama at Booker T. Washington High

President Obama at Booker T. Washington High: Commencement Challenge Winners
Posted by Jesse Lee on May 16, 2011 at 02:57 PM EDT

"Every commencement is a day of celebration," said the President at the commencement for Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, "But this one is especially hopeful." BTW, as the school is known, was the winner of the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, chosen as a finalist on the basis of its inspiring turn-around story and voted the winner by the public after each finalist school submitted a video making its case. The President continued:

This one is especially hopeful because some people say that schools like BTW just aren’t supposed to succeed in America. You’ll hear them say, “The streets are too rough in those neighborhoods.” “The schools are too broken.” “The kids don’t stand a chance.”

We are here today because every single one of you stood tall and said, “Yes, we can.” (Applause.) Yes, we can learn. Yes, we can succeed. You decided you would not be defined by where you come from but by where you want to go, by what you want to achieve, by the dreams you hope to fulfill.

Supporting these kinds of turnarounds has been a focus of the President’s education policies, from the national Race to the Top contest where states competed to show real reform plans, to School Improvement Grants that demand uprooting entrenched problems, the President has insisted that funding go to states, communities and schools who have refused to give up, and shown their commitment to change so that their kids would be prepared for the competitive world that awaits them after graduation.

Speaking at BTW, where graduation rates went from 55% in 2007 to 81.6% in 2010, the President was clearly inspired to see the faces that represent that kind of change. And as he said, his passion for education is based on his own experience not only as a father, but as a child growing up years ago. He spoke to the graduates on a personal level about the lessons he learned.

On support from our teachers and families:

And understand, this isn’t just an issue for me. I’m standing here as President because of the education that I received. As Chris said, my father left my family when I was two years old. And I was raised by a single mom, and sometimes she struggled to provide for me and my sister. But my mother, my grandparents, they pushed me to excel. They refused to let me make excuses. And they kept pushing me, especially on those rare occasions where I’d slack off or get into trouble. They weren’t that rare, actually. (Laughter.) I’m sure nobody here has done anything like that. (Laughter.)

I’m so blessed that they kept pushing; I’m so lucky that my teachers kept pushing -- because education made all the difference in my life. The same is true for Michelle. Education made such a difference in her life. Michelle’s dad was a city worker, had multiple sclerosis, had to wake up every day and it took him a couple hours just to get ready for work. But he went to work every day. Her mom was a secretary, went to work every day, and kept on pushing her just like my folks pushed me.

The President also explained how through education we “learn how to learn,” so that we can learn how to think through real life problems, and gives us substance in a world filled with distractions:

Education also teaches you the value of discipline -- that the greatest rewards come not from instant gratification but from sustained effort and from hard work. This is a lesson that’s especially true today, in a culture that prizes flash over substance, that tells us that the goal in life is to be entertained, that says you can be famous just for being famous. You get on a reality show -- don't know what you’ve done -- suddenly you’re famous. But that's not going to lead to lasting, sustained achievement.

And finally, with the right education, both at home and at school, you can learn how to be a better human being. For when you read a great story or you learn about an important moment in history, it helps you imagine what it would be like to walk in somebody else’s shoes, to know their struggles. The success of our economy will depend on your skills, but the success of our community will depend on your ability to follow the Golden Rule -- to treat others as you would like to be treated.

We’ve seen how important this is even in the past few weeks, as communities here in Memphis and all across the South have come together to deal with floodwaters, and to help each other in the aftermath of terrible tornadoes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in fix

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn gave his consent to undergo a medical examination on the allegations of sexual assault when he was arrested on Sunday,vehemently denies assaulting with an attempt to rape a hotel maid.His arrest on Sunday and charged with attempted rape and sexual assault on a hotel maid in New York, was pulled out from a Paris-bound airplane,an Air France plane's first-class cabin at the John F Kennedy International Airport and apprehended by detectives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey minutes before it was to take off.
Browne said that it was about 1 pm local time yesterday when the maid entered Strauss-Kahn's USD 3,000-a- night suite of Sofitel New York hotel, believing it was unoccupied.
The IMF chief was in the shower when the 32-year-old maid entered his room at the hotel on West 44th Street in Manhattan yesterday.As she was in the foyer, "he came out of the bathroom, fully naked, and attempted to sexually assault her," Browne was quoted as saying by NYT. "He grabs her, according to her account, and pulls her into the bedroom and onto the bed," Browne said, adding he locked the door to the suite."She fights him off, and he then drags her down the hallway to the bathroom, where he sexually assaults her a second time," he said.
MSNBC television reported that in the bathroom, the IMF chief forced the maid to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear.At some point during the assault, the woman broke free and "fled, reported it to other hotel personnel, who called 911. When the police arrived, he was not there," Browne said, adding Strauss-Kahn appeared to have left in a hurry.
Investigators found his cellphone in the room, which he had left behind, and one law enforcement official said that investigation uncovered forensic evidence that would contain his DNA.The maid was taken by police to hospital and was being treated for minor injuries.A spokesman for the hotel said its staff is cooperating with the investigations.Strauss-Kahn drove to the airport to catch the Paris bound Air France Flight 23.

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is probable Socialist Party nomination candidate for French President in 2012,

Strauss-Kahn is due to appear in court on Sunday but the hearing postponed until Monday to allow the investigation to follow with forensic tests are to be carried out.The married former French finance minister is a possible Socialist candidate for the presidency.IMF chief kept overnight in a special unit for sexual harassment in New York's Harlem borough and on Sunday, charged with "criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment, and attempted rape".

Police said,the victim woman 32 yr has formally identified him in a line-up.Mr Strauss-Kahn in his important scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday in Berlin and then attend an EU finance ministers' meeting in Brussels on Monday as reported in Media.His battery of lawyers denies the charges and experts say his detention to complicate ongoing efforts to stabilize the fiscal affairs of euro member states in crisis.Strauss-Kahn was being housed at the police department's Special Victims Unit.

In Washington, the IMF said, "Strauss-Kahn has retained legal counsel, and the IMF has no comment on the case; all inquiries will be referred to his personal lawyer and to the local authorities."

"The IMF remains fully functioning and operational," said a statement issued by Caroline Atkinson, the IMF's head of external relations.Strauss-Kahn had earlier won praise for his handling of the global financial crisis as the IMF head.
Media adencies

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ISI not to share intelligence inputs with CIA:

Nksagar Sagar Media Inc: Sunday, May 15, 2011
ISI has initiated in its plan to stop sharing inputs of intelligence nature with CIA to save face to face the nation and world that is to give reprieve and ease in their efforts of governance report British newspapers from LONDON: Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) has dropped intelligence Sharing with Central Investigation Agency (CIA), a report published in British newspaper said.

According to the newspaper, Pakistan, in protest of US unilateral action against the al Qaeda chief in its territory has broken off relation with CIA.In the past, Pakistani agents have been credited with helping identify targets for drone strikes and providing data to the CIA on plans being hatched in its tribal areas.
"They are furious. They handed over telephone intercepts in 2009 that were crucial in leading to bin Laden's courier - the key breakthrough in the hunt," said a source briefed on relations between the two countries."Then four months ago they were told there was nothing in it, it was what the Americans called a 'cold lead'. Since then they have been left out completely out of the loop."

Senior officials in the US have briefed journalists that they stopped sharing information with Islamabad because they feared Osama’s sympathizers would tip-off bin Laden - ruining the best lead they had ever had.Media agencies

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Approval for FDI in Limited Liability Partnership firms

Approval for FDI in Limited Liability Partnership firms
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the proposal to amend the policy on allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firms.

The FDI in LLPs will be implemented in a calibrated manner, beginning with the ‘open’ sectors where monitoring is not required, subject to the following conditions:

(a) LLPs with FDI will be allowed, through the Government approval route, in those sectors/activities where 100% FDI is allowed, through the automatic route and there are no FDI-linked performance related conditions.

(b) LLPs with FDI will not be allowed to operate in agricultural/plantation activity, print media or real estate business.

(c) LLPs with FDI will not be eligible to make any downstream investments.

There are also further following conditions relating to funding, ownership and management of LLPS:

I. Funding of LLPs:

(a) An Indian company, having FDI, will be permitted to make downstream investment in LLPs only if both the company, as well as the LLP are operating in sectors where 100% FDI is allowed, through the automatic route and there are no FDI-linked performance related conditions.

(b) Foreign Capital participation in the capital structure of the LLPs will be allowed only by way of cash considerations, received by inward remittance, through normal banking channels, or by debit to NRE/FCNR account of the person concerned, maintained with an authorized dealer/authorized bank; and

(c) Foreign Institutional Investors (Flls) and Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCIs) will not be permitted to invest in LLPs. LLPs will also not be permitted to avail External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs.)

II. Ownership and management of LLPs:

(a) For the purpose of determination of the designated partners in respect of LLPs with FDI, the term "resident in India" would have the meaning, as defined for "person resident in India", under Section 2(v) (i) (A) & (B) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999;

(b) In case the LLP has a body corporate as a designated partner, the body corporate should only be a company registered under the Companies Act and not any other body, such as an LLP or a trust.

III. Conversion of a company with FDI into an LLP will be allowed only if the above stipulations are met and with the prior approval of FIPB/Government.

IV. The designated partners will be responsible for compliance with the above conditions and liable for all penalties imposed on the LLP for their contravention.

Presently, FDI is allowed in Indian companies. It is allowed in a firm or a proprietary concern, subject to certain conditions. FDI in a trust is also allowed with prior Government approval, provided it is a Venture Capital Fund (VCF).

The CCEA’s approval will benefit the Indian economy by attracting greater FDI, creating employment and bringing in international best practices and latest technologies in the country.

The Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 (LLP Act) was notified in April, 2009. With the passage of this Act, a new hybrid entity, incorporating the features of a body corporate and a partnership, can now be formed for the purpose of undertaking business in India.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Philippine wild storm

Tropical Storm Aere carved a deadly path across the Philippine and Aere has left 11 people dead since it slammed into eastern Catanduanes province early on Sunday with winds of 53 miles (85 kilometres) per hour and gusts of 62 mph (100 kph).It triggered landslides and knocked out power in some areas, while also roughing up Manila Bay and rattling nerves overnight in the congested capital.By Monday it was roaring toward provinces on northern Luzon Island, gradually losing strength. Officials warned villagers to stay away from mountainous areas prone to landslides and low-lying communities that could be swamped by flash floods. Fishermen and ferries in the storm's path were advised to stay ashore.
"We're advising residents in high-risk areas to pre-emptively evacuate before the storm hits," said Chito Castro, spokesman for the government's disaster-response agency.

The 11 dead included three people who perished on Sunday in a house that was buried by a landslide in Camarines Sur province's Balatan township.Six people have drowned in the provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, Leyte, Northern Samar and Camarines Sur.Elsewhere, a man was electrocuted in a flooded community and another died in a truck accident amid stormy weather.An Albay fisherman who sailed out on Sunday has been listed as missing.Aere has caused more than 50 domestic and international flights to be cancelled or diverted.President Benigno Aquino III delayed his flight home from a regional summit in Indonesia by a day to today, due to the weather.
Aere, the second storm to batter the Philippines this year, is expected to blow away from the country on Thursday and possibly move toward Taiwan.Officials there issued a sea warning and cautioned residents on the eastern and southern parts of the island to watch out for torrential rain later in the day.
The country face about 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Muslim-Christian violence in Egypt

Muslim-Christian interfaith romance rumour triggered violence that claimed 12 lives and over 220 injured in the Egyptian capital, with mobs setting fire two churches in one of the worst communal clashes rocking the country in recent times.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf cancelled his visit to Bahrain and UAE, calling for an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the Muslim-Christian violence, state news agency said.After the meeting the Minister of Justice, Mohammad Abd-al-Aziz al-Guindi said anti-terror provisions will be applied from now "in order to strike with an iron fist" anyone who compromises on national security.The provisions dictate sentences as strict as the death penalty."We are not a weak government. We are not soft wither. We were considerate because we thought people understood how critical the situation the country is witnessing. But if some will take advantage of this, we will strike with an iron fist."

Meanwhile, Egypt's military rulers said, that 190 people arrested in connection with deadly riots will face military trial.Earlier PM Sharaf had called the meeting to discuss "the regrettable events in Imbaba", Ahmed al-Saman, a cabinet spokesman was quoted as saying by MENA news agency.There are a number of versions of the story of how the clashed erupted, but all of them include Coptic woman.

The first story is that a Coptic woman married a Muslim man and was taken to the church to be preached and convinced to leave her husband.Her family then opened fire at members of her husband's family outside the church when they went to retrieve her.The second version is that a Coptic woman was imprisoned in the church against her will after declaring she converted to Islam.Last night's clashes which left 12 dead and over 220 injured were sparked by rumours here that a Christian woman married to a Muslim had been abducted and was being held in one of the churches against her will.

The unconfirmed reports, prompted a mob to march towards the Saint Menas Church in the Imbaba locality, leading to communal clashes, that claimed 12 lives.Shooting across the neighborhood took place with people on rooftops firing into the crowd. The mob fired bombs at homes, shops and the church, setting its facade on fire.
Another nearby church was attacked by the mob in the locality, as the army and police fired tear gas shells to disperse it.A six-story building near the Saint Menas Church was also burned down, with Muslims claiming that the Christians used it to shoot at them.Six Muslims and three Christians were among the dead, while the religion of other three victims have not been confirmed.

A curfew has been imposed from 11 am this morning and is to last for 24 hours. Patrols have been deployed by the military and the army to secure the area.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Osama was living in Abbottabad for five years: wife

US-led forces were hunting for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan's unruly tribal areas for years, the al-Qaeda chief had been living a secluded life in a million-dollar mansion in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad for five years, according to one of his wives.The Yemeni woman said bin Laden had been living in the compound in Abbottabad for the past five years, Geo News Channel quoted unnamed senior Pakistani military officials as saying.Bin Laden usually confined himself to two or three rooms and never went outside, she told the officials.The report said that women and children found in the compound included three wives of bin Laden. One of the women was injured in the firing.The military officials also said that bin Laden's daughter, found in the compound, had told them that she had seen her father being killed on the upper floor of a building and then dragged down a flight of stairs.

A woman killed during the raid, previously described in some accounts as bin Laden's wife, was actually the wife of a Pakistani guard of the al-Qaeda leader, the officials were quoted as saying.The officials said the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies were not informed about the US raid.They contended that Pakistan had given the US a lot of information on bin Laden's whereabouts in the past two years, including intelligence gleaned from intercepts of some phone conversations in May and August last year.Media agencies

Syrian forces detain protesters in saqba outskirts of Damscus

Syrian troops arrested more than 300 people in the town of Saqba just outside Damascus on Thursday as they pressed an ironfisted crackdown on seven weeks of unprecedented protests, a rights activist said."Security service agents backed by troops detained more than 300 people in Saqba, among them a number of clerics," the activist told the news agency on condition of anonymity.He said that at least one of those arrested had been wounded by security force fire before being taken away.

Troops "tore down a placard in the town's central plaza that renamed it Martyrs' Square as well as the photographs of those killed which had been attached to it," the activist said, adding that seven Saqba residents had died since the protests first erupted on 15th March.He said that more than 2,000 troops and security agents had taken part in the sweep through the town and that those detained were driven away in waiting coaches.The new arrests came after opposition activists vowed to press on with their their "revolution" against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.Protest leaders have called for a campaign of round-the-clock sit-ins and a day of defiance on Friday.The Syrian human rights group Insan says that as many as 8,000 people have been listed as in custody or missing since the protests began.

It says the civilian death toll now tops 607.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Osama's links in Pakistan a study by US

US on Wednesday began scouring seized computers, hard discs and DVDs to unravel al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's links in Pakistan and clues that could lead them to other dreaded militant commanders."We are surprised by the depth and breadth of what we have," CIA chief Leon Panetta said in his first word about five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 storage devices, such as DVDs and removable flash drives, seized by Navy SEALs from the Abbottabad mansion, where they shot dead bin Laden on Monday in a special operation."When a mid level terrorist is captured, his bosses know exactly what information might be compromised and can change plans," Panetta said, pointing out "when the boss is taken, everything might be compromised but nobody knows for sure."

The documents, US officials said could also provide details of al Qaeda's links to other terror groups like the Taliban, Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad.While al Qaeda's links with Taliban and Haqqani network are "known and established", US officials said, the thrust of the search would be now to unravel the extent of Qaeda's ties with groups like LeT.

CIA chief said that a top level task force of intelligence men, military data experts and even computer experts had been constituted and had begun work to sift through material taken from Osama's bed room and the complex.Bin Laden and his men, did not get to destroy equipment or documents as the strike team closed in on them."Osama was not found destroying documents. It is unclear if others made an effort to destroy data," Wall Street Journal reported.

"It appears that bin Laden and his courier cum body guards were more interested in fighting there way out, then destroying anything," officials said.The terror discs and hard drives are being catalogued and processed and US intelligence officers are subjecting it to forensic and fingerprints analysis.Elaborating on the seizures, the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, told reporters that experts were giving top priority in the search to three areas to get a vital insight about al Qaeda's operational plans.

First, of all, and most important evidence of any planned new attack, second would be information that could lead to other high value targets and other networks that exist that maybe we don't know about.Thirdly, he said, American experts would be looking at what sustained bin Laden and al-Qaeda network in Pakistan and his links in the country, apparently referring to efforts to unmask bin Laden's official links if any in the country.

The deputy national security adviser John Brennan, said, that the SEALS had taken advantage of their time on the compound to make sure that they were able to acquire whatever material they thought was appropriate and what was needed."We are trying to determine exactly the worth of what we have been able to pick up. And its not necessarily quantity, frequently it is the quality."

US officials and lawmakers have recently expressed concern over sprouting of LeT terror camps in Pakistan's restive tribal belt in the northwest and the expansion of the group's activities to Afghanistan and terror campaigns on the European mainland.The CIA has established a task force to study the material recovered from the mansion in Abbottabad.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

UN meets to debate on Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Turkey

A decade after the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the United Nations has convene a meeting on what can be done to assist the 49 ‘most vulnerable’ countries including Burma in their continued struggles to meet MDG benchmarks.This forum is part of a five-day series of meetings on Least Developed Countries (LDC) to be held the second week of May in Istanbul, Turkey. UN declared Burma,is in the ‘most vulnerable’ country category,a LDC in 1987. The designation followed the Burmese government’s claim, in a bid to earn LDC status and corresponding trade and development benefits, that only 20 per cent of the population was literate. Today Burma’s literacy rate is estimated at 90 per cent, and in 1987 was believed to be around 80 per cent.Millennium Development Goals are classified into eight sections: poverty alleviation, universal primary education, gender equality, reduction of infant mortality, improved maternal health, eradication of disease, environmental sustainability and development. Targets were set for achieving the goals by 2015.
Burma has a per capita gross domestic product (using the method of Purchasing Power Parity) of US$ 1,100, with a third of the country estimated to exist below the poverty line, according to CIA data. Additional country statistics reveal nine years of expected education, an infant mortality rate of 49.23 per 1,000 births and a high degree of danger from infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS.

Delegates in Turkey are expected to discuss the promotion of agricultural development in LDCs, the strengthening of access to export markets, enhanced infrastructure as well as universal access to services targeting the achievement of MDGs.

The Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries comes at a time when the global economic crisis has thrown up additional hurdles for LDCs in their pursuit of raising living standards. With developed countries facing their own economic troubles, there is concern of dwindling interaction between developed countries and LDCs.

However, at least one observer sees in the global atmosphere an opportunity to empower South-South relations in the fight to meet MDGs.

Syed Nuruzzaman, head of Countries with Special Needs (CSN), Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division, UN-ESCAP, told The Hindu Business Line: ‘Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar (Burma) are fortunate to be located close to a rapidly growing India’.For comparison, Indians have a per capita gross domestic product of USD 3,400, with a quarter of the population existing below the poverty line, according to CIA data. And while sharing a high risk from infectious diseases, the infant mortality rate in India is slightly lower than that of Burma at 47.57 deaths per 1,000 births.

A promise was made by 189 world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 to end poverty by 2015 when they signed onto the Millennium Declaration and agreed to meet the MDGs. The MDGs provide an eight-point road map with measurable targets and deadlines for improving the lives of the world's poorest people.
Media agencies

Monday, May 2, 2011

Taliban threatens attack US and Pakistan

US citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times, the travel alert said.The State Department said the US Embassy operations in affected areas will continue to the extent possible under the constraints of any evolving security situation."US government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture," it said. Pakistan's main Taliban faction on Monday threatened to attack Pakistan and the United States after the US confirmed that Osama bin Laden had been killed near the Pakistani capital."If he has been martyred, we will avenge his death and launch attacks against American and Pakistani governments and their security forces," spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
"These people are in fact the enemies of Islam," he added.

The Taliban spokesman said the militia had not itself managed to confirm bin Laden's death, which was announced by US President Barack Obama."If he has become a martyr, it is a great victory for us because martyrdom is the aim of all of us."Media agencies

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yonex India Open Series 2011 Semi-final

The Semi-final matches of the Yonex India Open Series at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium on Saturday set up a stage for an exciting Sunday, where all the finalist would be looking to record their names in the history of badminton by becoming the first player to be crowned the Champions of the first ever India Open Super Series.

In the list for the title contenders are World No. 6 Peter Gade who set up a final clash with World No. 1 Chong Wei Lee in the Men’s Single event while Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertuk defeated Hongkong’s tournament No.4 seed Pui Yin Yip to play Korea’s Youn Joo Bae in Women’s Single.

Denmark’s Peter Gade was the first to book his place for the final this afternoon after defeating Korea’s Sung Hwan Park 21-15, 21-19. It was a tough fight between the two but the much experience Peter used his knowledge to the best of his advantage and see through Park’s challenges. Peter will be meeting World No. 1 Chong Wei Lee who defeated Yun Hu with some fantastic display of skill and tactics. Lee dominated the proceedings right from the start and did not give much chance to Yun Hu and completed the match in 27 minutes with the scoreboard reading 21-11, 21-15.

For the Women’s single final berth, Youn Joo Bae and Sayaka Sato fought all the way to the third game with none of them letting loose over each other. Finally it became a match where the one with more stamina and endurance would win as both were exhausted and in this Youn Joo Bae of Korea stood out the winner. She defeated her Japanese counterpart with a score of 23-21, 15-21, 21-12. In another Semi-Final it was the unseeded Thai woman Porntip Buranaprasertsuk who stood tall against Pui Yin Yip of Hongkong defeating her in a straight game 21-13, 21-18. She will be facing Youn Joo Bae on Sunday.

In Men’s double, the no. 4 seed Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata upset the No.1 seed pair of Kien Keat Koo and Boon Heong Tan 21-16, 21-19 to reach the final where they will have to face Angga Pratama and Ryan Agung Saputra of Indonesia who defeated their own countrymen Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Hendra Aprida Gunawan 21-23, 21-18, 21-14.

For the Women’s Double Miyuki Maeda and Satako Suetsuna had to wait long to know who they will face in the final as the match between Mizuki Fujii-Reika Kakiiwa and Lok Yan Poon-Ying Suet Tse stretch till the last game with the scoreboard readind 21-17, 16-21, 21-16. The Women’s double event will also be an all Japanese affair as Mizuki Fujii-Reika Kakiiwa will face Miyuki Maeda-Satako Suetsuna who defeated Indonesia’s Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii 25-23, 21-8.

The mix double will be an all Indonesian clash between Fran Kurniawan-Pi Zebadiah Bernadeth and Tantowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir. Fran and Pi defeated Malaysia’s Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh in a straight game with a score of 21-12, 21-16 while the other Indonesian pair defeated their own mates Muhammad Rijal and Debby Susanto 21-17, 15-9 (Retired). The match could not see the end result as the pair decided to withdraw due to Rijal’s injury.

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