Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Greece calls new elections after talks collapse

Greece abandoned a nine-day hunt for a government on Tuesday and called a new election that may hand victory to leftists who might cut the nation's financial lifeline, pushing it closer to bankruptcy and out of the euro zone.
After six rounds of fruitless wrangling, party leaders emerged from a final session at the presidential mansion to gloomily declare that deep divisions over a 130-billion-euro foreign bailout package had killed any hope of a coalition deal.
"We shouldn't have reached this point," said Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos, who personally negotiated the rescue package from the European Union and IMF which the hard left says has imposed too harsh an austerity regime. "For God's sake, let's move towards something better and not something worse."
Reviled for imposing deep wage and spending cuts but vital to keep the country running, the bailout worth $166 billion prompted Greeks to elect the most fragmented parliament in decades on May 6, giving no party or bloc a clear mandate.
A second election is expected to produce a similarly divided legislature, but the balance of power is seen tipping towards opponents of the EU/IMF rescue and raising the likelihood of a coalition that reneges on the deal keeping Greece afloat.
That would almost certainly mean the end to aid from foreign lenders, leaving Greece without cash as early as next month and paving the way for its eventual exit from the euro zone.
Greeks who showed their fury against spending cuts by humiliating the long-dominant Socialist and conservative parties earlier this month must now choose between the pain of austerity and an even more painful return to the drachma currency.
"Much depends on whether the Greek people in this repeat election are going to vote with anger and passion or if they will cool off, reflect and see in effect what the real choices are," said Theodore Couloumbis, analyst at the ELIAMEP think-tank. "The choice is between bad and worse."
Financial markets, worried that a Greek euro exit could spread turmoil to bigger euro zone economies such as Spain and Italy, tumbled on the news. The euro fell to a four-month low against the dollar, while Italian and Spanish bond yields rose. Greek stocks fell 5 percent to a 20-year low before paring losses. They closed down 3.6 percent.
YES TO EURO, NO TO DEVASTATION
A compromise to produce a government that might save the country from further financial calamity proved elusive; the three biggest parties in the newly elected parliament each failed to form a coalition last week and three additional rounds of talks mediated by the president ended without result.
Dejection was visible on the faces of the five party leaders who sat down to talks on Tuesday. The far-right Golden Dawn was not invited, while the anti-euro Communists did not show up. A tense meeting ensued, sources from two parties said.
After barely two hours, the politicians threw in the towel. A spokesman for President Karolos Papoulias summoned reporters to announce a new election and plans to form a caretaker government on Wednesday. The vote is expected in mid-June.
Almost immediately, Greek party leaders were in front of cameras and supporters in spirited pre-election campaign mode.
Conservative leader Antonis Samaras, whose push for early elections backfired and left him without enough support to renew his pro-bailout coalition with the Socialists, appeared distraught as he made his appeal to voters to back him.
"The message you sent is clear: 'Yes' to the euro, 'No' to those policies which devastate the Greek people," said Samaras.
Polls show the leftist SYRIZA party, which rejects the bailout and came second behind Samaras's New Democracy, is now on course to win a new election, a result that would give it an automatic bonus of 50 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
The party's charismatic 37-year-old leader, Alexis Tsipras, has soared in popularity by promising Greeks a future in the euro zone without the yoke of austerity - horrifying European leaders who say the country cannot have its cake and eat it too.
"If we have any hope today it is because all together we took a big step on May 6. Now it's time to conclude it," said Tsipras, a handsome, ex-Communist student leader who burst into the political mainstream after this month's shock vote.
"The time has come to form a government of the Left, with wide support, and put an end to the these policies that destroy this country."
"NO ALTERNATIVE"
The prospect of new elections has left European lenders which have bailed Greece out twice close to despair. Senior European Commission officials held urgent talks on Tuesday to work through the fallout from a second Greek election.
"We are really at a critical juncture," one official taking part in the discussions said. "The decisions are really in Athens' hands. But it doesn't look good."
As French President Francois Hollande flew to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel for crisis talks on the very day he was sworn in, Merkel's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, called the failure in Athens a "bitter blow" to trust in Greece.
"What Greece needs now is dependability and the will to reform to help it get over the mountain, in close collaboration with its European partners," he said. "The reforms to achieve this are hard and painful but they are the only way back to growth and competitiveness. There is no alternative."
Even if European lenders were to cut Greece some slack on its austerity commitments, there is no government in place to negotiate a next tranche of aid - and no guarantee there will be one before Greek cash coffers run empty.
Greece's predicament is hardly new. The country has lurched from one crisis to the next over the past two years and is now enduring its fifth year of recession. Nearly one Greek worker in five has no job. Protests, riots and highly public suicides have become commonplace in a sharply volatile social climate.
Initially exultant at having humbled their political class in this month's vote, Greeks are now increasingly worried the country is on a path of no return.
"The country is finished," said Panos Leonidas, 57, a travel agent. "From now on, you can only live here if you're an animal."

KENYA AIRWAYS TO START DIRECT FLIGHTS TO NEW DELHI

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May 16, 2012 New Delhi:…. Kenya Airways has announced its commencement of flights to the Indian Capital city, New Delhi starting May 16th 2012. The much anticipated service marks Kenya Airways’ 57th global destination and 2nd in India.
The launch of this new route highlights KQ’s efforts to provide seamless travel and accessibility to travelers from Africa to Indian subcontinent and vice versa.
Kenya Airways will fly to New Delhi four times a week on a Boeing 767-300 as per the schedule below:
Flight No
From
Day of week
Orig
Dest
A/C
Dep
Arr
KQ  220
15 May 2012
Tue, Thur, Sat, Sun
NBO
DEL
763
13:50
23:20
KQ  221
16 May 2012
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
DEL
NBO
763
00:50
05:30
The new route highlights Kenya Airways ambitious growth plans to expand its network as part of its 10 year growth strategy. “New Delhi is the second city after Mumbai that we will be flying to India, we intend to open four more destinations in the sub continent as part of our 10 year expansion strategy,” said Dr. Titus Naikuni, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer.
Dr. Naikuni noted that the destination has great business prospects as New Delhi is one of the largest cities in India, and the most preferred city in terms of information technology, investments, healthcare and government relations.    
India’s economic growth has averaged around 7% each year since 1997, making it one of the world’s largest emerging markets. According to industry forecasts, traffic flows between sub-Saharan Africa and India are expected to grow at a rate of 7.1% per annum over the next decade.
Kenya Airways remains the fastest growing airline in the continent and is pursuing a network expansion strategy that targets to link all African countries with the world, making it the airline of choice for travelers in the continent.
lndia has been aggressively promoting trade with Africa as it seeks to gain access to the continent’s emerging markets. The new route to Delhi seeks to expand and promote the bilateral and commercial relations between India and the African region
India is Kenya’s sixth largest trading partner, with a vast business presence in the country. Recently, Kenya-India relations have improved buoyed by increasing bilateral trade that hit US $4.8 billion in 2010/2011.
Recently the airline announced a right issue offer to be launched on March 30th. The company hopes to raise Kshs20.7 billion from its shareholders.
Proceeds from the rights issue are projected to fund implementation of an ambitious 10-year expansion plan dubbed Project Mawingu; which would see the airline increase it number of destinations from the current 56 to 115 destinations by the year 2021.
ENDS……/
About Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways, a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, is the leading African airline flying to over 56 destinations worldwide, 45 of which are in Africa and carries over three million passengers annually. Kenya Airways is also a major employer with a workforce of over 4,200 employees. It continues to modernize its 34 aircraft fleet being one of the most modern in Africa. The on-board service is renowned and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world’s top 10. Most recently it has scooped top awards at the Africa Investor (Ai) Tourism Investor Awards and was declared the Business Airline of the Year in Africa. Kenya Airways takes pride for being in the fore front of connecting Africa to the world and the World to Africa through its hub Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

For more information, please visit www.kenya-airways.com

Panasonic unveils its new range of Smart VIERA

Panasonic unveils its new range of Smart VIERA:
 Targets 15% of the flat-panel TVs market of India Expands the smart TV portfolio by 30 new models of LEDs, LCDs and Plasma line-up   
Plans Investment of Rs.210 crores in the flat panel television category for marketing and promotions
New wave of applications and features on its VIERA Connect platform 
Youth icon, Ranbir Kapoor unveils the new range of  SMART Viera TV in India

 New Delhi, May 15, 2012: Panasonic, the global leader in innovation and technology, today announced its new range of SMART VIERA flat panel televisions centered on five pillars of- quality picture, networking, easy operation, design and eco-friendliness. These models ranging from 24 to 55 inches are priced between Rs. 13,990 to Rs. 3, 20,000. With the latest series of smart VIERA TVs, home theatre systems and DVD players launched today, Panasonic further strengthens its product portfolio and aims at bringing new entertainment experiences for customers’ right into their living room.    With select VIERA Connect models, Panasonic also introduced a new range of smart applications which allow consumers to interact with their Smart VIERA TVs:     ü  Swipe & Share lets the consumers share private contents via VIERA remote App. Now one can enjoy photos, music and movies on VIERA and Smartphone anytime and can even display the same web pages on VIERA and smart phone with ease  ü  Browse & Share app enables the browser to support HTML5 pages, so that consumers can browse the internet much like a PC. Unlike a PC, though the large screen allows the whole family or a group of friends to comfortably view a wide variety of content  ü  Watch & Chat app enables you to stay in touch with your friends through Twitter or Facebook timeline which gets displayed on the side screen while watching TV. Now the sports fan can watch live games while upping the excitement by chatting with friends as the game unfolds. One can either use their smart phone or a Bluetooth compatible keyboard as a remote control for writing text     Besides 3D content and internet connectivity, Smart VIERA comes with a bundle of features for a unique television viewing experience:  ü  Super High Speed 1,600Hz Backlight Scanning for LED TVs  ü  High efficiency LED backlight to reduce power consumption  ü  Wide viewing angle – IPS LED Panel  ü  Ultra fast Neo Plasma panel for sharp and crisp  ü  Built in Wi-Fi     Announcing the launch, Mr. Daizo Ito, President, Panasonic India stated, “India has been one of the most important countries and potential growth area, owing to the vibrant energy and high potential in the country and Panasonic continues to bring latest innovation in technology and solutions customized to consumer lifestyles here. We are also reaching out to the deeper pockets with our wide range of products through widened distribution and channel network. With the new range of flat panel televisions and home theatre systems, Panasonic is reiterating its commitment to the Indian market.”     Talking about the new marketing strategy for Viera flat panels, Mr. Manish Sharma, Managing Director, Consumer Product Division, Panasonic India said, “Panasonic is betting on flat panel televisions that bring in over 40 per cent of revenue and our range LED, LCD & Plasma TVs branded as SMART VIERA is the first engine growth driver for Panasonic’s business. Primarily targeted at the tech savvy generation of consumer, we will be making an investment of Rs. 210 crores towards marketing and promotions for this segment this year.” He further added, “With the latest introduction in existing line-up of SMART VIERA, we are aiming to capture 15% market share in flat panel category in India this year.”     Gracing the occasion, Panasonic Viera brand ambassador and leading Bollywood actor, Ranbir Kapoor said, “Proud to be associated with Panasonic for the fourth consecutive year, I have always enjoyed being part of the VIERA brand as this campaign delivers a message that I personally believe in. I am really thrilled about the new VIERA Connect apps that enable you to stay in touch with your friends while watching TV. It is a pleasure to endorse the brand which connects with the sentiments of people and understands the ever evolving requirements of consumers.”     Panasonic Smart VIERA range of TV’s equipped with futuristic technologies such as IPTV applications enable consumers to connect with the entire world in the smartest possible manner. It lets you save electricity and conserve the environment, without any hassle. The new models combine eco sensibility with superior product performance and enhanced networking functionality in a slim profile and extremely attractive design.     At Panasonic, designers and engineers constantly endeavor to ensure that each evolution of product is better than its previous version by following stringent process to develop products that are more energy efficient and long lasting.     Panasonic Corporate Vision  Panasonic has a vision to become the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the electronics industry by 2018 (fiscal 2019), when Panasonic will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Panasonic aspires for global excellence as a Green Innovation Company and encompasses two goals: Green Life Innovation to realize green lifestyles to enrich people’s lives and Green Business Innovation to bring forth innovation in our business styles.  Panasonic’s green commitment and the 100th anniversary vision have greatly contributed to the company to be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), one of the highly-recognized global indexes for socially responsible investment (SRI), for six years in a row. Panasonic was named as 2011 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.  The Panasonic ‘eco ideas’ annual report at (http://panasonic.net/eco/) shares data on the group’s initiatives in this direction.     About Panasonic Corporation  Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for three business fields, consumer, components & devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012. It aims to become the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its founding in 2018.The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/< About Panasonic India Panasonic makes available in India its wide range of consumer electronics and home appliances like LCD & Plasma TVs, DVD players, home theatre systems, cameras, camcorders, car audio systems, air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens, automatic cookers, vacuum cleaners and the like. The Company has a workforce of about 12,650 in India and estimated to do a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore in FY 2012. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand in India, please visit http://panasonic.co.in. 

Anil Bajrang Mane equals course record of 61 to take the lead

Karnal, Haryana, May 16, 2012: Anil Bajrang Mane of Mumbai fired an outstanding eight-under-61 to grab the round two lead at the PGTI Feeder Tour event being held at the Madhuban Meadows Golf Course in Karnal. The leader now has an overall score of 10-under-128. Raju Singh of Noida is placed second at nine-under-129.The cut was declared at one-over-139. Thirty-eight players made the cut.

Anil Bajrang Mane (67-61) equaled the course record set by Arjun Singh Chaudhri and Mahinder Singh last year with his second round effort of eight-under-61. Mane started with a bogey on the 10th but came back strongly with birdies on the 11th and 12th. The 28-year-old from the Bombay Presidency Golf Club picked up two more strokes on the 15th and 16th thanks to some excellent chipping. Mane made a chip-in on the 16th.Mane earned three straight birdies on the 18th, first and second to move to six-under for the day. Anil sank a 50-footer on the second. He wrapped up the day with two more birdies on the fourth and sixth.

Mane said, “My short game was immaculate today. I made some brilliant chip-putts and a chip-in. I was also in good form with the putter as I made a total of 23 putts in round two. My confidence is high after today’s round and I’ll try to carry forward the momentum into the final round. I’ll not get too ahead of myself and will take it hole by hole on the final day.”

Raju Singh’s (63-66) second round 66 featured six birdies and three bogeys and placed him second at nine-under-129.Aditya Raj Kumar Chauhan (65-65) is placed third at eight-under-130.

Randhir Singh Ghotra of Chandigarh and C G Somiah of Bangalore share fourth place at seven-under-131.

WHO :Statistics highlight increases in blood pressure and diabetes, other noncommunicable risk factors

GENEVA – 16 May 2012 – The World Health Statistics 2012 report, released today, puts the spotlight on the growing problem of the noncommunicable diseases burden.
One in three adults worldwide, according to the report, has raised blood pressure – a condition that causes around half of all deaths from stroke and heart disease. One in ten adults has diabetes.
“This report is further evidence of the dramatic increase in the conditions that trigger heart disease and other chronic illnesses, particularly in low- and middle-income countries,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. “In some African countries, as much as half the adult population has high blood pressure.”
For the first time, the World Health Organization’s annual statistics report includes information from 194 countries on the percentage of men and women with raised blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
In high-income countries, widespread diagnosis and treatment with low-cost medication have significantly reduced mean blood pressure across populations – and this has contributed to a reduction in deaths from heart disease. In Africa, however, more than 40% (and up to 50%) of adults in many countries are estimated to have high blood pressure. Most of these people remain undiagnosed, although many of these cases could be treated with low-cost medications, which would significantly reduce the risk of death and disability from heart disease and stroke. 
Also included for the first time in the World Health Statistics 2012 are data on people with raised blood glucose levels. While the global average prevalence is around 10%, up to one third of populations in some Pacific Island countries have this condition. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to cardiovascular disease, blindness and kidney failure.
Obesity is another major issue.
“In every region of the world, obesity doubled between 1980 and 2008,” says Dr Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at WHO. “Today, half a billion people (12% of the world’s population) are considered obese.”
The highest obesity levels are in the WHO Region of the Americas (26% of adults) and the lowest in the WHO South-East Asia Region (3% obese). In all parts of the world, women are more likely to be obese than men, and thus at greater risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Noncommunicable diseases currently cause almost two thirds of all deaths worldwide. Global concern about the rise in numbers of deaths from heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer prompted the United Nations to hold a high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases in New York in September 2011.
The World Health Assembly, to be held in Geneva from 21-26 May 2012, will review progress made since that meeting and agree on next steps. Work is currently under way to develop a global monitoring framework and a set of voluntary targets for prevention and control of these diseases.
Published annually by WHO, the World Health Statistics is the most comprehensive publication of health-related global statistics available. It contains data from 194 countries on a range of mortality, disease and health system indicators including life expectancy, illnesses and deaths from a range of diseases, health services and treatments, financial investment in health, as well as risk factors and behaviours that affect health.
Some key trends in this year’s report include:
*    Maternal mortality: In 20 years, the number of maternal deaths has decreased from more than 540 000 deaths in 1990 to less than 290 000 in 2010 – a decline of 47%. One third of these maternal deaths occur in just two countries – India with 20% of the global total and Nigeria with 14%.
*    10 year trends for causes of child death: Data from the years 2000 to 2010 show how public health advancements have helped save children’s lives in the past decade. The world has made significant progress, having reduced the number of child deaths from almost 10 million children aged less than 5 years in 2000 to 7.6 million annual deaths in 2010. Declines in numbers of deaths from diarrhoeal disease and measles have been particularly striking.
*    Death registration: Only 34 countries (representing 15% of the world’s population) produce high-quality cause-of-death data. In low and middle-income countries, less than 10% of deaths are registered.

Bring awareness among the electorate public about forthcoming elections:Bombay HC

Bombay high court directed the Election Commission to issue a public notice in leading newspapers of Maharashtra  giving details about the forthcoming Legislative Council elections from Graduates Constituencies and inviting applications from people to be enrolled as voters.

High court further directed that the advertisements be issued for seven days in newspapers commencing May 14 in order to bring an awareness among the electorate public about  the forthcoming elections from Graduate Constituencies."The adverstisement shall also indicate that the last date for receiving applications will be June 15. However, this will not preclude Election Commission from receiving such applications after the date, if the date of nomination is after June 15," said a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice N M Jamdar.

The judges clarified that this date (June 15) is indicated only for the purpose of convenience of the intending applicants so that they know about the date by which they should submit their applications.The bench was hearing on May 9 a petition filed by Surendra Srivastava of Lok Satta party, who made a grievance that EC was not taking requisite steps for preparing and updating electoral rolls for the elections to the state Legislative Council from the Graduate constituencies.
The court also asked EC to indicate the website where applicants can seek further information. The advertisements should also indicate that the applications may be submitted to any of the designated officers whose addresses are given therein, irrespective of the place of residence or work place of the applicants.EC counsel informed the court that the advertisements would be displayed in cinema halls and cable TV network.

Panasonic, Sony in talks on OEL TVs

 Japanese electronics makers Sony and Panasonic are in talks on a partnership to develop next-generation TVs with organic electroluminescence, or OEL, displays.People say the negotiations are at an initial stage. Long-time rivals Sony and Panasonic want to work together to rebuild their struggling TV businesses.
Through the tie-up, Panasonic hopes to cut costs and accelerate the development of large OEL televisions. The maker plans to produce the displays on a test basis at a plant in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, probably before the end of the year.OEL televisions are thinner than current liquid crystal display models and produce sharper images.
South Korean firms are leading in producing large OEL displays on a commercial basis.

Austerity main theme of Greek election

Greece latest opinion poll favour the Radical Left Coalition, finished second in the May 6th the previous election, is expected to lead and win most votes.Alexis Tsipras has opposed teaming up with any party that supports austerity measures.Greece forms a coalition government led by the Radical Left,  European Union may come out with fresh proposals in line with new  French President Francois Hollande  to implement its aid package.

  EU agreed to help on the condition that Greece will take steps to cut its huge budget deficit. EU leaders are saying that countries must stricly adhere to the rules or penalty must be impose.

Hollande flew to Berlin on Tuesday hours after he was sworn in as president.On Euro debt crisis Angela Merkel Chanellor of Germany propagates  Austerity is key to the solution for growth of Europe. Hollande President of France told reporters after the meeting that he made the visit on his first day in office to show  friendship with Germany we will work together to overcome difference.We have the obligation to tackle the problem together Merkel said and they have difference of opinions but have something common ,committed to continue to work together.We have the utmost responsibility for the further development of Europe said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.Two leaders indicated that they will discuss economic stimulus measures.

  Two Leaders expressed hope that Greece will  keep its agreements with the European Union and stay in the eurozone. Hollande said he wants to tell Greek leaders that the EU will take steps to promote growth.During his election campaign, Hollande criticized EU responses to the debt crisis for focusing too much on austerity. Merkel has taken the initiative in the matter.Differences between the two leaders raised concerns that the two key EU members would be unable to take concerted action.

At the back drop of their meet when Hollande tell Greek Leaders that EU will take steps to promote growth.Political leaders in Greece are criticizing each other over their attitudes toward austerity measures ahead of a new parliamentary election.President Karolos Papoulias will convene a meeting on Wednesday to form a caretaker government after 9 days of power-sharing talks broke down the previous day.

Local media reports that the new election will be held in mid-June at the earliest. Austerity measures will be once again on top of the agenda

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