Sunday, September 15, 2013

International events


Policewoman investigator shot in Afghanistan

Gunmen shot and wounded a senior policewoman on Sunday morning in southern Afghanistan, just months after her predecessor was killed, AP reported. The shooting occurred in Lashkar Gah, in Helmand Province, and marks the latest in a series of brazen attacks against high-ranking female Afghan officials. Provincial government spokesman Omar Zawak said the gunmen were riding on a motorbike when they shot a 35-year-old police officer, who he identified only as Negar, in the right shoulder outside her home. Negar, who had replaced the late Islam Bibi as a senior investigator, is expected to survive her injuries. Bibi was the highest-ranking female police officer in Helmand until her assassination in July. Several Afghan women in top positions have been attacked or kidnapped in recent months.

​Pakistani general, colonel killed in bomb attack

A roadside bomb killed a Pakistani Army major-general and a lieutenant-colonel in the country’s Upper Dir district on Sunday. The officers were returning after visiting an outpost near the border with Afghanistan. While Pakistani Taliban militants often attack military personnel in the area, they rarely manage to assassinate such high-ranking officers.

At least 26 people in Iraq killed in wave of car bombings

A wave of car bombings has swept across Iraq in predominantly Shiite regions, sparking fears of renewed sectarian violence. The deadliest attack struck Hilla, the predominantly Shiite capital of Babil province south of Baghdad, where four car bombs killed 16 people, AFP reported citing police. According to AP, one of the bombs detonated in an industrial area of the city of Karbala, killing four and wounding 25. Another blast occurred in Kut in the proximity of construction workers and food stalls, killing two and wounding 14. One more blast hit near Baghdad’s provincial council in the capital’s northern Azamiyah neighborhood, which resulted in three deaths and eight wounded, police say. The attack nearly killed the head of Baghdad’s provincial council. Iraq is experiencing the worst wave of violence in five years, as Shiite, Sunni, and ethnic Kurdish factions continue to divide the country.

India fires nuclear-capable ‘Agni V’ missile

India has conducted a second test firing of its nuclear-capable ‘Agni-V’ long-range ballistic missile, which boasts a strike range of over 5,000 kilometers – capable of reaching Beijing and much of Europe, The Indian Express reported. The three-stage solid propellant missile was test-fired from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha on Sunday. The ‘Agni-V’ can carry a nuclear warhead of over 1 ton. India has been struggling to keep up with China’s growing military might, and is eager to have a viable deterrent against its larger, nuclear-armed neighbor.

Conservatives tipped for Bavaria victory, a week ahead of Germany’s election

A week before Germany’s federal elections on September 22, voters going to the polls Sunday in the country’s southern state of Bavaria are tipped to deliver a victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-wing partners, the Christian Social Union. Polls suggest the CSU could get at least 47 percent, giving it an absolute majority in the state legislature it lost five years ago. The combined CDU/CSU bloc has about 40 percent support nationwide. Should they win next week’s federal parliamentary vote, they would probably still need a partner to form a government. “Dear Angela, we’ll put the ball on the penalty spot, you just have to kick it in,” CSU leader Horst Seehofer said.

​At least 27 dead in Afghan mine collapse

A coalmine disaster in northern Afghanistan has killed at least 27 people on Saturday, officials reported. Rescuers at the mine, in the Samangan province, have freed 22 injured miners. Afghanistan is estimated to have large untapped mineral resources, but mining there is suffering from lax safety standards and overall lack of security in the country. Some operators are known to employ children as young as 10, despite regulations forbidding child labor.

US kills senior Yemen Al-Qaeda figure in drone strike

Al-Qaeda in Yemen has confirmed the death of one of its senior members on Saturday over the Internet. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said Aqaeed al-Dhahab died in a drone strike late last month, AFP reports. A statement intercepted by US-based SITE intelligence group on online jihadist forums says al-Dhahab died in the US “war on Islamic sharia.” This is the latest in a series of attacks targeting the Yemeni branch of the terrorist group, considered to be the most dangerous by Washington. AFP learned from a tribal informant about the 30 August strike, which killed al-Dhahab and two others. The prominent Al-Qaeda member fought with the group in Iraq. He was the brother-in-law of radical Islamic cleric and US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaqi, a key member of AQAP who was also killed in a drone strike in his native Yemen in September 2011.

​Kerry goes to Israel after sealing Syria chemical deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry is to make a brief stop in Jerusalem on Sunday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the US-Russia deal to secure Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. He will then travel to Paris for further discussion on Syria with his French and British counterparts Laurent Fabius and William Hague, respectively. Kerry is also scheduled to meet with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Saud Al Faisal, while in Paris. Hours before the meeting with Kerry, Israel welcomed the new deal between Russia and the US to remove Syria’s chemical stockpile. Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said - “like any deal it will be judged on its results. We hope it will succeed… the deal has advantages and disadvantages,” he told Army Radio, adding that “On the one hand, it lacks the necessary speed (in removing chemical arms from Syria). On the other hand, it is much more comprehensive, as it includes a Syrian commitment to dismantle the manufacturing facilities and to never again produce [chemical weapons].”
Media agencies 

4 dead in Mexico from hurricane Ingrid

Four people have died in Mexico after category 1 hurricane Ingrid descended on Gulf Coast on Saturday, local authorities reported. Three people were killed in the state of Hidalgo while another fell victim to floods in the state of Puebla as rain from the storm caused river levels to rise. Ingrid, with winds of 75 miles per hour, could grow even stronger over the next two days and emergency services are preparing for evacuations. Ingrid is expected to produce up to 25 inches of rain over a large part of eastern Mexico.


Modi  addressed a massive rally in Rewari, Haryana on Sunday afternoon,  after he named the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
Narendra Modi began his address to ex-servicemen at the with a “Bahrat mata ki jai” chant, and  thanked ex-army chief V K Singh for attending the rally.He said “This is God’s grace that I stand before you as the PM’s candidate. I feel happier being the BJP’s PM nominee after coming to this rally.” 
Recalling his past he said, “I attended a rally in Rewari with Atalji, but today’s views is different as no  camera lens can captured, it is call of change coming from this rally ground in Haryana.”     
Taking further on he said, “There isn’t a family in Haryana that hasn’t been touched by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and his Arya Samaj movement. He recalled the emergency, Morarji Desai was interned in Haryana and that is a connection Haryana has with Gujarat. Touching  spiritual sense praised  Sri Krishna was from Dwaraka in Gujarat later in Haryana at Kurukshetra where Sri Kirshna  delivered the sermon of Bhagwad Gita,” Modi said.
Modi then took the UPA government for its failure to tame border incursions and blame the Delhi and Federal leaders in this regards with scathing attack on Defence Minister on his remarks.
“When Gujarat was struck by the earthquake at Bhuj, the soldiers of the Indian Army arrived as saviours (devdoot). In Uttarakhand, our soldiers worked relentlessly to save people and some of them were killed in serving the pilgrims. I salute them and am proud of their sacrifices.”Modi further added,I have laid 700 km of pipeline to get drinking water to the last border outpost when I saw camels were deployed to fetch water


Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday visited the riot-hit district

UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday visited the riot-hit district where he was greeted with black flags and slogan shouting from villagers.
Yadav first visited Kawal village, where three persons were killed on August 27 over an eveteasing incident after which tension has been running high in the district.Waving black flags, the villagers shouted slogans against the “failure” of the administration in controlling the violence that has claimed 47 lives.
The villagers also alleged that the Chief Minister did not receive a memorandum from them and only met ‘outsiders’.
“The incident was saddening..not only for those who lost their young sons but for us also. We have already appealed for peace to everyone and my government will take strict action to deal with those creating trouble”, Akhilesh told reporters.
Later, the Chief Minister left for Malikpura and Kandhla to meet family members of victims.
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s visit comes a day before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s scheduled visit to the district for an on-the-spot assessment in the riot-hit area and commencement of the monsoon session of the State Assembly. The Prime Minister is expected to discuss the situation with Akhilesh.
Opposition parties are likely to put the government in the dock on the issue in the state Assembly.
The Akhilesh Yadav government has been facing flak over the communal violence in Muzzafarnagar with opposition parties accusing it of trying to polarise voters.


India Test Agni V long ballistic missile

India on Sunday conducted a second test flight of its indigenous developed nuclear- capable ‘Agni-V’ long-range ballistic missile, which has a strike range of more than 5000 km, from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.
The three stage, solid propellant missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 8:50 AM, defence sources said on Sunday. 
The surface-to-surface missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne, witnessed an ‘auto launch’ and detail results of the trial will be known after thorough analyses of all data retrieved from different radars and network systems, they said. 


STAR Plus presents the epic saga Mahabharat

STAR Plus presents the epic saga Mahabharat
- Starting September 16th, Monday to Friday at 8.30 pm –
Television Welcomes The Biggest Stars in the History of Mankind!

Sansaar mein kathayein anek hain… par woh Mahagatha jisme vishwa ki saari kathayein chhippi hai… woh kewal ek hai… Mahabharat’

Mumbai, September 14, 2013: ‘Draupadi, Arjun, Bhishma, Shakuni, Gandhari, Satyavati’….have you heard of them? Do you know their epic story?  Chances are that the youth of this country may be unable to identify these iconic characters and the events in their life that led to an epic battle or even understand its relevance even in today’s times! Keeping this in mindStar Plusthe story teller to the nation, has taken up the task of taking this fascinating story of Mahabharat to the youth of this country. Produced by Siddharth Kumar Tewary’s Swastik Productions, viewers will be amazed to see the grand sets, never seen before VFX, stunning locations and an ensemble cast. Starting this September 16th, get ready to watch the epic saga– Mahabharat in an all new avataar from Monday to Friday at 8.30 PM on Star Plus.
Combining modern technology with intense story-telling, Mahabharat aims to cultivate young audiences for this legendary saga which is considered the second longest epic of the world. Star Plus has invested heavily on production and scale to ensure that the most awaited show on Indian television presents a magnificent narrative and is a visual treat for audiences. Every detail of the show has been painstakingly put together, including the costumes, weapons and jewellery that have been designed after years of research!
Commenting on the show, Nikhil Madhok, Sr. Vice President, Marketing Star Plus said, “We wanted to introduce Mahabharat and its iconic characters to the new generation. We have consciously made a heavy investment into the content with great production values and mounted the show on a big canvas. But it’s Mahabharat’s epic characters, whose story will connect with our viewers and make this a must watch.”
The magnum opus is supported by a stellar cast that includes like Puneet Issar (Parshuram), Sayantani Ghosh (Satyavati), Aarav Chaudhary (Bheeshma), Ratan Rajput (Amba), Shaheer Shaikh (Arjun), Saurabh Jain (Krishna), Pooja Sharma (Draupadi) and Praneet Bhatt (Shakuni) among others.
Talking about this ambitious project, Producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary said,“Every story has different shades. The beauty of storytelling is to justify a character and its action and graph without portraying him in black or white or a situation as right or wrong. While creating characters, we kept this in mind that this show is for today’s audience and that every aspect of the story is relevant in today’s times. It is an attempt to show the human side of every single character in the series, and reinterpret the old text without tampering with the sensibilities of the iconic story.”
Commenting on Fortune’s association with Mahabharat, Mr. Angshu Mallick, COO, Adani Wilmar Ltd said, “Mahabharat is the greatest story ever told. It bridges generations by appealing to both young and old, and watching it is fundamentally a bonding experience. We are delighted with the effort and way in which Star Plus is trying to get the younger audience to come and watch this show. This will further ensure that the whole family sits together in front of the TV. These are all values that Fortune cherishes, and to be associated with Mahabharat is a perfect fit for the brand.”
With creative associations ranging from writer Salim Khan, noted author Devdutt Pattanaik, Oscar winning designer Bhanu Athaiya, music directors Ajay-Atul and Ismail Darbar, action director Ram Shetty and Omang Kumar as set designer on board, Mahabharat has already raised the bar.

Apart from Fortune and Ghari Detergent who are the presenting and powered by sponsors respectively, the other brands who have come on board as associate sponsors are Super Vasmol 33 Kesh Kala, Marvel Tea, Vinod Intelligent Cookware, Cycle Agarbatti, Lux Inferno, Syska LED Lights, Siyaram’s and Eyetex Dazzler.

A story, a saga and ancient India’s oldest and most revered epic – Mahabharat is all set to create its magic starting September 16, every Monday to Friday at 8.30 pm only on Star Plus.
About Star
Star India has defined India’s broadcast media for over two decades and is today one of the country’s leading media and entertainment companies.
Star India broadcasts more than 40 channels in 7 languages, reaching more than 600 million viewers every week across India and 100 other countries. The network’s channel portfolio includes Star Gold, Channel [V], Star World, Star Movies, Star Movies Action, Star Utsav, Life OK, Movies OK and Star Plus, India’s No. 1 General Entertainment Channel.
It has a leading presence in regional broadcasting as well, through a bouquet of affiliate channels which includes Star Jalsha, Star Pravah, Asianet, Asianet Plus, Suvarna and Vijay.
For any queries, please reach out to:
STAR Plus – Jigna Shah – 99205 98697 –
MSL India – Akanksha Shukla – 9930313633 –


Manual on Low Cost Technological Solutions for Health Hazards and Environmental Impacts of Textile Production’

Dear Friends, 
Please find attached press invites in english and hindi for the Book Release of two publications “Kaam mein suraksha aur uske kanoon” and ‘Manual on Low Cost Technological Solutions for Health Hazards and Environmental Impacts of Textile Production’by Hazards Centre, a unit of Sanchal Foundation. Both the publications are on Occupational Health and Safety and have been published after in depth studies held across the country. The event is on 16th September 2013, Monday and the gathering will be addressed by Dilip Simeon, Prof. Sudarshan Khanna, Rita Kapoor and Workers’ Activists Ved Prakash(DJB) and Raghuraj (Wazirpur Industrial Area). The book release is scheduled for 2 p.m at the Press Club of India.
We hope you will join us for this event and will stay with us for tea and snacks.

Dear Friends,
We would like to invite you for the book release of two publications on Occupational Health and Workers Safety on 16th September 2013 (Monday) at 2 p.m. at the Press Club Of India, 1 Raisina Road, New Delhi. The Book release will be addressed by :
Dilip Simeon, who has been a visiting scholar at the Universities of Surat, Sussex, Chicago, Leiden and Princeton. From 1998 till 2003 he worked as Research Fellow on conflict with Oxfam (India) Trust. He has published extensively on historical and political issues in various newspapers and academic journals. Dilip is now chairperson of the Aman Trust, which works to understand and reduce violent social conflict.His first novel, Revolution Highway, was published by Penguin India in September 2010.)
Prof. Sudarshan Khanna, who is a design educator, author and designer. He has been associated with the National Institute of Design (NID), India for more than 35 years. Prof. Khanna was the chairperson of Education and Research Departments at NID. He was the ex – president of International Toy Research Association and founder person of ‘Toys for Tomorrow’.
Rita Kapur, who is the founder of Ananda Delhi Textile, an organization devoted to the marriage of organic cotton farming and hand spinning in the production of khadi, the Indian textile championed by Gandhi. She is also the author of the book, Saris: Tradition and Beyond)
Ved Prakash, who is a leading member of the Delhi Jal Board Sewerage Department Workers Union and has been working with his union for justice and accountability for high number of deaths among sewerage workers.
Raghuraj, who is an organizer in Wazirpur Industrial area where workers have been involved in a struggle to ensure basic entitlements and safety at workplace in the wake of several accidents and deaths of workers in the Hot Iron Rod Mills.
Hazards Centre, a unit of Sanchal Foundation, is a resource group working in Delhi on various issues related to the community and workers’ groups. We are a response-based group, working on issues related to environmental and occupational health, the Right to Work, equal availability and accessibility to services, sustainable transport, housing and governance. Occupational health and safety is a concern and concept involved with providing safe working conditions so that the health of the people engaged in that particular occupation is protected. In our 17 years of working with communities we have found that there exists a severe lack of safety at work places historically, inspite of several laws being enacted to prevent chronic illness, workers’ deaths and accidents. This has been a concern raised by many workers organizations from the coal mines to the sewerage workers in Delhi and at the same time by artisan workers who follow traditional methods of production. While several workers provide us with beautiful textiles to basic amenities like electricity, sanitation by putting their lives on risk, there is no accountability regarding their safety and the provisions made for them.
At the request of AIACA, we started working on the occupational and environmental impacts on artisans involved with the traditional handicrafts in different clusters in India. Initially 6 different cottage industry clusters across the country, starting with a base line study of these 6 crafts-   1) Handblock printing in Bagru, Rajasthan; 2) Blue pottery in Jaipur, Rajasthan; 3) Leather in Ajmer and Jaipur, Rajasthan; 4) Ikat weaving in pochampalli, Andhra Pradesh;   5) Dhokra in Orissa; and 6) Bell metal in Orissa.
Following this, a detailed study was carried out on the occupational health and safety of textile handicraft artisans, looking at the cottage industry clusters of hand block printing in Jaipur, Rajasthan and Ikat weaving in Pochampally, Andhra Pradesh. This study has been published by Hazards Centre, ‘Manual on Low Cost Technological Solutions for Health Hazards and Environmental Impacts of Textile Production’ and will be released at the event.
The second publication we would like to share with you at the book release is ‘Kaam mein suraksha aur uske kanoon’ (Safety at work and related laws). This publication emerged out of our work of doing safety audits along the Lucknow – Muzaffarpur Highway being constructed by NHAI. During the present system of contractualisation of work and transformation of the work, where 93% of the workforce is in the unorganised sector, the importance of safety in the workplace becomes even more important. Presently, we have a number of laws that talk about the conditions of the workplace and safety of the workers. We have come out with a small booklet that talks about the various provisions in different laws such as the Factories Act, 1948, the Building other construction workers’ (regulation of employment and conditions of Service) act, 1996, the Workmen’s’ compensation Act, 1923; The Manufacture, Storage and import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989, etc. This book talks about various issues such as what all facilities should be made available to workers in the workplace, the working hours, the safety regulations to be followed in factories, along with their rights, as well as the responsibilities of the employer or the factory owner. Different safety regulations to be followed in the workplace as well as the procedure, such as the safety committee and officers, have also been talked about. Who to approach in case of any problems faced by the workers along with their contact details have also been given.
We hope you will join us for the interaction which will be followed by tea and snacks.
Thank you
Sunayana 9911550840
Vasudha 9818990916
Ruchika 9999014119
Hazards Centre
92-H, Third floor, Pratap Market,
Munirka, New Delhi -110067 
Postman Beat Code – 06
Ph: 011-26714244, 26187806

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