Thursday, May 15, 2014

CPR Launch of SARCist portal



Videos of CPR Launch of SARCist portal
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    15 May 2014 15:07
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    15 May 2014 15:02
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    15 May 2014 14:49


Mercedes launches latest SUV the ML63 AMG



Mercedes-Benz India has launched its fastest and cheapest #AMG SUV, the #ML63. Price and more details at the link...</p> <p></p> <p>#Mercedes
 Mercedes launches  latest SUV viz is the ML63 AMG, is now available in India at an asking price of Rs 1.49 crore, ex-showroom, Delhi with the latest tech, a family car to make the ML63 AMG quite an interesting product.


Burma jails journalist for asking questions


Burma jails journalist for asking questions

BurmaCampaign] Burma jails journalist for asking questions. Take action
 May 14 at 11:36 PM
Dear friend
Free Zaw Pe!
Zaw Pe is a video journalist working for the Democratic Voice of Burma. He is based in the Magwe region of central Burma.
In August 2012  Zaw Pe and another man, Win Myint Hlaing, whose son is a student, went to the Magwe Division Education Department to conduct an interview about the qualification criteria for a Japanese funded scholarship programme. The government official at the department refused to answer their questions.  Following their visit, they were charged with trespassing, and disturbing a civil servant at the department, under Sections 353 and 448 of the Penal Code.
On 7th April 2014, they were both found guilty of these offences and sentenced to one year in prison.
Zaw Pe (also known as Thura Thet Tin) is 41. He has a wife and a two year old son. He has been arrested for his journalist work in the past. In May 2010 he was jailed for three years for unauthorised filming. He was released in 2012.
The jailing is the latest in a series of recent arrests or jailings of journalists, and is part of a broader series of actions taken by the Burmese government to intimidate and control media without reintroducing direct censorship.
“This shows how far President Thein Sein’s democratic reform and Myanmar’s media freedom reach.” Zaw Pe
Thank you.
Wai Hnin
Burma Campaign UK


AirAsia Extends Support for Global Humanitarian Efforts


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Airline joins Airlink’s global aviation relief network with donation of 10 hours flight time for aid purposes

SEPANG, May 15, 2014 – The AirAsia Group donated a total of 10 hours of flight time on the group’s Airbus A320 for up to 180 personnel and up to 8 tonnes of cargo to Airlink, dedicated for humanitarian efforts around SE Asia.

The flight time donation incorporates the provision of cargo space and carriage of passengers, which will be utilized to fly humanitarian aid supplies and relief workers to affected areas in the event of a disaster.

Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO said, “We think Airlink is doing an amazing job with their global aviation relief network and we feel honoured to be able to contribute. Throughout our short history since 2001, AirAsia have been involved in humanitarian causes and and wewanted to be able to contribute in the region AirAsia calls home, where we can be of the most use. We are proud to be a part of this noble effort and Airlink’s global aviation relief network.”

Since its inception, Airlink has operated with modest funding, most of which came from the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Foundation. In January, 2013, Airlink transformed into an independent non-profit organization, enabling them to broaden their financial and volunteer support, while maintaining connections with both the Foundation and the valued ISTAT members. As a result of considerable outreach to airlines and other entities related to transportation, Airlink has secured a variety of contributions including, one million frequent flyer miles on account, forward capacity commitments and financial sponsorships.
“We are grateful to AirAsia for their generous donation and we look forward to working together to prepare a strategic plan that will utilize the flying time to benefit the communities in their region,” said Steve Smith, Executive Director, Airlink. “Having those 10 hours in our inventory and a plan, will facilitate a more timely response to orchestrating humanitarian relief efforts in SE Asia should a crisis arise.”

AirAsia has been to the aid of people and nations in the region at times of need. AirAsia was in the forefront of relief efforts in the wake of the tsunami that struck the region in 2004 and supported the recovery of Bali, Indonesia, after the terrorist bombings in 2005 by giving away 12,000 free seats on its flights. The airline was also provided assistance during Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (2008)the earthquake in Sichuan,China (2008) and earthquake in West Sumatera, Indonesia (2009).

More recently in 2013, AirAsia flew in humanitarian aid to Tacloban to help communities affected by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan. The airline also launched the ‘To Philippines with Love’ (#toPHwithlove) campaign to help those affected by the storm.


Halt Rampant Forced Evictions in Chandigarh Immediately: NFHR

In a major demolition drive on 10 May in Chandigarh, around 1500 families were forcefully
evicted from four slums — Kuldeep Colony, Pandit Colony, Majdoor Colony and Nehru Colony
— spread across Kajheri village, and Sectors 52 and 53. The Union Territory of Chandigarh
authorities pulled down around 3700 structures in these slums with the help of 2000 plus
indu prakash singh, National Convenor, National Forum for Housing Rights (NFHR), has said
that the demolitions and evictions are in gross violation of the various orders of the Supreme
Court of India like the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation vs. Nawab Khan Gulab Khan &Ors.
(1997 (11) SCC 121); Francis Coralie vs. Union Territory of Delhi (1981); UP Evam Vikas Paroshad
vs. Friends Coop. Housing Society Ltd. (1996); and Chameli Singh & Ors vs. State of Uttar Pradesh
(1996). Singh said that no colony in Chandigarh should be demolished and all evictions planned
by the administration should be stopped with immediate effect. He added that these
demolitions are against the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) norms laying emphasis on in situ
upgradation and added all settlements should be developed in an in situ manner with all
amenities for a dignified living of the residents. 
Shivani Chaudhry, co-convenor, NFHR, and Executive Director, Housing and Land Rights
Network (HLRN) said that housing is a basic human right enshrined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ICESCR) that India has ratified. She said the Chandigarh Administration should
regularise all informal settlements and provide security of tenure and basic services. The
forced evictions of these communities violate a range of human rights, and contravene not only
international law but also the Constitution of India and international guidelines such as the UN
Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement. 
Manmohan Sharma, Shehri Beghar Awaas Adhikar Manch, Chandigarh, said that city
administration has issued eviction notices to four more colonies. He said, the forum is working
with the community and other organisations to develop an action plan to provide all support to
the people who received notices. 
NFHR strongly condemns the forced evictions, demolition of homes, and discrimination against
the urban poor (CityMakers) in Chandigarh. NFHR seeks to challenge the denial of the human
rights of the CityMakers and the orchestrated efforts of the Chandigarh Administration to deny
the urban poor their ‘Right to the City,’ which includes the human rights to adequate housing,
livelihood/work, education, health, equality, participation and information. NFHR calls on the
Union Territory of Chandigarh Administration to immediately provide relief and rehabilitation
to the evicted families and to take measures to halt further evictions and to protect the human
rights of the state’s poor


We build big things -  Vice President Joe Biden

To Me
Today at 10:46 AM
Here’s what I saw in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood today:
I saw a community coming together to replace an obsolete old train station with a new, energy-efficient one that connects two high-employment areas.
Yesterday, in St. Louis, I saw the construction of a land bridge that’s designed to let residents and tourists better access the city’s famous Archway.
Our infrastructure projects — the roads we pave, the tracks we lay down, the bridges we build — they bring out the best of us as a country. We build big things. It’s our history.
That happened because our Administration took steps to expedite the permitting process for these kinds of projects. And today, we announced that we’re doing the same thing for 11 more accelerated projects — from Boston’s South Station to the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
But there’s more that’s got to be done to make sure this country’s infrastructure projects get the funding they need. That’s something only Congress can do, and they’re running out of time to do it.
If our Congress doesn’t act soon, the funding that pays for our transportation projects will run out. The Department of Transportation won’t have a dime to go toward more than 112,000 projects happening around the country. Nearly 700,000 good jobs would be at risk. And some states are already slowing down projects because they’re anticipating this inaction.
Think about that for a second.
These states are putting American jobs on the line because they’re actually expecting their legislators to refuse to do their jobs.
It shouldn’t be that way, and you can play a role in changing it by making sure everyone knows what’s going on and what it means.
Vice President Joe Biden


World looks forward to learn from Indian elections

World looks forward to learn from Indian elections


The world is anxiously awaiting the results of the 16th general elections in India, the largest democracy and one of the emerging economy. Apart from several power centres in the multi-polar geo-politics, countries which are eager to learn from the experiences of Indian democracy are patiently waiting for the outcome on May16.

Over past 64 years Indian democracy has attained a level of maturity. Recently in the midst of the poll process in the country, 30 participants from Bhutan, Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malaysia, Maldives, Palestine, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania and Yemen participated in the third course on election management conducted by the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM), a body set up by the Election Commission of India.
Some of the countries like El Salvador, Ethiopia, Maldives, Palestine, South Sudan and Sudan have participated in earlier courses conducted by IIIDEM. India has also extended its expertise in conducting polls in Afghanistan.

First such course for foreign participants on poll management was conducted by IIIDEM in October 2012 where 28 participants from 18 countries from Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean attended the programme. These countries include, Cambodia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Libya, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Niger, Palestine, Panama, Sudan, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the second course held in April 2013, 30 senior officials from 19 countries including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cambodia, Gambia, Ghana, Lebanon, Lithuania, Palestine, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago and Uzbekistan participated.

The courses are conducted under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme of India’s Ministry of External Affairs. The courses cover various aspects of election management and includes field level exposure to Election Commission of India’s poll machinery. Special courses are designed for mid-career election officials of India’s ITEC-partner countries. The ITEC programme is designed for South-South cooperation.

The world is watching with interest India’s experiment with parliamentary democracy with an estimated 814,591,184 registered voters in 2014, including 387,911,330 female voters and 28,341 trans genders to elect 543 members of Lok Sabha, the Lower House of the Indian Parliament. There are 23,161,269 first time and young voters within the age group 18-19 years. There are 6 recognised national parties, 47 recognised state parties and 1563 other registered parties in 2014 poll fray.

Indian parliamentary democracy has evolved since Independence in August 15, 1947, recognizing the need for universal adult franchise. The Election Commission was formally constituted in January 25, 1950, one day before India became a Sovereign Democratic Republic. The first Chief Election Commissioner, Sukumar Sen was appointed in March 21, 1950. Since then till October 16, 1989, the Commission functioned as a single member body.

From October 16, 1989 to January 1, 1990, it was converted into a three-member body but on January 1, 1990, it reverted to the system of single member body. However, since October 1, 1993, the Commission is regularly functioning as a three-member body.

For the first and second general elections in 1951-52 and 1957, the Election Commission adopted the Balloting System of voting under which every candidate was allotted a separate ballot box at each polling station in a screened compartment and the voter was required only to drop his ballot paper into the ballot box of the candidate of his choice.

With a view to improve the system and check fraudulant voting from the third general elections in 1962 onwards, the Commission switched over to “marking system” of voting under which a common ballot paper containing the names and election symbols of all contesting candidates is printed on which the voter has to put a mark with an arrow cross mark rubber stamp on or near the symbol of the candidate of his choice. All the arked ballot papers are put into a common ballot box.

Further improvement in voting system was seen with the introduction of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which were used for the first time in part of Parur Assembly Constituency in Kerala in 1982 on experimental basis. Later, the extensive use of EVMs began in 1998. The EVMs were used at all polling stations in the country in the 14thgeneral elections to the Lok Sabha in 2004 for the first time. Since then all elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies have been held using EVMs. However, there was some complaints about manipulations of EVMs in the last 15th general elections. The Commission, therefore, decided to use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system along with the EVMs in select constituencies in the 16th general elections in 2014 by deploying 20,600 VVPAT units.

Following the verdict of the Supreme Court, the Commission has decided to give option to the voters who are not willing to vote for any of the fielded candidates. A button – None of the Above – has been inserted in the EVMs and ballot papers.

The use of indelible ink on the finger of the voter is an unique to check double voting. The electoral stain typically contains silver nitrate which stains the skin on exposure to ultra violet light, leaving a mark that is impossible to wash off. Other interesting features of Indian elections are enforcement of model code of conduct during the poll process, regulation of opinon polls, checking paid news and ceiling on poll expenditure.

(*The writer is a senior journalist on policy and strategic issues. He was a former Agriculture Editor with Financial Express. He can be reached at - His mobile phone no 09810902204) 





Preliminary Earthquake Report
  • 15 May 2014 08:16:34 UTC
  • 15 May 2014 18:16:35 near epicenter
  • 15 May 2014 12:16:34 standard time in your timezone
Location6.509N 144.899E
Depth10 km
  • 96 km (59 mi) SSE of Ifalik, Micronesia
  • 757 km (469 mi) W of Weno, Micronesia
  • 767 km (475 mi) S of Mangilao Village, Guam
  • 771 km (478 mi) S of Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon Village, Guam
  • 770 km (477 mi) S of Hagatna, Guam

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