Monday, September 8, 2014

Obama to reveal strategy to tackle ISIS threat


Obama to reveal strategy to tackle ISIS threat on Wednesday
President Barack Obama on Wednesday to announce the US' strategy to tackle the threat posed by ISIS, the terrorist outfit which has gained control over a large part of Iraq and Syria, and has brutally killed two American journalists in recent past.
"On Wednesday I'll make a speech and describe what our game plan is going to be going forward. But this is not going to be an announcement about the US ground troops. This is not the equivalent of the Iraq War," Obama told NBC's "Meet the Press" in an interview. 

"What this is... is similar to the kinds of counter terrorism campaigns that we've been engaging in consistently over the last six-seven years," he said.

Obama said the entire international community understands that ISIS was something that has to be dealt with.

"So what I have done over the last several months is first and foremost make sure that we've got eyes on the problem, that we shifted resources, intelligence, reconnaissance, we did an assessment on the ground," he added.

The US President said that in an important second step he ensured protection of American personnel, embassies and consulates.

"That included taking air strikes to ensure that towns like Erbil were not overrun, critical infrastructure like the Mosul Dam was protected," said the US President.

Obama would meet the congressional leaders on Tuesday. 

"I am going to be asking the Congress to make sure that they understand and support what our plan is. And it's going to require some resources, I suspect, above what we are currently doing," Obama said. 

Foreign Minister of Germany, Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier, calls on PM Modi

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today received Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister of Germany.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Steinmeier conveyed Germany’s strong desire to work together with the new Government in India to further expand and deepen bilateral relations. He welcomed India’s decision to accept the invitation of Chancellor Merkel for India to participate in Hannover Messe 2015 as a partner country.
The Prime Minister recalled his fruitful telephone conversation with Chancellor Merkel on July 17 while transiting through Germany. He expressed appreciation for Chancellor Merkel’s personal interest and commitment to India-Germany relationship. He said that India looked forward to the visit of Chancellor Merkel for the next round of Inter-Governmental Consultations in 2015.
The Prime Minister lauded Germany’s remarkable economic resurgence over the past decade. He described India and Germany, which are bound by democratic values, as “made for each other” because of complementary skills and resources to power the next generation of industrial development through partnering in manufacturing and infrastructure development.
The Prime Minister also suggested that using Germany’s strength and experience in the area of skill development, both sides develop a concrete time-bound plan for training of Indian youth to meet Indian needs and the global requirement of skilled human resources. He also called for taking forward the ongoing cooperation in the area of clean energy and forging new partnerships in the areas of solid waste management, waste water treatment and cleaning of rivers.
It was agreed that both sides will undertake preparations with the aim of finalizing concrete roadmap for cooperation in each of these areas at the next Inter-Governmental Consultations meeting. Towards this end, issue specific workshops will be organized ahead of the Hannover Messe 2015.

International News

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Maoists blow up tracks, goods train derails in Jharkhand:


A goods train derailed after Maoists blew up a stretch of railway tracks between Latehar and Bendi railway stations in the Latehar district in Jharkhand early today. The rebels damaged the tracks around wee hours nearly 2 AM  causing the derailment of the coal-laden goods wagon, the police said.

One killed in Yemen as police disperse demonstration

A Yemeni man was shot dead and several others wounded as police tried to disperse Shi’ite Muslim Houthi protesters blocking the road between the capital and Sanaa airport, AFP reported, citing demonstrators. Police used tear gas and water cannon against the protesters, who were camped along the road near the interior ministry. The escalation of weeks of protests reportedly came after demonstrators ignored the demand to clear the area, and apparently after some approached a checkpoint leading to the nearby ministry. Tens of thousands of Houthis have been camping around Sanaa demanding the resignation of the government, which they accuse of corruption.

Arab League set to combat Islamic State militants

The Arab League will take all necessary measures to combat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, the foreign ministers of the organization agreed at a meeting in Cairo on Sunday. Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi suggested that military action may be conducted under the umbrella of the organization’s joint defense pact. However, it is not clear whether the Arab League’s commitment will include direct military involvement in Iraq and Syria. The foreign ministers also endorsed the UN Security Council’s August resolution which called to suppress the flow of fighters and financing to IS and other extremist groups in the region. In a statement, the Arab League for the first time called on Syrian opposition groups to hold talks with President Bashar Assad’s forces, in an effort to create a reconciliation government.

15 Ukrainian soldiers freed by local militia in Donetsk

The local militia in Donetsk freed 15 Ukrainian soldiers from Cherkas and the 40th battalion of the ground defense, said Boris Filatov, deputy head of the Dnepropetrovsk region, on his Facebook page. “The Donetsk side releases captives at our demand without exchange of additional conditions,” he added. The process was guided by the head of the center of the prisoners’ exchange – Col. Gen. of Ukraine’s army reserve, Vladimir Rubin – according to Filatov. Earlier, the first two captives were freed by local militia in Lughansk region, according to the Ukrainian president’s press secretary, Svyatoslav Tsegolko. The exchange of captives falls under the ceasefire protocol signed by the two conflicting sides on Friday in Minsk.

Czech Republic to supply ammunition to Kurdish authorities

The Czech Republic will supply Iraq’s Kurds with ammunition worth over US$2 million, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said in televised statement on Sunday, as quoted by RIA Novosti. “Right after Iraq’s new government begins its work, which is planned for September 14, I will visit the country for talks on the supply of weapons, the first tranche of which has already been approved by the Czech government. The cost of the first delivery is over 40 million korunas (or $2 million), but it is gratuitous on our part,” Zaoralek said. On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Canada, and Albania will provide “arms and equipment” to Kurdistan, northern Iraq, which joined the central Baghdad government in the fight against Islamic State militants, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS/ISIL).

Malaysia urges MH17 investigators to begin work at crash site

Malaysian officials are urging an international experts team to launch their work at the MH17 crash site in Ukraine as soon as possible. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said on Saturday that it was important to get to the crash area before the arrival of winter. The PM stated that Malaysia had convincing intelligence data about the crash causes, but stressed it was necessary to collect evidence at the crash site – which might be more difficult in the winter season. A Malaysian team of 30 investigators is expected to arrive in Ukraine early next week. The group will include Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and various divers who will scan the lake at the crash site.

2 NATO warships enter Black Sea – report

Two NATO warships, Canadian frigate Toronto and Spain’s Almirante Juan de Borbon have entered Black Sea waters over the weekend, Itar Tass news agency reported referring to its military diplomatic source. The ships will take part in the international Sea Breeze drill, conducting exercises from September 8 to 10. On Friday, another two NATO warships, the French Navy ship Commandant Birot and the US destroyer Ross, entered the area. It is expected that the drill will also involve Turkish and Romanian frigates, as well as a Georgian patrol boat.

Muslim cleric Abu Qatada condemns ISIS beheadings

The Muslim cleric Abu Qatada has criticized the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) jihadists for the beheading of two US journalists, saying that the killings contradict Islamic teaching. Qatada is awaiting the verdict of an Amman court in Jordan for his role in an alleged terrorist plan to blow up American, Israeli and other Western tourists during the 2000-millennium celebrations. He allegedly told reporters waiting outside the court that journalists are “messengers of truth” and that killing them is against religious teachings, according to the BBC.

PM Abe in first Japanese state visit to Sri Lanka in 24 years

Shinzo Abe arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday for the first visit of a Japanese prime minister to Sri Lanka in 24 years. Japan’s leader was greeted at Colombo’s airport by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. His visit pre-empts Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will travel to Sri Lanka and India later this month. This is Abe’s second leg of a South Asian tour to assert Tokyo’s influence in a region where China is now playing a bigger role.

Ebola lockdown in Sierra Leone will not help says MSF

A three-day lockdown in Sierra Leone to help combat Ebola, which is planned to start on September 19, will not help contain the virus according to the medical charity, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF). MSF said a forced lockdown would push people underground, destroy trust between doctors and the public and ultimately help spread the disease. Officials in Sierra Leone say the lockdown will help health workers isolate new cases.7

Seven Afghan men sentenced to death for gang rape

Seven Afghani men have been found guilty of kidnapping, attacking and gang raping four women who were returning to Kabul after a wedding on August 23. Violence against women is common in Afghanistan but barely receives as much attention as this case, which has seen President Karzai call for the men’s deaths. The men were wearing police uniforms when they stopped a convoy of cars, pulled the women out and attacked them, according to local police.

Russian director Konchalovsky’s film wins Silver Lion in Venice

Renowned Russian director Andrey Konshalovsky’s film “The Postman’s White Nights” has won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Konchalovsky’s movie is a mix of a feature and a documentary, and its main character is postman Alexey from a small village near Arkhangelsk in northern Russia. It took about a year and 50 people to find the right one for the role, Itar-Tass news agency cited the director as saying. “This is just an attempt to make a film using other methods, inexpensively and independently from the market as much as possible so as not to be accountable to anyone for what you are doing,”Konchalovsky stated.

US citizen to be tried in North Korea for unspecified crime next Sunday

Matthew Miller, one of three American citizens currently held captive in North Korea, will be put on trial on September 14 for “perpetrating hostile acts.” Miller was arrested in April, when he tore up his visa at the immigration desk and demanded political asylum -according to an official statement from Pyongyang. Less than a week ago Miller and two other Americans, Jeffrey Fowle and Kenneth Bae, made a video address in an interview with CNN, something very unusual for the North Korean prison system, with a plea to the US government to send a special envoy to the isolated state to negotiate their release, AFP reports. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki refused to disclose American diplomatic moves to release the prisoners, saying Washington did not want to jeopardise efforts.

2,000 people evacuated as Hurricane Norbert hits Mexico

More than 2,000 people were evacuated and a fishing village of 7,000 residents suffered severe flooding, as Hurricane Norbert came close to Mexico’s Pacific coast on Saturday, according to officials cited by AFP. With winds of up to 185 km/h (115 miles per hour), the storm increased to a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the US National Weather Service. It has, however, been moving away from the west coast of the Baja California peninsula. It’s expected that the storm will weaken in the next 24 hours.

Malaysia sending MH17 crash investigators to Ukraine

The Malaysian government is sending a team of 30 police officers and experts to the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine on September 8 to investigate the reasons behind the accident, chief of police Khalid Abu Bakar said. Another group made up of 50 people will follow later. Bakar did not specify when the experts could be granted access to the crash site. Around the same time, Malaysia’s Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein will be visiting Ukraine. “The main objective of the trip will be to gain secure access for experts to the crash site. We hope that the Ukrainian government and self-defense forces will allow us to do that,” he said. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Libya in row with Sudan over plane that ‘breached airspace to arm terrorists’

Libya accused Sudan of arming terrorists and expelled the country’s military attaché on Saturday, a government statement said. The Libyan government added that a Sudanese military transport plane under the control of a militant group had entered its airspace, with the intention of supplying a “terrorist group” with ammunition. “This work from the Sudanese state violates [the sovereignty] of the State of Libya and interferes with its affairs,” the Libyan statement said, claiming that Sudan is actually “supporting a terrorist group.”According to Libya, the Sudanese plane was on its way to Tripoli-Matiga airportafter making a refueling stop in the Libyan desert oasis Kufra near the border with Sudan. Sudan has confirmed that it sent a military plane, but denied it was meant to support non-state militant groups, stating that the plane was carrying equipment for a joint Libyan-Sudanese border force.

Storms leave 600,000 without power in Michigan, Illinois

More than 600,000 homes in Michigan and Illinois were left without power after heavy winds and lightning ripped through the northwestern US, killing at least two people, officials said. A woman from Illinois died after sustaining heavy injuries from a falling tree, while a Michigan man was electrocuted after coming into contact with a power line, Reuters reported. Around 350,000 homes were left without power in southeastern Michigan on Saturday, according to DTE Energy Co spokesman Scott Simons. More than 174,000 customers in Illinois were left without electricity after Friday’s storms, the Commonwealth Edison reported.

Ukraine, US to begin military exercises in Black Sea

The Ukrainian and US navies will take part in a joint exercise called “Sea Breeze 2014” on September 8-10 in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said on its website on Friday. Around 280 US servicemen will participate in the drills. The exercises will include representatives from five countries – including Georgia, Romania and Turkey – as well as the Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO Task Unit 02 (including Canadian, Spanish, and Romanian ships). The planned military exercises are said to be focused on how interdiction operations could enhance maritime security.

Scottish independence supporters take lead in polls

For the first time since the “Yes” and “Better Together” campaigns began competing ahead of the September 18 referendum, Scotland’s independence supporters on Saturday took a slight lead in a media poll. According to the YouGov survey for the Sunday Times newspaper, there were 51 percent of “Yes” voters against 49 percent of those who rejected independence from the UK.

Somalia’s al-Shabaab names new leader after US airstrike

Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists in Somalia confirmed Saturday that their leader, Ahmed Godane, was killed in a US airstrike earlier this week, adding that they have named a new leader Abu Ubeid Ahmed Omar. Omar is believed to be an assumed name, and the new leader’s real name is not known.US forces hit Godane’s camp in south-central Somalia with Hellfire missiles and laser guided bombs. The Pentagon did not confirm the death until Friday.

Estonian officer in 2 month pre-trial detention in Russia on suspicion of spying

Eston Kohver, a serviceman of the Estonian Interior Ministry who was detained at the Russian border on Friday, has been placed in pre-trial detention for two months, according to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). Moscow’s Lefortovo court confirmed Kohver’s arrest on Saturday. He faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted. Kohver was detained in Pskov Region, which borders Estonia and Latvia. The FSB said he was carrying equipment for covert video recording, a loaded gun, and other “intelligence related” materials. Meanwhile, Tallinn claims that Kohver was abducted from Estonian territory.

25 killed in Syrian air force attack on Islamic State

The Syrian government launched a number of airstrikes targeting a stronghold of Islamic State extremists Saturday, killing at least 25 people. Eight airstrikes smashed into buildings in the northeastern city of Raqqa, which is completely controlled by the Islamist group. At least 16 civilians were killed in the attack, as well as nine Islamic State fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which obtains information from a network of activists on the ground. Raqqa, a city of 500,000 on the banks of the Euphrates, has been virtually out of bounds to journalists since it was captured by the Islamic State earlier this year.

Egyptian president appeals for patience over power cuts

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Egyptians on Saturday to be patient in the face of power cuts, after two days of electricity disruption in Cairo, saying that massive investment was needed in order to solve the problem. Egypt has suffered blackouts throughout the summer, caused by high demand for fans and air conditioning systems, as well as a lack of fuel for diesel generators. Sisi said the Egyptian electrical sector needs massive investment, adding that the problem “is not something that can be solved overnight.”

Flood death toll passes 200 in India, Pakistan

More than 200 people have been killed in extensive flooding across large swathes of northern India and Pakistan, reports say. At least 110 people died in downpours in Pakistani Kashmir and the Punjab, and another 100 people perished in Indian Kashmir, as heavy rain caused landslides and washed away houses. The regions of northern India and northeast Pakistan are suffering their worst flooding in twenty years and the full extent of the death toll is not yet clear.

Libyan army kills at least 200 militants ahead of Benghazi op

At least two hundred militants have been killed in two days as the army plans to storm militias currently in control of Benghazi, said Col. Mohammed Hijazi, a spokesman for the self-declared Libyan National Army, as cited by ITAR-TASS. He also denied reports that militants had taken over Benina International Airport near Benghazi, the country’s second largest city. According to the colonel, the Benghazi militants, who include members of the jihadist Ansar al Sharia group, will be joined by reinforcements from the Misrata Brigades and Islamic State militants. More than two weeks ago renegade general, Khalifa Haftar, launched a ground and air assault against Islamist groups in Benghazi. After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, there have been numerous clashes between rival militia groups in the region.

At least 36 killed in Tanzania bus crash

Police in Tanzania say that at least 36 people have been killed and dozens more injured after two buses collided in the north west of the country. The incident happened on Friday in Butiama, which is about 1,400 kilometers from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam. Traffic accidents are common in Tanzania, while police data shows that a total of 1,878 people were killed in road accidents last year.

Malaysia ready to present MH17 crash evidence in court

Malaysia has stated that its intelligence reports on the MH17 flight crash are “pretty conclusive” and they are now preparing physical evidence to show in court. “First of all, we do have the intelligence reports [on] what happened to MH17 and the reports are pretty conclusive,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at a news conference with Australian premier Tony Abbott on his first official visit to Malaysia. The preliminary report on the crash is due on Tuesday.

6.1 quake shakes Easter island

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake has hit Easter Island, 502 kilometers from the Hanga Roa administrative area, the only residential part of the island. No damage or tsunami threat has been reported, according to the US Geological Survey.

44 killed, 18 missing in southwest China floods

Massive flooding in western China has left 44 people dead and 18 others missing, the country’s Civil Affairs Ministry reported, as cited by AP. Huge damage has also been dealt to homes and crops. The flooding was caused by heavy rain since August 31, with the provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou affected by the disaster. A major center, the city of Chongqing suffered as well, with all but one of the deaths occurring there, and where all of the missing were reported.

Bahrain prolongs activist’s custody despite plea from UN – lawyer

A court in Bahrain ruled on Saturday that Maryam al-Khawaja, a prominent human rights activist, be kept in prison for an extra ten days despite a UN call for her release, according to her lawyer Mohammad al-Jishi, AFP reports. Al-Khawaja is the Bahraini co-director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights and has Danish as well as Bahraini nationality. She was arrested on August 30 in connection with an alleged assault on a police officer at the airport in Manama; the judge ordered that she be kept in custody on the same charge.

Truck carrying 50 tons of ammonium nitrate explodes in Australia:

A road train carrying explosives rolled over and caught fire in Australia’s Queensland, near Charleville. Drivers from two passer-by vehicles managed to pull the wounded driver out of the truck and called police and firefighters. When emergency services arrived at the scene, all 50 tons of the ammonium nitrate the road train was loaded with detonated in two consecutive explosions. The blasts were so powerful, that according to a police officer, the truck carrying explosives “disintegrated”, two firefighter vehicles were destroyed and a part of the Mitchell Highway, including a small bridge over a creek suffered “catastrophic” damage. Yet there were no casualties in the incident that left four firefighters wounded. Also injured were a police officer, two locals and the driver of the truck, who suffered worst of all and was airlifted to Brisbane hospital.
“Certainly to have eight people in a major explosion like that alive today – and we’ll eventually talk to all of them – that is a very good miracle,” said Tom Wilson, Assistant Fire Commissioner for the southwest region.

Russia to supply Sukhoi SuperJet regional jets to Vietnam

The Russian-Vietnamese bilateral intergovernmental commission has reached an agreement to supply two Vietnamese air carriers, Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air, with fly-by-wire Sukhoi SuperJet passenger jets, Deputy Minister of Industry Viktor Petukhov announced. There was a period in the talks when it seemed that negotiations had stalled, said the Russian official, but finally Vietnam’s delegation agreed to buy the jets. The meeting of the Russian-Vietnamese intergovernmental commission is an annual event; last time it convened in October 2013 in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi. This year the commission was held in Russia’s Vladivostok, on Russky Island, which is connected to the mainland by the world’s largest cable-stayed bridge.

Freighter ship sinks in Russia’s Amur river

A freighter ship carrying 380 tons of cargo sank in the Amur river, in the Khabarovsk region of Russia’s Far East, according to local police, cited by RIA Novosti. All the ship’s crew of eight was rescued. No fuel leak was reported at the site. The ship of 500 gross tonnage was on its way from Khabarovsk to the city of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, when the accident happened on Saturday morning. It’s not immediately clear why the vessel sank.

N.Korea launches more missiles into Sea of Japan

South Korea reported a new series of North Korean launches of their short-range ballistic missiles into the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan. The launches took place on Saturday morning between 07:00 and 07:30 local time (Friday 22:00-22:30 GMT) from Chagang province bordering China in the north and from a position near the coastal city of Wŏnsan. The missiles flew about 210 kilometers before ditching in the Sea of Japan. South Korean experts believe these were new missiles, different from North Korea’s existing KN-2 short-range ballistic missiles and the 300mm multiple rocket launcher system Pyongyang already has. There have been 19 launches so far this year -111 missiles altogether. The last launch occurred on September 1.

Iraq refiles case over ‘stranded’ Kurdish crude oil

Iraq has appealed a Texas court decision as it seeks to obtain control over $100 million of Kurdish crude oil on a tanker off the state’s coast, Reuters reports. Originally, the court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over the cargo – intended for prospective buyers – because the ship was in international waters. Baghdad, however, argues that the Americans can seize it because the case is regarding business in the US. The Iraqi government claims it, and not the Kurds, has the rights to all of the country’s oil.

​US renews Cuban embargo for another year

US President Barack Obama has extended the trade embargo against Cuba for another year. “I believe that the extension of the embargo against Cuba for one year [is] for the national interests of the United States,”Obama said in a message to the Secretaries of State and Treasury. The US began imposing economic penalties on Cuba when Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 and nationalized property owned by American individuals and corporations. The measures were ratcheted up three years later by the US government to a full embargo on Cuba.

US jets hit ISIS targets in Iraq over 130 times

US jets have bombed various areas under the Islamic State’s (formerly ISIS/ISIL) control 131 times in Iraq since August 8, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said. The strikes targeted locations near the Mosul Dam and were in support of Erbil operations. “In total, the strikes destroyed an ISIL observation post, one ISIL Humvee, one ISIL armed vehicle, one ISIL truck, and three ISIL mortar positions. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely,”CENTCOM said. The Islamic State began attracting worldwide attention this summer as it made rapid territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, threatening religious and ethnic minorities with death unless they converted to their extreme brand of Islam.

Lufthansa cancels over 200 flights ahead of pilots’ strike in Frankfurt

Lufthansa has canceled more than 200 short-haul flights ahead of a planned six-hour strike by pilots at Germany’s Frankfurt airport, its main hub. The Vereinigung Cockpit union called pilots on Lufthansa’s short-haul fleet out on strike from 5pm to 11pm (1500 to 2100 GMT) on Friday, AP said. The pilots are demanding that Lufthansa keep paying a transition payment for those wanting to retire early, while the airline wants to cut those payments. They are also asking for a salary increase of 10 percent. Last week, a strike was staged at Lufthansa’s Germanwings subsidiary.

EU may give Russia days before new sanctions

The EU is ready to impose new economic sanctions on Russia on Friday, but will wait to give Moscow time as a proposed ceasefire is expected in Ukraine, Reuters said, citing diplomatic sources. It was not immediately clear how long it would hold off. If peace holds then the package might not be implemented at all, the sources say. Two diplomats said the EU could give Russia a week, and another spoke of 72 hours. Envoys from EU member states are meeting in Brussels on Friday to discuss the details of a sanctions package.
12:40




 Prashant Bhushan hands over CBI director’s visitors’ book to SC for safekeeping:

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The Apex Court asks CBI director Ranjit Sinha to file within a week his response on the allegations leveled against him in an application. “Whatever you want to tell us, tell us in black and white,” SC tells Sinha.
Supreme Court turned down the plea of the CBI Director to gag the media from carrying news stories on documents pertaining to the entry of various people who are under its probe at his residence. A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu, however, said that the issue arising out of visitors’ log book at the Director’s residence is very “sensitive” and hoped that media would act with some responsibility.
Apex court today took the visitor’s book in a sealed envelope, submitted by advocate and petitioner Prashant Bhushan into its custody.  Bhushan said  he is depositing the visitor’s book with the SC since it could be destroyed. CBI Director Sinha,  leaves his residence, evades questions. The Supreme Court says that it finds merit in the allegations made against the CBI director then it would quash all the decisions taken by him during the pendency of the 2G case. The court will take up the case for further hearing on September 15.SC said that the allegations made against the CBI director are serious and he cannot say that he won’t file an affidavit.
CBI director agrees to file an affidavit in a sealed envelope. The SC takes the original register of entry list at CBI director’s residence after it was handed over by advocate Prashant Bhushan in a sealed envelope. Sinha asks the SC to tell Bhushan to declare the source from which he got all the documents. Ranjit Sinha faces allegations for interfering in the probe in the 2G case.




‘The Nation and its Northeast’ by Professor Mrinal Miri

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Director
of the
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
cordially invites you to the

Srikant Dutt Memorial Lecture
‘The Nation and its Northeast’

by
Professor Mrinal Miri
The Chairman
of the
Indian Council of Philosophical Research
on

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 at 3 pm

in the Seminar Room of the Library Building
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
Teen Murti House, New Delhi





Hawkeye Chacha Modi Mandates Merit in Government 

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Ravinder Singh
To
presidentofindia@rb.nic.in manmohan@sansad.nic.inspeakerloksabha@sansad.nic.in supremecourt@nic.in websitemhaweb@nic.in and 33 more…
Today at 11:21 AM
Hawkeye Chacha Modi Mandates Merit in Government
September09, 2014 (C) Ravinder Singh ravinderinvent@gmail.com
For India to progress and match developed countries in technology and
efficiency India must Empower Best in the business to Lead various
departments of Government of India in both axis Horizontal and
Vertical – Legislature, Executive, Judiciary from Joint Secretary and
above ranks in first two years and gradually for lower ranks.
Planning Process itself needs OVERHAUL – Government have ‘Income
Distribution Policy’ Wealth of India presently exceed $3.5Trillion
2014 but is not fairly distributed.
BJP government should define how wealth shall be distributed in 2019
as First Exercise of the government. Wealth Generation in 2019 shall
be around $5 Trillion or approximately Rs.300,00,000 crores in 2019.
It is like building a Site Plan for a building – everything is Fit into it.
Here in the short clipping – Minister of Power is ENTIRELY Promoting
Coal Based power neglecting Green Power sources – 200,000 MW Solar,
200,000 MW Multipurpose Hydro, 100,000 MW Nuclear Power and 100,000 MW
Wind Energy.
99.99% Indians have no Equity Holdings in 10 Companies which are being favored.
With these Green Energy program India can reduce 1500 million tones of
CO2 emissions by around 2024.
Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant,
INNOVATIVE TECHNONLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, New Delhi-110016, India. Ph; 091- 9718280435, 9650421857
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power,
Transportation, Water, Energy Saving, Agriculture, Manufacturing,
Technologies and Projects.
Hawk-Eyed Modi Mandates Focus on Merit in Govt Appointments
Sep 08 2014 The Economic Times (Mumbai)
Asks ministries to list names to ACC in order of merit or preference
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told ministries in no uncertain terms
that he won’t brook any kind of obfuscation in the way they recommend
candidates for specific roles as he looks to end the way in which such
appointments were said to be rigged in the previous United Progressive
Alliance administration in some departments.
This is part of a larger overhaul of the human resources management
strategy being driven by the Prime Minister’s Office with a view to
getting the right team in place for implementing the government’s
agenda over the next five years.
The diktat to focus on merit while proposing candidates was issued to
all departments on September05, after several instances in which
alternatives were recommended to the Appointments Committee of the
Cabinet (ACC) without being ranked in order s of merit or detailing
the choice of the selection panel appointed for the head-hunting
exercise.
Clamping Down on Ad Hoc-ism
What happened: Names were being sent to ACC without being ranked in
order of merit or detailing choice of selection panel
What PMO said: Ministries must indicate order of merit and preference
while forwarding names
What’s the motive: Overhaul of HR management strategy to get right
team in place for implementing govt’s agenda “In some of the cases
submitted by various ministries, the selection committees or the
search-cum-selection committees are not recommending the panel (of
candidates) in order of merit or preference,“ the personnel ministry
said in its September 5 memo sent to departments.
The ACC incidentally is restricted to Modi and Home Minister Rajnath
Singh. The minister under whose domain the vacancy arises is no longer
included as was done in the UPA’s tenure. The PMO’s move is being seen
by officials as an attempt to break with what was regarded as UPA’s
ad-hoc and capricious method of selecting talent for top roles in
ministries, public sector enterprises, banks, financial institutions
and autonomous bodies. It wasn’t uncommon to witness sparring and
sniping over appointments at the highest levels of the previous
government.
Traditionally, the prime minister has overseen all top appointments at
ministries, especially those of secretaries, as they are expected to
keep a check on ministers as part of their duties. But coalition
compulsions, often cited during the UPA era, meant that ministers had
a disproportionate say in deciding key appointments, allowing them to
get rid of officers they deemed inconvenient.
It is also said to have allowed former telecom minister A Raja to
virtually handpick all the officials in the department, allowing
wrongdoing to flourish and culminating in the cancellation of telecom
licences by the Supreme Court in 2012 after the 2G scam came to light.
Ministries have been told they “must” indicate the order of merit and
preference while forwarding names for a job, unless they are
statutorily required not to do so. “All ministries are requested to
ensure compliance of these instructions,” the personnel ministry memo
stressed.
Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh had also identified the ministries’
casual approach to appointments as a problem and had asked them to
ensure that selection panels recommended candidates in order of merit.
But the process stayed opaque and marred by intrigue.
By contrast, the Modi PMO is not only asserting itself on all
important policy decisions, but also has the last word on
appointments, including those of ministers’ personal staff.
No discord between coal, power mins P. Goyal
Sep 08 2014 The Times of India (Delhi)
Will Get Coal Cheap From CIL Mines
Nine private companies stand to make a killing of over Rs 6,000 crore
per year at the cost of existing generation stations if the government
clears the power ministry’s proposal to give coal linkage -supply
allotment from Coal India Ltd’s mines – to new and upcoming power
projects stranded in the absence of fuel supply arrangements.
The nine private power projects account for 10,580mw, and as
government documents indicate, would corner over 24 million tonnes of
domestic coal a year–enough to run a 5,000mw plant or feed Delhi’s
demand. They would get this coal at a price of Rs 1,500 per tonne
notified by the government. Without government intervention, they
would have to source coal from the open market ¬either import or buy
in CIL’s e-auction ¬ at roughly Rs 4,000 a tonne.
The price differential works out to a benefit of Rs 6,085 crore per
year. The total benefit over the 25-year life span of a power project
would be Rs 1.52 lakh crore -a tad lower than the Rs 1.86 lakh crore
windfall gains to private firms estimated in the CAG’s Coalgate
report.
The ministry’s proposal is aimed at preventing public and private
investments, made to create 18,580mw generation capacity, from turning
sour and triggering a nightmare for bankers. These are promoters whose
mines have been de-allocated on various counts or are stuck in the
CBI’s Coalgate probe. The rescue plan prepared by the power ministry
would also help three promoters who planned their projects on imported
coal but later sought domestic fuel.
But the timing of the move raises several questions since many power
stations are facing coal shortage. Some of them, including those run
by state run utility NTPC, have shut down a unit or two due to coal
shortage. Some 28 others have coal stocks for less than four days.
There are yet other projects that have been completed on the basis of
LoAs (letters of assurance) and are waiting to sign fuel supply
agreements (FSA) with CIL. FSAs are signed on the basis of LoAs.
In contrast, the nine projects do not have LoAs but would get firm
supply if the power ministry’s proposal goes through. Sources said the
coal ministry had previously shot down the plan on the ground that it
would be legally untenable. There is an opinion in the coal ministry
that diversion of cheaper coal to private entities when central and
state generators, as well as projects with FSAs, are starving would be
hard to defend.
But power and coal minister Piyush Goyal denied any discord between
his two ministries. “I can tell you there is no difference. There were
some issues that were raised, which helped us make things clearer.
This is the beauty of this government. It works seamlessly”, he told
TOI on Sunday.
Earlier in a press conference, he said the government was working
towards fulfilling its Budget promise of providing adequate coal to
all projects that are already commissioned or would be commissioned by
March 2015.




Coal Mining Scams INC $30b to 500 Cos, BJP $25b to 10 Cos

8092014
Ravinder Singh
To
chauthidunia@gmail.com indiaagainstcorruption.2010@gmail.comchandru_14521@yahoo.com emailidofarun@gmail.com thakursinghk@gmail.com and 356 more…
Today at 10:25 AM
Coal Mining Scams INC $30b to 500 Cos, BJP $25b to 10 Cos
September08, 2014 (C) Ravinder Singh ravinderinvent@gmail.com
When auctioning of Coal Blocks to around 500 companies since 1993
resulted in $30b Loss to GOI but BJP had implemented a $25b New Scam
in just first three months – Sell Coal India Limited (PSU) produced
Coal at Rs.2500/- per tone toss. INC Scam as per CAG report was at a
rate of Rs.37 per tone loss – Rs.186,000 cr for 5000 crore tones of
coal but mining didn’t commence in 90% cases.
As given in the TOI chart it is clear Sale of 600 million tones would
result in $25b Loss to India from just 10 accounts.
This SCAM is going to WIDEN as other power producers too shall demand
similar TERMS of sale –
http://www.wrldc.com/9_reportNew%5Cdailydata_06092014.pdf
WESTERN Region has over 80,671MW electricity plus over 10,000 MW of
Renewable Power – peak demand is barely 36,223 MW.
32.9% Thermal Power Generation Growth – METERING SCAM
Last year also Peak Demand was around 36,000 MW for Western Grid but
as per MoP data there is 32.9% growth in thermal power generation and
20.8% growth in average generation for August2014.
Obviously there is Negligible Growth of power use by Industry,
Business, Office Use and Domestic use is barely 15% in Western Region
approximately – than How Can Western Region Absorb 20.8% overall
growth in power consumption?
When India was expected to have 50,000 MW of Solar Power by now –
actual installation of Clean Energy source is barely 2000 MW – GoI has
not promoted Cheapest Solar Rooftops Peaking Day Time Power – FREE
CONSIDERING CARBON CREDITS.
Prime Minister should intervene in this urgently.
There is no cut in Power Tariff when Generation Levels are Up 30%,
Fixed and Variable Costs are substantially reduced.
Of 12 BU growth in Thermal Power Generation in August in India, over 6
BU had come in Western Region therefore Gain of roughly Rs.3000 crores
on Reduced Cost of Coal Used but not passed on to Consumers.
Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant,
INNOVATIVE TECHNONLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, New Delhi-110016, India. Ph; 091- 9718280435, 9650421857
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power,
Transportation, Water, Energy Saving, Agriculture, Manufacturing,
Technologies and Projects.
Pvt cos to make Rs 6,000cr/yr killing on govt rescue plan
Sep 08 2014 The Times of India (Ahmedabad)
9 Power Firms To Get Cheap Coal From CIL
Nine private companies stand to make a killing of over Rs 6,000 crore
per year at the cost of existing generation stations if the government
clears the power ministry’s proposal to give coal linkage ¬ supply
allotment from Coal India Ltd’s mines ¬ to new and upcoming power
projects stranded in the absence of fuel supply arrangements.
The nine private power projects account for 10,580mw, and as
government documents indicate, would corner over 24 million tonnes of
domestic coal a year ¬ enough to run a 5,000mw plant or feed Delhi’s
demand. They would get this coal at a price of Rs 1,500 per tonne
notified by the government. Without government intervention, they
would have to source coal from the open market ¬ either import or buy
in CIL’s e-auction ¬ at roughly Rs 4,000 a tonne.
The price differential works out to a benefit of Rs. 6,085 crore per
year. The total benefit over the 25-year life span of a power project
would be Rs 1.52 lakh crore ¬ a tad lower than the Rs 1.86 lakh crore
windfall gains to private firms estimated in the federal auditor’s
Coalgate report. The ministry’s proposal is aimed at preventing public
and private investments, made to create 18,580mw generation capacity,
from turning sour and triggering a nightmare for bankers. These are
promoters whose mines have been de-allocated on various counts or are
stuck in the CBI’s Coalgate probe. The plan would also help three
promoters who planned their projects on imported coal but later sought
domestic fuel.
But the timing of the move raises several questions since many power
stations are facing coal shortage. Some of them, including those run
by state-run utility NTPC, have shut down a unit or two due to coal
shortage. Some 28 others have coal stocks for less than four days.
There are yet other projects that have been completed on the basis of
LoAs (letters of assurance) and are waiting to sign fuel supply
agreements (FSA) with CIL. FSAs are signed on the basis of LoAs. Nine
private companies stand to make a killing of over Rs 6,000 crore per
year at the cost of existing generation stations if the government
clears the power ministry’s proposal to give coal linkage to upcoming
power projects stranded in absence of fuel supply arrangements.
There are yet other projects that have been completed on the basis of
LoAs (letters of assurance) and are waiting to sign fuel supply
agreements (FSA) with CIL. FSAs are signed on the basis of LoAs.
In contrast, the nine projects do not have LoAs but would get firm
supply if the power ministry’s proposal goes through. Sources said the
coal ministry had previously shot down the plan on the ground that it
would be legally untenable.
There is an opinion in the coal ministry that diversion of cheaper
coal to private entities when central and state generators, as well as
projects with FSAs, are starving would be hard to defend.
But power and coal minister Piyush Goyal denied any discord between
his two ministries. “I can tell you there is no difference. There were
some issues that were raised, which helped us make things clearer.
This is the beauty of this government. It works seamlessly”, he told
TOI on Sunday.
Earlier in a press conference, he said the government was working
towards fulfilling its Budget promise of providing adequate coal to
all projects that are already commissioned or would be commissioned by
March 2015.




A Bandhan like no other…

8092014
image001 (3)image004Image_18
Bandhan like no other…
Zee TV’s latest primetime offering depicts a unique bond
between a little girl and her most unlikely brother!

New Delhi: There are some bonds that you are born into … and there are others that you forge on your own. And then there’s a third kind that destiny picks out specially for you, simply because they are meant to complete you as a person!  Relationships of the third kind are sometimes so unique that they question the norms of nature, challenge all socially acceptable patterns of lifestyle and leave everyone around gaping wide-eyed with amazement … Zee TV’s latest primetime offering Bandhan … Saari Umar Humein Sang Rehna Hai is the first-of-its-kind television show to delve into one such astonishing relationship between a little girl Darpan and Ganesha, a new-born elephant calf that she accepts as her younger brother!

Produced by Swastik Productions, Bandhan … Saari Umar Humein Sang Rehna Hai is a heartwarming story of two innocent souls and a very tender relationship that develops between the two – one based on the most basic emotion of love and affection for one’s sibling,  standing by each other through thick and thin and completing each other. The show will take the viewers through the innocent world of Darpan and her family set in the Dalma jungle. Always longing for a little brother, Darpan’s dream comes true in the most unexpected way when destiny introduces her to Ganesha, a baby elephant … what follows is a journey of love & struggle in the big bad world for the unlikely siblings! The show has been shot extensively in a forest where the Karnik family stays in a picturesque house, a river flowing by its side. It transports viewers to a world in the woods … distinctly different from the one they inhabit.


The show has the handsome Aditya Redij playing the role of Darpan’s father – a kind hearted & upright forest ranger and Shweta Munshi essaying the role of Darpan’s mother. The striking Sudesh Berry is back as the epitome of terror, playing the evil poacher Vishwas Rao. Berry’s vast repertoire of work includes hard hitting and gritty characters on television and Bollywood. His remarkable portrayal of Loha Singh in Zee TV’s popular show Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo is still etched in the minds of the audience. SaysBerry, “My last stint with Zee TV in Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo earned me rave reviews and I am happy to do another show on the channel The characterization of Vishwas Rao is so gripping & powerful that I could not say no when I heard the narration. The sheer range of emotions of this unpredictable character is truly challenging and I’m thoroughly enjoyed shooting for the same.” Popular actors Sushmita Mukherjee and Anirudh Dave will also be seen playing interesting parts in the show.


Namit Sharma, Zee TV Programming Head says, “For the first time ever, a television show presents a unique bond between man and animal brought together in the most fascinating manner by destiny and how together, they triumph over the trials & tribulations as a family! It marks a quantum leap for Indian television as the freshness of the concept establishes an all new genre of entertainment for audiences – a far cry from saas-bahu dramas, kitchen politics or anything run-off-the-mill. The show has the potential to draw a much wider audience base than your average soaps as the show’s canvas and its heartwarming premise that centers on the universal emotion of sibling love will surely appeal to every member of a family.”

Producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary says, “After Agle Janam, it’s a pleasure again to work with Zee. As against anything else you see on television today, Bandhan belongs to a world significantly different from the concretized, urban world most of us inhabit. It’s been exciting as a challenge to transport the audience into this world of a forest ranger’s family that lives in a jungle. We’re shooting in real locations with the Karnik home set in an actual forest. We’re showcasing the relationship between a young girl and a baby elephant. The task of managing an elephant as a member of the cast is perhaps as big a challenge as the Karniks face as they embark on a journey of embracing Ganesha as a part of their family. It’s a difficult show to shoot but a joyride nonetheless!”

The show is being promoted through a 360-degree marketing campaign cutting across print, television and digital media. Given the show’s premise of loving animals, Zee TV plans to conduct a school contact programme across key markets wherein the channel will engage children in fun activities that celebrate their love for animals.

Starting 16th September, ‘Bandhan … Saari Umar Humein Sang Rehna Hai’ will air at 7 PM every Monday to Friday, only on Zee TV!




Snowden ‘to get Swiss asylum’

8092014
Switzerland has reportedly decided it will not extradite National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to the US if he comes to testify against the NSA’s spying activities, Swiss media said. “What rules are to be followed if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and then the United States makes an extradition request,” Switzerland’s Attorney General stated that Snowden should be guaranteed safety if he arrives to the country to testify, Sonntags Zeitung reported.
In particular, the report proposes to ensure the whistleblower’s safety by inviting him as a witness to a parliamentary hearing focusing on the NSA’s surveillance practices.
In the document, the authority said that Switzerland does not extradite a US citizen, if the individual’s“actions constitute a political offense, or if the request has been politically motivated,” Swiss ATS news agency reported.
Snowden’s safety can thus be guaranteed if it is ruled that the charges against him have a“predominantly political character,” the document concluded.
The only obstacle for that could be “higher-level government commitments,” the Office of the Attorney General said, adding that it must be verified if such obligations do, in fact, exist.




Seamount mountain discovered lurking in depths of Pacific Ocean

8092014

Credit: University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center.
.
Three-dimensional view of the southwest side of the seamount with 23-degree slopes (University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center)
Scientists have uncovered a giant mountain in the Pacific Ocean, with the summit of the seamount rising 1,100 meters from the 5,100-meter-deep ocean floor. The discovery was made around 2,600 kilometers south of Hawaii.  It was uncovered in mid-August by a research team, which was led by NOAA and University of New Hampshire scientist, James Gardner. The team was aiming to try and map the outer limits of the US continental shelf.  Gardner was surveying one of least known parts of the central Pacific Ocean, which was around 300 kilometers south east of uninhabited Jarvis Island. However, the seamount, which has yet to be named, appeared “out of the blue.
“These seamounts are very common, but we don’t know about them because most of the places that we go out and map have never been mapped before,” the researcher said in a press release onSeptember 2.
Since only low-resolution satellite data exists for most of the Earth’s seafloor, many seamounts of this size do not show up on satellite. However, advanced multibeam echosounder missions like this one can resolve them.
“Satellites just can’t see these features and we can,” Gardner added.
For now it isn’t known whether the seamount could have any human use. It is too deep (its summit lies nearly 4,000 meters beneath the surface of the ocean) to be a navigation hazard or to provide rich fisheries.
“It’s probably 100 million years old,” Gardner says, “and it might have something in it we may be interested in 100 years from now.”
Seamounts are formed due to volcanic activity and are normally found near plate boundaries. However, they can also be located in the middle of plates where there are particular hot spot areas.
While Mount Everest may hold the record for the highest elevation on land, the tallest mountain in the world is actually a seamount. Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, is 10,200 meters tall when measured from base to peak; Everest is 8,850 meters. Only 4,000 meters of Mauna Kea is above sea level. RT News

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