Thursday, November 27, 2014

International news snapshot


Australia extradites man to US

On  Silk Road online drugs bazaar case

Australia has extradited a man to the US over alleged involvement in Silk Road, a website on which people bought illegal drugs like heroin using digital currency bitcoin, Reuters said. Peter Phillip Nash, 41, from Queensland, and two other men were charged with conspiracy to engage in narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering in December. A spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Department did not specify when Nash left or when he would face trial. The two other accused, administrators for the website, aged 24 and 25, were arrested in the US and Ireland. Nash was a primary moderator, according to the US indictment.

17 Venezuelan inmates die from drug poisoning

At least 17 Venezuelan inmates who had been on hunger strike over prison conditions, have died from drug poisoning, AFP reported, citing police sources. The had been protesting at David Viloria Correction Center, known as Uribana Prison, in Venezuela’s Lara state, since Tuesday over what they said was inhumane treatment and rights violations. The deceased inmates were poisoned after ingesting prescription drugs, according to prison officials. Venezuelan Prisons Watch, an NGO, said that four more inmates died at a facility in the state of Maracay.

E. Ukraine banking system cut off by Kiev

Kiev authorities have shut down cash machines in eastern Ukraine and businesses have stopped accepting credit cards in the region, according to local residents and bank workers. “We received the order to close the establishment yesterday. There are no more money transfers here,” Valery, an employee at Ukraine’s Oschadbank in the Donetsk Region, told AFP. In the city of Donetsk, locals told the agency that they fruitlessly queued to try and withdraw cash from ATMs, and that credit cards have stopped working in shops. On Tuesday, the country’s central bank ordered all banks to “suspend” their work in eastern Ukraine.

ISIS commander, 22 aides dead after Iraqi airstrike

The Iraqi air force killed the Islamic State’s leader of Heet district in Anbar province and 22 of his aides in an airstrike on Tuesday, local media cited a senior regional official as saying. Five vehicles were also destroyed.“In the late hours of yesterday, Iraqi warplanes conducted an air strike against ISIS ranks, destroying 5 armored vehicles in an area located 70 km west of Ramadi. The air strike also resulted in killing the ISIS military leader of Heet, known as Sannan Moteb alongside 22 of his key aides,” Malollah Abidi, president of the Baghdadi Council, told IraqiNews.

Russia calls to stop terrorists’ illegal oil trade in Middle East

Russia calls to “pull the plug” on terrorists in the Middle East by stopping the illegal trade of Syrian and Iraqi oil, Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said in an address to the UN Security Council on Wednesday. He also urged to act in order to prevent terrorists from using the web to disseminate radical views. According to Churkin, it is “crucial” to continue developing “systematic work” in these fields under UN supervision.

Reported Ebola cases near 16,000

As of November 23, the death toll from the Ebola epidemic hit 5,689 out of 15,935 reported cases in eight countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The worst hit countries – which have seen all the deaths except 15 – are Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea in West Africa, which reported 600 new cases in the past week alone. Transmission of the virus is particularly intense in Sierra Leone, which is expected to soon eclipse Liberia in the number of reported cases.

Turkey bans media from covering graft investigation

A Turkish court has banned the media from reporting on a parliamentary corruption investigation of four ex-ministers on Tuesday, reports Reuters. In a move the opposition likens to “protecting thieves,” the court forbade media organizations from publicizing details of the investigation until it ends on December 27. This is so a “healthy investigation” can be conducted, according to the court. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has painted the scandal, the result of a graft probe which saw four ministers resigning, as an attempt to undermine his presidency. Erdogan suspects the investigation is the work of Fethullah Gulen, an exiled cleric and former ally, and his supporters. Meanwhile, the Turkish Journalists Association decries the gag order as censorship, and opposition media have vowed to ignore the ban

7.0-magnitude earthquake strikes near Indonesia

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 hit at sea, 150km northwest of Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia on Wednesday, Reuters said. The depth of the quake that struck at 1433 GMT was 65km, reported the US Geological Survey. No tsunami warning was in effect, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Egypt temporarily re-opens crossing to Gaza

Egyptian authorities temporarily re-opened a border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, AP reported. The move will allow Palestinians stranded outside the territory to return home. The crossing had been closed since October 24, when a militant ambush killed 31 Egyptian soldiers near the border town of Rafah. Since the attack, Egypt has declared a three-month state of emergency and a dusk-to-dawn curfew for much of northern Sinai.

Slovenian police seize 175kg of cocaine

Police in Slovenia say they have seized 175 kilograms of cocaine in one of the biggest drug busts in the country in years. The cocaine was found during a routine check of a truck that stopped at highway rest area in western Slovenia, police said. A sniffer dog discovered some of the cocaine beneath the driver’s seat, and the rest was found in another truck abandoned nearby, AP reported. The drugs’ street value is estimated at more than €10 million ($12.5 million).

Jewish nation-state bill counters founding fathers’ vision of Israel – president

A bill promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the status of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people runs counter to its founding fathers’ vision of equality for Arab citizens, Reuters quoted President Reuven Rivlin as saying. “The formulators of the [Israeli] Declaration of Independence… insisted the Arab communities in Israel, as well as other groups, should not feel as the Jews had felt in exile,” Rivlin said in a speech on Tuesday. The 1948 declaration, while proclaiming the creation of a Jewish state, also emphasized its democratic nature and promised “complete equality” of social, religious and cultural rights for all, said Rivlin.

Shooting in Hamm, Germany leaves 2 killed

An unidentified man started shooting in Hamm, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the ensuing skirmish resulted in the killing of two people, TASS reported on Wednesday. At least three people were injured. The motive for the shooting is unknown, with police officials describing the incident as an “exchange of fire” because “the aggressor himself was shot dead.”

3-D printer at ISS makes sample part for itself

The 3-D printer delivered to the International Space Station two months ago made a sample part for itself this week, AP said. The printer churned out a faceplate for the print head casing. Space station commander Butch Wilmore removed the plastic creation from the printer on Tuesday for eventual return to Earth. In the next few weeks, about 20 objects will be printed for analysis back home, according to NASA. It hopes one day 3-D printing will be used to make parts for broken equipment in space.

President Ghani: ‘Won’t allow anyone to conduct proxy war’ in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s new President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday he would not allow anyone to conduct a proxy war in his country, responding to warnings that the rivalry between India and Pakistan could spill across their borders. “We will not allow Afghanistan to be used against our neighbors. But we will not permit anybody to conduct proxy wars on our soil either,” AFP quoted Ghani as saying. India and Pakistan have long accused each other of using proxy forces to try to gain influence in Afghanistan.

Russia ‘signs contract’ to deliver S-400 missile systems to China

Russia “has signed a contract” to deliver the S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to China, Vedomosti daily reported on Wednesday, citing its sources. The contract between Russia’s Rosoboronexport and China’s Defense Ministry on the delivery of at least six divisions of the S-400 systems for more than $3 billion was concluded at the beginning of autumn, according to the sources. Russia’s defense concern Almaz-Antey has not commented on the report. The talks between the two states on the issue have been continuing for several years.

Gunmen kill 4 polio vaccinators in SW Pakistan

Gunmen opened fire on a team of polio vaccinators in Pakistan’s southwest on Wednesday, killing four of them, AFP reported. Two men riding a motorbike opened fire on the vehicle of polio workers, according to provincial home secretary Akbar Durrani. The attack on the eastern outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil- and gas-rich Baluchistan province, forced authorities to halt an immunization drive.

Yemen crude flows halted as saboteurs blow up main oil export pipeline

Saboteurs blew up Yemen’s main oil export pipeline on Wednesday, halting crude flows, Reuters said, citing the country’s Defense Ministry and an industry source. Wednesday’s attack occurred in the area of Habab in Marib province, halting flows to export facilities on the Red Sea. Before the spate of attacks began three years ago, the 435km pipeline carried around 110,000 barrels per day to Ras Isa, the export terminal on the Red Sea.

Megaupload’s Dotcom says ‘wealth has evaporated’ due to extradition fight

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom says his wealth has evaporated due to mounting legal fees, which in turn resulted in the departure of most of his legal team, Reuters said. His nearly three-year fight against extradition to the US to face online piracy charges has left him broke, according to one of the world’s most-wanted cyber fugitives and New Zealand resident. The German national is due in a New Zealand court on Thursday. He may be remanded in prison for allegedly breaching his bail conditions ahead of his extradition hearing, which has been pushed back to mid-2015.

Proton rocket launch postponed

Briz-M booster’s control devices to be replaced
The launch of Russia’s Proton M carrier rocket with the European satellite Astra-2G has been postponed so that a complex of flight control devices of the Briz-M booster can be replaced, RIA Novosti reported. During preparation tests, malfunction of the control devices set was discovered, and the carrier rocket will be moved from the launch pad, said a source in the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. It will announce later the date of the launch, which is to become the 400th in the history of Proton flights since 1965.

Japan’s largest volcano erupts, spews pillar of ash

Japan’s biggest active volcano, Mt. Aso, began to erupt on Tuesday, sending clouds of ash more than a kilometer into the air. Explosions were heard at around noon local time followed by spewing of ash, which could be spotted as far as 30km from the eruption site, according to VAAC Tokyo. Tourists are being evacuated from the nearby areas and a safety radius of 1km has been established around the volcano. Aso is located on the south island of Kyushu. Small earthquakes are being reported around the volcano. Aso’s height is 1,592 meters above sea level and the circumference of its caldera is around 120km. Media agencies



Dear N.K,
What we’re talking about this week:
• Mumbai Metro Line To Continue In Its Expansion
• Why Is The Launch Of Dubai’s World Exclusive Tram So Important?
• How SNCB Are Creating The Ultimate Station Experience 
• Top Five Tips: An Effective Rail Revenue Management System
India's Mumbai Metro Line To Continue In Its Expansion
Two Mumbai metro lines will now go ahead within the city, after Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority approved the new construction.
Why is the launch of Dubai's world exclusive tram so important?
This month saw the launch of the Dubai tram, the first of its kind outside of Europe.
How SNCB are creating the ultimate station experience
What is the future of the railway station? We posed this question in a roundtable discussion at the Rail Revenue Conference, hosted by Stefaan Van Echelpoel, Retail and Services Manager of NMBS.
Top Five Tips: An Effective Rail Revenue Management System
Rail Revenue 2014 was a roaring success, and a highlight for many was the round-tables. They allowed guests to tackle issues, share ideas and pose thoughts with speakers and delegates in a more engaging and direct format.
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WOMEN DIALOGUE : 10 point agenda for women of Delhi unveiled


From: Media Cell AAP  Wed, 26 Nov ’14 7:39p
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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WOMEN DIALOGUE : The second phase of the Delhi Dialogue was unveiled in the national capital on Wednesday, 26 November, the second foundation day of the Aam Aadmi Party.
The programme organised at the Amphi theatre of the Talkatora Stadium in the evening, concluded with a clarion call for safety, security, empowerment and dignity of women in Delhi.
Former Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal announced the party’s 10 point agenda for women, which will be implemented after the AAP government is formed in Delhi. These points are :
  1. Delhi to be free of Darkspots. Street lights to be installed and made functional in all streets of the capital and all pavements.
  2. CCTVs in Buses and Bus Shelters. Deter and stop crime in every form of public transport.
  3. Bus Marshals on every bus. Zero tolerance against molestation, eve teasing and violence against women.
  4. Ensuring Last mile connectivity by expanding grameen sewa services, shared auto rickshaw services and e-rickshaw services through delimitation and fixed routes
  5. 2,00,000 (two lakh) toilets for women with 50,000 toilets in public spaces and 1.5 lakh toilets in slums. Sanitation for every citizen in public spaces, slums and JJ Clusters.
  6. Swift and effective Justice in Crimes Against Women. 47 Fast track courts to be built and made functional .
  7. Women’s Security Force to be formed by the utilisation of Delhi’s 12,000 strong New Delhi Home Guard and Civil Defense Force.
  8. Suraksha Button on Every Mobile Phone with emergency connectivity with Delhi Police via Wifi.
  9. Women to get a say on existence & location of alcohol vends in slums and residential colonies.
  10. Focus on ensuring and encouraging the social security of women in the unorganised sector, domestic help and daily wage labourers. Increased penetration of healthcare and education facilities in every Delhi assembly constituency
Kejriwal’s announcements were preceded by inspiring speeches from Kanchan Chaudhary, India’s first woman DGP and AAP candidate from Haridwar Lok Sabha constituency,  Manisha Lath Gupta, former vice president of Axis Bank and Lalita Ramdas former chairperson of Greenpeace International and coordinator of AAP gender justice and equality committee.
The programme was moderated by actor and AAP leader Gul Panag along with party’s  national spokesperson Atishi Marlena .
Former CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland and AAP South Mumbai candidate in Lok Sabha elections Meera Sanyal along with AAP Mahila Shakti Delhi unit President Bandana Kumari outlined the importance of women in party organisation.
All women district coordinators of AAP Mahila Shakti from Delhi were present on the stage along with senior party leaders Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh.
Delhi Dialogue team comprising Ashish Khaitan and Adarsh Shastri elaborated on how the 10-point agenda for Women Dialogue was finalised through a series of roundtable conferences and meetings. More than 300 ward meetings were organised throughout Delhi to finalise the agenda.
Delhi Dialogue will now move to its next phase of discussion on employment, trade and other important issues.
@DelhiDialogue (official twitter handle)
AAP Media Cell

Samanta Receives 2014 Gusi Peace Prize International


Manila, 26th Nov.: Noted social entrepreneur and Founder of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and KIIT Group of Institutions Achyuta Samanta received the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize International for 2014 amidst a galaxy of luminaries, comprising of presidents, prime ministers, distinguished scientists, philanthropists and three thousand invited guests from all over the world, in Manila on November 26, 2014.

Samanta is the lone Indian among 15 laureates of this prestigious award this year, conferred by the Philippines-based awarding body Gusi Peace Prize International. He is only the third Indian ever and first from Odisha to be conferred the award, considered as ‘Asia';s Nobel Peace Prize’.

He was given the prize for “poverty alleviation through education and humanitarianism”. The citation recognizes his outstanding contribution in the field of education and for his humanitarian efforts to uplift the socially and economically marginalized children through education.

Samanta has been relentlessly working for the uplift of poorest of the poor indigenous community in Odisha for the last two and a half decades. His passion to provide a level playing field to this most neglected section of the society led him to establish Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), a free residential institute for 22,500 tribal children. He also founded KIIT, a group of professional institutes, to support this social enterprise.

KISS has received worldwide recognition as an effective model of empowerment of indigenous people through education. His model is now being replicated in many states of India as well as abroad. “KISS is plans to educate 2,00,000 underprivileged indigenous children within next 10 years”, said Samanta in his acceptance speech, while expressing gratitude to the awarding body for the honour.

This year’s nominees, besides Samanta, who received the prize are: Dr. Hans Koechler from AUSTRIA, Dr. Atiur Rahman from BANGLADESH, Dr. Manson Fok from CHINA, Prof. Virima Mudogo from CONGO, Hon. Dominique Hoppe from FRANCE, Prof. Gerhard Bringmann from GERMANY, Hon. Parviz Pargari from IRAN, Dr. Luigi Pellegrini from ITALY, Prof. Yoshinory Asakawa from JAPAN, Former President Vytautas Landsbergis from LITHUANIA, Hon. Bhojraj Pokharel from NEPAL, Sen. Cynthia a. Villar from PHILIPPINES, Dr. Kazimierz Glowniak from POLAND and Hon. Saad Nahar Al-Baddah Almutairi from KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA.

Gusi Peace Prize International is an international award given annually to some great individuals who have distinguished themselves as brilliant exemplars of society. The selection process for Gusi is both complex and rigorous. After a scrutiny and a process that continues for over a year, the jury members consisting of distinguished persons from all over the world agree on few members and the final decision is then taken by the Award committee having its annual session in USA. The list of awardees is duly approved by the Philippines Senate.

Earlier the day, the laureates laid wreaths at the Manila Memorials with the National Flags of the countries of the recipients fluttering high. In the glittering presentation ceremony, credentials were presented as the national anthem of the recipients’ countries played.



(Vishnu Ravi Shankar) Nashik, 26 November 2014: On the morning of Day 5, the Madhya Pradesh girls impressed with a huge 79-11 win against Andhra Pradesh, while the Uttar Pradesh boys made easy work of Jharkhand 61-27. The Chandigarh boys and the Haryana girls qualified to the pre-quarterfinals to be held later today, with victories against Assam and West Bengal respectively. In the losers knockout semi-finals matches, the Karnataka boys and the Chandigarh girls qualified to the losers final, both picking up victories against the Bihar teams. Later in the day, the Gujarat girls beat Assam and the Kerala boys sneaked past Mizoram to qualify for the losers final.

In the upper pool games for the boys held today afternoon, Haryana set a tournament scoring record putting up 111 points against Tamil Nadu to register the win. Interestingly, the international score sheet used for sub-junior games as released by FIBA accommodates for only 108 points and this mark was broken today by the Haryana boys.  The Maharashtra boys lost their game against Rajasthan today by 10 points, 84-74.

The results of the matches held on 26 November 2014 up to 5.30 p.m. are as follows:

Level 1: League Matches:


  1. Madhya Pradesh (Divya Sam 17) bt Andhra Pradesh (P.S.S. Susmitha 4) 79-11 (21-11, 24-0, 17-0, 15-0)
  2. Karnataka (Grishman 10) bt Punjab (Mahak Preet 17) 52-38 (22-11,10-6, 7-13, 13-8)


  1. Uttar Pradesh (Amit Singh 11) bt Jharkhand (Sushant Deep 7) 61-27 (30-8, 11-8, 11-7, 9-4)
  2. Odisha (Md. Aquib 27) bt Andhra Pradesh (S. Syed Baba 13, Aman Topno 13) 82-74(13-21, 24-27, 13-12, 32-14)
  3. Haryana (Hardeep Bohra 33) bt Tamil Nadu (V. Adisiva 43) 111-82 (31-22, 24-19, 29-21, 27-20)
  4. Rajasthan (Nilesh Yadav 23) bt Maharashtra (Kuldeep Singh 34) 84-74 (28-21, 18-11, 17-18, 21-24)

Qualifying match (winner goes to the pre-quarterfinals):


  1. Haryana (Meenu 34) bt West Bengal (Liza Deb 13) 56-38 (26-12, 12-11, 11-7, 7-8)


  1. Chandigarh (Harsh Rajain 19) bt Assam (Sanjay Pal 21) 75-56 (6-12, 26-10, 22-15, 21-19)

Losers Knockout Semi-Finals:


  1. Chandigarh (Parul Gupta 8, Sehjnoor 8) bt Bihar (Beauty 4) 32-9 (8-2, 12-2, 8-3, 4-2)
  2. Gujarat (Tanisha Shah 13) bt Assam (Korukula Dim Pal 8, M. Ramiya 8) 38-27 (18-10, 9-0, 7-7, 4-10)


  1. Karnataka (Prashant T. 20) bt Bihar (Bhupender 21) 65-59 (12-21, 25-10, 10-11, 18-17)
  2. Kerala (Tom Jose 21) bt Mizoram (V.L. Remruatpuia 24) 56-54 (11-7, 8-7, 9-10, 28-30)

About the 41st Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship

The Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship is an annual national tournament for U-14 boys’ and girls’ teams from states across India. The Nashik District Basketball Association and the Maharashtra State Basketball Association under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India and IMG-Reliance are conducting the 2014 tournament on the two wooden courts at the Meenatai Thakare Indoor Stadium here in Nashik. The tournament will be conducted over a period of 7 days from the 22nd to the 28th of November 2014. This year’s tournament is witnessing the participation of 27 boys’ teams and 25 girls’ teams from various states of the country. The 2013 version tournament was conducted in Patna, Bihar. The Chhattisgarh teams won both the boys and the girls category last year, while the Madhya Pradesh boys and the Tamil Nadu girls finished runners-up respectively.

About the Basketball Federation of India

The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honor of Arjuna Award. More information

About IMG-Reliance

IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd., is an equal joint venture between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), India’s largest and most recognized private sector company, and IMG Worldwide (IMG), the world’s leading sports marketing and management company. The joint venture company will develop market and manage sports and entertainment in India. Its current assets include India’s premier fashion event, Lakmé Fashion Week and South Asia’s only ATP World Tour event, the Aircel Chennai Open. IMG Reliance has entered agreements with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) to create a new professional basketball league and manage all aspects of the commercial rights to the game in India and the All India Football Federation (AIFF), to improve, popularize and promote the game of football throughout India, from the grassroots to the professional level. IMG Reliance has also created a scholarship program to identify and train talented young Indians from sports including – basketball, soccer and tennis at IMG’s world-class sports training facilities at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.

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