Tuesday, December 16, 2014

COMMISSIONING OF COAST GUARD AIR ENCLAVE BHUBANESWAR & 743 SQN(CG)
In a befitting ceremony, the Coast Guard Air Enclave Bhubaneswar and         743 Dornier Squadron have been commissioned by Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal AVSM and Bar, Director General, Indian Coast Guard on 15 Dec 2014 at Biju Patnaik International Airport Bhubaneswar.  Various defence and civil dignitaries attended the function.
The Coast Guard Air Enclave Bhubaneswar is commanded by Commandant Rajeev Saini and 743 Squadron is commanded by Commandant Pradeep Sundriyal.
The units will operate under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (North East) through the Commander, Coast Guard District No 7 (Odisha).
The Coast Guard Air Enclave Bhubaneswar was formerly activated on 10 April 2013 and since then it has been engaged in undertaking air surveillancein the area. This has augmented the Coast Guard Operations along the northern Bay of Bengal with area of responsibility of over 1.5 lakh square kms of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone. The 743 Squadron (CG) will be operating with 02 Dornier Aircraft.
In his address, Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal highlighted the maritime challenges in Odisha and significance of maritime and coastal security. Recalling the maritime traditions of Odisha as ancient Kalinga, the DGICG highlighted that numerous measures have been initiated by the Government of India for enhancing coastal security and with the setting up of Coast Guard Air Enclave at Bhubaneswar, strategic air operations will be streamlined and synergized for the protection of the sea areas off the Coast of Odisha.

The commissioning of the Air Enclave will provide the required fillip for protection of sensitive marine environment and vital assets thronging on the shores of coastal Odisha. Further, Odisha coast being hub of shipping traffic emerging to east and Far East, the coordination of search and rescue efforts will certainly get the required boost. As Odisha is also periodically affected by natural calamities; the availability of Coast Guard maritime air assets will enhance the capability of disaster response. 

109 ANNUAL SESSION OF PHD CHAMBER

PHD Research Bureau
To
sunitag@phdcci.in
Today at 12:01 PM

AAP: Free H2O, 50% electric bills

16122014

The New way to lure and make money, new age Robin-hood promises New Delhi voters -:
Free lifeline water, 50% reduction in electricity bills
From: Media Cell AAP  Mon, 15 Dec ’14 8:25p

  • AAP will provide free lifeline water for the residents of Delhi
  • All group housing societies will be connected with DJB supply network & will also get lifeline water free
  • 50% reduction in electricity bills for residents of Delhi
  • Round the clock electricity supply in five years
  • CAG audit of private power companies (discoms) will be completed

Monday, December 15
The third phase of DELHI DIALOGUE was held at Sangam Vihar in South Delhi on Monday evening.
At a massive public gathering, the Aam Aadmi Party unveiled its vision on solving the BILJI PAANI (Electricity-Water) issues of the national capital.
Water and electricity are the main concern for the residents of Delhi. This dialogue was the culmination of exhaustive discussions with many technical experts, non-profit organizations and former MLAs, as well citizens of many water-deficient areas in Delhi.
At the event, AAP candidates, including former MLAs, addressed the massive crowd and brought to light the acute water problems faced by the people in their respective constituencies.
Delhi Dialogue convenor Ashish Khetan then set down the framework of change in these focus areas and the process of developing these policy interventions.
Finally, former chief minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal unveiled the blueprint of party’s strategy on electricity and water.

  1. Free lifeline water

  1. Free Lifeline Water will be provided to every household in Delhi; the amount is 20,000 liters per month or approximately 700 litres per day per household.
  2. All the Group Housing Societies those are not connected with the Delhi Jal Board Water Supply Network shall be connected with the DJB water Pipes immediately within a month as the AAP Govt. forms in Delhi  The free lifeline water provision upto 20, 000 litres will be extended to the all Group Housing Societies too .

  1. Water for all not for some .
  2. Within 5 years, DJB piped network will be laid in all over Delhi and water connections will be provided to the 14 lakh households that do not currently have piped water supply.
  3. Urgent and time bound plan of action for covering all residents of Delhi, irrespective of their legal status, with water and sewerage connections.
  4. A strong push will be made to get extra 80 million gallons of water per day from Munak Canal, which will provide water to 20 plus areas including Sangam Vihar, Deoli, Mehrauli, Ambedkar Nagar, Tughlakabad, Chhatarpur, Dwarka.
  5. Piaos  ; Public hydrants and  Public Hand Pumps shall be installed for poors, homeless and other destitute communities on the roads or in jhuggi jhopries, as well as for passerby on the roads to ensure availability of free of charge safe drinking water to everybody in Delhi, including those who cannot afford to pay.
  6. Immediate steps to eliminate water mafia in slums ; unauthorized; unregularized  colonies and in all urban and rural villages of Delhi. Pipe line network shall be laid and will be connected with the nearby main pipelines carrying water for distribution. All such areas should be immediately provided with the Delhi Jal Board Water and Sewerage Network.
  7. Immediate step to Dual distribution system in planned colonies; Group Housinng Societies and Apartments etc: Dual system shall reclaim a community’s waste water and reuse it after recycling. Dual system shall help with water conservation and to reduce the demand of water.


  1. During Delhi Dialogue, experts gave us suggestions that there are technologies available worldwide, which cold be be harnessed in Delhi to provide premium quality drinking water by installation of sophisticated water purification systems in group housing societies. These will be managed by the RWA’s.These proposals on technology will be examined by the AAP government
  2. The concept of Jal Swaraj will be promoted to ensure citizen-based water governance and management. Jal Swaraj Samitis will decide on community specific solutions and promote water conservation, recycling and rainwater harvesting.


  1. Tariff changes
.              Abolish Category B (earlier known as C1-A) in the tariff structure, which will provide relief to small shop owners who pay commercial water prices. These consumers will pay domestic prices, and will avail the benefit of free 20,000 liters of water per month.
  1. All changes in the water tariff will be made need-based. The automatic tariff hike law will be repealed.
  2. Private tankers will be regulated which will ensure consumer protection from exorbitant prices
  3. Steps towards sustainability
.              Give a strong impetus to rainwater harvesting which will bring up Delhi’s calamitously low water table.
  1. Strenuous efforts will be made to revive the Yamuna river. Absolutely no encroachments will be allowed and no untreated water, industrial or domestic sewage will enter the Yamuna. Flood plains shall be conserved and no Concretization and construction will be allowed and Plans will be made for afforestation and natural beautification of the banks.
  2. Structures like check dams will be made at suitable locations along the Yamuna which will store water during times of floods. This water can then be made available at later times, and can provide water for as much as 70 days.

The following announcements were made in the field of Electricity:

  1. Electricity bills will be reduced by half.
  2. Round-the-clock electricity (24 hours all 365 days) in next 5 years.
  3. Currently,the people of Delhi are forced to pay an exorbitant amount for the electricity purchased by discoms. AAP government will ensure discoms move out from expensive purchase of electricity and it will be procured at affordable prices.
  4. Delhi government will set-up its own fuel efficient, highly produtive and cost effective power plants
  5. CAG audit of discoms will be completed. No tariff hike will be allowed until this audit is completed
  6. A Delhi specific solar plan will be evolved as part of developing non-conventional sources of energy and group housing societies will be provided incentives for generating solar power.

(Please find the Hindi press release attached)
Thanks

Regards,
AAP Media cell




Enjoy winter sun in Kenya

16122014
All India, 15th December 2014 : With glorious beaches, abundant wildlife to spot and a host of activities to enjoy, Kenya is the perfect place to soak up some winter sun. If you’re looking for a sunny winter holiday, loaded with adventure activities, Kenya has an abundance of sights and exciting things to do.
Situated on the line of Equator, with 300 miles of Indian Ocean coastline, world’s best safari experiences offering opportunities to see the Big Five and a capital city with top restaurants with buzzing nightlife, Kenya is hard to beat when it comes to winter sun destinations.
Kenya is not only a great destination for African Safari, but also hosts spectacular locations that one can enjoy activities such as white water rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, bungee jumping, walking safari, sport fishing, rock climbing etc.
In Kenya tourist can embark on safari as well as indulge in beach fun or water sports. From tented camps to luxurious lodges, Kenya has everything to offer the tourists. There’s no better place to see the Big Five – leopard, lion, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo – and each of the national parks has its own inimitable feel. In fact it’s almost impossible to put together a definitive wish list because there is so much to see and do. Boasting some of the most spectacular and varying wildlife in the world, the tourists will be guaranteed to see some unforgettable sights.
Game drives run in the morning and afternoon, reserving the midday hours for light lunches and afternoon tea; although picnic lunches in the bush can be arranged during full-day game drives.  The travellers can relish full English breakfast in the middle of the national park or conservancies and savour the experience.
For the adrenaline junkies who prefer to fly without wings, Kenya is the perfect destination for them. Kenya is renowned as one of the world’s best skydive destinations. The Kenyan coast has become the latest hot spot for aerial adventure- where the equatorial atmosphere at sea level can give skydivers more than a minute of full freefall over the beautiful blue Indian Ocean, before touching down on pure white sands on one of the world’s best beaches.
The Mount Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano dominating the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands. This is continent’s most popular destinations for mountaineers and trekkers. The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. A  UNESCO World Heritage Site, this park is a home to rare and endangered species of animals, black rhino, Giant forest hog, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, elephant, suni, black fronted duiker, mole- rat and over 130 species of birds. You can also enjoy the adventure activities like horse riding, night safari, hiking, trekking camping or cave exploration here. This place also has world class golf course on the line of equator where you can tee off form one hemisphere to another.
Kenya is a region of dramatic contrasts of extraordinary wildlife with landscapes of great beauty and variety. From snow-capped mountain to Blue Ocean, Kenya offers unparallel holiday experiences with an endless list of adventures.
For more information please contact:
Kenya Tourism Board       www.magicalkenya.com




Central govt has lied to parliament on Christmas day

16122014
Central govt has lied to parliament on Christmas day
From: mediacellaap  Mon, 15 Dec ’14 6:04p
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Show full Headers
Monday, December 15
It is extremely shocking that the BJP’s central government on Monday lied in the Parliament about its directive to keep the Navodaya Vidyalayas open on Christmas day.
Not only has the central government committed a breach of privilege by having deliberately misled the Parliament, it is shameful that the human resources development ministry tried to hide its diktat to the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti.
In place of admitting the mistake and rectifying it, the HRD minister made an unsuccessful and desperate attempt to ridicule the news story, which had exposed real designs of her ministry.
The Aam Aadmi Party maintains that the long standing tradition of celebrating main festivals in the country must not be disturbed for political considerations.
The central government’s conduct raises serious questions on its intentions.
The HRD minister first said the schools will be closed for Christmas and only an online essay competition is being organised.
Her lie has, however, been nailed by the circular sent by the Commissioner of the Navodaya Vidalaya Samiti to the schools, which is now in the public domain.
All the activities mentioned in the circular make it clear that the intention was to keep the schools open and now when the government’s diktat has been exposed, it is looking for a face saver.
The AAP demands that the HRD ministry should immediately withdraw the circular and not disturb the Christmas celebration across the country. (ENDS)

Regards,
AAP Media cell




Thirteen Women and civil society Organisations are jointly holding a public meeting

16122014
Press Invite
Dear Sir/ Madam,
Thirteen Women and civil society Organisations are jointly holding a public meeting to mark the second anniversary of Nirbhaya  case, who died after the brutal rape on 29 December 2012.
In order to highlight the issue of women';s freedom and equality, violence against women a public meeting will be held between 12 noon and 3 PM at Jantar Mantar on 16 December, 2014.
We request you to kindly depute a reporter and a camera person/ crew to cover the programme.
VENUE: JANTAR MANTAR
DATE 16 DEC 2014
TIME: 12 noon TO 3 PM
Yours sincerely
Bhavna Sharma
8860125558
on behalf of
AIDWA, AIPWA, ANHAD, GUILD OF SERVICE, JAGORI, JWP, NFIW, PRAGATISHEEL MAHILA SANGATHAN, PUROGAMI MAHILA SANGATHAN, RASHTRIYA DALIT MAHILA ANDOLAN, SWASTIK MAHILA SAMITI, WAR WIDOWS ASSOCIATION, YWCA




Protest on Uber Taxi represents unfair competition.

16122014

France to ban Uber taxi app in 2015

French government has decided to ban the Uber taxi app in 2015, though a court has stated that the service can continue to practice in the country. The decision follows protests from official taxi drivers who say Uber represents unfair competition.
Hundreds of official taxi drivers blocked the main roads from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport to the center of the capital on Monday, in a go-slow action to protest against the Uber service, known in France as UberPOP. They claim Uber drivers have an unfair advantage, as they do not need to meet all necessary requirements – including taxes, license, and insurance. The Uber app allows users to share a car with other people, which means the price becomes lower – an attractive incentive for those in need of a ride.
“This is a fight against Uber. We’re fed up. Allowing UberPOP means leaving 57,000 French taxis high and dry, and thus 57,000 families. And that is out of the question,”Ibrahima Sylla, president of France Taxis, said, as quoted by Business Insider.
Uber service lets any driver registered in the system pick up passengers using the smartphone app. Since the drivers do not have pay taxes and other fees, the prices paid by passengers are much lower than in traditional taxis.
The French government has decided to ban the Uber taxi app in 2015, though a court has stated that the service can continue to practice in the country. The decision follows protests from official taxi drivers who say Uber represents unfair competition.
Hundreds of official taxi drivers blocked the main roads from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport to the center of the capital on Monday, in a go-slow action to protest against the Uber service, known in France as UberPOP. They claim Uber drivers have an unfair advantage, as they do not need to meet all necessary requirements – including taxes, license, and insurance. The Uber app allows users to share a car with other people, which means the price becomes lower – an attractive incentive for those in need of a ride.
“This is a fight against Uber. We’re fed up. Allowing UberPOP means leaving 57,000 French taxis high and dry, and thus 57,000 families. And that is out of the question,” Ibrahima Sylla, president of France Taxis, said, as quoted by Business Insider.
Ugh.. I only enjoyed Paris b/c of @uber”@loic: France says UberPop to be banned as irate taxi drivers stall traffic
— Peter Pham (@peterpham) 15 декабря 2014
The Uber service lets any driver registered in the system pick up passengers using the smartphone app. Since the drivers do not have pay taxes and other fees, the prices paid by passengers are much lower than in traditional taxis.
Soutien inconditionnel pour Uber face au lobby déraisonné des taxis.
— Milton (@Milton_Brabeck) 15 декабря 2014
The ban is a part of new transport regulation which will come into force on January 1, 2015. Those who break the law can face two years in prison and a fine of €300,000 (US$373,000).
“Currently, people who use UberPop are not protected if there is an accident. So not only is it illegal to offer this service but for the consumer there is a real danger,” French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.
Uber’s opponents also mention possible danger for people who use the service, as they do not know whether the driver is trustworthy.
The French court did not stop Uber activity on Friday, but simply ordered that changes be made. It also blamed the service for unfair competition.
Earlier, similar protests were held in Italy and Great Britain, where they were the most violent.
Uber’s opponents also mention possible danger for people who use the service, as they do not know whether the driver is trustworthy.
The French court did not stop Uber activity on Friday, but simply ordered that changes be made. It also blamed the service for unfair competition.
Earlier, similar protests were held in Italy and Great Britain, where they were the most violent. Media agencies




The News Global

16122014

Kiev must stop provoking Donbas detachment – Russian FM

Russia’s foreign minister urged Kiev to refrain from taking steps that would provoke the detachment of the southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions from Ukraine. In an interview with Interfax, the FM expressed the hope that Ukraine’s leadership will “switch its course to dialogue with Donbass and the achievement of agreements that will ensure equality and respectful living for all citizens and all regions of Ukraine.” This can only be accomplished through comprehensive and transparent constitutional reform involving all regions and all political forces, he added. According to the UN, the death toll in the Ukrainian conflict that started in April is over 4,700.

At least 44 people dead in Brazilian bus crash

At least 44 people are feared dead after a passenger bus collided with a tanker truck carrying a flammable liquid in Brazil’s northeastern state of Piaui. The accident reportedly occurred when the bus attempted to overtake another vehicle. Police say both vehicles were already engulfed in flames by the time they arrived on the scene. The bus driver and a five-year-old are the only known survivors of the crash, a police officer told the local news portal Globo. It is possible that the number of causalities could rise.

Judiciary, other Turkey state bodies must be ‘cleansed of traitors’ – Erdogan

The judiciary and some other state institutions, including the state scientific agency Tubitak, must still be “cleansed of traitors” following the detention of two dozen opposition journalists and others, Reuters quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Monday. Erdogan earlier accused followers of the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of trying to topple the government. Hundreds of police officers, prosecutors and Tubitak scientists have been purged.

New Russian submarines to ‘have underwater drones, keep double-hull design’

Russia’s next-generation nuclear-powered attack submarines will be armed with torpedoes, missiles and underwater drones, Malakhit design bureau’s Deputy General Director Nikolay Novoselov told RIA Novosti on Monday. The drones will be able to detach from the submarine while switched off and power up on command. “The displacement will be roughly similar to that of the Yasen-class subs – some 12,000 tons or even slightly less,” Novoselov said, adding that a double-hull structure will remain.

Turkish President defends raids on media

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday defended weekend raids on media outlets closely linked to a US-based Muslim cleric. Sunday’s raids on the Zaman daily and Samanyolu television marked an escalation in Erdogan’s battle with former ally Fethullah Gulen, Reuters said. The president described them as a necessary response to “dirty operations” by the government’s political enemies. “They cry press freedom, but [the raids] have nothing to do with it,” Erdogan said, speaking at the opening of an extension to an oil refinery near Istanbul. “We have no concern about what the EU might say, whether the EU accepts us as members or not, we have no such concern.”

Belgian police storm apartment in Ghent, ‘hostage safe’

Belgian police stormed an apartment in the western city of Ghent on Monday to end a siege and free a hostage, Reuters said. Three other men have been detained, and the victim is safe and well and, a spokeswoman for state prosecutors said. “There were no weapons found. The earlier reports were of four men with Kalashnikovs (assault rifles),”she said, adding that it was not entirely clear “whether someone was in fact taken hostage.” There was no indication of a link in the Ghent case to terrorism, and neighbors say the flat had been used by drug dealers.

Sweden, Denmark summon Russian envoys over air incident

Sweden and Denmark summoned Russia’s ambassadors on Monday over an air incident last week, AFP reported. Sweden said the Russian plane came dangerously close to an SAS jet (less than 9km), and that it was flying invisible to commercial jets. Both Swedish and Danish jet fighters were scrambled in response to the incident. A Russian military spokesman said on Sunday that the plane was “more than 70km” away from the passenger jet and that a NATO reconnaissance plane was also in the area at the time.

Italian PM vows strong campaign to win 2024 Olympics

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday vowed a strong campaign to win the 2024 Olympic Games, saying that Rome will spearhead the bid. Italy became the first to announce a bid, as new International Olympic Committee rules allow events to be staged in more than one city, AFP reported. “In September 2015 we will officially present our candidature to host the 2024 Olympic Games,” Renzi said. “All the cities, from Florence and Naples to Sardinia, could be involved,” according to the PM.

Al-Qaeda seizes key army base in northwest Syria

Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate on Monday seized the key army base of Wadi al-Deif in the northwestern province of Idlib from government forces, AFP reported, citing a monitoring group. The Al-Nusra Front, backed by Islamist group Jund al-Aqsa, “seized control of the Wadi al-Deif military base, after a fierce offensive that began yesterday morning,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The move leaves most of Idlib province, which borders Turkey, under Al-Nusra Front’s control. In November, the Al-Qaeda branch drove out mainstream rebels who had Wadi al-Deif under siege for around two years.

4 armed men take hostage in Belgium

Belgian police surrounded an apartment in the city of Ghent on Monday after four armed men were believed to have taken a hostage, AFP said. One person was reportedly held in the incident in a working-class area of the northwestern city. There were no immediate indications of terrorism, according to prosecutors.

300 Chinese fighting for Islamic State in Middle East

About 300 Chinese people are fighting alongside the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, Reuters said, citing a state-run newspaper’s report. Around 300 Chinese extremists are fighting with the IS in Iraq and Syria, the Global Times said, citing sources that include security officers from Iraq’s Kurdish region, Syria and Lebanon. Chinese members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement are traveling to Syria via Turkey to join the IS, the paper said.

France dismantles network sending fighters to Syria

French police dismantled a network sending jihadist fighters to Syria in raids across the country early on Monday, AFP reported. Police units descended on around a dozen targets, mostly in the southern region of Toulouse, but also around Paris and in the northern region of Normandy, a source said. It was not immediately reported how many people were arrested. Almost 1,000 French nationals are estimated to have left to join jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

Ukraine closes 3 major airports ‘for security reasons’

Three major airports in Ukraine – Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye – have been closed indefinitely, Ukraine’s State Air Traffic Service said on Monday. Flights are banned “for security reasons,” TASS reported, citing the statement. The service’s chief Denis Antonyuk earlier said the airports would be closed till Tuesday morning.

France to ban UberPop service next year

The UberPop transport service will be forbidden in France beginning January 1, the Interior Ministry said on Monday. Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told iTELE:“Not only is it illegal to offer this service, but additionally for the consumer there is a real danger.” Taxi unions called a one-day action to protest San Francisco-based Uber, vowing to block 260km of roads around Paris with slowly moving taxi motorcades during the morning rush hour, Reuters reported.

Philippines prosecutors charge US Marine with murder of transgender

Philippine government prosecutors charged a US Marine with murder Monday in the killing of a Filipino transgender person, AP said. There was “probable cause” that Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton killed Jennifer Laude, whose former name was Jeffrey, in October in Olongapo city, northwest of Manila, according to Prosecutor Emily de los Santos. The prosecutor had filed the non-bailable charge against the 19-year-old Pemberton before a regional court, saying that “it was aggravated by treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty.”

Netanyahu vows to fight Palestinian UN bid

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “fend off any attempts to dictate unilateral moves,” referring to a Palestinian UN proposal that sets a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, Haaretz daily said. The Palestinian leadership on Sunday said it planned to submit a resolution to the UN Security Council setting a two-year deadline for Israel to end its occupation, AFP reported. A draft UN resolution will be presented Wednesday on ending the Israeli occupation by late 2016, senior Palestine Liberation Organization member Wassel Abu Yussef said.

Russian Proton-M rocket blasts off from Baikonur

Russia’s Proton-M rocket with a Yamal-401 satellite of JSC Gazprom Space Systems on board has been launched from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. The rocket was successfully launched at 3:16am Monday as scheduled, Roscosmos space agency told TASS. The satellite will allow for the incessant retransmission of telecommunications from Russia, covering Europe and Asia. Media reports




Sydney cafe siege incident in Australia

16122014
View image on Twitter
Tori Johnson was manager of the cafe. Died a hero, tried to knock gun out of Man Monis’ hand
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that the Iranian-born hostage taker was mentally unstable.
“He [Man Haron Monis] had a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism, and mental instability,” Abbott said. “As the siege unfolded…he sought to cloak his actions with the symbolism of the ISIL death cult.”
Abbott said that Australian authorities knew of Monis’ extremist outlook prior to the hostage siege, from threat letters he sent to Australian soldiers deployed in the Middle East.
“We know that he sent offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and was found guilty of offences related to this,” he said. “We also know that he posted graphic extremist material online. Tragically, there are people in our community ready to engage in politically motivated violence.”
At the same time, Abbott praised police conduct during the tense hours of the standoff.
No explosives were found and all 17 hostages were accounted for, police commissioner for the state of NSW, Andrew Scipione, told reporters.
NWS police confirmed three people including gunman were killed, four more injured.
Australian media reports the gunman murdered a hostage before being killed himself. However, this hasn’t been officially confirmed by NSW police.
9 News Oz Media reports , Mother and cafe manager confirmed dead and hero tale emerges in Martin Place siege.
The parents of café manager Tori Johnson, who died along with Sydney barrister Katrina Dawson at the end of the Martin Place siege this morning, have remembered him as “their beautiful boy”.
Johnson died from a fatal gunshot wound as heavily-armed police with riot shields and assault weapons stormed the Lindt café.
The 34-year-old has been hailed as a hero after reports emerged that in the moments before the raid he attempted to wrestle the sawn-off shotgun from the gunman’s hands after he began to doze off.
Johnson’s parents Ken and Rowena released a short statement via radio host Ben Fordham this morning, thanking “NSW Police, armed forces and paramedics for their tireless efforts”.
“We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori, gone from this earth but forever in our memories as the most amazing life partner, son and brother we could ever wish for.
“We’d like to thank not only our friends and loved ones for their support, but the people of Sydney; Australia and those around the world for reaching out with their thoughts and prayers.”
The couple also offered their “heartfelt sorrow for the family of Katrina Dawson”.
Barrister Katrina Dawson, 38, died of a heart attack on the way to hospital after police stormed the cafe about 2am.
Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2014/12/15/10/00/major-police-operation-in-sydneys-martin-place#zQG54FbV7uRBTa44.99
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said that the government is in touch with the Indian High Commission in Australia over the Sydney incident in which some people have been made hostage. He said Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is keeping a close watch on the development. He said he does not want to discuss further on the issue as there is some information available that an Indian IT professional is also there. However, later, Mr. Naidu said that the exact information about of any Indian being held hostage is not known.
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said, Deputy Consul General Dr Viond Bahade can be contacted at phone 0061 481 453550 in case of queries about Indian nationals. He said, India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra Surinder Datta can also be contacted for information at 0061 419687008. He said that as a preventive measure they have evacuated staff from the consulate in Sydney. Mr Akbaruddin also said that standard procedures followed in such situations are in place.
Prime Minister Narender Modi has expressed deep concern over Sydney cafe siege incident in Australia, saying that it is an act of inhumanity which is deeply unfortunate. In an official release, Mr. Modi described the incident as disturbing.
Meanwhile, the standoff between a gunman and police at a Cafe in Central Sydney in Australia continues even as five people have been seen running out from the building. It is unclear whether the hostages had been released by the gunman or had escaped. It is also not clear how many remain inside. Deputy Commissioner of New Southwales Police Catherine Burn confirmed that police are in contact with the gunman.
Police confirmed they are monitoring Facebook and Twitter after reports that hostages are tweeting from inside. Police negotiators described the gunman as a man in his late 40s to 50s. Reports suggest the armed offender has demanded to speak to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Mr. Abbott has described the incident as deeply concerning.
The Australian National Imams Council has condemned the siege at a Sydney cafe, describing it as a criminal act. The joint statement with the Grand Mufti of Australia said such actions are denounced in Islam. The Grand Mufti and the Council pledged their full support and solidarity with the victims and their families and aspire to a peaceful resolve to the calamity.




3 gunmen surrender in Belgium armed siege

16122014
Three suspect gunmen surrendered to police today in an armed hostage-taking incident in the Belgian city of Ghent. Armed Police stormed into a flat, hours after the siege began in the Dampoort area today. The city Police had earlier surrounded the apartment after four armed men took a person hostage.
A Television Channel showed, three suspects were taken outside by special armed police, while the fate of the fourth man was still unclear. The Ghent prosecutor’s office told AFP, there is no indication that the incident is linked to terrorism, the Islamic State or what is happening at the moment in Sydney.




EU slams mass arrest of journalists in Turkey

16122014
Top European Union officials have sharply criticised a mass arrest of media representatives in Turkey. Foreign affairs Chief Federica Mogherini and the Commissioner heading EU enlargement talks said the arrests went against European values and the raids and arrests are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy.
At least 24 people were arrested in police raids on a leading newspaper and TV station said to have close links with opposition parties. Those detained are accused of trying to seize control of the state.

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