Sunday, November 15, 2015

Myanmar president vows smooth transition of power to new govt

Nov 15
Myanmar’s President Thein Sein today vowed a smooth transition of power to the new government. During his first public appearance in Yangon since the polls, he said historic November 8 polls were the consequence of his government’s reforms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party got landslide victory in the polls.
The former junta general Thein Sein said the polls were testament to the political and economic changes that have swept the former pariah state since the end of junta rule.
Addressing representatives of nearly 90 political parties, many of which were trounced by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, the Myanmar leader said elections are the duty of a democratic nation. His army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party will slip into opposition in the next parliament. His party got ten percent of the elected seats in the parliament, compared to the NLD’s 80 percent.

India, Bangladesh sign SOP to operate Coastal Shipping Agreement
Nov 15,  2:18 PM
India and Bangladesh today signed Standard Operating Procedure, SOP, for operationalization of Coastal Shipping Agreement. It will facilitate trade and transportation of goods between the two neighbours through inland and coastal waters.
The Coastal Shipping Agreement was signed in June this year to carry out coastal movement of cargo between the two countries. The SOP was signed in presence of Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Bangladesh Shafiq Alam Mehdi in New Delhi.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Gadkari said, the agreement will open up new opportunities of connectivity and trade between the two countries. He said, it will also improve the utilization of port capacities of Indian ports and open up new opportunity for Indian coastal vessels.
The pact will also help in decongestion of roads especially at the Land custom stations and integrated check posts at the Indo-Bangladesh boarder. The commencement of coastal shipping between the India and Bangladesh will increase bilateral trade between the two countries and lower down the cost of transportation of Exim cargo.
Exim trade between India and Bangladesh will be benefited by way of reduction in freight charges. India’s trade with Bangladesh has grown rapidly during the past few years. Bangladesh is now India’s largest trade partner in South Asia.

G-20 summit begins in Turkey

Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies will focus on the fight against terrorism and responses to the refugee crisis in their summit in Turkey today.
The Paris attacks on Friday have put terrorism high on the agenda at the 2-day summit in the southern resort of Antalya. Turkish authorities have boosted security, dispatching a large number of police officers to the venue where the meeting will be held.
French President Francois Hollande has pulled out of the summit after announcing a state of emergency.G20 leaders will also discuss the refugee crisis, climate change and the global economy.

Oil prices tumble

Oil prices remained under pressure in Asia Friday after a huge jump in US crude inventories reinforced projections that a supply glut will persist well into next year.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in December was down 24 cents to $41.51 and Brent crude for December was trading four cents higher at $44.10 a barrel at around 0330 GMT.
Prices were hammered Thursday after the US Department of Energy reported that commercial crude inventories in the world´s top oil consumer grew by 4.2 million barrels last week, far higher than analyst expectations of an increase of 1.3 million barrels.

I just finished debating.
Naresh —
“I’m very proud that for the first time, a majority of my donors are women.” —Hillary at the ‪#‎DemDebate‬
I hope I made you proud at tonight’s debate.
But here’s the truth: Debates are important, but this campaign isn’t going to be won or lost on a stage. It’s going to be won by people like you and what you do to build this campaign at key moments.
If you’re with me, chip in $1 right now, and let’s go:
Naresh, donate $1

Paris attacks security beefed up around Europe

Three teams of gunmen and suicide bombers across three country involve a multinational team with links to the Middle East, Belgium and possibly Germany, staged coordinated attacks across Paris overnight Friday that killed 129 people.
Pope Francis said on Saturday he was “shaken” by what he described as the “inhuman” attacks on a string of Paris venues which left at least 129 people dead.Greek officials said one and perhaps two of the assailants had passed through Greece from Turkey alongside masses of desperate Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their homeland.
“I am shaken, I don´t understand these things, done by human beings… There cannot be justification, religious or human. It´s inhuman,” an emotional pontiff said during a telephone interview with TG2000 television.
Grappling to find the right words, the Pope added: “I am with all those with suffer, and with France, which I love so much.”
Earlier, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi addressed concerns about safety for pilgrims heading to Rome for the “Holy Year of Mercy,” designated by the Pope, which is due to start on November 8.
Millions of Christians are expected to travel to the Holy See.
“These murderers, possessed by a crazed hatred, are justly called terrorists because they want to spread terror,” Lombadi said.
“If we let ourselves be scared, they will have attained their main objective,” he said, calling on followers to show “courage and resist the temptation of fear.”
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Saturday that French policy had contributed to the “spread of terrorism” that culminated in attacks claimed by the Daesh group.
In a meeting with a delegation of French lawmakers in Damascus, Assad said France´s “mistaken policies… had contributed to the spread of terrorism.”
“The terrorist attacks that targeted the French capital Paris cannot be separated from what happened in the Lebanese capital Beirut lately and from what has been happening in Syria for the past five years and in other areas,” he said.
Assad was referring to twin bombings claimed by IS which killed 44 people on Thursday in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a stronghold of his Lebanese ally, Hezbollah.
Assad said he had “warned against what would happen in Europe for the past three years.”
“We said, don´t take what is happening in Syria lightly. Unfortunately, European officials did not listen,” he said, in comments to the delegation broadcast by France´s Europe 1 radio.
He said French President Francois Hollande “should change his policy.” “The question that is being asked throughout France today is, was France´s policy over the past five years the right one? The answer is no.”
France has been a leading supporter of the Syrian opposition since soon after the outbreak of protests against Assad´s rule in 2011.It is also part of a US-led coalition conducting an air war against IS in both Syria and Iraq.It has carried out air strikes in Iraq for more than a year but extended them to Syria in September.
European capitals reinforced security checks and governments held emergency cabinet meetings on Saturday a day after a series of coordinated attacks in Paris in which at least 128 people were killed. Security measures were stepped up outside French official buildings in various capitals including Vienna, where an international meeting on the conflict in Syria was taking place.
Governments also called for heightened vigilance from the general public.
Britain´s Foreign Office updated its travel advice for France urging its citizens to “exercise caution in public places” while Belgium said its nationals should avoid unnecessary travel south of the border altogether.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said he would review national security after talks with key ministers at Downing Street.
Similar meetings were being held by governments across Europe, including in Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Islamic State militants on Saturday claimed the series of coordinated attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris at a concert hall, restaurants and the national sports stadium.
French President Francois Hollande also blamed the Islamic extremist group and called the coordinated assault on Friday night at six different sites an “act of war”.
Here are some of the key developments in Europe:
– Britain: London´s Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said: “We are strengthening our policing stance across the country at the moment”.
The French embassy in London said on Twitter that it was “in close contact with British authorities to ensure the security of the French community,” which is estimated to number around 300,000 people.
– Russia: The National Anti-Terrorism Committee said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that the country´s security had been put on high alert.
“In light of the new threats, all components of the security system have put been put on high alert,” it said, urging “high responsibility and vigilance in the face of new challenges” from the public.
– Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would chair an emergency meeting to discuss “the situation in France and all related questions”.
– Belgium: The Belgian authorities boosted checks at the French border and called for greater vigilance at major events over the weekend but said it was not necessary to increase the alert level.
– Italy: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced reinforced security across the country and was to hold a meeting at the interior ministry.
– Poland: Poland said it was increasing checks on departures and arrivals of flights to and from “potentially at-risk destinations”.
– Spain: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy cancelled a political meeting in Barcelona, five weeks ahead of parliamentary elections, and was due to chair a national security council meeting.
– Austria: The French lycee in Vienna, where exams were due to be held on Saturday, was closed and city officials cancelled a popular Christmas market.
– Switzerland: Police in Switzerland said security was being stepped up outside French diplomatic buildings and at the border with France.
– Sweden: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was holding a natural security council meeting but a scheduled Sweden-Denmark football match was still going ahead.
All our prayers are with the people of France. We must stand side by side every step of the way with France and our allies around the world to wage and win the struggle against terrorism and violent extremism.
Even after this darkest night, Paris remains the City of Light. No terrorist attack will ever dim the spirit of the French people or our common commitment to the democratic values we share.

Chhattisgarh gives a warm welcome to the Australian Hockey team
Raipur, 14th November 2015: The Australian hockey team who are visiting India for the three-match test series with India and the much awaited Hero Hockey World League Final 2015, received a warm welcome at the Raipur International Airport upon arrival today afternoon. Australia, ranked number one in the FIH World Rankings are playing a three match test series against India in Rajnandgaon and Raipur in Chhattisgarh from 19 November 2015. They are also scheduled to compete in the eight-nation Hero Hockey World League Final 2015 which is also being hosted in Raipur later this month. The team upon arrival received a traditional welcome with a small cultural performance from locals amidst a large group of fans waiting to catch a glimpse of the much acclaimed and respected Australian men’s hockey team.
 “India has always been one of those places we want to come back to. The warm welcome that we have received always has been overwhelming and we are keen to display top level hockey in front of the fans here. Raipur is a new destination but we all know that we are  set to play against an audience who understand and follow the sport and that’s what makes the competition all the more exciting and competitive,” said Graham Reid, Head Coach, Hockey Australia.
Australia will take on India in the first test on 19th November 2015 at Rajnandgaon, which would be followed by the last two matches being played at the newly inaugurated Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International Stadium, Raipur on the 22nd and 23rd November respectively.

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