Many thanks to the avid Fiji Sun readers for pointing out the missing link on this article on page 27 last month. In the last minute effort Rajendra Singh decided not to put the whole story in as his son is currently an active police officer in Fiji
I want to be India’s girl Next Door: Amrita 510-677-4488
CHAND SISTERS: OUR NEW-FOUND GRADUATES READY TO LEAD A FIJI YOUTH FORUM Sanjna Chand and Vandna Chand are two daughters of proud parents Mr. and Mrs. Shatish Chand of Hayward. Thanks to their mom who called the Fiji Sun last week seeking to have their daughters interviewed. “ How much does it cost?, “ Shatish Chand asked. There’s no charge was our response. In fact we are proud to feature our students and also anyone for that matter in our various columns including Business News, Community News and Kids Page. ( Continue on page-2 )
Food for the needy
Pastor Henry Rhema’s church helps distribute food to poor and needy families in Hayward. Here he is seen receiving package from Fiji Sun editor.
SUPERIOR COURT SUPERVISOR MS. DONNA WHITEHOUSE NEWEST AIM FELLOW
(Ms. Donna Whitehouse (in the center with AIM certificate) is flanked by from R-L Court attendants Art Rocha, Bob Ostini, Ed McColgan and H. Koya the Fiji Sun editor Pg.18 )
But first let us clarify an important point. We never said that involved son is a Muslim, Hindu or Christian. Some readers have wrong conclusion. This is a true story but does not involve any Muslim man. The only Muslim character is the delivery man who is of Islamic faith. He worked for the main character of the story—the son who got kicked out for sleeping with his aunt. Silence! Do you notice the silence in the camp? It speaks the volume. Double-timing! The truth is the alleged aunt had another side affair with a married Sacramento businessman who got divorced and ran into financial problems and probably is in jail .
INDIA PROVIDES BOOST TO FIJI’S HEALTH SERVICES
Fiji’s Ministry of Health received a timely boost of $356,062 from the Indian High Commission for the upgrading of surgical theatres at the CWM Hospital. India’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Mr Vinod Kumar said this morning’s presentation spoke volume of the assistance made by the Government of India to Fiji’s Health Ministry.
Flashback Fiji Award Night
(Steve Singh 3rd from left new AIM Fellow.}
(Continued from last month)
Acting Permanent Secretary for Health Dr Eloni Tora left receives cheque from India High Commissioner
Steve an AIM Fellow (See Pg 32)
Father kicked out son for sleeping with his own aunt
Youngest Microsoft Professional Arifa Karim Passes Away in Lahore
Arifa Karim, youngest Microsoft certified professional, passes away in Lahore. Karim had been struggling with critical health related circumstance and had been on ventilator for last 26 days. Medical experts pointed out that she had experienced brain damage, making her inside a coma until the girl passed on today in morning. Karim ended up being affected by idiopathic epilepsy; a seizure that
resulted in brain damage. Arfa Karim had been handled in CMH Lahore and also seemed to be prepared to moved to United states of america for additional treatment. Bill Gates said to be had requested Arfa Karim’s dad for getting Arfa moved to Dubai for additional treatment before taking the girl to United states.
Flood damage in Fiji tops $20m
Fiji is facing more severe weather as the damage caused by last week's deadly floods is estimated to cost about $20 million. A flash flood warning was in place for low lying areas in Fiji, including Vanualevu, Taveuni and Northern Lau group, the Fiji Village reported. Forecasters said a trough of low pressure with association cloud and rain was moving slowly over the northern parts of the country, and the wet weather was set to continue for the whole week. The latest forecast followed last week's floods, which left six people dead, and villages, settlements and suburbs in Fiji's western district under water.
FIJI SUN IS NOW ON FACEBOOK FOR ALL
So the w
Th the d Islam main the s sleep
Pa churc poor Hayw
February 2012 M H Koya (PhD) Editor-Publisher
Welcome on board the Fiji Sun team Ms. Sanjna Chand!
IJI SUN USA is extremely proud to welcome on board a very talented, and articulate Ms. Sanjna Chand, as associate editor. With a BA Degree in Communication from California State University, East Bay, she brings on board her experiences from writing in The Pioneer Newspaper. As our associate editor, Sanjna’s prime duties will be to assist in editorial work and work on any area of her interest without limitation. Sanjna’s main goal is to ultimately become a TV news reporter, a field that has never been reached by a US Fiji graduate thus far. FIJI SUN USA wishes Sanjna the very best in her assignments and her future dream to be a TV news reporter. Local Awarded Internship: Chand’s 13-week journey began in California State University, Monterey Bay on August 14, 2011, where Leon Panetta’s institute is located. Her family was upset that she was leaving, but Vandana created a family away from home. She made a lifetime of strong bonds and friendships in Washington D.C. Her journey ended on November 12, 2011. Vandana Cha
Associate editor gets a digital Kodak Camera for snap shots
ll writers must be armed with a camera at all times to enhance his/her story. With that in mind FIJI SUN USA, gave Sanjna her first own digital camera to help her in assignments as she is hopes to cover some community events and fashion shows etc. It is a small but a significant token that she very proudly accepted. The Kodak with its SD card comes with the video shooting capability that many users feel come very handy at the right time to captures great moments and important speeches that you replay to write your reports.
Sanjna Chand (MA) Associate Editor
PO BOX 54691, Hayward, CA 94544 PHONE : 1-800-757-6619
Email: email@example.com www.fijisun.org
Local Indian-Fijian Girl awarded Internship in D.C. “ At first I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to work for someone from the Bay Area, but as I started working for Congressman Becerra, I noticed that he not only has dedication to his constituents, his office, but the entire nation,” she also said, “ he is part of the Super Committee, which is representing everyone, not just California.” By Sanjna Chand, Associate Editor Fiji Sun USA Hayward, Calif.—21-year-old Vandana Chand, daughter of Shatish and Lalita Chand, applied for the Panetta Institute for Public Policy Internship at California State University, East Bay, and was chosen to represent her school in Washington D.C. The program is run by Leon Panetta, U.S. Secretary of Defense and his wife, Director of the Program, Sylvia Panetta. The program is specifically for California State Universities, but they also include the Panetta’s Alma Matters, Santa Clara University and Dominican University. Vandana Chand was chosen to represent her school, along with 22 fellow CSU students. Chand’s 13week journey began at California State University, Monterey Bay, where Leon Panetta’s institute is located. When speaking to the 21-yearold about her experience beforehand, she said, “ I was really scared and nervous,” continued Chand, “ it was the first time I was leaving home, but what motivated me was the experience I would be getting, along with receiving 30 units of school credit.” Vandana is a Political Science major at Cal State East Bay with an option in Pre-Law. When asking her why she chose this internship, she said, “It was completely and fully paid for. It covered key issues our nation faces, and I wanted to be part of the helping process.” She underwent rigorous training for two weeks in Monterey Bay. Afterwards, the then, 20-year-old was interviewed by Congressman Xavier Becerra’s office, and picked to work in the Longworth House office building in Congress; Xavier Becerra represents California’s 31st district. “At first I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to work for some-
one from the Bay Area, but as I started working for Congressman Becerra, I noticed that he not only has dedication to his constituents, his office, but the entire nation,” she also said, “ he is part of the Super Committee, which is representing everyone, not just California.” “The internship program offered many memorable moments for me; to name a few favorites would be meeting Secretary Panetta and getting a tour of the Pentagon, along
with hearing about his experiences first-hand as the director of CIA, and becoming Secretary of Defense. I also was given the opportunity to hear President Obama speak and shaking his and the First Lady’s hand.” When speaking to Chand’s mother and father, Shatish and Lalita said, “ It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she continued, “ we had to let her go.” Her family was upset that she was leaving, but Vandana created a family away from home. She made a lifetime of strong bonds and friendships in Washington D.C. Currently, she is in the process of applying for Law School, and would like to work somewhere in the field of Law and Public Policy. “The Panetta Institute for Public Policy offers an internship program that gives students the opportunities like no other. It is the finest internship of its kind, and a once in a lifetime opportunity for CSU students. This internship program has truly changed my life.”
BUSINESS NEWS Brief News Home ownership document forgery scandal Big banks involved a CBS News report reveals
ou think that mortgage melt down was the only crisis looming large since 2006. Wait till you hear Attorney Generals of 50 states crack down on major bank officials in a cynical conspiracy to use forged documents to prove home ownership.
The new mortgage crisis after the bubble bust
he escalating foreclosures that resulted from the easy home loan no doc qualifications that took the housing industry by storm got into further trouble as millions more lost their homes for want of ownership document. The electronically generated mortgages came with a shortfall that essential legal documents such as “assignment of mortgage” were never generated or obtained to finance those loans. In the absence of which many homeowners -were faced with legal situations - demanded the banks to provide the ownership documents. Major Banks could not provide such documents and admitted they could not be found. However, soon they found answer as a company name dox.com was hired to produce those missing documents.
By Sanjesh Kumar
You can't watch television or read a newspaper without being reminded of the uncertain times we're in. Disappearing jobs, disturbing stock market losses, the rising cost of living — we don't need to tell you that it's rough out there. This has made retirement planning more complicated than ever. From October 2007 to the end of firstquarter 2009, the market lost nearly $2.8 trillion in retirement savings.1 While the market has improved since then, many who were counting on their 401(k)s may not even read their account statements anymore.
The Truth About Social Security
But other factors have muddied the waters for mapping a course toward a financially secure retirement. People are living longer. At the beginning of the 20th century, life expectancy at birth was 47.3 years. Today, life expectancy is nearly 79 years.2This is good news; but we need to prepare for more years of retirement. And if you thought Social Security would take care of you, think again. In 2010, the maximum monthly benefit was $2,3463 — not enough for many of you to live comfortably. While there are no easy solutions, the purchase of a life insurance policy can guarantee4 the protection of your loved ones and also supplement your retirement savings5 if the death benefit is no longer needed.
Leaving a Legacy
Life insurance’s primary purpose is to deliver guaranteed death benefit protection, which can provide a generally tax-free legacy to your loved ones. But permanent life insurance also carries many living benefits. Cash value is
Taking Financial Responsibility : What’s Your Game Plan? By Sanjesh Kumar
How’s your financial strategy coming along? That old adage, “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan,” can be especially true when it comes to finances. And, given the current economy, the best time to start taking control of your finances is today. Being financially responsible doesn’t just happen. It’s a conscious decision you make to live within your means. Slowly, U.S. consumers may be catching on. A nationwide survey on the financial state of U.S. households, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, found only 13% ofhouseholds are currently saving 7% or more of their disposable income, although fully 36% of households expect to save at this level in 5 to 10 years.1 While that trend may be encouraging, there remains ample room for improvement.
It’s Never Too Late to Plan
No matter what stage of life you’re in, you should have a strategy that helps meet your current financial needswhile creating a path to help you reach longterm financial goals. Whether you’re just starting out or nearing retirement, a strategy is necessary, and the good news is no matter what your age, it’s never too late to start. A proactive approach now can help avoid heartaches and disappointments later on.
Consider the following scenarios: •
Don’t Rely Solely on ‘Uncle Sam’s’ Help during Retirement
If you’re single and just starting out, it’s never too soon to start a savings plan. By just saving a small amount today, you can make a huge difference later on. What financial goals can you set today to help make your dreams a reality?
If you’re the head of a new household, perhaps with a new baby, how do you protect your family’s standard of living in case anything happens to you or your spouse? If you died today, how would your family manage financially? If you have young children, it’s never too early to start saving for their college expenses. How can you start a college education fund so they won’t be burdened with student loans and can attend the college of their choice?
If you’re thinking about retirement, consider what amount of your current income you can allocate into retirement savings vehicles, such as 401(k) plans, IRAs and other investments. With retirement possiblylasting 20 or 30 years, the more resources you have the more likely you’ll be ableto enjoy it. Do you want to just get by or be financially comfortable so you can enjoy life with your family and friends? No matter where you are in life, a financial strategy is a necessity. With a proper strategy, you’ll always be in a better position to help achieve your financial goals, whether it’s buying a home, driving a new car or retiring. 1Viewpoint on U.S. Savings Rate, PwC Financial Services Research Institute, 5/13/2010. This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Sanjesh Kumar, Agent, CA Ins. Lic. OH23014 New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Sanjesh Kumar at 39650 Liberty Street Suite 200 Fremont, CA 94538 Phone: 510-469-4667, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanjeshkumar.com
money that accumulates within the policy, tax deferred. This means you do not pay taxes on any of the accumulation within the policy. In addition, you can access that money tax-free though policy loans.5 The cash value can also be accessed for college expenses, as collateral for a small business loan, or any other anticipated or unexpected event. In addition to the death benefit protection, life insurance can also be used to supplement your retirement income. As such, it can be a vital piece of the complex puzzle of retirement planning. This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Sanjesh Kumar, Agent, CA Ins. Lic. OH23014 New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Sanjesh Kumar at 39650 Liberty Street Suite 200 Fremont, CA 94538 Phone: 510-469-4667, Email:email@example.com Website: www.sanjeshkumar.com Neither New York Life, nor its agents, provides tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions. 1 The Urban Institute, “Updated Account Balances,” by Barbara A. Butrica and Philip Issa, October 2010. 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2008,” December 2010. 3 Social Security Online, “The Maximum Social Security Benefit,”December 18, 2010. 4 Guarantees backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer. 5 Loans against your policy accrue interest and decrease the death benefit and cash value by the amount of the outstanding loan and interest.
What led this?
he no doc qualification syndrome! Banks were refinancing left, right and center without proof of income. All you had to say that you earned certain thousand dollars and you qualified. Then there were the overnight finance companies that specialized in “creative” financing “and allegedly recreated even payroll checks to suit their needs if the doc was needed.. It appears that all parties would understand such income was really not so widespread at the time. Despite that knowledge of the economic situation, banks approved loans in huge numbers and sold paperwork to other banks even before new docs were in the escrow office. Even the Wall Street got in it and sold paperwork to international financial institutions.
ity of Stockton in California saw a skyrocketingforeclosure homes in recent years earning itself the title of foreclosure capital of USA. Homes after homes in streets after streets in Stockton foreclosed rapidly that Real Estate agents had to hire busses to take their clients to view the property as a tour rather than by individual appointments.
Linda Green’s signature
he dox.com generated the missing documents signed by Linda Green who represented 20 some banks with her signature on the documents. Among various inconsistencies such as dates etc., there were varied styles of Linda Green’s signature. When CBS team investigating the scandal at dox.com, they found a male worker with a different name was signing the loan documents purporting to have been signed by Lind Green.
Fiji flood areas declared disaster zones 6
Flooded areas in the west of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu have been declared natural disaster zones. The declaration is effective for fifteen days unless the interim government revokes it earlier. The death toll from the floods has risen to six after a family of four were killed by a landslide, triggered by the heavy rain. The permenant secretary of Fiji's Ministry of Provinvial Development, Inia Seruiratu, says the government is doing its best to get necessary supplies to everyone in need. "There's still fast-flowing currents in a few areas again there are problems with landslide is some of the main access roads". However we are also ass by Fiji Red Cross and other organisations are available, it is a collective effort we are co-ordinating all of the assistances, however as much as we want to get to all of the people in some of the remote areas we still have difficulties".
Devastation remains as waters recede T
Fijian interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has launched a flood relief appeal to assist families affected by the flooding on the Western side of Viti Levu. Seventy-four evacuation centres across the country are housing close to three and a half thousand people. There have been six confirmed casualties.
Reports from Fiji say the death toll from heavy flooding has risen after a landslide killed a family of four. Local media reports suggest a husband, his wife, and their two daughters were trapped inside their home by the landslide in Ba on the island of Viti Levu. The western side of the island, including the popular tourist area around Nadi, has been hit by severe flooding. The Fiji Red Cross says the rain is beginning to ease this morning and flood levels are falling in Nadi. But Red Cross disaster coordinator Eseloma Ledau says teams are still trying to reach the site of the landslide. More rain is forecast in coming days and authorities will meet this morning to again consider whether to declare a state of disaster.
Fiji's interim government says it appears floodwaters have peaked and are falling around Nadi and other regions of western Viti Levu. But the Permanent Secretary for Information, Sharon Smith-Johns, says the government is still not ruling out declaring a state of disaster. Two farmers have died in the floods which have put large areas of western Viti Levu under water. Around 2,000 people have taken refuge in evacuation centres.Ms Smith-Johns says an assessment is
President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, director ICC Dr Kamal Kishor Mishra and artists of Ramleela at Suva Civic Centre during the 40 years of ICC in Fiji: Festival of India 2011. Picture: FEROZ KHALIL+ Enlarge this image President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, director ICC Dr Kamal Kishor Mishra and artists of Ramleela at Suva Civic Centre during the 40 years of ICC in Fiji: Festival of India 2011. Picture: FEROZ KHALIL On the occasion of the 63rd Republic Day of India, I convey my greetings and good wishes to the friendly people of Fiji. The Government and the people of India have been working over the years for inclusive and sustainable economic and social development of the country. The Government is committed to strive for a more productive, competitive and robust economy and an equitable and just social order. India and Fiji share close and friendly relations which have further strengthened in recent years. Our peopleto- people exchange and interaction has also been growing. As fellow developing countries we have been collaborating closely in international fora and multilateral institutions. We are working with the Government of Fiji to enhance bilateral trade and investment and cooperation in other areas. The first India - Fiji Trade Council Meeting is to take place in a few days, for which a senior official delegation is visiting from India.
Natural disasters take lives, shatter communities, inflict devastating economic losses and erode hard-won development gains. Over the past 50 years natural disasters have affected almost four million people in the Pacific, or half the current population, making the region one of the most disaster prone and vulnerable in the world. Since 2009 Fiji alone has reported over F$150 million in damage as a direct result of natural disasters. Australia is committed to helping Fiji prepare for and respond to natural disasters. Since the January 2009 floods, Australia has provided approximately F$10 million to Fiji for disaster response and recovery. This supported the rapid distribution of emergency supplies such as tarpaulins, blankets and water containers to affected communities. It also funded essential repairs to damaged health centres and schools and supported farmers to plant new crops in the wake of Cyclone Tomas. In Fiji, Australia is working with the Fiji National Disaster Management Office and the Fiji Council of Churches to help make local communities more resilient
India's strong ties with Fiji
being made of the damage and further risk."The good news is that because the rain has stopped this morning, the rivers are subsiding a little, but the forecast is for more bad weather to move in," she said. She says the airport is open and tourist hotels are operating in the popular area of Denarau, though some guests have had to enter and exit the area by helicopter or boat.
Fiji Red Cross workers are attempting to access those affected by floods in the country's Western Division.The areas worst hit are Nadi and Ba, with heavy rain forecast for Wednesday. The news director for Fiji Village, Vijay Narayan, has told Radio Australia the Red Cross will be distributing emergency kits to people who need it. "Well there is an issue, whether though even officials cannot move in, floodwaters as high as five, six feet and officials do not want to risk going into those areas," he said. "But the Fiji Red Cross decided to go out to the areas only where they can gain access to."
he floodwaters in Fiji have retreated, leaving behind a path of devastation. The people have no water, no power and they're waiting for help. "There's none, apart from you guys," Nacanieli Vanasina told 3 News. "You guys are the first one to ask about the damages around here." His village is home to 260 people, half of them crammed into a church when the flooding was at its worst. But it doesn't have to be this way. The village evacuation centre, which would have been used during these latest floods if it was finished, can hold the entire village. It would have a shower, running water, and a kitchen too. The problem is the village can't afford the $60,000 to finish the job. The immediate need here is
Australia helps Fiji prepare for natural disasters
and better prepared for natural disasters. So far the program has helped over 140 vulnerable communities to develop their own disaster response plans and community disaster management committees. These committees help inform people of what to do when disasters strike. The disaster response plans involve preparatory actions such as storing food and drinking water, bracing houses, moving animals to high ground, and evacuating to village halls, churches or schools in a safe location. "I am happy that this training has come to our village," said an elderly woman from Gunu village, Yasawa. "I am 86 years old and cannot walk. After this training I am the first to be assisted. The youth help me pack and move me to the evacuation
centre. The men secure my house. I am thankful." Each community has tailored its disaster response plan to suit its own unique needs. For example, the plans for Yavusania settlement in Nadi and Wasavulu village in Labasa are focused on responding to floods as they are both located near major rivers. The plans for Nakoronawa, Nakaugasele, Lomanikoro and Nakaunakoro village in Kadavu focus on a tsunami early warning system. The program also builds links between communities and the Fiji National Disaster Management Office. During recent cyclones the four villages of Nakasaleka District in Kadavu relayed information to the National Disaster Management Office on the track of and damage caused by the cyclone. This enables emergency responders to build a clearer picture of the disaster so help can reach those in need faster. Australia always stands ready to help Fiji following a natural disaster, and we will continue to work hard with our partners to support the people of Fiji to prevent the loss of life and livelihoods resulting from natural disasters.
for food, water and clothes. The Red Cross says the floods are worse than 2009. It says it has water to deliver but with the state of the roads, it can't. "They have to walk, as we have seen," says Pastor Jone Lesu. "They can only walk from there to here, or we can arrange an agreement with the police, take them if they are willing." The town of Ba was open for the first time today - businesses were busy cleaning up before a 4pm curfew kicked in. Back towards Nadi the rail bridge used to transport a thriving sugar cane industry has been tossed to one side by the floods. On the other side of the bridge, a single tap provides the only source of clean water.
Russia in Fiji will be good for Australia
There is nothing to be alarmed about with the Russian foreign minister's working visit to Fiji. Apart from the demonstration of soft power in 2011 with promises to teach Fijians how to dance like the Unidance project, or the scholarships offered through the PSC and the customary congratulatory messages on independence day to the â€œfriendly Fijian peopleâ€? what have the Fiji junta really got from Russia? What Fiji have publicly declared they want from Russia are Tourist, what they have and will get is a hand full in transit. They may also get some equipment to monitor the weather in future. On the other hand what Russia wants from Fiji they already got in 2011. For two congratulatory notes, a promise to teach Fijians how to dance and a scholarship or two, otherwise known as trinkets for the blockhead led junta, Russia have obtained their seabed exploration and mining rights from the Fiji chaired International Seabed Authority thanks to the Fiji based SOPAC and will through Oleg Deripaskas Rusal enhance the welfare of all Australians via their JV with Rio Tinto. So we say bring in the Russians to Fiji, it will be great for business and our permanent financial interests. There are no nationalities, tribal, religious or class differentiation in international business, which has a universal language, so lets get this party started shall we and spare us the old cold war mentality conjured to fool people like Inoke Kubuabola.
MARTIN SERAS LIMA
Amongst the local photographers who were covering the recent Uprising International Sevens was a Spaniard. His presence wouldn't probably make anyone take notice except for the fact, that he is a big fan of Fiji rugby. He is Julio Martin Seras Lima and he is the International Rugby Board's photographer and his close association with the HSBC IRB World Sevens Series made him travel a long way to Fiji. "It surprised me to see two Fiji teams playing in the Uprising tournament and nice to see other Fiji players playing for their club teams," Lima says. In sharing his story with the Sunday Times, Lima's chosen career path sounds just like the way Fijians play rugby, so full of passion. He first picked up a camera as a university student in Spain while studying for a degree in tourism in a Barcelona university. As he had to do a lot of travelling, Lima learnt how to take his own photographs for travel magazines. The bug finally bit him when he went to England. He was supposed to go and learn how to speak English but instead, went back to Spain as a fully fledged professional photographer. His choice of subject however, is his first love, rugby! Coming from Spain and soccer mad Barcelona,
Ex- Fiji woman charged with abduction
it's surprising that Lima is not one bit interested in Lionel Messi or the La' Liga. His first ever rugby assignment was taking photos of his friend Oriol Ripol, the first Spanish rugby player to play to level rugby in England with the North Hampton Saints in 2003. He began taking photos of rugby games in England and also when he returned to Barcelona in Spain. Lima prefers shooting rugby and sports than spending time with fashion models or taking portraits and landscapes. "I have done a lot of other types of photography but I chose to do rugby. It's my passion. I love rugby and I love photography and it's a great combination," Lima says. His newfound passion earned him many accolades back and he
finally became an international photographer when he got published in Argentina in 2006. His big break came in 2007 when he joined the International Rugby Board as its photographer. For the last six years, he has been part of nearly all IRB sanctioned events, beginning with the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. He also covered the 2011 RWC in New Zealand where he took photos from 19 matches, including all quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final match. In total he took more than 25,000 photographs in the tournament. Lima is now a regular face on the IRB World Sevens Series, even outlasting some coaches and players. But the way for him was not paved with gold. He at times had found himself sleeping in quirky places like caravans and eating junk food just so that he can cover his assignments. "But I had to make a lot of sacrifices along the way. Sleeping in low cost motels and travelling economy class apart from all the travelling that I have to do. In fact I have stayed at nearly all types of accommodation. But as the years go on, it has become easier," Lima says. All that, simply for the sake of rugby and photography.
A 24-year-old former Fiji woman who fooled her family into believing she was pregnant has been charged with abduction after allegedly walking into a hospital and stealing a new-born baby, NZ police said today. Neha Narayan was arrested after she was found with the baby heading for the hospital car park where her partner was waiting to take her home with what he believed was their own child. Police spokeswoman Ana-Mari GatesBowey told reporters Narayan faked her pregnancy for nine months before telling her partner to drop her off at Auckland's Middlemore hospital as she was due to give birth. Inside the hospital she was able to roam the maternity ward. At one stage she was found holding a baby
Ambassadors for Development program, an Australian Government initiative through AusAID. I then had to apply for the Fiji position officially through Austraining in May. I also had a phone interview before I was officially accepted in August that year. The AYAD Program, part of Australian Volunteers for International Development, supports young Australians on volunteer assignments in developing countries. The program provides you with a support network of other volunteers and management staff in country(sic). I quickly settled into my new surroundings and had a great group of friends before I even left Australia. WFN The Fiji experience. What were your expectations? What have been some of the greatest challenges, the greatest successes and what remain the greatest challenges (esp from a footy perspective). GB When I first arrived, the Fiji Power were a month out from travelling to Tonga for the 2010 Youth Oceania Cup. I was pleased to find out I would be joining the squad on the trip. I remember being quite impressed with local committee that seemed well organised and the players were training hard under the supervision of Dylan Wolfgramm and then David Rodan Snr prior to leaving for Tonga. I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew only of what I had seen on their Facebook page and brief contact with the chairman Robert Wolfgramm via email. I helped out where I could with administration and footy training. Soon we were off to Tonga, the boys played extremely well and I
learned a lot about the Fijian culture and was warmly welcomed by everyone. There was definitely no lack of enthusiasm for the game as I remember having boys waiting by my front gate not long after the New Year asking when training was starting again. I remember getting a group of the boys together to hand out AFL flyers around Suva. The next week, we had around eighty players turn up at a training session. The greatest success was getting the senior team to Australia to compete in the International Cup. I didn’t realise at the time the magnitude of sending the team and officials to Australia. Organising Visa’s, flight payments, budgeting and fundraising etc. as the majority involved had never travelled overseas before and I myself had never applied for a visa to Australia surprisingly, let alone 32 of them. Credit to all the players and the families involved, it was a huge sacrifice not only money but their time and effort. The players getting down to training 3-4 times a week plus practice matches on the weekend. For these guys it would be for some, a long walk to the nearest bus route, getting on numerous buses from all around Suva for anywhere upwards of an hour to train for two hours and then get home again. So in addition to paying for their flights and visa’s to Australia, they were paying bus fares daily to get to and from training which put even greater strain on their families. The biggest credit is due to the committee which has been held together by Robert and Lupe Wolfgramm. The two of them along with small group of parents and
friends are keeping AFL Fiji alive and kicking. What I didn’t realise when I initially started was that they are all volunteers. They have their families, jobs and everything else to deal with but they still sacrifice their time to be involved. I (have) a lot of respect to the Wolfgramm family, as both Lupe and Robert would be down at every training, practice match and fundraiser.
which she said she was comforting, and later she was handed an Indian baby by a hospital staff member who believed she was the mother, Gates-Bowey said. Narayan is alleged to have then headed for the car park where her partner and another person were waiting and both were under the impression that she had been pregnant, GatesBowey said. The baby's parents raised the alarm as they saw Narayan leave with what they believed was their child and alerted hospital staff. "On her way out of the hospital, when she had a small twoday-old Indian child with her that she'd taken from the birthing unit, a nurse stopped her in her tracks, and asked her to come back inside," Gates-Bowey said.
Fiji Chess Federations appoints two new officials
ONLY two new office bearers were elected during the 33rd Fiji Chess Federation annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday. Teliko Koroi was elected as the new general secretary while Goru Arvind will be her assistant. Arvind said the Koroi would replace Krishneel Singh who had been at the post for a year. "Office bearers are elected at every AGM to give other people the chance to take up the office and help develop the sport," Arvind said. "However, no other new office bearers were elected and Dr Virgilio
de Asa remains president and veteran player Gloria Sukhu and candidate master (CM) Calvin Prasad remain as the two vice-presidents," he said. Also three awards were given out during the AGM of which two were new while the President's Cup saw a surprise nominee being awarded. "Nine year old Jacquelyn Masilomani was awarded the President's Cup for her fine performance last year." "2011 Player of the Year award went to last year's national champion CM Calvin Prasad."
Interview with Glen Butler
hortly after the 2011 AFL Oceania Youth Cup, the Fiji coach, Glen Butler said goodbye. The reason being that his stint as an AYAD officer in Fiji had come to an end. The AYAD program is referenced over and over again in respect to Australian Football in the Pacific. Worldfootynews asked Glen to reflect on his time. WFN The AYAD process. What got you into it. How did you go through the process, and how did the AYAD promise live up in reality? GB I originally came across an advertisement on the AFL website in late 2009 to volunteer overseas and promote AFL. I had just recently finished my university degree and was living abroad for most of the year. After returning to Australia and struggling to get a job, I saw this as an opportunity to gain some work experience, which might possibly lead to a job with the AFL. I emailed AFL Asia-South Pacific with a little about myself and my interest in the position. I was called into AFL House in Melbourne and met with Andrew Cadzow (AFL Asia-Pacific Manager). We had a fairly casual chat about the AFL in the AsiaPacific region and what it was all about. Originally there was a similar position in Indonesia for which Andrew had suggested I apply. I remember receiving a call in April 2010 from Cadz saying, “The job in Indonesia is gone, do you want to go Fiji instead…?” I thought about it for maybe a second, “Sure…” From there I was put in contact with Austraining International, the project management company that delivers the Australian Youth
Leading up to International Cup, we started the AFL 9’s competition that normally ran on a Saturday morning. One of the biggest challenges was finding a suitable ground. Albert Park is ideal due to its size but generally the ground is overrun by small groups playing schoolyard rugby or soccer and the occasional game of cricket. March through September is the peak of the rugby union season so this made it all the more challenging. The venue was ever-changing but the players kept coming. By the last week of the competition, we had close to one hundred players playing across eight teams.
Local media AFL in Fiji was also getting more regular media exposure. The media in Fiji craved sport news and were extremely open to learning more about AFL. The two major newspapers (Fiji Times and Fiji Sun) regularly published sports scores from the local weekend matches and updates on progress throughout the year. I was interviewed on Fiji One TV network and had a couple of radio interviews with Viti FM.
The major targets of AFL Fiji’s programs were on youth. I started visiting schools during term 1 in the Suva area with of two of the senior boys Max Wolfgramm and Semiti Mateiwai. We visited about a dozen schools seeing close to 3000 students over an 8-9 week period. Another major challenge was expanding the program and establishing it outside of Suva. I had visited a number of schools in Nadi, Lautoka and Ba on the western coast of Viti Levu (main island of Fiji) and conducted several clinics but these were one-offs. It was a 45 hour bus trip between Suva and the western coast of Viti Levu, not to mention travelling to the other 320 or so islands that make up Fiji. Another challenge was that between the Wolfgramm family, myself and a handful of under 16 players, we were the only people in Fiji (known as AFL Fiji) that had a significant knowledge of the game.
International Cup The benefits of participating in the International Cup were to create more exposure in Fiji and hopefully in the Australian media, to indicate to the AFL that progress is being made in Fiji, which may lead to implementing a similar academyprogram to Papua New Guinea and finally that I now had twenty-eight assistants to now help run training clinics around Fiji. After returning from Australia, I caught up with a group of the senior players, handed them footballs, whistles and told them they are now coaching the Under 16’s in the lead up to the Oceania Cup.
2G scam: SC scraps 122 licences granted under Raja's tenure 8
NEW DELHI: In a major development having implications for the corporate sector, the Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled the 122 2G spectrum licences granted by former telecom minister A Raja on the ground that they were issued in a "totally arbitrary and unconstitutional" manner. Imposing a fine of Rs five crore each on three telecom companies, which offloaded their shares after getting the licenses, the court directed regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to make fresh recommendations on allocation of 2G licences. Asking the government to take steps on the recommendations of TRAI within a month, a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said the allocation of spectrum will be done through the policy of auction within four months. The order came on petitions filed by NGO CPIL and Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy alleging scam in the allocation of spectrum licences by Raja in January, 2008 during the tenure of UPA-I government, on which the CAG had assumed the presumptive loss of upto Rs 1.76 lakhs. The 122 licences were given by Raja for over Rs 9,000 crore, while 3G auctions for a smaller number of licences had fetched the government a sum of Rs 69,000 crores. The companies that are set to lose on account of the cancellation of the licences are Uninor (joint venture between Unitech and Telenor of Norway), Loop Telecom, Sistema Shyam (joint venture between Shyam and Sistema of Russia), Etisalat DB (joint venture between Swan and Etisalat of
NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday dismissed Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy's plea to make home minister P Chidambaram co-accused in the 2G case. "Your prayer to summon Chidambaram as an accused is dismissed," Special Judge O P Saini said on Swamy's petition reading out from his much-awaited judgement. The court said it will commence the hearing on the complaint filed by Swamy in which he had made further allegations against former telecom minister A Raja without making Chidambaram an accused from March 17. Reacting to the verdict, Subramanian Swamy said he was 'surprised' by the court's decision, but would now appeal against the decision in the high court with more evidence.. Swamy had moved the court seeking to make Chidambaram as co-accused in the 2G spectrum scam alleging he was as culpable as former telecom minister A Raja in determining the prices of scarce spectrum and in allowing the dilution of shares. The Supreme Court on Thursday had refused to direct CBI to investigate the alleged role of Chidambaram leaving it to the special court trying the 2G case. A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly, which asked the lower court not to get influenced by its decision, had also refused to direct CBI to "investigate Chidambaram".
Army chief age row: SC questions govt procedure, defers hearing till Feb 10
NEW DELHI: Army chief Gen V K Singh seems to have won the first round in the legal battle on the age row with the Supreme Court on Friday saying the manner in which his statutory complaint was rejected by the government "appears to be vitiated". Posting the matter for hearing on February 10, the court sought to know whether the government would like to withdraw its December 30, 2011 order. Defence minister A K Antony had issued an order on December 30 turning down the statutory complaint of Gen Singh that his date of birth be treated in Army's records as May 10, 1951 and not as May 10, 1950. Posing questions to the government, the bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale was of the view that the defence ministry's order of July 21, 2011 holding the date of birth as May 10, 1950 was based on the opinion of attorney general and so was the case when the December 30 order was passed on the statutory complaint. After the court asked whether the government would like to withdraw the December 30 order, attorney general G E Vahanvati said he will seek
Chidambaram relieved in 2G case: Chronology of Swamy's petition
2G scam: Swamy's petition to make Chidambaram co-accused dismissed
instruction from the government on the issue. The court said there were other remedies available for Gen Singh if the government withdraws its December 30 order. It said in that case Gen Singh's statutory complaint against July 21 order can be reconsidered by the authorities and there was also an option for him to approach the Armed Forces Tribunal. During the hearing, the bench observed that when it was held that Gen Singh's complaint was not maintainable, the only remedy he had was to approach the apex court. From the outset, the bench questioned the decision-making process of the government. "We are not concerned as much with the decision but we are concerned with the decision-making process which is vitiated as the July 21 order was also based on the consideration of opinion given by the attorney general and when the statutory complaint of the Army chief was decided on December 30, there also attorney general's opinion was taken into consideration," the bench observed.
UAE), S Tel, Videocon, Tatas and Idea. Among the 122 licences issued by Raja in January 2008 on first-come first-serve basis, Uninor was alloted 22 pan India licences, Loop 21, Sistema-Shyam 21, Etisalat-DB 15, S Tel 6, Videocon 21, Idea 9 and Tatas 3. Reacting to the Supreme Court judgement Uninor, which has launched services in most of the circles, expressed shock and said that the company has been treated unfairly. "We have been unfairly treated as we simply followed the government process we were asked to. We are shocked to see that Uninor is being penalised for faults the court has found in the government process," the company statement said. Noting that the order has not stopped the company operations for now Uninor said "we expect the authorities to ensure that our 36 million customers, 17,500 workforce and 22,000 partners are not unjustly affected." Other new operators said that they would examine the order before commenting on the future course of action. Trial court to decide on Chidambaram's role in 2G The Supreme Court on Thursday said
Pak panel on 26/11 again puts off Mumbai visit
NEW DELHI: In what would cause further delay in the ongoing trial of the 26/11 case in Pakistan, a judicial commission from that country which was to visit India in connection with the Mumbai terror attack case probe, failed to arrive on its scheduled visit to Mumbai on Thursday. "Islamabad conveyed to New Delhi through diplomatic channels that the commission would not be able to come to India on its planned visit," a home ministry official said. Though no reason was given for the cancellation of the trip, sources here said it could be due to a special hearing in the case on February 4 at a Rawalpindi court where the trial is going on. Pakistan has not suggested any fresh date for the visit of the commission. India had earlier conveyed that the commission could come anytime between February 1 and 10. The commission is supposed to take statements of officers linked to the 26/11 probe, including additional chief metropolitan magistrate R V Sawant Waghule and investigating officer Ramesh Mahale, and also the doctors who carried out the post mortem of the terrorists killed during the attack.
NEW DELHI: Following is the chronology of the events in which a Delhi court rejected the plea of Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy to make Home Minister P Chidambaram a co-accused in the 2G case. Dec 15, 2010: Swamy moves Special CBI court seeking prosecution of the then Telecom Minister A Raja in 2G scam and his (Swamy's) appointment as public prosecutor. Jan 7, 2011: Court holds Swamy's complaint against A Raja "maintainable". Mar 25, 2011: Swamy's complaint transferred to Special court set up at the instance of the Supreme Court to try all cases related to 2G scam. Aug 23, 2011: Swamy moves SC for CBI probe against Home Minister and the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the 2G case. Aug 26, 2011: Swamy tells Special CBI court that he will file a plea before it to make Chidambaram a co-accused. Sept 8, 2011: SC directs Swamy to sub-
mit his correspondence with the CBI in connection with his plea to investigate Chidambaram's alleged role in the 2G scam. Sept 15, 2011: Swamy tells court he will bring new facts that Chidambaram and Raja had a role in deciding 2G spectrum prices and entry fee. Sept 22, 2011: CBI defends Chidambaram in SC, blames Department of Telecom (DoT). Oct 10, 2011: SC reserves order on Swamy's plea for a probe into the alleged role of Chidambaram in the 2G scam. Jan 7, 2012: Swamy places on record various certified copies of the documents in support of his private complaint against Chidambaram. Jan 21, 2012: Special Court reserves order for February 4. Feb 2, 2012: SC refuses to ask CBI to probe role of Chidambaram in 2G case and leaves it to the Special Court to decide the matter. Feb 4, 2012: Special Court dismisses Swamy's plea to make Chidambaram a co-accused.
the trial court will decide on Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy's plea to make home minister Chidambaram a co-accused in the 2G spectrum allotment case, IANS reported. The apex court said that
the trial court should decide the matter within two weeks. Special CBI Judge O P Saini, who is hearing a separate petition of Swamyto prosecute Chidambaram .
NEW DELHI: Railways will need Rs 14 lakh crore over the next 10 years if next-generation modernization is to take place, minister Dinesh Trivedi said on Thursday. This investment is essential for upgradation of the rail network, including automation of the signalling system, strengthening of track and procurement of modern rolling stock, the railway minister said. "The time has come for the PMO, Planning Commission and Railways to decide on the future of the carrier. The present system has outlived its utility. We have to embark upon a new generation of rail services," Trivedi said. Trivedi was hopeful that the investment will come from a combination of government support, the railways' internal resources and public-private-partnership. He expected a 200% hike in the Railways' plan expenditure, which is Rs 20,000 crore in current financial year. Linking the fortunes of the carrier with that of India's growth, the minister argued that if the railways are not modernized there was no way the country could hold on to its high GDP growth rate. The min-
ister said he was bringing the Prime Minister and the planning commission on board with the needs of the Railways. Trivedi said a slew of reforms was urgently needed, including a tariff regulatory body that would suggest train fares and freight rates, de-politicization of the railways for undertaking modernization and a national rail policy based on broad consensus. He also mooted the idea of expanding the Railway Board to a nine-member body, up from seven at present. "There should also be a member revenue and member safety in the board," he said. The minister wanted the proposed member (revenue) to focus on innovative ways of generating resources. "We must find out new revenue models," he said, giving the example of Japan's railways which generates 30% of its revenue from commercial exploitation of real estate. Trivedi said his main concern was to improve safety and after that embark on modernization of tracks, signaling system and rolling stock. He advocated e-tendering and e-auctioning as part of the modernization exercise.
Railways needs Rs 14 lakh cr to modernize: Dinesh Trivedi
PPP to contest SC move against PM Yousuf Raza Gilani: Report
Anti-government protesters shout slogans as they march to demand a trial for Yemen's outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa January 29, 2012.
Pak hospital wonâ€™t give baby to prez for adoption LAHORE: Authorities in Pakistan's Punjab province handed over a one-yearold abandoned girl to a childless couple after refusing some seven other hopefuls, including president Zardari, who wanted the baby for his sister Faryal Talpur. Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Javed Akram handed over the girl, Fatima, by hospital doctors, to Muhammad Iqbal and his wife Ayesha during a ceremony held on Wednesday. The adoption procedure was completed after the administration of staterun Jinnah Hospital turned down applications from seven persons, including Zardari, who wanted the baby for his sister. The ailing girl was left by an unknown woman at Jinnah Hospital some weeks ago.
ing. The PPP's top leaders have advised cadres "not to resort to public rhetorical attacks against the assertive judiciary", the report said. The PPP will fight its case in court "with all its might", arguing that Zardari enjoys immunity under the constitution from prosecution in all criminal proceedings inside and outside the country. Most PPP leaders were tight-lipped when asked to comment on Thursday's proceedings in the apex court. However, a majority of them said during informal interactions that the government was being "squeezed" by the judiciary. "We have a right to go for a review, as has been mentioned by the counsel of the PM," an unnamed PPP leader said. "One should not forget that after the 18th amendment that right of a fair trial has been recognised as a basic right of every citizen under clause 10A of the constitution."
Pak PM faces contempt charges ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's supreme court on Thursday summoned PM Yousaf Raza Gilani to appear before it on February 13 to frame contempt charges against him for defying its orders to write to Swiss authorities to reopen a graft case against president Asif Ali Zardari. Gilani told parliament later that he respects the court and will honour its request for a second appearance. The court's order has ramped political crisis in the country, as Gilani could lose his job and face six months in prison if convicted. But the PM could avoid being charged by appealing against the
US asks citizens to avoid gatherings in Pakistan
WASHINGTON: The US on Thursday issued a travel advisory, warning its citizens about the risks while travelling to Pakistan in view of recent developments and tension in US-Pak ties in the aftermath of NATO raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Replacing its previous travel warning dated April 8, 2011, the State Department today asked its citizens to avoid protests and large gatherings which are happening in Pakistan after the November 26 cross-border fire. "There have been widespread demonstrations and large political rallies condemning drone strikes and Pakistan's ongoing energy crisis. "These protests are likely to continue. US citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid protests and large gatherings," it said. The State Department said presence of alQaida, Taliban elements, and
ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party's top leadership has decided to contest the Supreme Court's move to frame contempt charges against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani while not seeking any sort of confrontation with the judiciary, according to a media report on Friday. Gilani's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan is likely to file an appeal in a few days against the apex court's order summoning the premier on February 13 for the framing of contempt of court charges for failing to act on orders to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The government's stand in the matter has been influenced by its desire to ensure that nothing affects the holding of polls to the Senate or upper house of parliament scheduled for next month, The Express Tribune quoted its sources as say-
indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to US citizens throughout Pakistan. Terrorists regularly attack civilians, government, and foreign targets, it said. "Threat reporting indicates terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where US citizens and Westerners are known to congregate or visit, such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, schools, and outdoor recreation events," it said. "Terrorists have disguised themselves as Pakistani security personnel to gain access to targeted areas. Some media reports have falsely identified US diplomats and to a lesser extent US and other Western journalists and non-governmental organisation workers - as being intelligence operatives or private security personnel," the travel alert said.
order , apologizing or promising to write to the Swiss. "After the preliminary hearing, we are satisfied prima facie that there is enough case for further proceedings. The case is adjourned until February 13 for the formal framing of charges. The PM will be present in person," said justice Nasir ul Mulk, who heads the seven-judge bench hearing the case. Gilani's lawyer, Chaudhary Aitzaz Ahsan, told the court that the country's law ministry had advised him against writing to the Swiss. On this, justice Mulk remarked that the premier was efficient in listening, but did not give due consideration to the court's
Hafiz Saeed to join Pak politics?
ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, has kept the guessing game on about his reported political ambitions. At a press conference on Tuesday in Karachi, he parried questions on whether the JuD would declare itself a political party and participate in elections. There is speculation that Saeed plans to contest upcoming elections either to the Punjab assembly or the National assembly, the lower house of parliament.He said it was a "misconception" to not consider JuD a political party as its activities were of political nature. "We believe the politics of polarization harms the Ummah (Muslim brotherhood )," Saeed was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune daily.
38 militants killed in fresh clashes
Thirty-eight militants, including a top commander of Pakistani Taliban, were killed in air strikes and clashes with troops in northwest Pakistan. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander Mullah Moinuddin was among those killed, reports said.
orders. "The PM has the right to turn down law ministry's advice," another judge pointed out. Ahsan argued that the Swiss were told that the case against Zardari was closed after the National Reconciliation Order (NRO) that granted amnesty from graft cases to politicians as part of a deal between former PM Benazir Bhutto and military ruler Pervez Musharraf. "The Swiss authorities closed the cases on lack of evidence.'' The lawyer presented a summary of the Swiss response to the government in September 2010, which stated that there were no cases against the president
there.The court questioned why the summary has never been presented in any of the previous hearings. "If the cases are closed, then why the government is afraid of writing the letter," the court asked. "The government should write the letter for our satisfaction and then we will see what the Swiss authorities have to say in reply.'' Since 2009, theSC has been insisting the government write to the Swiss about reopening of the case president Zardari after it threw out NRO. But the government has been defying its orders, claiming that the president enjoyed immunity from prosecution.
ISLAMABAD/LONDON: Exposing the ISI's "manipulation" of Taliban's senior leadership and its "massive double game", a damning Nato report says that Pakistan government remains "intimately" involved with the Afghan-based terror group. It leaked out on a day when Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar arrived in Kabul on a one-day visit for talks with the Afghan leadership. The Nato report contains accusations that Pakistan is playing a massive double game with the West as it publicly claims to seek a political solution to the Afghan conflict , while still supporting fighters who have killed thousands of international troops. Many of the revelations concern the scale of support to the Taliban provided by Pakistan and the influence of ISI agency. "The government of Pakistan remains intimately involved with the Taliban," the Telegraph quoted the report as saying. Reacting to the report, Khar was quoted as saying, "We can disregard this as a potentially strategic leak... This is old wine in an even older bottle." The report is based on material from
27,000 interrogations with more than 4,000 captured Taliban , al-Qaida and other foreign fighters and civilians. It notes: "Pakistan's manipulation of Taliban senior leadership continues unabatedly. Pakistan is aware of locations of Taliban leaders." Pak: Allegations frivolous, we are committed to peace Pakistan on Wednesday reacted angrily to a leaked Nato report that accused its security services of helping Afghan Taliban just as foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar began a visit to Kabul, saying the allegations were "frivolous" . "This is frivolous, to put it mildly. We are committed to non-interference in Afghanistan and expect all states to strictly adhere to it," foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit said. "We are committed to an Afghan-led and Afghanowned reconciliation process.. A stable, peaceful Afghanistan is in our own interest and we are very much cognizant of this," Basit said. Pakistan, he said, had "suffered enormously because of the long war in Afghanistan".
Nato report rips open Pak â€˜double gameâ€™ in Afghanistan
New GSA Bulletin research posted ahead of print in January 10
Boulder, Colo., USA - New GSA Bulletin postings discuss how subsurface data can be used to understand the form and origin of giant submarine landslides, give new clues to the tectonic history of the Eastern Cordillera, present an alternative theory on how the mountains along the Atlantic margin of northeastern Brazil formed long after the opening of the South Atlantic, integrate several kinds of geological dating for Upper Cretaceous rocks from the Pacific Coast of North America, and more. Highlights are provided below. Representatives of the media may obtain complimentary copies of GSA Bulletin articles by contacting Christa Stratton at the address above. Abstracts for the complete issue of GSA Bulletin are available at http://gsabulletin.gsapubs.org/. Please discuss articles of interest with the authors before publishing stories on their work, and please make reference to GSA Bulletin in articles published. Contact Christa Stratton for additional information or assistance. Non-media requests for articles may be directed to GSA Sales and Service, firstname.lastname@example.org. The initiation of submarine slope failure and the emplacement of mass transport complexes in saltrelated minibasins: A 3D seismic reflection case study from the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil Christopher Aiden-Lee Jackson, Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BP, England, UK. Posted online 13 Jan. 2012; doi: 10.1130/B30554.1. In this study, Jackson shows how subsurface data can be used to understand the form and origin of giant submarine landslides. He demonstrates that giant landslides can be triggered by the subsurface movement of salt. Giant blocks, which are several tens of meters in width, length, and height, can be contained in the deposits associated with submarine landsliding.
Discriminating rapid exhumation from syndepositional volcanism using detrital zircon double dating: Implications for the tectonic history of the Eastern Cordillera, Colombia Joel E. Saylor et al., Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, 78712, USA. Posted online 13 Jan. 2012; doi: 10.1130/B30534.1. Uranium-lead (U-Pb) radiometric ages of zircon grains record their crystallization. Where volcanism is synchronous with deposition of sedimentary strata, zircon U-Pb ages approximate the age of their host strata. Zircon (U-Th)/He radiometric ages record the time at which they were cooled by being unearthed, often during mountain building. In zircons from sedimentary strata, these ages relate to the timing of mountain building in the sediment source region. Difficulty arises where volcanism occurs at the same time as rapid unearthing. Saylor et al. solve this problem by obtaining both U-Pb and (U-Th)/He ages from the same zircon grains. Zircon grains whose crystallization and cooling age are similar are of volcanic origin, while those with a large difference between these two ages were cooled as a result of exhumation during mountain building. The Colombian Andes resulted from an eastward-moving wave of mountain building that affected northern South America starting about 65 million years ago. Zircon grains from about 55-million-yearsold sedimentary strata with about 55-million-year-old radiometric ages are of volcanic origin while the most rapid cooling due to mountain building occurred at about 35 million years ago. This suggests a change from a volcanism-dominated mountain range to one dominated by mountain building. Episodic burial and exhumation in NE Brazil after opening of the South Atlantic P. Japsen et al., Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Øster Voldgade 10, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Posted online 13 Jan. 2012; doi: 10.1130/B30515.1. Mountains along passive continental margins such as southwestern Africa, southeastern Australia, and western India are commonly regarded as remnants from continental breakup. In contrast, Japsen et al. show that the mountains along the Atlantic margin of northeastern Brazil formed long after the opening of the South Atlantic. Their synthesis of geological data, landscape analysis, and paleothermal and paleoburial data reveals a four-stage history: (1) Following Early Cretaceous breakup, about 110 million years ago, the margin underwent burial beneath a thick sedimentary cover. (2) Uplift and erosion which began around 80 million years ago led to almost complete removal of these deposits. (3) The resulting large-scale, low-relief Eocene erosion surface (peneplain) was deeply weathered and finally buried under a thick sedimentary cover about 25 million years ago (Early Miocene). (4) The formation of the present-day mountains began about 17 million years ago when uplift and erosion produced a new, lower-level peneplain by river incision below the uplifted and re-exposed, Eocene peneplain. Similar chronologies of uplift and erosion in Africa and the Andes suggest the controlling processes are global. Japsen et al. suggest that both vertical movements and lateral changes in plate motion have a common cause, which is lateral resistance to plate motion. Integration of macrofossil biostratigraphy and magnetostratigraphy for the Pacific Coast Upper C r e t a c e o u s (Campanian–Maastrichtian) of North America and implications for correlation with the Western Interior and Tethys Peter D. Ward et al., Department of Earth and Space Sciences, The University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA. Posted online 13 Jan. 2012; doi: 10.1130/B30077.1.
This work, by Ward et al., integrates several kinds of geological dating for Upper Cretaceous (100 to 65 million years ago) rocks from the Pacific Coast of North America. The work greatly increases the resolution for dating fossils in these strata, and shows that many species of important fossils (ammonites) existed both along the Pacific Coast as well as in central North America in the Cretaceous period. Evidence for middle Eocene and younger emergence in Central Panama: Implications for Isthmus closure Camilo Montes et al., Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Box 0843-03092, Balboa, Ancón Republic of Panamá. Posted online 13 Jan. 2012; doi: 10.1130/B30528.1. In a study by Montes et al., new geologic mapping and analytical data from central Panama greatly restrict the width and depth of the Central American Seaway, and challenge the widely accepted notion that closure of this seaway triggered northern hemisphere glaciation in late Pliocene times (about three million years ago). Geologic mapping revealed the presence of an angular unconformity—a geologic feature that separates strata of different ages, orientations, and affinities— along the southeastern flank of the San Blas Range, Panama. This angular unconformity separates nearly undeformed shallow marine strata above, from strongly folded and faulted rocks below, indicating a period of deformation and erosion followed by a period of sedimentation. Fossils above the angular unconformity date the time of deformation and erosion as prior to late Eocene times (about 37 million years ago). Similarly, analytical data from apatite and zircon crystals below the angular unconformity suggest that cooling related to deformation and erosion took place about 45 million years ago. Early Miocene (about 21 million years ago) fluvial strata in the Panama Canal Basin contain zircon crystals that match those found in the San Blas Range
Range, further suggesting that the San Blas Range remained above sea level from about late Eocene to early Miocene times. Neogene block-rotation in central Iran: Evidence from paleomagnetic data Massimo Mattei et al. (Francesca Cifelli, corresponding), Dipartimento di Scienze Geologiche, Largo San Leonardo Murialdo 1, 00146 Roma, Università Roma TRE, Italy. Posted online 13 Jan. 2012; doi: 10.1130/G30479.1. Central Iran is a mosaic of different tectonic blocks once separated by ocean basins that closed as a result of the convergence between the Arabia and Eurasia plates. Shortening related to the ArabiaEurasia convergence in the Tertiary period has been taken up mainly in the Zagros, Alborz, and Kopeh Dag fold-and-thrust belts of Iran, whereas the intervening, fault-bounded crustal blocks of central Iran (Yazd, Tabas and Lut blocks) show little internal deformation. Central Iran is separated from the Alborz belt by northeast-southwest left-lateral strike-slip and thrust faults, whereas north–south right-lateral strike-slip faults define the boundary between the Tabas and Lut blocks within central Iran. Structural and seismological data from Mattei et al. suggest that northeast-southwest left-lateral and north–south right-lateral faults can accommodate the north/northeast-south/southwest Arabia Eurasia convergence if they are allowed to rotate clockwise and counterclockwise, respectively. Paleomagnetic results from Oligocene–Miocene sedimentary units confirm this model. In fact, counterclockwise rotations of 20° ° have been measured in Central Iran, south of the Great-Kavir fault, characterized by the presence of north-south to north-northwest–south-southeast right-lateral strike-slip faults. These data show that part of the shortening related to Arabia-Eurasia convergence has been accommodated in Central Iran by vertical axis rotations of faultbounded crustal blocks.
South Korea will on Thursday release preliminary figures for gross domestic product for the fourth quarter of 2011, highlighting a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. GDP is expected to rise 0.5 percent on quarter and 3.5 percent on year after collecting 0.8 percent on quarter and 3.5 percent on year in the previous three months. Japan will release its corporate service price index for December, with analysts expecting a contraction of 0.1 percent on year following the 0.2 percent fall in November. The Bank of Japan also will release its monthly report on economic and financial developments. Singapore will announce December numbers for industrial production, with analysts expecting an increase of 2.1 percent on month and 6.4 percent on year. That follows the 25.2 percent monthly plunge and the 9.6 percent annual contraction in November. Hong Kong will release December figures for imports, exports and trade balance.
The University of the South Pacific hosted a farewell lunch for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Resident Representative to Fiji, Mr Juichiro Sasaki on 23 January, 2012.26th January, 2012 The University of the South Pacific hosted a farewell lunch for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Resident Representative to Fiji, Mr Juichiro Sasaki on 23 January, 2012. The Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra together with members of the University’s Senior Management Team and other senior staff were present at the Japan- Pacific ICT Centre in Suva, to bid farewell to Mr Sasaki and to thank him for his contribution towards the University. Mr Sasaki took up his role with JICA in 2008 and played a significant role in facilitating the construction of the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre at USP. The state-of-the-art landmark facility for the region comprises two buildings with fully-equipped
computer laboratories, conference rooms, and a multi-purpose lecture theatre. In thanking Mr Sasaki, Professor Chandra expressed his sincere gratitude to the outgoing JICA Resident Representative for his commitment and support during his time in Fiji. Professor Chandra said he was extremely pleased to have both Mr Sasaki and his successor, the new JICA Resident Representative, Mr Shumon Yoshiara present at the farewell. “Through Mr Sasaki’s leadership at JICA, USP has gained a lot of support and we look forward to working very closely with the incoming representative, to further this collaboration with JICA in the near future,” he added. It was during Mr Sasaki’s tenure that the JICA President, Madam Sadako Ogata visited USP. Professor Chandra described this as a “momentous and meaningful occasion for the University” and thanked Mr Sasaki for making the visit possible. Highlighting the strong relationship that USP shares with JICA and the Government of
Japan, the Vice-Chancellor said that Mr Yoshiara will be able to see how such assistance has benefited USP and its member countries. JICA and the Government of Japan assisted in the introduction of new computer and information science degree courses, enhancement of the distance learning environment through efficient utilisation of new ICT technologies including the USPNet – a satellite-communications network that links USP campuses in its 12 member countries, and the establishment of the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre at USP. Professor Chandra wished Mr Sasaki well for the future. In his comments, Mr Sasaki thanked Professor Chandra for his leadership and the University staff for their cooperation during his term as the JICA Resident Representative. Mr Sasaki said he was pleased to work with Professor Chandra and the University in developing the USPNet to enhance the delivery of distance learning for students living in remote areas. He was also delighted by Madam Ogata’s visit to USP.
The Georgian foreign minister, Grigol Vashadze, says Russia’s lobbying in the Pacific for international recognition of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is costing Russian taxpayers a lot of money. Mr Vashadze has told a meeting in Strasbourg that to win Nauru’s support Russia paid 50 million US dollars. He made the comment just days ahead of a visit by the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, to the South Pacific, which will include a stop-over in Fiji. This also follows accusations by Georgia that Russia was trying to kill talks to resolve their dispute over the two territories. Mr Vashadze says international law is on Georgia’s side adding that Georgia will not engage in chequebook diplomacy. A spokesperson for the Russian embassy in Canberra has told the Sydney Morning Herald that there would be no lobbying of Fiji over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
South Korea GDP Due On Thursday
University Farewells Japanese Delegate
Georgia critical of Russia’s Pacific moves over Abkhazia
HEALTH Glugging water during meals severely hampers your stomach's digestive powers and causes insulin levels to fluctuate significantly, warns Microboitic counsellor Shonali Sabherwal To know if you're drinking enough water, it is often said, just check if you are feeling thirsty. If you aren't, your fluid intake is likely to be just about right. But downing glasses of water along with your meals may not be the best time to quench your thirst. Macrobiotic counsellor Shonali Sabherwal explains why you should not drink water during your meal. "Most Indians have water along with their meals. The usual theory is washing down the food while eating. People have no idea how wrong this practice is and how difficult this can be for their digestion. For those suffering with digestion problems, the ramifications are manifold. Our stomachs have a knack of knowing when you will eat and starts releasing digestive juices immediately. If you start drinking water at the same time, what you are actually doing is diluting the digestive juices
Most Indians have water along with their meals. The usual theory is washing down the food while eating. People have no idea how wrong this practice is and how difficult this can be for their digestion. For those suffering with digestion problems, the ramifications are manifold. Our stomachs have a knack of knowing when you will eat and starts releasing digestive juices immediately.
Say no to water between meals
being released to digest your food, thereby hindering them from breaking down food." Research shows that
sipping a little water during meals isn't a cause for concern but drinking a glass or two may interfere with digestion. It is best to
drink fluids before and two hours after meals as this helps in absorption of nutrients, researchers have found.
Elaborating on what exactly happens inside you when you glug water during meals, Sabherwal says that it gets absorbed by the intestinal walls of the stomach. "This absorption continues till it becomes concentrated enough for the digestive juices to begin digesting your food. However, due to it getting mixed with water, this concentrated substance is now thicker than the food contents present in your stomach. So less gastric juice will be secreted to digest your food. The result
daily dose of aspirin can sharply reduce the risk of death from a wide range of cancers, a new study has suggested. Previous work by the same team of scientists revealed that the century-old remedy for aches and pains, long a staple of family pharmacies, can help defend against colon cancer. The new study has for the first time revealed that aspirin also helps protecting against prostate, lung, brain, and throat cancers, among others. "These findings provide the first proof in man that aspirin reduces deaths due to several common cancers," the Herald Sun quoted Peter Rothwell, a professor at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study as saying. Professor Rothwell and colleagues looked into eight previous clinical trials comprising over 25,500 patients. In each, some subjects took aspirin and others look-alike placebos. During the trials, which lasted for four to eight years, doses of aspirin as low as 75 milligrams, cut cancer deaths overall by 21 per cent. Risk was particularly diminished after five years of treatment with the drug, by 30 to 40 per cent depending on the type of cancer. The 20-year risk dropped on an average by a fifth: 10 per cent for prostate cancer, 30 per
Aspirin significantly cuts cancer risk cent for lung cancer, 40 per cent for colon cancer, and 60 per cent for oesophageal cancer. For cancer of the lung and throat, the protective effect was restricted to adenocarcinomas, the type typically observed in non-smokers. "Perhaps the most important
finding for the longer term is the proof of principle that cancers can be prevented by simple compounds like aspirin, and that 'chemo-prevention' is therefore a realistic goal," Professor Rothwell said. Another researcher of Cancer Research UK, Ed Yong, asserted that even small doses
aspirin can reduce cancer risk if taken for five years. "These promising results build on a large body of evidence suggesting that aspirin could reduce the risk of developing or dying from many different types of cancer," Dr Yong said. "This tells us that even small
11 is, undigested food leaks into your system as it gets absorbed through the stomach walls. This will also lead to acid reflux and heart burn." Drinking water with meals can also cause a surge in your insulin levels, almost like the way high glycemic food would affect you, Sabherwal cautions. "The more insulin is released in to your blood stream, the higher the chances of you storing fat in your body." To avoid watering down your meals, Sabherwal suggests a few don'ts. "Make sure your food is not too salty as that would aggravate your thirst and trigger your need to down more water. Besides, eating in a hurry will cause you to gulp your food down. Most likely, you would feel the need to wash it down with water while you are at it. Instead, chew, chew and then chew some more. We secrete a lot of digestive juices (enzymes) while chewing, which makes our stomach's job easier."
Daily dose of
Chocolate TO LOWER BP
Eat chocolate daily to boost your workouts and lower BP Next time, when you reach for that bar of Hershey's, know that it only takes a bite or two of chocolate to get the benefits. A new study has suggested that a daily bite of chocolate could bolster your workouts, reports theNew York Daily News. Scientists gave a group of mice a twice-daily dose of purified form of epicatechin, cacao's chief beneficial compound. These mice outperformed the group of mice who had not been given the chocolate-y supplement, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego. The cacao chemical also increased the physiological response in the test group's leg muscles. Dark chocolate in tiny amounts has also been shown to lower blood pressure.
doses reduce the risk of dying from cancer provided it is taken for at least five years." "We encourage anyone interested in taking aspirin on a regular basis to talk to their doctor first," Dr Yong added. The study has been published in the British medical journal The Lancet.
With God All things are Possible The Fiji Sun editor join food
HAF Encouraged by Meeting with Norwegian Ambassador to U.S. Washington, D.C.-The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) was encouraged by its meeting yesterday with the Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S., Wegger Chr. Strømmen, regarding the removal of two young children from an Indian family in Norway. After initial media reports indicated that the two children were removed from parents, Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya, by Norway’s Child Protective Services for purportedly feeding their children with their hands and letting the children sleep in the same bed as them, HAF wrote directly to the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and started an online petition to address the issue. The Norwegian Embassy subsequently invited HAF’s Washington, D.C. based Associate Director, Jay Kansara, to meet with Ambassador Strømmen. “We are grateful to Ambassador Strømmen for taking the time to meet with us and address our concerns and inquiries regarding the status of the Bhattacharya children,” explained Kansara. “Although the Ambassador was unable to reveal the details of the case while it is still pending, he indicated that he was encouraged by the open discussions and communication between all parties involved. HAF will continue to monitor the situation and stay in touch with the Embassy.” HAF leaders also expressed satisfaction with the results of the Change.org online campaign and petition, which generated over 6,000 signatures, in a matter of days, from around the world. “The online petition, which is now closed, has been a huge success in generating greater awareness about this issue and opening a constructive dialogue with the Norwegian Embassy,” said Sheetal Shah, HAF’s Senior Director. “We remain optimistic that there will be a positive resolution to this case.” The latest media reports suggest that an agreement has been reached between the Indian and Norwegian governments allowing the children to return to India and live with their uncle, Arunabhas Bhattacharya. But even as of this morning, the Norwegian Embassy is still unable to confirm such an agreement.The Hindu American Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism.
If you would remember in the gospel of Luke chapter 1:37 about the angel who visited Mary and told her about the promised child who is the Messiah. The angel told Mary that she was going to have a child. This shocked Mary because she was virgin. God has plans for us that does not make sense to us. If you look around you will see situations in our life where there seems to be no answer. What do you do in a situation where there is no way you will make a break through? People have asked same questions and I don't claim to have all the answers to their questions but I do have the response from the bible about the problems. When situations look dark and there is no way to make it, I turn my attention to the word of God. I ask myself, "what does the word say about this situation"? I base my faith on what the word of God says. If what the word says applies to my particular situation, then I start believing it in my heart and start to trust God to fulfill His promise. I claim it by faith because God moves in response to our needs by faith in His word. I remember I needed an X amount of finances for a ministry I needed to do in a foreign country. I had God's word for it which says in John 16:23-24 "...Ask and you will
receive that your joy will be full". I asked Him in faith believing that Jesus will back up His word and before the time came for me to move into the ministry the finances came. One might say this only worked for preachers. The word of God will work for any person who will believe in His name and ask by faith. The angel said to Mary in Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God". What God had said will come to pass. Jesus was born as God had said that it would happen. Mary was excited about it when the angel Gabriel departed. Mary's response was, "let the will of God be done" and that is exactly what happened. Jesus Christ was born through Mary. My friends, you may be going through hard times and situation may look impossible. Remember what Jesus said "with God all things are possible" Our response should be," if God has said it can be done". Believe the word and start to confess it before it comes to pass. The answer may come instantly or it may take some time but our part of the confession is that we believe the word of God and stand on it until the answers materializes. Praise God for the answer and thank Him often. God Bless You Pastor Hendry Latchman
donation at Rhema Church
Since the Rehma Chirch Paster Henry Latchman annouced the Food Dination drive, the Fiji Sun editor Dt. H. Koya made a point to give his share in the drive. This act iis important rasie awareness in the community that there of oour community mmembers who go with food many times and weed to help them too. "Regardless of the circumstances behind the situation, no one and no kid should be left behind without food," the dietor ssaid the group. He congratletd both Pastor Henry his church members for doing very a noble and called other religions organizations to step up their efforts to help the less frtunate ones.
FIJI INTERFAITH DAY Fiji American Community’s three interfaith leaders join to host first Fiji Interfaith Day. (DTBA)
(Pastor of Assemblies of God)
Pastor Henry Latchman (Chief Pastor Rhema Church, Hayward)
Dr. H. Koya
(Director Interfaith America)
COURT SUPERVISOR DONNA WHITEHOUSE NEWEST AIM FELLOW Ms. Donna Whitehouse get glowing tributes from judicial officers
On her retirement after 40 years of service with the Alameda Superior Court system, Ms. Donna Whitehouse Received glowing tributes from the presiding Judge Clay and Several juridical officers and staff for being one of the best Court supervisors. For the past 6 months she was also an acting supervisor for Hayward Court Attended. Bob Ostini extended his gratitude for all fellow court attendants. In addition, Ms. Donna also got awarded as a Fellow of AIM by the editor for her excellent professional leadership.
he actor, who is slated to be in town today, says that the priority for her has never been to win the race but to continue doing what she love doing without compromizing on her comfort zone. What brings you to the city this time around? Surprisingly, each time I've been to Kolkata, it has been for one award or the other. Last time, my performance in "Vivaah" had won me an award. And this time around, I will be getting the Best Actress award for "Love U...Mr. Kalakaar!" Fact is, it always pays to be a Rajshree heroine. During this trip, I intend to win not only award but also the hearts of Kolkatans (laughs). Any plans in store? It'll be a day's trip. But I've instructed my friends to get me rosogollas and mishti doi for me. The best part of it all? I can dig into tonnes of it and yet not put on an ounce. Careerwise, ever thought of testing the Tolly waters? Years back, I was offered a film by Aparna Sen, which did not happen as I had date issues. I was juggling dates for three Hindi films. But Rahul Bose is a good friend of mine and I did manage to watch his "The Japanese Wife". But I've never really asked him to put in a word to directors on my behalf though I love the language, food and culture here. You see, I have a Bengal connect. My great-grandfather and grandfather worked very closely with Netaji in the INA. What's keeping you busy in Bollywood? I am filming my next with Boman Irani and Arshad Warsi. All I can reveal for now is that it's an intriguing and funny subject. I instantly agreed to come on board. But why this lull careerwise? For me, the priority has never been to win the race but to continue doing what I love doing without compromizing on my comfort zone or value system. I am going slow and steady. I'm happy with my work. In fact, I think "Love U..." saw me as a better performer. What do you mean by 'comfort zone'? I'll never kiss or do lovemaking scenes on screen. As far as it comes to sporting a bikini in films, let me clarify that I'm not against the trend. But I speak for myself. It is subject to individual discretion. And as long as you are happy doing what you do, everything else is secondary. Is that why you are stereotyped as the girl next door, forever? It is. But I take this to be the biggest compliment in the middle of this glam industry. I want to be India's girl next door, not the prototype, the behenji, but one who is smart, intelligent, has a sense of humour and is the life of a party. I want to show that the girl next door can be desirable too. Okay. Going back to the Barjatyas and their banner then, news is Salman will be back as Sooraj Barjatya's Prem. Will you be part of that venture?
I want to be
Indiaâ€™s girl Amrita Rao
(Laughs) I am known as their ghar ki heroine. But the way Soorajji functions, he always gets his script in place and music ready before he approaches an actor. For "Vivaah" too Soorajji had said, 'Amrita I want you on board. Do you also want to be part of the project?' They never exploit the fact that they are the Barjatyas. Considering how busy an actor Salman is, he must have been kept in the loop since the beginning. Don't you wish you are part of the film? I am hoping the call will come. Coming to microblogging, every actor is laying bare their thoughts, words and actions on it. But you don't seem to let your guard down here too... For me, this is a direct medium to connect with my fans. As actors, we usually communicate via journalists except for the electronic medium. But there too, the questions are predecided. Microblogging helps me express my candid thoughts. As far as settling scores or campaigning through the site is concerned, I feel change happens when you want it to happen. I might have expressed my opinions on twitter but I've never tried to be influential. Some time back, there was news that you are seeing someone. There was no truth to those stories. I am single and ready to mingle. But how exactly did you manage to remain so? I believe in destiny. And the best things in life have happened to me as they were destined to be so. I know the person will come at the right time and I'll follow my heart.
Isha Khoppikhar can dance better then Katrina?
sha Khoppikhar takes a potshot at Katrina Kaif's item number in Agneepath Isha Khoppikhar recently performed at the Nasik Festival on the Marathi superhit track Kombdi Pallali, the song that inspired Katrina Kaif's item song Chikni Chameli in Ageneepath. Says a source, "Isha has been telling people that had she been given Chikni
Chameli song, she would have danced better than Katrina. She even confessed that the Kombdi Pallali performance was an ode to Maharshtra from their own Marathi mulgi and she prefers Kombdi Pallali to Chikni Chameli." When quizzed about whether she prefers
Kombdi Pallali over Chikni Chameli, the actress affirms, "Kombdi Pallali is a classic Marathi number. its got this rustic raw appeal. I feel that the song is best when it's in Marathi. When I heard Chikni Chameli, I felt that it doesn't even come close to Kombdi Pallali in terms of the
fun element." She is, however, quick to appreciate Katrina's efforts in the song. "Katrina is a great performer and she has done her best in Chikni Chameli too. But my performance in Chikni Chameli would have been a little different. Had I performed the song, I would have done it a tad differently keeping in mind my Maharashtrian roots."
Muslim Disengagement from Science - Pakistan's leading scientist Muslim Disengagement from Science
Middle East Quarterly: In 2007, you asked, "With well over a billion Muslims and extensive material resources, why is the Islamic world disengaged from science and the process of creating new knowledge?" How would you answer that question today? Has anything changed? Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy: Sadly, little has changed. About seven centuries ago, after a spectacular Golden Age that lasted nearly four hundred years, Islam and science parted ways. Since then, they have never come together again. Muslim contributions to pure and applied sciences—measured in terms of discoveries, publications, patents, and processes—have been marginal for more than 700 years. A modest rebirth in the nineteenth century has been eclipsed by the current, startling flight from science and modernity. This retreat began in the last decades of the twentieth century and appears to be gaining speed across the Muslim world. MEQ: What role do you think is played by the ulema in blocking new knowledge by imposing the rulings against innovation? Hoodbhoy: The traditional ulema are indeed a problem, but they are not the biggest one; the biggest problem is Islamism, a radical and often militant interpretation of Islam that spills over from the theological domain into national and international politics. Whenever and wherever religious fundamentalism dominates, blind faith clouds objective and rational thinking. If such forces take hold in a society, they create a mindset unfavorable for critical inquiry, including scientific inquiry, with its need to question received wisdom. MEQ: Have religious conservatism and anti-science attitudes among Muslims always been as strong as today? Or were Muslims more pro-science, say, a hundred years ago? Hoodbhoy: In my childhood, the traditional ulema—who are so powerful today—were regarded as rather quaint objects and often ridiculed in private. Centuries ago the greatest poets of Persia, like Hafiz and Rumi, stripped away the mullahs' religious pretensions and exposed their stupidity. Today, however, those same mullahs have taken control of the Iranian republic. The answer lies just as much in the domain of world politics as in theology. Khomeini developed the doctrine known as "guardianship of the clergy," which gives the mullahs much wider powers than they generally exercised in the past. Instead of being simple religious leaders, they now became political leaders as well. This echoes the broader Islamic fusion of the spiritual and the temporal.
Scientists, Technologists, and Islamists MEQ: Explaining the emergence of so many Muslim doctors, scientists, engineers, and other technologists as Islamists and, sometimes, as terrorists, Malise Ruthven suggests that a superficial understanding of science leads to a belief in authoritative texts and this slots in with a belief in the infallibility of the Qur'an. What is your explanation? Hoodbhoy: This question must be disaggregated and examined at many levels. It cannot be answered simply in terms of mere theology—the Bible contains elements of extreme violence and yet the vast majority of scientists who are believing Christians are also peaceful people. What brought about the global Islamist wave is a much more relevant question. It is, in some ways, the Muslim version of anti-colonialism and a reaction to the excesses of the West, combined with an excessive traditionalism. But let me concentrate on the sociological aspects. To begin with, we need to separate the scientists from the technologists, meaning those who use science in a narrowly functional sense rather than as a means for understanding the natural world. I have never seen a first-rate Muslim scientist become an Islamist or a terrorist even when he or she is a strong believer. But second- and third-rate technologists are more susceptible. These are people who use science in some capacity but without any need to understand it very much—engineers, doctors, technicians, etc.—all of whom are more inclined towards radicalism. They have been trained to absorb facts without thinking, and this makes them more susceptible to the inducements of holy books and preachers. MEQ: Has this been happening with Pakistan's home-trained scientists? Hoodbhoy: Our best physics students in Islamabad
PERVEZ AMIRALI HOODBHOY (b. 1950) is one of South Asia's leading nuclear physicists and perhaps Pakistan's preeminent intellectual. Bearer of a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , he is chairman of the department of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad where, as a high-energy physicist, he carries out research into quantum field theory and particle phenomenology. He has also been a visiting professor at theUniversity of Maryland, College Park, and was visiting professor at MIT and Stanford. For some time, he has been a frequent contributor to Britain's leading intellectual journal, Prospect. His extracurricular activities include a vocal opposition to the political philosophy of Islamism. He also writes about the self-enforced backwardness of the Muslim world in science, technology, trade, and education. His many articles and television documentaries have made a lasting impact on debate about education, Islam, and secularism in Pakistan. Denis MacEoin interviewed him by e-mail in October 2009. are often the most open-minded and the least religious. They have enough social strength to keep themselves at a certain distance from the crowd. Among my colleagues, something similar takes place; the weakest ones professionally are the ones who demonstrate the greatest outward religiosity. I see a strong correlation between levels of professional competence and susceptibility to extremist philosophies.
MEQ: Is the situation the same in India? Hoodbhoy: Yes, there, too, I find anti-science attitudes rare among scientists but rather common within the technological and professional classes, both Hindu and Muslim. The latter type of people pray for rain, attribute earthquakes to the wrath of God, think supplications to heaven will cure the sick, seek holy waters that will absolve sin, look to the stars for a propitious time to marry, sacrifice black goats in the hope that the life of a loved one will be spared, recite certain religious verses as a cure for insanity, think airliners can be prevented from crashing by a special prayer, and believe that mysterious supernatural beings stalk the earth. Their illogic boggles the mind. MEQ: Does the fact that Indians and Pakistanis have both constructed nuclear weapons indicate that science now is firmly implanted on South Asian soil? Hoodbhoy: To an extent, yes, but the battle against irrationality has a long way to go. For example, India's 1998 nuclear tests were preceded by serious concern over the safety of cattle at the Pokharan test site for religious reasons. Former Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh wrote, "For the team at the test site—which included President Kalam, then the head of the Defence Research and Development Organization— possible death or injury to cattle was just not acceptable."
The Prohibition of Debate MEQ: It seems that Muslims today are hampered by a culture that refuses to take on board the prerequisites for scientific and other intellectual progress—the Enlightenment insistence on freedom of speech and thought to enable open discourse and free debate. Even in the West since the Rushdie affair, Islamists seek to use the law to prohibit debate about Islam. Do you see a way to put an end to this pattern? Hoodbhoy: On the scale of human history, the Enlightenment is a very recent phenomenon, barely four hundred years old. One must be hopeful that Muslims will catch up. The real question is how to shake off the dead hand of tradition. The answer lies in doing away with an educational system that discourages questioning and stresses obedience. Reform in the Muslim world will have to begin here. At the core of this problem, lies the tyranny that teachers exert over their students. In Urdu, we say that the teacher is not just a teacher—he is also your father. But in our culture, fathers are considered all-wise, which means that teachers cannot be questioned. MEQ: Is this kind of education a source of authoritarianism? Hoodbhoy: It is both a source and an inevitable consequence of authoritarianism. Instead of experiencing science as a process of questioning to achieve understanding, students sit under the watchful eyes of despots while they memorize arbitrary sets of rules and an endless number of facts. X is true and Y is false because that's what the textbook says. I grind my teeth whenever a student in my university class gives me this argument.
MEQ: How can countries like Pakistan develop a scientific mindset? Hoodbhoy: College and university come much too late; change must begin at the primary and secondary school level. Good scientific pedagogy requires the deliberate inculcation of a spirit of healthy questioning in the classroom. Correct attitudes start developing naturally when students encounter questions that engage their mind rather than their memory. For this, it is important to begin with tangible things. One does not need a Ph.D. in cognitive studies to know that young people learn best when they deal with objects that can be understood by visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic means. As their experience grows, students learn to understand abstract concepts, to manipulate symbols, to reason logically, to solve theorems, and to generalize. These abilities are destroyed, or left woefully undeveloped, by teaching through rote memorization. MEQ: What, then, should normal practice consist of? Hoodbhoy: Teachers posing such questions as: How do we know? What is important to measure? How can we check the correctness of our measurements? What is the evidence? How are we to make sense out of our results? Is there a counter explanation, or perhaps a simpler one? The aim should be to get students into the habit of posing such questions and framing answers.
Religion Trumps Science MEQ: You have said, "No Muslim leader has publicly called for separating science from religion." Do you detect any real movement by Muslim secularists and scientists to reverse this trend? Hoodbhoy: Nothing of this kind is visible in Pakistan, but I see this happening in Iran, the most intellectually advanced country of the Muslim world, a country that boasts an educational system that actually works. Ayatollah Khomeini was quite content to keep science and Islam separate—unlike Pakistan's leaders who have made numerous absurd attempts to marry the two. Khomeini once remarked that there is no such thing as Islamic mathematics. Nor did he take a position against Darwinism. In fact, Iran is one of the rare Muslim countries where the theory of evolution is taught. This may be because Shi'ites, as in Iran, have a different take on evolution than Sunnis and are generally less socially conservative as well. Shi'i women may wear the chador or hijab [head covering] but never a burqa [full body covering]. I've seen women taxi drivers in Tehran but never in New York City. Moreover, Iran is a front-runner in stem-cell research—something which George W. Bush and his administration had sought to ban from the United States. MEQ: How far have madrasas in Pakistan, especially the Deobandi schools, made intellectual progress hard or impossible for society as a whole? Hoodbhoy: The Deobandi-Salafi-Wahhabi axis of unreason does not seem capable of accommodating the premises of science—causality, an absence of divine intervention, and scientific method. Ever since Khwaja Nizam-ul-Mulk of Persia established madrasas in the eleventh century, these schools have stuck to their pre-scientific curriculum. However, they became dangerous when the Saudis used their petro-dollars in the 1970s to export Wahhabism across the world. Thousands of new madrasas were established in Pakistan by the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia to provide fodder for the great joint, global jihad against the Soviets. The CIA providedmadrasas with millions of Qur'ans, as well as tens of millions of text-
books published in America designed to create a jihadist mindset among young Afghans resident in Pakistan. Thesemadrasas eventually became nurseries for the Taliban.
MEQ: Have no attempts been made to reform themadrasas?
Hoodbhoy: Following the 9/11 attacks, General Pervez Musharraf was prodded by the Americans to initiate a madrasareform project aimed at broadening the madrasa curriculum to include the teaching of English, science, mathematics, and computers. Huge sums were spent but to no avail. These misogynist bastions of anti-modernism and militancy cannot be reformed. The Pakistani state literally cowers before them. They have the power to bring every Pakistani city to a halt. On the other hand, in East Africa, India, or Bangladesh, one sees thatmadrasas can be quite different. While conservative, they do permit teaching of secular subjects. Some even have small minorities of non-Muslims, which would be unheard of in a Pakistani madrasa. MEQ: You point out the emergence of low-quality scientific periodicals in Iran and elsewhere, in which scientists publish articles of a poor standard. Also, most Muslim countries tolerate outright plagiarism in Ph.D. theses and published books. What do you suppose is responsible for such self-defeating behavior that clearly acknowledges the superiority of properly assessed articles and dissertations yet accepts the second- and third-rate? Hoodbhoy: I call this "paper pollution." The rapid increase in substandard publications and plagiarism is the consequence of giving large incentives for publishing research papers. Some contain worthwhile research but most do not. I consider certain ambitious individuals in government to be at fault for allowing, and even deliberately encouraging, poor quality theses and books fit for nothing but the waste basket. This problem can be handled using the current administrative machinery; just remove these incentives and punish plagiarism with sufficient severity.
Open War between Muslims MEQ: You have said, "Here [at Quaid-i-Azam University], as in other Pakistani public universities, films, drama, and music are frowned on." This is also seen in numerous Muslim schools in the United Kingdom, where even chess was banned and compared to "dipping one's hand in the blood of swine." These attitudes prevent talented young Muslims from achieving success as actors, directors, dancers, musicians, composers, artists, and writers. Your thoughts on changing this situation? Hoodbhoy: There is open war between those Muslims who stand for a liberal, moderate version of the faith and those who insist on literalism. The unresolved tension between traditional and modern modes of thought and social behavior is now playing itself out in ever more violent ways. Most Pakistanis, while Muslims, want their daughters to be properly educated; Islamic extremists, however, are determined to stop them. On most campuses, religious vigilantes enforce their version of Islam on the university community by forcing girls into the veil, destroying musical instruments, forbidding men and women from being together, and putting a damper on cultural expression. MEQ: Do the Taliban play a role in this arena? Hoodbhoy: Yes, as of early 2009, they had already blown up 354 schools and they issued a decree that no girls in Pakistan may be educated after February 15, 2009. In their view, all females must stay at home. In October, educational institutions across Pakistan shut down after a suicide bomber blew himself up after walking into the girls' cafeteria of the International Islamic University [in Islamabad] while, simultaneously, another bomber targeted male students. MEQ: Islamists bombed an Islamic university? Hoodbhoy: Indeed, this episode sent shock waves across the country because the International Islamic University is a conservative institution where most women dress in burqas and very few wear normal clothes. But even this does not placate the extremists. Muslims are at war with other Muslims. If the radicals win, or can at least terrify the moderates into following their restrictions, then there will be no personal and intellectual freedom and hence no thinking, ideas, innovations, discoveries, or progress. Our real challenge is not better equipment or faster Internet connectivity but our need to break with mental enslavement, to change attitudes, and to win our precious freedom.
Australia Beats India for Series Sweep 22
India resumed on 166-6 needing to bat out the day for an unlikely draw, but Australia took just 58 minutes to take the final four wickets as the tourists were bowled out for 201. Australia scored a match-controlling 604-7 declared and then dismissed India for 272. Then, electing not to enforce the followon, Australia batted again and set India 500 runs for victory. Local spinner Nathan Lyon, who was a curator at the Adelaide Oval in the last Australian summer, took four wickets and fast bowler Ryan Harris claimed three to push India to its eighth straight defeat in overseas tests. Fast bowler Peter Siddle, who took five wickets in the first innings on a good batting pitch, was named man-of-the match, while skipper Michael Clarke with 626 runs over six innings was named as player-of-the series. Stung by recent poor results, Australia had remorselessly gone about out-batting, out-bowling, out-fielding, and even outthinking India throughout a series which most expected to be a hard-fought one but which turned into a whitewash. Coming into the series off a rare home loss to New Zealand at Hobart, and with many of the senior players under severe pressure to retain their places in the team, Australia produced a defiant performance. ``A lot of hard work has gone into getting this result,'' Clarke said. ``The loss in South Africa and New Zealand is something every player in that changeroom has in the front of their mind ... and been a bit of an inspiration to make sure when we feel things are going well to keep pushing forward to make
the best of the momentum. ``You need to go through those tough times individually and as a team to realize how hard test cricket is, (and) how special when you have days like these and win a series.'' While Australia took 80 Indian wickets in the series, the India bowling attack managed just 36 wickets over the four tests. Australia scored five centuries in the series including a triple hundred and two double hundreds, while India managed just one in eight innings thanks to 116 by rookie Virat Kohli in the first innings here. Australia's bowling dominance
was made even more creditable for the fact it was achieved without regular opening bowler Mitchell Johnson and youngster Pat Cummins for the entire series and with fresh young quick James Pattinson sidelined for the last two tests. ``Our bowlers should be very proud of what they have achieved, to be able to get so many great players out, on a couple of wickets that were quite hard for batting but then also a couple of wickets that were very good for batting,'' Clarke said. Coming off a similar 4-0 series loss in England, the previously No.
MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic tore off his shirt, flexed his sinewy muscles and roared in celebration, but for once the machismo was not misplaced. After nearly six hours of the most gruelling final in Grand Slam history, the strutting Serb had shown he was not only supremely fit and talented, but as tough as they come. The lanky world number one with the softspike hair came on court early on Sunday evening, played into the night and finished in the small hours of Monday. Until the very last shot, blocking his way to the Australian Open title was the ferocious Rafael Nadal, the 10-time Grand Slam-winner with aggression to burn and a fearless competitive streak. Djokovic's white shirt lasted just five games before he removed it in disgust on a steamy Melbourne evening and threw his racquet to the floor after being broken. It was to be just the first act in a long, long night of plot twists and momentum changes which started tamely but slowly built into an epic. Along the way, Djokovic rolled his right foot, punched the air in triumph and collapsed flat on his back after a punishing, 31-shot
rally. At the other end, Nadal treated the crowd to his full range of fist-pumps and Hispanic snarls as both players went for broke. Rain fell, workers with towels mopped the court and the stadium roof was closed. At the end of it all, around 1:40 am, it was Djokovic embracing his coach in triumph while Nadal was left to reflect on his most valiant defeat. Even the great Rod Laver watching from the stands had seen nothing like it. The players won 369 points between them, made 140 unforced errors, played 55 games plus a tiebreak, and hit 101 winners. It lasted 5hr 53min, the longest Grand Slam final and a record for the Australian Open. So it was no surprise that during the official speeches, chairs were brought out for the players, their eyes stark and staring from the adrenaline. Afterwards, Nadal wished the crowd "good morning", and he was asked if he would watch footage of the match. "Too long. Highlights only," he said. "You watch, you look around and you see the clock, three hours, four hours, five hours, finally five hours, 30 (minutes). Seems like it's never gonna finish, no?"
Leander Paes of India (L) and Elena Vesnina of Russia (2nd L) stand with winner Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US (2nd R) and Horia Tecau of Romania at the awards ceremony for their mixed doubles final on day 14 of the 2012 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne .
Djokovic, Nadal and the six-hour epic
1-ranked India test team plummeted to a deeper low. It began the series with a 122-run defeat in the first test in Melbourne, followed by an innings and 68-run loss in the second test in Sydney. In the third test, it was hammered by an innings and 23 runs inside 2 1/2 days. The subcontinent-like pitch here represented India's best opportunity to win a test and redeem some of its reputation, but once again its much-vaunted batting order was unable to withstand Australia's strong pace attack. The poor performances in England and Australia have prompted calls for an overhaul of the aging batting
lineup. India's media manager G.S. Walia said after the game there was ``no truth to these reports'' about the immediate retirement of Rahul Dravid but he and V.V.S. Laxman will be among those worried about their places in the team, while 38-year-old Sachin Tendulkar is coming close to the end of his splendid career. Stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag urged selectors and fans to stand by the experienced batsmen, and not to dwell on this series whitewash. ``We failed as a batting unit here,'' Sehwag said. ``The best thing is to forget what has happened. ``The fans are upset and they have the right to feel so. But at the same time they should support the team at difficult times. They were all rejoicing when we won the World Cup (last year). We need the support then we're down as well. There should be a balance.'' Australia meanwhile has had its confidence restored and it is beginning to play the brand of cricket that made it the No. 1 team for most of the 1990s and 2000s. With Clarke having now earned his stripes as captain, and his predecessor Ricky Ponting experiencing a late-career renaissance, the Australians will be ready to push again for that No. 1 ranking. ``We've shown a lot of people around the world that we're on the way up,'' Clarke said. ``There's still a lot of improvement needed in all of our game individually and as a team.'' In the official test rankings, India was clinging onto third spot with 111.10 points while Australia was fourth on 110.80. England remains at No. 1 and South Africa at No. 2.
Philippines: The stairway to heaven
Soak in the extraordinary sights of Sagada in Philippines - hanging coffins, endless bat caves and rice terraces known as the stairways to heaven A strong, pungent smell hit us in the face as we walked into the cave. We could hear some chirps and shrieks. Beyond where the sun shone, there was nothing but a vast, gaping hole. We removed our sandals and got down on all fours. Everything we touched felt slimy. Our guide told us that it's guano, the excrement of bats living in the cave. The cave was the largest of over 60 underground caves in the remote town of Sagada, which lies deep within the Cordillera Mountains of the Philippines. Our guide paused to light up his kerosene lamp. The flickering flame cast eerie shapes on the walls around us. We pressed on, disappearing further into the cave. Surreal rock formations: There was the sound of running water. If not for the dim light cast by the kerosene lamp, we would be in complete darkness. We soon came to a pool of water. There was no way around it. Get in, our guide said. The water was ice-cold and chest-high. We gritted our teeth as we stepped gingerly across the pool, not knowing what was in the water. After we emerged from the pool, our guide shone the kerosene lamp around to reveal gorgeous stalactites and stalagmites. Further on, there were otherworldly rock formations
which were given names such as 'frog pool' and 'elephant formation.' The cave branched off in all directions, and without our guide, we probably would never find our way out. In fact, there've been stories of foreigners who got lost in the caves wandering without guides. Their bodies were eventually found a few days later. Feeling safe with our guide, for the next few hours, we were Indiana Jones as we clambered over slick rocks, and squeezed ourselves into narrow passages that looked impassable. There were sections where we had to haul ourselves up using ropes. Hanging coffins: Sagada, however, is not just about adventure. In fact, there's more than a touch of mysticism about the town, given its famous hanging coffins. As their name suggests, these hanging coffins are in a state of suspension, hanging on for perpetuity on limestone cliffs. Our guide told us that the coffins were placed there because his ancestors believed that the higher the body is laid, the closer the souls were to heaven. The location also helps to protect the bodies from earthquakes, floods as well as wild animals. Not surprisingly, the act of placing the coffins on the cliffs requires a tremendous amount of effort. Men would bind themselves in ropes to climb the steep mountainside and haul the body and the coffin.
Once the resting place is reached, the coffin is secured in place before prayers are chanted and the men bid the dead a final farewell. This dying tradition is no longer a common practice for the locals of Sagada. The latest addition to the hanging coffins was in 2008, after a long interval. With little new coffins added to the cliffs, and with the existing ones exposed to the elements, it's really anyone's guess how long it'll be before they become history. Burial caves: Burial caves are another interesting location where the locals of Sagada put their dead to rest. In such caves, tens or even hundreds of coffins are lined up
along the walls, forming what looks almost like a crypt. We ventured into one of these caves for a closer look and noticed that some of the coffins were open, revealing dark emptiness within. Our guide told us that thieves have made off with some of the bones; even carted away entire coffins for sale. I imagine they are brave thieves since I definitely would not want to be poking around these caves at night. Banaue: The town of Banaue, which lies just a day's drive away from Sagada, is yet another ruggedly enchanting spot within the Cordillera Mountains. The town is most famous for its 'Stairway to
Royal Fiji Police Awards Night
SACRAMENTO â€“First Royal Fiji Poluce Wards Night is slated for March this year tentavely to be held in Sacramento. We are open to suggestions and all former police officers are welcome to call in with their ideas:
Awards Many police officers will qualify for certifcates and Diplomas based on their past performances and Civil Services Exams that equits with American college education. These awards are aimed at further enhancing their present career and desire to seek further education.
Recognition beyond belief
The recognitin of the Royal Fiji Police Awards will be backed with 100% professional evaluation and credential exceeding beyond what was limited to departmental suittability only. It will be a definate mark of honor.
Heaven,' which are rice terraces created by the Ifugao tribe, who were once feared head-hunters. Situated some 1,500 metres above sea level, the 2,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage-listed terraces are largely believed to be carved into the mountainside by hand with minimal equipment. But while we could already see some of these terraces around Banaue, it's said that the truly spectacular ones lie in the village of Batad - a short one hour drive away. Those claims were not unfounded. Beautiful as the rice terraces around Banaue were, they could not compare to those in Batad which rise up the mountains like an amphitheatre draped in green. Also, due to the hassle involved in getting to Batad - a bumpy ride followed by a one-hour hike into the jungle before we could finally see the rice terraces - there were hardly any tourists there. In fact, we counted less than ten the entire day we were there. With only my friend and the guide for company, I had all the peace and solitude. I could truly appreciate how the rugged mountain scenery cradles the irrigated rice terraces built directly into the side of the mountain in complete natural harmony. And standing at the bottom of the valley, looking at the terraces as they extend upwards into the clear blue sky, it's not hard to imagine why some would refer to these terraces as 'Stairways to Heaven.'
Army orders court-martial in WikiLeaks case
‘Jewish Indiana Jones’ says his exploits are tall tales
NEW YORK: Once hailed as the "Jewish Indiana Jones", a Maryland rabbi, who claimed to have travelled the world to rescue holy Torah scrolls has pleaded guilty to fraud, admitting that he made up those dramatic stories. Menachem Youlus, 50, a Jewish charity co-founder , on Thursday confessed in a US district court in Manhattan that he had made up those daring tales, the New York Times reported. Prosecutors say he also defrauded the charity he founded and its donors out of $862,000. "Between 2004 and 2010, I falsely represented that I had personally obtained vintage Torah scrolls - in particular ways, in particular locations - in Europe and Israel," Youlus told judge Colleen McMahon of federal district court on Thursday. "I know what I did was wrong, and I deeply regret my conduct," he said. The rabbi then pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud, admitting that he had used the United States Postal Service and emails to further a scheme to steal money while claiming to be saving and restoring historic Torahs. The government said he fabricated detailed accounts of exploits to recover Torahs lost or hidden during the Holocaust, including at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Preet Bharara, an Indianorigin US attorney for the southern district of New York, said in a statement that the guilty plea is "a fitting conclusion to his story, and he will now be punished for his brazen fraud." At a 2004 Torah dedication, Youlus wrote: "I guess you could call me the Jewish Indiana Jones," the complaint said.
HAGERSTOWN: An Army officer ordered a court-martial on Friday for a low-ranking intelligence analyst charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Military District of Washington commander Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington referred all charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning to a general court-martial, the Army said in a statement. The referral means Manning will stand trial for allegedly giving more than 700,000 secret U.S. documents and classified combat video to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks for publication. The 24-year-old Crescent, Oklahoma, native faces 22 counts, including aiding the enemy. He could be imprisoned for life if convicted of that charge. A judge who is yet to be appointed will set the trial date. Manning's lead defense counsel, civilian attorney David Coombs, didn't immediately return a call Friday evening seeking comment on the decision. Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young soldier whom the Army should never have deployed to Iraq or given access to classified material while he was stationed there from late 2009 to mid-2010. At a preliminary hearing in December, military prosecutors produced evidence
US President Barack Obama waits to speak at the Democratic Issues Conference at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Cambridge, Maryland.
that Manning downloaded and electronically transferred to WikiLeaks nearly half a million sensitive battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, and video of a deadly 2007 Army helicopter attack that WikiLeaks shared with the world and dubbed ``Collateral Murder.'' Manning's lawyers countered that others had access to Manning's workplace computers. They say he was in emotional turmoil, partly because he was a gay
soldier at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces. The defense also claims Manning's apparent disregard for security rules during stateside training and his increasingly violent outbursts after deployment were red flags that should have prevented him from having access to classified material. Manning's lawyers also contend that the material WikiLeaks published did little or no harm to national security. In the December hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, prosecutors also presented excerpts of online chats found on Manning's personal computer that allegedly document collaboration between him and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Federal prosecutors in northern Virginia are investigating Assange and others for allegedly facilitating the disclosures. The Bradley Manning Support Group, which contends Manning heroically exposed war crimes, issued a statement calling his prosecution ``fundamentally unjust.'' ``This administration owes all Americans an honest explanation for their extraordinary retaliation against Bradley Manning,'' said Jeff Paterson, one of the group's lead organizers.
US Updates Gingrich to challenge Romney’s Florida win
LAS VEGAS: Newt Gingrich announced a challenge to how many delegates were won in the Republican Party's Florida primary, in which he was soundly beaten by frontrunner Mitt Romney. Gingrich campaign officials said on Thursday the appeal questions whether all of Florida's 50 delegates to the Republican convention in Aug should go to Romney, under winner-takes-all system. "I'm told by the lawyers that it's pretty clear, that it's supposed to be proportional," Gingrich told Fox News television , stressing that the appeal is being made not by him but by delegates in Florida. "That means that Romney's advantage, instead of being 50 delegates, will be about a net of 10, and that makes a huge difference. I suspect it'll be a fight," he said. The Republican National Committee had already slashed Florida's delegates to the convention in half after the state flouted the election calendar and moved up its primary before April 1.
After Indian woman on fast in prison dies, US calls it a ‘tragedy’
WASHINGTON: Sometime between Thursday, December 29, when the world shuttered down to end 2011, and Tuesday, January 3, when it reopened after heralding in 2012, Lyvita Gomes drifted into a lonely and terrible death in a Chicago area hospital from selfimposed starvation and dehydration. Apparently, no one in 21st century America is particularly shocked by this. Regretful, yes; alarmed or repentant; no. The 52-year old Mumbai native, a former Pan Am stewardess and Delta Airlines trainer, had been on a hunger strike in jail for nearly three weeks following her December 10 incarceration arising from charges of resisting arrest in a routine jury summons case.
Treasure hunter says he found $3 billion WWII wreck
PORTLAND, Maine: A treasure hunter said on Wednesday he has located the wreck of a British merchant ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod during World War II while carrying what he claims was a load of platinum bars now worth more than $3 billion. If the claim proves true, it could be one of the richest sunken treasures ever discovered. But an attorney for the British government expressed doubt the vessel was carrying platinum. And if it was, in fact, laden with precious metals, who owns the hoard could become a matter of international dispute. Treasure hunter Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research in Gorham, Maine, announced that a wreck found sitting in 700 feet (213 meters) of water 50 miles (80 kilometers) offshore is that of the S.S. Port Nicholson, sunk in 1942. He said he and his crew identified it via the hull number using an underwater camera, and he hopes to begin raising the treasure later this month or in early March with the help of a remotely operated underwater vessel. "I'm going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water," Brooks said. The claim should be viewed with skepticism, said Robert F. Marx, an underwater archaeologist, maritime historian and
owner of Seven Seas Search and Salvage LLC in Florida. Both an American company and an English company previously went after the contents of the ship years ago and surely retrieved at least a portion, Marx said. The question is how much, if any, platinum is left, he said. "Every wreck that is lost is the richest wreck lost. Every wreck ever found is the biggest ever found. Every recovery is the biggest ever recovery," Marx said. Brooks said the Port Nicholson was headed for New York with 71 tons of platinum valued at the time at about $53 million when it was sunk in an attack that left six people dead. The platinum was a payment from the Soviet Union to the U.S. for war supplies, Brooks said. The vessel was also carrying gold bullion and diamonds, he said. Brooks said he located the wreck in 2008 using shipboard sonar but held off announcing the find while he and his business partners obtained salvage rights from a federal judge. Salvage rights are not the same as ownership rights, which are still unsettled. Britain will wait until salvage operations begin before deciding whether to file a claim on the cargo, said Anthony Shusta, an attorney in Tampa, Florida, who represents the British government.
STAR AGE ARIES
March-21 to April-20
June-22 to July-23
Relationship may flower this month. You will find yourself in better position to get what you want. If you are angling for a new contract, be sure to hold out of much better terms than the ones being offered. You will be delighted to find that the atmosphere at home is improved. The mid-month is also a most favorable time for socializing, You may meet a special someone extend contracts and agreements. This month, fortune too favors you with a boost to your cherished hopes and wishes in matters of your professional endeavors. The first half of the month is more hopeful and optimistic than the second half. You will be satisfies with your current financial position and try to manage and straighten out the domestic problems successfully.
Wonderful things are in store for you this month. The first half of the month will be a bit too demanding as compared to the second half. Your authority will be established more firmly if you bring cooperation and teamwork in your attitude. You should get off to an early start with your September-24 work. Do not have routine affairs until the to last moment. It would be advisable not to October-22 indulge yourself in extravagant whims.
December-23 to Januar-20
You could be a little tense this month as too many ideas crop up in your mind and cause disorder and turmoil.. The second and third week of the month is favorable for many reasons. In the first half of the month some of you may receive good offers. For business, a joint or partnership venture will prove to be beneficial. The family members will support you in your important decision made on your own.
April-21 to May-20
July-24 to August-23
October-23 to November-22
January-21 to February-19
This month there is a strongly pronounced accent on matters of relationships at all levels and of all types. The first two weeks of the month are a bit careful and it is important that it does not go to waste. If you are self-employed or your own boss, the first half of the month is favorable. You have the charm, determination, and right attitude when it comes to generating interest in your talents or company. Everything will appear very rosy and promising especially at the beginning of the month. You will be eager to tie up your affairs and get your accounts into some semblance or order. Local travel in the first half of the month might enable you to accomplish far more than you had hoped. In the second half of the month it would be best to take things easy and not to get overly impatient. This month you will find clarity in your thinking and a higher level of focus in activity now. The first week will emphasize your earning power and your ability to gather possessions. It is also favorable for those of you who work in the money professions. The second week is sensitive, so be careful while signing important papers. You may meet someone special in this period. You may be wondering why so much of importance is being given to social networking in this month. You will enjoy yourself in the first half of the week. Some of you are going to be at your most restless and flirty mood. The second week is the busiest part of the month and you will certainly be making a good deal of fresh contacts with the people you meet.
You will have good time full of fun and enjoyment with your favorite people this month. You may be able to sort out many of your problems early this month. Change in routine for good is indicated. You may get gains through your superiors or other influential persons. New start in the mid-month will be beneficial. Appreciation from the superiors will boost your confidence up.
May-21 to June-21
August-24 to September-23
November-23 to December-22
February-20 to March-20
The month has many good things in store for you especially in the first and third week. The second week is a bit difficult for some of you. Workwise, the month is very much a time for routine. Your personal life seems to be taking up far too much of your energy so that you have precious little time to consider your ambitions in the second week of this month.
From time to time during this month, you will pause and reflect on the deeper purpose of your life and your goals. New friends will be entering your life during the first part of the month, although the bonds are unlikely to last for very long. The first week advice you to be cautious and careful in financial dealings. Prepare yourself to accept higher responsibilities, different roles and bigger challenges in life ahead. Take advantage of this month to plan and upgrade your skills or go in for higher education. A substantial gain in business and social status is indicated in the first week of the month. Concentration on your current work is needed and should be finished up as early as possible.
Know how to change your bad luck into good
There are some people who blame their luck for everything bad that happen to them. If you think that your luck is not in your favour then this tip can help you get all your wishes fulfilled. How to: Whenever you cook food keep the first roti that you prepare away. Divide this roti into four equal parts. Keep anything sweet like kheer, jaggery or sugar over the four pieces. Give the first part to a cow, the second part to a black dog, the third part to a crow and keep the fourth part at a crossing. If you do this regularly, you will notice that you will soon start getting success in whatever you do.
Fiji 7s team a well balanced side-Waqa
Manchester United's Ecuador midfielder Antonio Valencia (L) vies with Manchester City's Serbian defender Aleksandar Kolarov (back) during the FA Cup third round football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at The Etihad stadium in Manchester, north-west England.Manchester United won 3-2.
The Digicel Fiji 7's team to the New Zealand and USA 7's tournaments is a well balanced team with speedsters and aggressive forwards. Assistant coach, Etuate Waqa who will take the team to the next two tournaments of the IRB 7's series said the selectors have roped in some new players who have a lot to offer as well as some seasonal reps who know how the job needs to be done. Waqa who led Fiji to the historic win in Gold coast added that the players selected have got what it takes to maintain Fiji at the top of the IRB 7's series table. There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen. Meanwhile, it's a special day for two brothers from Deuba village after being named in the Digicel Fiji 7's team today. Waisea Nayacalevu and Avenisi Vasuinubu rate this as the biggest surprise of their lives. The Digicel Fiji 7's 12 member team for the NZ and USA 7s: Captain, Setefano Cakau, James Brown, Emosi Vucago, Lepani Botia, Sekonaia Kalou, Nemani Nagusa, Osea Kolinisau, Jone Tiko, Taniela Rawaqa, Metuisela Talebula, Waisea Nayacalevu, and Avenisi Vasuinubu. Nontravelling reserve are Jimilai Naikadawa, Malakai Volau, Josateki Naisilisili and Isimeli Taqea. Fiji is in Pool C in the NZ Sevens with Wales, Argentina and Tonga. The New Zealand Sevens will be held in Wellington next Friday and Saturday.
Ali to coach national team LAUTOKA Primary School assistant head teacher Imdad Ali has been appointed as the Fiji men's soccer team interim coach. Ali takes over from Yogendra Dutt who withdrew his services citing heavy commitments. Fiji Football Association vice president and national team director Tarunesh Reddy confirmed the new appointment. He said they had accepted Dutt's decision. "We respect Yogendra's choice and he has work commitments and is also involved with the Ba soccer side," Reddy said. "Ba is involved in the O League so he has a lot on his plate. Imdad's interim appointment will not affect his status with the Fiji Under-23 team. "He is still the Fiji U23 coach. "The appointment of the national men's coach will be done during the next full Fiji FA board of control meeting." Former Nadi and Lautoka coach Lambert Sarju will assist Ali. National coaching director Juan Carlos Buzzetti will also be part of the coaching staff. The Fiji FA has named its initial 30 member training squad in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Oceania Football Confederation stage two qualifiers in June. Ba, Lautoka and Labasa dominate the squad. Savusavu midfielder Sanjesh Kumar is one of the new faces getting a call up. Labasa's New Zealand-based star striker Roy
Suva hungry for a tournament win: Singh
The Suva football side is hungry to win a tournament this year and the players are ready for the challenges ahead, says newly appointed coach Gurjit Singh. Having guided Labasa and Navua to tournaments wins recently, the former national coach believes Suva has a chance to lift a major tournament title. “I will do my best so Suva can at least win a tournament,” said Singh. “I believe the players have the ability to win, but the most important thing is discipline. If there is discipline and commitment in the players then the task of the coach becomes easy."“We need to prepare well, we can’t sit and wait for miracles to happen. Suva has not won a tournament for quite some time and with more preparation and dedication the team can break the jinx this year," he added.
Krishna is the lone overseas player in the squad. Reddy said the squad would hold its first camp next month. He said the selectors would be keeping a tab on the players during the Fiji Sun/GP Batteries sponsored National Football League. "The door for the national team is still wide open," Reddy said. "The selectors will be scrutinising the performance of the players during the first camp and the NFL. "If some players do not perform then they will be dropped and replacements will be sought. "I would like to urge the district associations to release the players for the first camp which will run for five days." The national training camp will be held at the soccer academy in Ba from February 6-10. Ba: Malakai Tiwa, Jone Vesikula, Alvin Singh, Tuimasi Manuca, Avinesh Waran Suwamy, Osea Vakatalesau, Manueli Kalou; Lautoka: Jone Vonu Junior, Alvin Avinesh, Arvindra Naidu, Shameel Rao, Peni Finau, Jone Sorolo; Labasa: Pita Bolaitoga, Taniela Waqa, Roy Krishna, Maciu Dunadamu, Iliatia Tuilau, Samuela Kautoga; Nadi: Benaminio Mateinaqara; Suva: Apisai Smith, Samuela Vula, Nathan Shivam; Navua: Reginald Chand; Rewa: Simione Tamanisau, Lorima Dau, Posiano Kalisito, Epeli Saukuru, Kelepi Qaqa; Savusavu: Sanjesh Kumar
Fijian baseball improved in world rankings after Pacific Games
THE Fiji men's baseball side has made a huge impact on the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) world rankings following its powerful performance at the Pacific Games in New Caledonia last year. The "Fijian Latuis" remarkable performance has Fiji ranked 62nd out of 76 countries that participated at IBAF sanctioned tournaments. Fiji Islands Baseball and Softball Association (FIBSA) development officer Inoke Niubalavu said after just 10 years in Fiji, baseball was developing slowly every year and its performance in the past three Pacific Games had enhanced its profile in the international arena. "During the 2011 Noumea Pacific Games, majority of the players made their debut and had no international experience but they all stood up to the challenge and held their heads high after proving game after game that they can slug it out with the region's best," Niubalavu said. Australia tops the Oceania region standings on 11th position followed by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana (CNMI) on 36, Guam on 39, Palau on 42 and New Caledonia on 55. American Samoa dropped its ranking from 41 to 76 after Fiji defeated them twice at the Noumea Games.
Argentine Crespo tops India auction
Argentine legend Hernan Crespo emerged the star attraction among a host of semi-retired world stars auctioned in Kolkata today to play in a new football tournament in India. Crespo was picked up for an annual salary of $840,000 by the Barasat franchise to play alongside districtlevel players over seven weeks in the proposed Premier League Soccer (PLS). Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro went for $830,000 to Siliguri, Robert Pires of France fetched $800,000 from Howrah, Nigerian Jay Jay Okocha got $550,000 from Durgapur and Robbie Fowler of England was sold to Kolkata for $530,000. Former Argentina captain Juan Pablo Sorin, the sixth 'icon' player, was not named in the list of auctioned players released by the promoters Celebrity Management Group (CMG). The tournament, the brainchild of football officials in the eastern state of West Bengal, is a franchisebased event on the lines of cricket's popular Indian Premier League. Organisers said the dates of the tournament will be announced early next month, although they had earlier pencilled in a possible February 25 start. The five city franchises will play each other twice on a home-and-away basis with the top four qualifying for the semi-finals. The tournament is an attempt to fuel growing interest in football in cricket-mad India, which is ranked a lowly 158th in the world. Each of the franchises will be coached by well-known names, who were also auctioned on Monday. Portugese coach Fernando Couto was sold to Howrah for $240,000, former Manchester City man-
ager Peter Reid went for $200,000 to Kolkata, while Bolivian Marco Etcheverry was picked up by Siliguri for $200,000. Nigerian coach Samson Siasia fetched $210,000 from Durgapur, the same amount Teitur Thordarson of Iceland got from Barasat. Among the top buys outside the 'icon' players' list were Robert Egbeta of Nigeria for $350,000, and Alonso Solis of Costa Rica and Christian Lara of Ecuador for $200,000 each. "This is an exciting time for Indian football," Goswami told AFP. "These legends will make the sport even more popular in the country. "Television coverage will ensure this tournament will attract viewers across India. Details are being worked out." Football has a huge following in West Bengal, where the state capital Kolkata hosted a friendly between Argentina and Venezuela in September. But doubts remain over the PLS, which has struggled to publicise the event properly and may fail to attract interest in games played at small provincial grounds. The PLS has already been dented by the refusal of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) to allow Indian players from the domestic I-League to join. "The PLS is meant to help popularise football at the district level and unearth fresh talent," AIFF secretary Kushal Das told www.goal.com. But Das said he had doubts over the tournament. "I personally do not believe such ventures without any I-League players and having a few retired World Cuppers as marquee players would be commercially viable in the long run," he said.
CROSSWORD PUZZLE Once upon a time there was a precious sword. Now, this sword belonged to a great King, and for as long as anyone could remember, the King spent all his time in his palace, enjoying his shows and parties. One day a great dispute broke out between this King and the King of a neighbouring country. It ended with both declaring war. The sword was greatly excited at the prospect of taking part in its first real battle. It would show everyone how truly brave and special it was, and would become renowned throughout the kingdom. On the way to the front line, the sword imagined itself the winner of many battles. However, when they arrived, the first battle had already taken place, and the sword got to see the results of war. What it saw had nothing in common with what the sword had imagined. No elegant shining knights, triumphant, with their weapons gleaming in the sunlight. Instead, all the sword saw was broken weapons, and hordes of hungry and thirsty men. There was hardly any food left. Everything was covered in dirt and shrouded in a disgusting smell. Many were half dead and scattered on the ground, bleeding from multiple wounds... At this, the sword realised it liked neither wars nor battles. It decided it
The Sword of Peace
preferred to live in peace and spend its time taking part in tournaments and competitions. So, on the night before what was going to be the big final battle, the sword tried to find a way to prevent it from taking place. After a while, the sword started to vibrate. First it gave out a low buzz, but this gradually got louder, until it became an annoying metallic noise. The swords and armour of the other soldiers asked the King's sword what it was doing. It told them "I don't want there to be a battle tomorrow. I don't like war". One answered, "No one likes it, but what can we do?" "Make yourself vibrate, just like I'm doing", said the King's sword. "If we make enough noise no one will sleep." So the weapons started vibrating, and the noise became deafening. It was so loud that it reached the enemy camp, and the weapons there, who were equally sick of the war, joined the protest. The next morning, when the battle should have begun, not a single soldier was ready to fight. No one had managed to get even a wink of sleep,
1. Dismissal (7) 5. Subtitle (7) 9. Being on a very small scale (9) 10. Stair part (5) 11. The angle of a celestial body (7) 12. French for "New" (7) 13. Easily controlled (9)
15. Move very slightly (5) 17. Foreword (5) 19. Cause to feel self-conscious (9) 22. It browns bread (7) 25. A number defining position or rank (7) 26. Cuban dance (5) 27. A formal entry into an organization (9) 28. Insanity (7) 29. Alleviate (7)
Answer of Crossword-01
1. Abundant (7) 2. Beggar (9) 3. A type of bridge (7) 4. Absurd (9) 5. Not dirty (5) 6. Disquiet (7) 7. Publish (5) 8. Take under one's wing (7) 14. Decorate with needlework (9) 16. Waste pipe (9) 17. Temporary (7) 18. Righteous anger (7) 20. Revolutionary (7) 21. The absence of sound (7) 23. Directed (5) 24. Sometimes it's "pennies from heaven" (5)
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not even the Kings or the Generals. So they spent the whole day catching up on sleep. During the evening they started to wake up, and decided to put off the battle for the next day. However, the weapons, led by the King's sword, spent the night repeating their peace song, and again no soldier could rest. The battle had to be postponed yet again, and this carried on for the next seven days. On the evening of the seventh day, the Kings of the two armies met to see what they could do about the situation. Both were furious from their previous dispute, but after being together for a while they started to discuss their sleepless nights, the surprise on their soldier's faces, the confusion of day with night, and the amusing situations all this had created. It wasn't long before both were laughing, like friends, at these little stories. Fortunately, they forgot their old disputes and they put an end to the war, each returning to their own land with the double joy of not having had to fight, and having regained a friend. And from then on, from time to time the Kings would meet up to talk about their experiences as Kings. They now understood that the things which united them were much more numerous than anything that set them apart from each other.
JOKES Bad Man: I really feel bad for the people who do not drink or booze. Good Man: Why so? Bad Man: Because some day they will go to hospital and die without knowing the reason. ______ When you are in hospital, your friends ask: Hey, hi, how are you dear? But your best friends ask: Hey buddy, how is the nurse? ______ Harry: Can you tell me, what is the best way to remember my wife's birthday? John: It's very simple, Just forget it once. ______ Person visited psychiatrist office and psychiatrist said: You are Mad.. He asked him to give a second opinion and he said: You are ugly too. ______ Shelly: I think you must have taken birth in the highway.. Tom: Why you think so? Shelly: Because that is the place where all major accidents happen. ______ Sim: Why it is hard to find the boys who are handsome, sensitive, caring and gentle? Jaine: Because they already have a boyfriend. ______
Next Town Meetings: Saturday, February 11th UNION CITY 9:00 AM — 10:30 AM Ruggieri Senior Center 33997 Alvarado Niles Road HAYWARD 11:00 AM — 12:30 PM Hayward City Hall, Council Chambers 777 B Street February Legislative Report Congressional Outlook for 2012 Tax Tips: Filing your 2011 Return Protecting People with Disabilities Investing in our Community Health Reform Update Good News From the IRS An End to Our War in Iraq Congressional Outlook for 2012 As Congress begins 2012, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Despite signs that the economy is moving in the right direction, too many people are still searching for work and too many families are struggling to make ends meet. Congress needs to work together and with the President to implement policies to keep this recovery on track and protect those impacted by the recession. Unfortunately, Congress finished last year with another manufactured crisis. Three critical programs were at risk: the temporary payroll tax cut and extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits were set to expire, and Medicare physician reimbursements were facing a 27% cut. The House Majority refused to go along with a bipartisan Senate compromise to extend these three programs for two months, which would buy time for further negotiations on a longer-term package. Fortunately, after digging in their heels, House Republicans finally relented to public pressure and passed the Senate bill. Now back after the New Year, we must pass a longer-term extension of UI and the payroll tax cut, and also prevent the Medicare physician payment cut now pending for March 1st. A conference committee has begun its work on a deal. I am hopeful it will prove successful. While those policies will help prevent our economy from sliding backward, the Federal government must propel our economy by making smart investments. Construction workers, engineers, and others in the East Bay and elsewhere should be put to work modernizing our aging transportation, sewer and water systems, and our communications infrastructure. Teacher and public safety jobs currently on the chopping block due to local budget cuts have to be spared. Our staggering income inequality must be addressed. The Bush era tax cuts for the very wealthy should expire at the end of the year. Tax loopholes that reward well connected corporations and individuals and help to drive up our deficit have to be closed. While our deficit needs attention, I remain committed to protecting bedrock programs, including Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid from devastating cuts, and to reining in defense spending, which accounts for half of our annual discretionary budget. Americans deserve far better. It’s time for Congress to step up.
Tax Tips: Filing your 2011 Return
Pete's SignatureDeadline: This year, your 2011 tax returns must be postmarked by Tuesday, April 17th because April 15th falls on a weekend. Refunds: The IRS will issue refunds to taxpayers in as few as 10 days to those who e-file and elect to use direct deposit. The IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool on www.IRS.gov will help you track the status of your refund after your return is filed. Tax Forms: Forms will not be mailed to your home. Tax forms can be downloaded for free at www.IRS.gov. If you would like tax forms mailed to you, call 1-800-TAXFORM (1-800-829-3676). Using “E-File”: All taxpayers can file electronically for free on the IRS website. If you earned less than $57,000 in 2011, you can also use brand name tax software free of charge to help you complete your tax return. The electronic forms and free tax software are available online at: www.IRS.gov/efile. The IRS Website: IRS answers many common taxpayer questions on its website, www.IRS.gov. New website features can help people get answers to their tax
questions, figure out if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, securely pay owed taxes, and file tax returns. Phone the IRS: If you’d prefer to call, the IRS’s toll free phone number is: 1-800-829-1040. In-Person Help: The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program offer free tax help to taxpayers at more than 12,000 centers nationwide. Taxpayers can find the closest center by calling 1-800-906-9887. As always, if you need assistance with anything relating to the Federal government, please visit stark.house.gov for information on constituent services or call my Fremont office at (510) 494-1388. Protecting People with Disabilities Pete's SignatureOne of the primary functions of government should be protecting citizens from discrimination and ensuring that everyone has the chance to succeed. For this reason, I asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine how students with disabilities are provided accommodations by testing companies on exams used to gain admission to college, graduate school and certain professions like law and medicine. The GAO report came out in December and highlights significant barriers that individuals with disabilities face when they take high stakes tests, such as the SAT, GRE, LSAT, or medical boards. (Link to the GAO report: http://go.usa.gov/nqr) Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), testing companies must provide accommodations to students to ensure that the test results reflect that person’s aptitude and skill, not their disability. For a blind person, this could mean providing the test in Braille. For a person with a learning disability, such as dyslexia that causes slower reading, an accommodation usually means a little extra time. The GAO found that many testing companies are not providing these accommodations and that the Department of Justice, the federal agency in charge of enforcing the law, is not doing enough to ensure the law is followed. Testing companies need to start following the law and the Department of Justice needs to start cracking down on those that do not. In light of this disturbing report, I sent a letter to Attorney General Holder urging him to improve the DOJ’s efforts and offered to help the agency get the tools needed to stop discrimination against intelligent, talented people who happen to have a disability. I have also formed the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus. Through this caucus I will be working across the aisle to increase opportunities for people with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Investing in our Community In late December, the Obama Administration announced that the Hayward Promise Neighborhood Program and California State University-East Bay will receive a five-year, $25 million implementation grant to
strengthen schools and improve educational outcomes for children in Hayward’s Jackson Triangle Community. The grant is part of the Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods Program and Hayward is one of only five communities in the country to receive this funding. The goal of the Promise Neighborhoods Program is to break the cycle of generational poverty by improving the educational outcomes and life prospects of lowincome children and their families through great schools and strong community supports. The Hayward Promise Neighborhood Program will benefit our community by providing critical cradle-to-college academic supports and other services, including tutoring, after school, and summer programs. This will improve the educational achievement of children and make Hayward an even stronger community. The program will also support parents through parental education programs and health care to make sure they have the tools they need to raise healthy children. It is essential to connect our community with federal resources that can help innovative local projects grow. I’ve been a strong advocate for maintaining federal funding for the Promise Neighborhood Program during these tough budgetary times. I supported the Hayward Promise Neighborhood Program grant application and will keep working to make the program and the Jackson Triangle neighborhood a success. Health Reform Update As implementation of the Affordable Care Act continues, more and more Americans are benefiting. According to the Administration, since passage of the law in March of 2010: 2.5 million more young adults have coverage. More than 2 million seniors saved an average of $550 per person on prescription drugs in 2011. Tens of thousands of Americans with pre-existing conditions now have affordable coverage. More than 22.6 million seniors and people with disabilities received free preventive care in 2011. Taxpayers saved nearly $3 billion thanks to provisions in health reform that crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse. This March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the law with a decision expected by late June. Rep. Stark and other Democratic
KOYA MEMORIAL NIGHT
This night dedicated to the memory of the late Hon. S M KOYA is slated for early next year. Everyone is welcome share their thoughts, comments and memories. If you stories and pictures etc., you want to share you are most wel come do so. The man who fulfilled the journey crafted by one of the most learned and seasoned politicians of Fiji the late Hon. Mr. A D Patel. THE KOYA MEMORIAL NIGHT will be dedicated to celebrate the memories of tails of former leader of opposition the Late Hon. S M KOYA
leaders in the House and Senate filed a “friend of the court” brief supporting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Despite Washington Republicans’ continued calls for repeal, states are moving forward with implementation because they know health reform will benefit their residents. So far, 28 states -- including those with Republican governors and/or legislatures -- are working hard to ensure they meet the promise of providing affordable, quality health insurance options by the January 1, 2014 deadline. California is a leader in implementation. To learn more about what’s happening in our state, visit www.healthcare.ca.gov. Good News From the IRS Individuals can sometimes face tax liability because of the illegal actions of their spouse -- even if they were not aware of the misdeeds. This is unfair and it’s why I’ve been working with the IRS to protect innocent spouses, who are often victims of abuse or have not had access to household financial records. Last month, the IRS announced that they’ve issued guidelines to better protect innocent spouses. Each year the IRS receives some 50,000 innocent spouse claims. The new IRS guidelines mean that more of these requests for relief will be granted at the initial stage of the administrative process, saving victimized taxpayers time and money. The guidelines expand the factors the IRS must use when considering these cases. Specifically, they require the IRS to look at whether the relationship was abusive and whether the spouse seeking relief was prevented access to financial information. The new criteria will mean that more spouses are protected. These changes build on the July 2011 repeal of an arbitrary and harmful two-year limit on innocent spouses seeking relief from the IRS. That change was spurred by action I took in April 2011 to organize nearly 50 Democratic colleagues to pressure IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman to repeal that limit. An End to Our War in Iraq I’ve spent years speaking out against the war in Iraq, signing letters and cosponsoring legislation to bring this senseless war to a close. Finally, President Obama fully withdrew our military from Iraq in December. This will save lives and taxpayer dollars and is a major accomplishment of 2011. The costs, however, were extraordinary: nearly 1.5 million men and women have served, more than 30,000 have been wounded, nearly 4,500 have died and almost $1 trillion was spent in Iraq. Where does this leave us, now? We are still entrenched in a war with Afghanistan, which, if it stays on its current trajectory will cost even more than Iraq. While some troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun, it is at much too slow of a rate. Maintaining a large military operation in Afghanistan until 2014, as is the President’s current plan, places an undue burden on military families, first and foremost. But, it also places a heavy burden on our entire country as other important federal programs will face cuts in order to offset continued war spending. I will continue to work for a quick and responsible withdrawal from Afghanistan. Diplomacy, not war, is the better way to address conflicts around the world.
FIJI AMERICAN IDOL SHOW A unique, exciting and professional FIJI AMERICAN IDOL SHOW is in the planning process and due to be launched early next year.
MISSION AUDITION JUDGING
TO LOCATE AND PROMOTE NEW AND BUDDING TALENTS FROM THE FIJI AMERICAN COMMUNITY.
THERE WILL BE AN EARLY AUDITION WITH $10 DINNER CHARGES. WILL BY A PANEL OF SUPERSTARS !
NO PUBLIC JUDGING AT ALL.
FIJI AMERICAN IDOL SHOW
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Sanjiv Prasad in Seattle celebrates his 4th birthday with mom Payal and dad “Officer” Sanjay Prasad.
Young Robin Paul ambitious to be a marine biologist
Young and bold Robin Paul son of Moon Indian Cuisine owner approached the editor direct the other day when he finished interviewing CHAND sisters and asked, “ You never write anything about me.” “What is it you are interested in, what do want to become in life?” asked the editor. Robin reflected and said he likes the Monterey Aquarium and liked what one of the guest speakers said about the marine life. Since them I am interested in it and I would like to be a marine biologist.
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(Fiji Sun pictures by Ms. Prasad)
BHAJAN COMPETITION -MODOSTO
Steve Balram Singh receives the highest AIM honor
FREMONT, CA On the occasion of 2012 Valentineâ€™s Day hosted by IFFER the nonprofit led by Steve Balram Singh, Steve was the highest honor as the Fellow of the American Institute of Management
Flashback Fiji Award Night
Anil R. Singh and wife.
Narendra Narayan and wife.
Ardent Fiji Sun fans Mr. and Mrs. Safiq.
Newly formed Hayward Real Estate Investors Club meets every month at the Golden Peacock Restaurant at 7 PM If you are interested in saving your homes and investing in Real Estate with no money down and with bad credit, it is important you attend the meetings.
From L-R Dr. Mrs. Singh. Stave B. Singh, Fiji Sun Editor, Ian FFER guest and Annie Koya, as Steve Singh his wife proudly display AIM citation certificate.