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INDIA THIS WEEK

August 30, 2013

INDIA THIS WEEK

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A W e e k l y N e w s p a p e r Fe a t u r i n g N e w s & Tr e n d s f r o m t h e I n d i a n S u b - C o n t i n e n t P u b l i s h e d f r o m t h e U S C a p i t a l

Vol. 20 No: 35 • WASHINGTON DC • Phone: 301-445-0200 /301-445-3543/301-917-4800 • email: indiathisweekads@gmail.com • August 30, 2013

Rupee Zooms Past 68 Mark Versus US $ Food Security Bill Passed In Lok Sabha New Delhi: UPA by the leader of Opposition extremely important. With government’s ambitious in the Lok Sabha, Sushma a significant section of the Gold Prices At All-time High programme and Congress Swaraj were defeated. Mean- population living below the

New Delhi, Aug. 28 (ANI): The rupee sank to a new record low of 68.85 against the U.S. dollar and closed at 68.80, while gold prices touched its all-time high on Wednesday. The benchmark Sensex toppled by 457 points or 2.54 percent to 17,510.89 this morning. The continual decline of the rupee is due to the persistent dollar demand from banks and importers due to further fall in the equity market amidst the appreciation of crude oil prices.

On Wednesday, oil prices rose in Asian trade on concerns over possible U.S. military action against Syria, after Washington warned President Bashar al-Assad’s regime that it would face action over an alleged chemical weapons attack. Forex dealers have said that the persistent capital outflows by foreign funds also contributed to the rupee value against the dollar. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs. 1,373.99 crore yesterday, as per the

provisional data from stock exchanges. The S&P BSE benchmark Sensex plunged further by 473 points in the late morning trade because of persistent selling pressure, triggered by a sharp fall in the value of the rupee against the dollar and the sustained capital outflows by foreign funds. Shares of Banking, Refinery, PSU, Realty, Captial Goods, FMCG, Power, Auto and Metal declined on

New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI): With the economy in distress, leading industrialist Ratan Tata has said India has lost the confidence of the world and the government has been slow to recognise it. He also said the government has “swayed” under the influence of vested interests in private sector and

policies have been “changed, delayed and manipulated”. Tata, who demitted office as Tata group Chairman last December, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has held India’s “esteem high but in recent times we have lost that esteem”.

India Asks Pakistan To Hand Over Dawood Ibrahim New Delhi, Aug. 27 (ANI): Union Home Minister

by Geeta Goindi Washington, DC: Anna Hazare is a man on a mission: he is taking his anticorruption movement, so far confined and rooted in India, to a global level. First stop is the US. The 76-year-old social activist began his international outreach on August 16 with a 12-day tour spanning a number of states - New York, Philadelphia, Delaware, Maryland, California, Georgia and South Carolina. He delivered a talk in the nation’s capital and addressed students at acclaimed centers of learning - Wharton School of Business, Stanford University and the University of Maryland, College Park. Here in Washington, a reception was held in the halls of power, organized by the National Federation of Indian-American Associations (NFIA). Billed as a ‘Congressional luncheon

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India Has Lost Confidence Of The World: Ratan Tata

Sushil Kumar Shinde on Tuesday said India has asked Pakistan to hand over underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Shinde, who was responding to supplementaries during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha, said that he had a talk with Pakistan’s Interior Minister in this regard and has also raised this matter with Interpol. According to sources, Abdul Karim Tunda, the arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba’s ‘bomb expert’, has claimed that Dawood Ibrahim is still in Karachi and under the protection of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. Pakistan till now has denied the presence of Dawood on its soil, though Indian security agencies have repeatedly mentioned his name and details in dossiers handed over to Pakistani authorities. According to reports, Dawood was based in Karachi, where he had fled after the 1993 Mumbai bombings in which 257 people were killed and over 700 injured.

Remember

“The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. – Ronald Reagan

TATA See Page 6

president Sonia Gandhi’s pet project, the Food Security Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday. It seeks to provide cheap food grains to approximately 82 crore people in the country, ushering in the biggest programme in the world to fight hunger. The passage of the bill will pave the way to give nation’s two-third population the right to 5 kg of food grain every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg. The bill was adopted by the House through a voice vote after a combined discussion on the measure and a statutory resolution seeking to disapprove the ordinance promulgated on July 5. Voting on over 300 amendments moved by the Opposition were taken up today in the lower House. The amendments moved by MPs Gurudas Das Gupta and Sampath were defeated on the floor of the House. Also, the amendments by moved

while, the Samajwadi Party, who is giving outside support to the UPA, withdrew its amendments. The bill now will be taken up in the Rajya Sabha. After the bill gets Rajya Sabha’s nod, India will join the select league of countries that guarantee majority of its population food grains. At Rs 1,30,000 crore government support, the food security programme will be the largest in the world. It would require 62 million tonnes of food grains. However, about 2.43 crore poorest of the poor families covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme under PDS (Public Distribution System) would get legal entitlement to 35 kg of food grains per family per month. Commenting on the passage of Food Security Bill, Kris Gopalakrishnan, President, CII, said in a statement: “In a country like India, food security is

poverty line, government intervention to provide nutritious food is essential”. CII President said “However, there are concerns. Such a large outlay at this point in time would definitely have a negative impact on the fiscal deficit. This needs to be managed.” “The larger concern is regarding the effective implementation of such a high profile and critical social agenda of the Government,” he said further. The use of PDS raises questions about the efficacy of the model. Targeting is another area that would need special attention. CII hopes that appropriate focus would be given to these aspects - mainly that of targeting so that the needy can benefit from this programme, he added. Initiating the debate on the UPA government’s landmark Food Security Bill

FOOD See Page 2

Anna Hazare Brings Anti-corruption Crusade To America

Padma Bhushan Anna Hazare (seated at right) on Capitol Hill for a reception held in his honor by the National Federation of Indian-American Associations (NFIA). At left is Jeremy Woodrum, Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Joseph Crowley of New York, Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans on Capitol Hill to meet and recess, but were hoping that cans, and Congressman greet Anna Hazare, the Face local lawmakers would make Gerry Connolly (Democratof India’s Fight Against Cor- their presence felt. On hand, Virginia), some two dozen of ruption’, it coincided with were staffers for Congress- Hazare’s ardent supporters the summer recess and not a man Joseph Crowley (New from the Indian-American single lawmaker attended the York), Democratic Co-Chair community, and members of event. The organizers were of the Congressional Caucus ANNA See Page 8 cognizant that Congress is in on India and Indian-Ameri-


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BJP Blames UPA for Current Economic ‘Calamity’

New Delhi, Aug. 28 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday blamed the Congress-led UPA Government for the ongoing economic meltdown in the country, and said the Centre’s damage control policies have come a little too late. “This is not the natural calamity. This is a man-made crisis and this is a UPA-made crisis—Manmohan Singh and his team is entirely responsible. Congress is responsible for the present state of affairs. They not only seem to be clueless, but the situation has also gone out of control. This is happened because of their indecision. They should have taken decisions in time to save the situation on every front,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said. “We condemn this government’s action, approach, indecision and lack of leadership which has resulted in this precarious

situation,” he added. The rupee on Wednesday breached or was close to breaching the 68 mark against the U.S. dollar. In order to arrest the rupee slide, RBI had announced measures such as restriction on Indian firms investing abroad and on outward remittances by resident Indians, triggering talks of return of capital control regime. On the same day, during a debate on the economic situation in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram attributed much of the current economic woes to the stimulus provided to help the industry to tide over the problems emanating from the global financial meltdown of 2008. Chidambaram said: “Fiscal deficit limits had been breached. The CAD had swelled. These were the two main challenges, apart from the number of other

challenges that we had to face.” He, however, claimed that situation had improved till the unexpected development on May 22, 2013, when the US Federal Reserve announced tapering of bond purchases which sent the emerging markets in a tizzy. “In the last 12 months there have been days when I have been more upbeat; days when I been more downcast. But the fact is some stability did return to the economy until a completely unexpectedly unexpected event took place on May 22, 2013”, he said. He attributed tumbling of rupee to that announcement of Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, global ratings agency Fitch on Monday said India’s fiscal numbers “look weak” and warned of a downgrade if the country is unable to meet the fiscal deficit target.

Food Security Bill Passed In Lok Sabha FOOD From Page 1

in the Lok Sabha, Food Minister K.V Thomas on Monday said the bill would ensure more transparency and accountability in the PDS system Food Security Bill ensures more transparency and accountability in the PDS system, Thomas said, adding, that the number of persons to be covered by the Food Security Bill will be based on the 2011 census. “This bill will also enhance accountability and transparency. In the current PDS system, there is at least 20-30 percent leakage which leads to black marketing. We have made provisions for the setting up of vigilance committees that will monitor the distribution of supplies and make sure the right people get them,” he said. “We have also put in a clause by which a government servant will be punished if he/she found to be involved in squandering of the supply or if the distribution is not done properly,” he added.

Thomas rejected suggestion for making food security net universal. On contentions that such measures were better in some states like Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu, the minister ruled replication of those at the Centre level. “Tamil Nadu, Kerala are role models. Every state is a role model. But we cannot accept that. In Chhattisgarh a particular system may have worked. But it may not be acceptable to Tamil Nadu and other states,” the minister said. After much delay, Food Security Bill was taken up in Lok Sabha today with Sonia Gandhi asking all parties to set aside differences and ensure its unanimous passage. Main opposition BJP dubbed the measure as “vote security bill” and picked holes as he questioned as to how it would be implemented and who would be the beneficiaries. Initiating the debate after Food Minister K V Thomas moved the bill for consideration, Murli Mano-

har Joshi (BJP) said he was in favour of the legislation that will provide highly subsidised food to two-third of the country’s population. At the same time, he said there were flaws in the bill which should be rectified. Suggesting that the bill had been brought with an eye on the elections, Joshi said, “In 2009, the then President of India in his Address had talked about Food Security Bill. But you have brought this bill when you are going out...” Gandhi, who opened her party’s innings on the debate, appealed to all political parties to set aside differences and pass the bill unanimously as a “historic occasion” has come. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had contended that the bill was being brought with an eye on elections and said it should be kept in abeyance till Chief Ministers are consulted as it would put additional burden on states. The bill approximately covers around 67 percent of the population.


Sonia Gandhi’s Health Stable, Discharged From AIIMS

New Delhi, Aug 27 (ANI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was admitted to AIIMS hospital after she was taken ill in the Lok Sabha, has been discharged after her check-up was completed. The 67-year-old Congress President had left the Lok Sabha while the voting was underway on various amendments after she complained of exhaustion and mild chest pain. Gandhi left Parliament at 8:15 p.m. for the hospital, escorted by her son and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. She had complained of chest pains and fever and appeared to stumble as she walked down Parlia-

ment steps. She quickly held central minister Kumari Selja’s hand and recovered her balance. According to doctors, she was initially admitted to the Cardio-Neuro centre and later shifted to the ICU as a precautionary measure. Later, she left for home in her own car at 1:30 am. “The Congress President has come back, she is all right and her medical checkup has been completed,” said party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi “She (Sonia) was feeling a bit uneasy, will be okay in a day or two. She was very tense about the Food Bill. She was relieved when

we told her it has been passed. Now she is fine. All the tests say everything is fine,” said Selja. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, fellow ministers Vayalar Ravi, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia, Janardhan Dwivedi, Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora, Mohsina Kidwai, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda were among the Congress leaders who rushed to the hospital to inquire about Sonia’s condition. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar also visited the hospital.

New Delhi, Aug. 27 (ANI): In an attempt to end the stalemate over detention of an Indian oil tanker by Iranian authorities at Bandar Abbas port, Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh met Iranian Ambassador at the South Block here on Tuesday, and conveyed India’s strong concerns and expressed hope that the ship would be released at an early date. “Foreign Secretary today met the Iranian Ambassador in South Block. This was the second meeting since MT Desh Shanti was detained by Iranian authorities. The last such meeting took place on August 16. Foreign Secretary has conveyed Government of India’s strong concerns at the continued detention of our ship in port Bandar Abbas,” said MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

“The Government of India’s expectation is that the ship would be released at an early date was also conveyed and that the crew members would be treated with all due consideration and courtesy in keeping with international norms was emphasized. Officials of both sides will make another effort to resolve this issue amicably,” he added. There has so far

been no breakthrough on the issue of detention of an Indian tanker by Iranian authorities at Bandar Abbas port. MT Desh Shanti, an oil tanker belonging to the country’s largest ocean liner SCI was detained by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on August 12 in Persian Gulf and taken to Bandar Abbas port while carrying crude from Basrah in Iraq.

Sydney, Aug. 28 (ANI): Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban last year for demanding education for girls, has been named winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2013. The 16 year-old is a brave and talented child who has demonstrated special dedication to children’s rights, the Dutch children’s

rights organization KidsRights said. According to news. com.au, from the age of 11, Malala started to write a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC about how she felt about being denied access to school. Following her activism she was shot in the head by Taliban agents in and was eventually flown to Britain for treatment. She

currently lives in Britain. Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkul Karman, cowinner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, will present the 100,000 euro award on September 6 at a ceremony in The Hague, the report added. The funds will be used for projects aimed at improving access to education for girls in Pakistan.

India Expresses Its Concerns To Iran Over Detention Of MT Desh Shanti

Malala Nominated For ‘Children’s Nobel Prize’ For Special Dedication To Children’s Rights

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EDITORIAL

Food Security Bill From Different Angles

Monday 26th August 2013, Lok Sabha has passed the long-awaited Food Security Bill, albeit with amendments proposed from various quarters. However, the much-hyped dream-cometrue project was grossly criticized by political opponents who exposed demerits not easily visible. Now, like other puffed up projects of Sonia Gandhi, the Food Security Bill may be better renamed as “Vote Security Bill”, as it obviously is an election-oriented legislation! Rather than answer her critics frontally, Sonia has resorted to oratory and melodrama to defend her Bill, in a futile attempt to mass-hypnotize the illiterates. Prominent among Ms Gandhi’s intelligent opponents are BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi who has exposed the poll-oriented intentions behind the socalled “Food Security Bill” which itself should have been rightly named as “ProPoor Food Security Bill”. Ms Gandhi’s superficial answers to Dr. Joshi and others’ criticism may be abstracted as follows: (1) Those who wonder whether India has resources to implement the Bill, may kindly know that we will arrange for resources! (2) To those who are asking whether India can do this, the government says we have to do this. (3) Speechifying how the bill will change the lives of the country’s poor, Sonia goes on to blow her own trumpet and her party’s. (4) Then regarding the possible abuse of the system as seen in other areas of corruption, Sonia assures that “The Aadhar Card will” weed out “fake ration card holders”. (5)Sonia doesn’t forget to boast of, and remind

her prospective vote-bank about, the various reforms brought in by the UPA Government, such as the RTI Act, the MNREGA, the Forests Act. And then she claims that her party has always been pro-poor, and pro-people. And Gandhi adds, “The Food Security Bill, in the same vein, has been designed for the good of the people.” However, the Sonia melodrama containing words and phrases like, “we will”, and “we can” does not squarely answer the wellstudied crucial questions raised by matured statesmen like Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi. She is bound to elucidate “How we will”, “How we can” and so on. Nonetheless, Sonia takes us closer to reality with her confession: “I admit that the Bill has some weaknesses and if it is not implemented with sincerity it will be doing grave injustice to the public.” Let us take a quick glance at some of the denigrations put up by political opponents and critics, as matured critics do research well before confronting. (1) The bill cannot be called a Food ‘Security’ Bill, as it doesn’t provide any form of security. It could rather be called something like, “the law for food entitlement of the Poor”, as observed by Prabodh Panda of the Left Front. (2) The quantity of food grains provided under the scheme is not adequate. (3) What the scheme means by “food” (whether it is rice, wheat, pulses, edible oils, some of these or all of these, or more than these) is not well defined. (4) Murli Manohar Joshi indicates that the Congress must be honest enough to “Say you cannot provide everything needed”, rather than declare to the world that you have totally wiped

out hunger in the country. (5) Leaders like Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee, expect the Centre to bear the entire cost of implementation, inasmuch as they are taking all the credit for the Bill. Why should the states spend the money and the Centre take the glory! (6) Murli Manohar Joshi is concerned about the wherewithal to implement the Food Security Bill. While a person requires 14 kilos of cereals a month, how will the government provide all that? (7) Joshi wants to know who will benefit from the scheme. The bill mentions only 50 percent of urban population as entitled to the food grains. What will the others eat? How could you say all who live in cities are rich? In fact, more often than not, the contrary is true. (8) Murli Manohar Joshi and Kalyan Banerjee are surprised at the government’s confidence to provide storage facilities to farmers, and enough rakes to transport food grains. What arrangement is there to make and provide such a vast number of rakes? There are numerous other points that show that, more than being a Food Security Bill, this is a vote security bill. When the country is sitting on a volcano of poverty, you can do nothing much with a Food Security Bill which can hardly jump out of the file-rack.

On The March

by Anadi Naik Last week, a smaller version of “a quarter million people” gathered in Washington to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a march that changed the thinking about race in America. Then, at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. the iconic leader of the civil rights movement gave his famous speech “I have a dream”. Those who gathered at the same place this time of course did not have to endure the same indignity and oppression that the King’s generation had suffered. But in many ways the population, black and white, wanted to take stock of the progress their country has made so far. One would think that Barack Obama being elected as the President of the United States, a black man in the White House should help change things. Of course, it has. Still in different areas a lot more remains to be done. In a democracy people gathering to express their views or voicing their demands - often thousands in numbers - is nothing new. When they speak out collectively it builds up strength. The nature of their oppression becomes exposed. That is why the British Government fired upon an innocent gathering in the Jalianawala Bag, Punjab. In the process it set in motion the beginning of the end of the British rule in India. When people gather in large numbers for a particular cause, the cause establishes its validity and helps build strength among the victims. In recent months the world has been hearing a lot about demonstrations in Egypt. Less than a year ago the Egyptian people cast their

ballots in favor of a democracy. It so happens that the Muslim Brotherhood, a long established political Party, came in large numbers and formed its Government. In Secular Egypt, a religious Party coming to power was an anomaly. Yet, such things have happened in the past in India, Turkey and Algeria. Religious or not, a Party by winning the majority in an election proves its acceptance by the people. The Brotherhood in Egypt was accepted. But the Party functionaries behaved in a way that was not accepted by the people in general. In order to change the course they showed up again in tens of thousands. In Egypt, a democratically elected Government misused its power. So the citizens who had helped its formation wanted redress through a massive gathering. Their nonviolent action turned into a violent one. A civil war became a possibility and the military intervention happened. When the military flexed its muscle, in a way, one form of oppression replaced another. Such a scenario has been familiar for many years in Egypt. The collective psyche of the country adored the arrangement knowing full well that it is a dangerous gamble. Like Egypt, there are many large and small oppressions going on in India all the time. The government by its own action or inaction oppresses citizens for which the only recourse they have is the next election in five years. In the past, they have gathered in vast numbers in different State capitals and have helped change local governments on many occasions. Marching

for change has remained quite common in India. Frankly, the big march on Washington came from the playbook of the Gandhian nonviolent struggle. Bayard Rustin, the organizer of the march in Washington in 1963 was a Quaker who believed in nonviolent struggle to change minds. In those days Vinobaji was marching throughout India to solve the land problem. Earlier, Gandhiji had marched to establish communal harmony in Noa khali, Bengal and to Dandi to make salt and defy the Raj. So the concept of March came very much from the playbook of nonviolent struggles of the past. Nobody at the time knew how the march in Washington would impact other than the fact that the organizers were committed to keeping it nonviolent. In order to keep it truly nonviolent the organizers brought into their company people from the other side - white labor leaders, clergy, social reformers along with actors and singers and whitesupporters - just the way Gandhi had incorporated the support of the British liberals. The organizers accepted the positive role of their white friends. As a result, the United States in many ways became a very different country. Unlike any other time in the past, today the country’s President, the Attorney General and the Chief of the National Security are all black. Then why is there a need for another march? The United States still has a lot of wrinkles in its conscience that need correction. The expression of rejection and objection is the only way this can be mended.

showing a loss of 473.28 points or 2.63 per cent from its last close. The NSE 50-share Nifty also tumbled by 144.15 points or 2.73 per cent to 5,143.30 at 1040 hrs. Additionally, continuing its appreciating trend, gold prices climbed to cross Rs. 34,500 per 10 gram level for the first time ever in futures trade on Wednesday. At the Multi Com-

modity Exchange, gold for delivery in October went up by Rs. 531, or 1.57 percent to trade at an all-time high of Rs 34,246 per 10 gram in a business turnover of 1,624 lots. Similarly, the metal for delivery in the far-month December surged by Rs 511, or 1.52 per cent yellow, to Rs 34,161 per 10 gm in 505 lots. Market analysts attributed rise in gold prices at futures trade to the depre-

ciating value of the rupee, making the dollar-quoted precious metal expensive. On Tuesday, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said there is need to “be patient and firm” and the government is doing what is required to be done. “Rupee will find its appropriate value,” he added. The government is considering currency swaps to bolster the reserves, but currency experts said the move is unlikely to help.

Rupee Zooms Past 68 Mark Versus US $ Gold Prices At All-time High

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heavy selling. The Sensex resumed lower at 17,851.44 and dropped further to a low of 17,448.71 before quoting at 17,494.80 at 1040 hrs,

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India Has Lost Confidence Of The World: Ratan Tata

TATA From Page 1

“We have lost the confidence of the world. We have been slow to recognise that in the government,” he told CNN-IBN while responding to a query on PM’s silence on investors losing confidence. He further said it would be good for the country if policies were implemented as they were written.

“The government has issued policy which vested interests, quite often in private sector have changed, delayed or manipulated that policy. So, for one reason or the other, the government has swayed with those forces,” Mr Tata said. Recollecting the 1991 reforms, when “the brave moves were made”, he said “it’s the same team. What has happened in my

Phone: 703-530-7910 Fax: 703-530-7911

view is that there have been forces...too many competing interests. By and large whatever is happening should be looked at to the benefit of the people of India not to few vested interest in India”. While stressing that his respect for the leadership of Dr Singh continued to be “very high”, he, however, said there is a lack of leadership in the country to lead from the front. ”...we don’t have leadership that we have been talking about, that is leading from the front,” Mr Tata said. He further said the government is being pulled in different directions, even from within it. “We should have one view...the team has been pulling in different directions, allies are pulling in different directions...states are pulling in one direction. We are not consolidating ourselves in the government,” Mr Tata said.

India’s Role ‘Vital’ In Anchoring Afghanistan’s Stability: Bera

New Delhi, Aug. 26 (ANI): India has a critical role to play in fostering peace and stability in Afghanistan, U.S. Congressman Dr. Ami Bera asserted while addressing a special session hosted by Aspen Institute India earlier today. Bera, the only Indian-American member in the U.S. Congress, is on his first visit to India since his election in 2012. Responding to these concerns, the Congressman stressed that India had emerged as a key stabilising force in the region, owing to a range of initiatives pertaining to education, public health and infrastructure in Afghanistan. “As we work to advance our shared economic prosperity, we must continue to partner in addressing

From The Poet’s Pen INDIA THIS WEEK April 5,30, 2013 INDIA THIS WEEK August 2013

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

– Maya Angelou

The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with fearful trill of the things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom The free bird thinks of another breeze an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing

our shared security,” said Bera in an engaging discussion moderated by the former Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Ronen Sen. “India has made extraordinary contributions and strategic investments to the effort in Afghanistan. As the U.S. draws down our troops, India has a critical role to play in holding onto and maintaining some of the gains we have made, and a critical role in anchoring stability in that region. So, we must both remain committed to an enduring strategic partnership in the region, both to spur development between the dynamic economies of South and Southeast Asia, and to ensure that we can support the will of the Afghan people as they prepare for the upcoming 2014 elections,” the Congressman added. Highlighting India’s rise as a global power, Bera also urged Indian and U.S. investors to build on the fast-expanding canvas of opportunities in the two economies. “At present, U.S. has an energy surplus, while India has some pressing energy needs. There are opportunities for mutuallybeneficial bilateral partnerships not only in the space of renewable energy, but also in shale gas, oil and gas security as well. The future for India-U.S. cooperation looks very bright,” said Bera. He also warned

against politicising the issue of immigration, saying, “Issues pertaining to visas and immigration need to be negotiated through regular channels. There are loose ends that need to be mended in U.S. as well as India, and we must refrain from making the issue a political one in both nations.” A robust trading relationship with India is important to the U.S. economy and helps create American jobs. In California, exports to India are worth more than 3.7 billion dollars annually. Much of Bera’s visit will focus on promoting trade and economic development in the Sacramento region, and expanding bilateral economic relationship. During his two-day visit, Bera will meet Indian government officials, leading policy advocates, and innovators in the non-profit sector to increase his understanding of the IndiaU.S. relationship, and to explore new opportunities for partnerships. While in New Delhi, Bera will also participate in a wreath-laying ceremony with U.S. Ambassador Powell, and discuss the U.S.-India economic relationship, specifically opportunities for partnership between India and the Sacramento region, at an event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Indian Online Population Now 3rd Largest In World After China And US

Islamabad, Aug. 27 (ANI): India’s online population has been reportedly ranked third largest in the world after China and the US. American Internet Analytics Company, comScore Inc. in its 2013 India Digital Future in Focus report stated that India’s 73.9 million home and work Internet users place it on the third spot globally. According to Dawn, India has the youngest skewing online population among

BRIC countries with 75 percent of its total Internet users under the age of 35. The report stated that women between 35-44 years of age are the heaviest Internet users in the Indian market. The Indian blogging audience saw a growth of 48 percent in the past year to 36 million visitors while 54 million Internet users in India watched online videos on the computer, representing a 27 percent increase over the past year, the report added.


Odisha CM Patnaik Condoles Death Of Four BSF Personnel In Maoist Attack

B h u b a n e s h w a r, Aug. 27 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday condoled the death of four personnel of Border Security Force (BSF) who were killed following a landmine blast targeted at the vehicle of the security personnel in Odisha’s Koraput district. “A convoy of three BSF vehicles carrying 18 personnel was proceeding from Malkangiri to Vizag on administrative duty. The convoy was ambushed by Maoists in Koraput district in which one vehicle was blown up resulting in the death of four BSF personnel and injuring two others.

The remaining BSF personnel fought back bravely,” he told media here today. “The enforcements of SOG and Cobra led by the SP Koraput have reached the spot. The Director Intelligence and the IG operations have also reached the spot. To the family members of the martyrs, I express my sincere condolences,” he added. According to reports, the explosion took place around 7.30 am on National Highway-26 leading to Vishakhapatnam. The injured jawans were initially admitted to the Sunki hospital near Rale-

gada in Koraput district but arrangements were being made to shift them to Vishakhapatnam. Additional reinforcements from state police and paramilitary have reached the spot and combing operations have begun. Reports state that the deceased jawans belonged to 161 battalion of the BSF. The Maoists, who are considered to be India’s greatest internal security threat, have off-late intensified their operations in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and some areas of West Bengal.

New Delhi, Aug. 26 (ANI): The Uttar Pradesh Government’s massive crackdown to prevent the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) from going ahead with its ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra in Ayodhya on Sunday, led to protests on the streets of Delhi on Monday. About 2,000 VHP activists protested at Jantar Mantar and the police used water cannons when some of them tried to break barricades to go towards Parliament. In the Lok Sabha, BJP member Yogi Adityanath accused the UP government of insulting Hindus by not allowing the VHP to go ahead with its planned yatra. “The UP government has insulted saints. There was no politics in the yatra. What kind of a government is this? It bans yatra and lets go of terror suspects,” he said.

However, Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of playing vote bank politics and indulging in hooliganism, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told the Lok Sabha that the state government was only following the orders of the Supreme Court. “Supreme Court directed that till the time there is no judgement nothing should happen. We didn’t beat up anyone, we only maintained law and order,” Yadav said. Senior VHP leaders Pravin Togadia and Ashok Singhal were among the nearly 1,700 people arrested in a massive crackdown by the Uttar Paradesh administration to foil the saffron outfit’s yatra on Sunday that was banned over fears of a communal flare-up. The planned ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra’

was to have lasted till 13th September criss-crossing six districts of Uttar Pradesh. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had earlier on Saturday dismissed a plea for allowing the ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra’, stating that there is a possibility of tension, and added that the restriction will be maintained. The VHP has vowed to kick off its ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama’ around Ayodhya to revive its demand for a Ram temple. The Samajwadi Party Government has banned the proposed Yatra, as a preemptive measure against communal flare-up, and put in place elaborate security arrangements by rushing in 10 companies of the Rapid Action Force and 12 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC).

New York, Aug 27 (ANI): The Smithsonian in Washington, DC will unveil the world’s first-ever exhibit of yoga’s visual history, called ‘Yoga: The Art of Transformation’ in October. The museum’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will display 120 masterpieces of Indian sculpture and paintings with pieces that date as far back as the third century to the early 20th century, the New

York Daily News reported. Temple sculptures, devotional icons, illustrated manuscripts, as well as colonial and early modern photographs, books, and films aim to shed light on the 2,000-year old practice. To build the collection, Debra Diamond, curator of South Asian Art, gathered pieces from 25 museums and private collections in India, Europe, and the US.

Highlights include an installation of three monumental stone yogini goddesses from a 10th century Chola temple, ten folios from the first illustrated compilation of asanas made for a Mughal emperor in 1602, and the first film ever produced about India, Thomas Edison’s “Hindoo Fakir” (1906). The show runs from October 19 through January 26.

Crackdown On VHP’s ‘Parikrama Yatra’ Leads To Protests In Delhi

Smithsonian To Exhibit World’s First Visual History Of Yoga

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Anna Hazare Brings Anti-corruption Crusade To America ANNA From Page 1 the Indian Press and Media here. In his address to the audience, Hazare, who was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1992 for developing a rural village in Maharashtra, focused on two issues: an end to corruption; and rapid development with due consideration to nature and humanity. Speaking in Hindi, he highlighted the Jan Lokpal Bill which has been drawn up “to put a brake on corruption at the national level”. Hazare told the gathering that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has assured him that the bill will be tabled in the winter session of Parliament. “If this is not done, I will have no other option except to go on a hunger strike beginning on day one of the winter session of Parliament”, he vowed. “I am sure India needs a strong law against corruption. I am sure India needs development”, he said. The social activist repeatedly pointed out that six cabinet ministers and 400 officers were forced to resign in Maharashtra because wherever he saw corruption rear its ugly

Social activist Anna Hazare with guests at a luncheon held in his honor on Capitol Hill. At right is a staffer for Congressman Gerry Connolly (Democrat-Virginia) head, he protested. Denouncing party politics, he underscored the importance of good governance, democratic governance. “Voters must be given the right to reject candidates”, he said. “Only people with good character should be allowed to contest elections. Voters must pledge to vote for such candidates. It will take time, but it will happen”. When asked if he had any message for the Obama administration, Hazare replied, “I am not that tall to give a message to anyone, but still

I would say, I am for world peace. I believe the world can be more peaceful and all the national leaders of the world should try to create paths for world peace”. Hazare comes across as mild-mannered, humble. He shows the visible signs of age - has difficulty in hearing, cannot stand up for too long, his hands quiver. Yet, he stands for ideals that are appealing to multitudes and, here in the US, he drew crowds at his public events. Regarding the intent and purpose of the US visit, his

spokesperson, Sachin Narode, told us, at INDIA THIS WEEK, “Anna Hazare is taking his movement to an international platform. We are reaching out to Indian-Americans and others around the world, uniting likeminded people, who would like to see a better future for everyone. Anna Hazare believes that the message of anti-corruption and peace are not only important for India, but the whole world. He is starting his international tour from the US”. The reception on Capitol Hill was organized by the soft-spoken Mr. Om Sharma, together with Dr. Parthasarathy Pillai, Dr. Satish Misra and Mr. Kirit Udeshi. In other events here honoring Anna Hazare, private dinner receptions were held at the

homes of Dr. Suresh K. Gupta and Mr. Sharma, and a public talk at the University of Maryland coordinated by DESI (Develop Empower Synergize India). Narode explained that Hazare “came to the US as a private citizen. The Team Anna USA group brought him here for his next-level international connection with people”. The social activist began his US tour with the India Independence Day Parade in New York where he was the guest of honor, invited by the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA). Narode disclosed that Hazare’s team is “looking to make an international think tank against corruption. We will also be making a docu-

mentary on Anna Hazare in all languages which will be released before the Lok Sabha elections”, he said. At the reception on Capitol Hill, Hazare told the audience that his idols are Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda and he proceeded to give an account of the model village which he developed in Maharashtra. This village had a population of 2,500; eighty percent of the inhabitants were hungry and had no work. Hazare realized that there was no point in imparting knowledge to the hungry. Through a program of soil conservation and water management, he made the village self-sufficient and it now yield two crops, he told the gathering, to much applause.

Social activist Anna Hazare (left) mingling with guests at a reception on Capitol Hill

Womens’ Commission Chairperson Suggests Harsh Punishment In All Pending Rape Cases

New Delhi, Aug.26 (ANI): National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Mamta Sharma on Monday said that the incidents of rape can only be curbed if all pending cases are immediately taken up and harsh punishment is meted out to those accused of such heinous crime. “The Mumbai incident is extremely unfortunate because the city is considered safe for women. Our team went to meet the girl. Her spirit is really high and she said she wants to lead her life the way it was before. I feel to stop such incidents all those cases which are pending should be immediately taken up by the court. Till the time a harsh punishment is not given, they will never fear the law,” she told media here today. Sharma futher said that sparing an accused on the ground that he is a juvenile is unacceptable.

“I strongly feel that an accused cannot be spared because he is a juvenile. In fact in the December 16 Delhi gangrape case, Nirbhaya herself said that the juvenile was the most brutal among the six accused, and based on a certificate if he is spared, then I don’t think this is right,” she added. She also said that the judgement on the December 16 Delhi gangrape case should not be delayed further and it should serve as a deterrent to those committing these crimes. “I think court is also trying to collect facts on the December 16 incident but I feel the verdict is being delayed. I expect the judgments to must come fast, to send a strong message,” she said. Earlier in the day, a Mumbai court remanded the fifth accused in the brutal gangrape of a 23-year old photojournalist to police custody till

September 5. Mohammed Salim Ansari was arrested on Sunday in North West Delhi’s Ashok Vihar. The other four accused involved in the heinous crime have also been arrested and sent to police custody till August 30. The incident took place on August 22 in Lower Parel area where the 23-yearold woman had gone for an assignment. She was working with an English Magazine as an intern. According to police, the men tied up the friend who was accompanying her and raped the woman. The victim, who was admitted to Jaslok Hospital, had sustained multiple internal injuries. She is stated to be in a stable condition now. The Centre has sought a detailed report on the gang rape incident.


Rahul Gandhi Wants Involvement Of Dalits In Decision Making

New Delhi, Aug. 27 (ANI): Congress VicePresident Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said there was a need to lift the weaker sections of the people from the grass root up the hierarchy. Rahul Gandhi, who was speaking at the ‘National Dialogue on Social Disparity’ organised by the National Commission for Women Scheduled Castes at the Constitution Club here, emphasized that there is a need to encourage the weaker sections and Dalits. “I want Dalits to once again feel that they are the backbone of Congress Party,” said Gandhi. “We need to provide weaker sections and Dalits with better educational opportunities and there is also a need to change the education system,” he added. Rahul Gandhi said he had been able to make the assessment after visiting the states in the country and witnessing the elec-

tions during the last eight to nine years he has been in the politics of the country. “When we have the elections for the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha, how many people take decisions? How many people decide as to who will contest the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls, who will become the Prime Minister? Over 60 to 70 percent of the country’s population votes, maximum ten crore people,” he said. Rahul Gandhi pointed out that only 500 people take a final call on who would be the candidates for the polls and who would be the person leading the country. In the Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi pointed out, around a hundred people were involved in taking a final call on the selection of candidates to contest the elections and around 70 to 80 people were involved in taking a final decision in the BJP.

In the Samajwadi Party, the decision was taken by three persons, and the BJD two people. In the BSP, the privilege of taking the decision was that of only one person. In the ultimate analysis, only 500 people took the decision. “I want to tell you that till the time these 500 people continue to take decisions about the country’s politics, the voices of the Dalits will not reach the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha,” he added. Gandhi further claimed that it was his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who helped spread telecommunications across the country by installing a PCO in every village. “Earlier, only the MPs and MLAs had the right to communications. And that is exactly what is happening in the country’s political system at present,” he said.

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--Grand Devotee Family Pooja on September 7th, 2013 --Ganesha Chaturthi on September 8th, 2013 --Grand Ganesha Samyojanam on September 15th, 2013


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Karnataka By-poll Result Indicative Of UPA III After 2014 Poll: Moily

New Delhi, Aug.26 (ANI): Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Monday said the Congress Party’s victory in the recent by-polls in Karnataka’s Mandya and Rural Bangalore constituencies is a clear indicator of the UPA returning to power at the Centre for a third consecutive five-year term. He said the result was a clear rejection of the Janata Dal- Secular (JD-S) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “This is a tremendous victory. This is an indication that the people of Karnataka did not tolerate, that means they don’t want JD-S and they don’t want BJP. This is a rejection of both the parties. This is a very clear indication because in Mandya we (Congress) were not that comfortable,” he told media here today.

“This has also demonstrated the fact that the march of Modi is just in the back burner, it will not result into any brightening side not only in Karnataka but the rest of the country. It is a clear signal as our Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have said that in 2014 it will be the Congress victory again and UPA III will be back,” he added. The Congress on Saturday won both the Mandya and rural Bangalore seats by heavy margins, defeating their rival Janata Dal Secular (JD-S) in their stronghold. The Congress Party candidates surged ahead of their rival Janta Dal Secular (JD-S) in Mandya and Bangalore rural Lok Sabha constituencies in the August 21 by-polls. According to reports, actress and Congress candidate

Ramya was ahead of her opponent C S Puttaraju by over 12,000 votes while her party colleague D K Suresh in rural Bangalore had established a lead of over 18,000 votes against JDS’ Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, in the third round. The Congress had swept to power in the May Assembly polls and JDS had fought a bitter battle. Reports state that BJP had backed JDS candidates in the two segments, where by-poll was necessitated following the resignation of N Cheluvarayaswamy (Mandya) and Kumaraswamy (Bangalore Rural) who quit after being elected to the Assembly in May. Mandya is a bastion of JDS, which won five of the eight Assembly seats in the district in the May elections.

Islamabad, Aug. 28 (ANI): Pakistan Supreme Court has dropped contempt charges against head of Pakistan Tehrik-iInsaf Imran Khan. The apex court accepted Khan’s explanation that he never intended to bring senior judges into disrepute. According to Dawn

News, Khan had criticised the judiciary and election commission for inaction over alleged rigged at elections in May, when he won a political breakthrough. But Khan, summoned for a second time before the Supreme Court, said he never criticised the senior judiciary and that undermining the suprema-

cy of the judiciary was akin to undermining democracy, the repor tsaid. Moreover, Attorney General of Pakistan informed the bench during the hearing that the statements given by Khan did not insubordinate the judiciary. The court dropped the case.

New Delhi, Aug. 27 (ANI): RTI activist Commodore (Retd.) Lokesh K. Batra, who has played a significant role in popularizing the Electronic Indian Postal Order (e-IPO), shed light on the developments and the future of the facility in his latest communication. The e-IPO was released on March 22 this year for ‘Indian Citizens’ abroad’ to be able to purchase Indian Postal Order electronically by paying a RTI Fee on-line through e-Post Office Portal of the Department of Posts. Lokesh Batra said that since there were no initiatives taken by the Government to bring awareness of the eIPO facility among ‘Indian Citizens’ abroad’, in July this year he took up case with Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and the Ministry of External Af-

fairs (MEA). Batra has expressed satisfaction with the response he got from both the MOIA and the MEA. “Must say both Ministries (MOIA & MEA) took prompt action and issued directions on July 23, 2013 and August 02, 2013, respectively to all Heads of Missions and Posts abroad to undertake awareness of eIPO facility for payment of RTI Fee and Cost,” Lokesh Batra said. Following this, Lokesh Batra’s next step was to ensure that the MOIA & MEA efforts do not remain on papers only, and so he communicated via over 130 email letters between August 19-24 2013. Lokesh Batra got response of thanks from 14 Missions, while many others did act on his request by

posting eIPO links. As of August 24, 2013, 37 of the total 125 Missions (30 percent) have indicated eIPO information on their website. Presently, the eIPO facility is provided to ‘Indian Citizens’ abroad’ for 2369 public authorities consisting of Ministries and mainly Departments of Central Government. According to Lokesh Batra, future proposals will look to extend the eIPO facility for filing RTIs in Indian Missions and Posts abroad, an initiative which is also under consideration in MEA and DoPT. Additionally, Batra said that efforts are also on to get the facility extended for purchasing eIPO for all Central and State Public authorities in India, who accept IPO as mode of RTI Fee.

Pak SC Discharges Contempt Of Court Case Against Imran Khan

Lokesh Batra Highlights Developments Which Popularize e-IPO


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Begum Bebo Slaps Ban On Saif’s On-screen Kissing Scenes

Bollywood begum Kareena Kapoor Khan has reportedly made it very clear that she doesn’t want to see Saif kissing other actresses on screen and made sure there were no kissing scene in ‘Shuddhi’ before he signed up for the role. According to a leading web portal, the 43-year old Khan was listening to a script along with his 32-year old wife Bebo and there was a kissing scene in the story, on which she joked that if she is not doing any on-screen kissing for any movie, why should her husband do them. Saif has reportedly asked the writing team to re-write the scene and edit the liplock part from the story.

Kajol May Play Lead Role In Hubby Ajay Devgn’s Next!

Bollywood actress Kajol will soon be seen playing a lead role in her husband Ajay Devgn’s next production project, which is working on finding a suitable script, it has been revealed. Kajol revealed that they have locked a script as they liked the idea and the concept but things are yet to get finalised. The 39-year old actress, who took a sabbatical from full-time acting in 2001 after her marriage to Devgn, is known for her memorable performances in films like ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’.

Parineeti Chopra Slams Rumours Of Romance With Director

Link-up rumours are unavoidable in showbiz, but bubbly actress Parineeti Chopra is not taking reports of an alleged romance with director Maneesh Sharma lightly. “Earlier, I used to take it lightly, but when people started writing too many stuff, I got angry, especially about Maneesh,” said Parineeti, who was introduced to filmdom by

Maneesh with his directorial venture Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. She is also playing the female lead in his next - Shuddh Desi Romance coming out on September 6. “I am an actress because of him and my feelings toward Maneesh is like too much love and respect because he changed my life,” said the actress. “I feel very bad when people say she got a break because they are in a relationship. It’s like linking me with my mentor. Maneesh is my friend, so I can call him and say it’s a crap article and we laugh over it. Even my family laughs over it as they know me very well.” So far, she has teamed up with Ranveer Singh in Ladies vs Ricky Bahl and Arjun Kapoor in Ishaqzaade while Sushant Singh Rajput is her co-star in Shuddh Desi Romance. The 24-year-old, however, is thankful that she has not been linked up with her co-stars. She said: “I was never really linked with my co-stars thankfully. Arjun is my closest friend and so is Siddharth Malhotra (her Hasi Toh Phasi co-star) and as far as Sushant is concerned he is already booked.”

Jagga Jasoos Reunites Ranbir & Katrina

Actors Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif are reportedly teaming up for a film called Jagga Jasoos. Ranbir and Katrina, whose off screen chemistry is creating buzz in B-town, will reunite on the big screen after Raajneeti. The film will be directed by Anurag Basu, who made last year’s hit Barfi! with Ranbir. The actor and Katrina have worked together in Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti and Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. “She (Katrina) was offered the film and is doing it,”sources close to the development said, without divulging further details. Earlier, there were reports of Priyanka Chopra being part of the project. Ranbir will be playing a detective in the film, which will mark the launch of a production house jointly floated by Ranbir and Basu. The film reportedly will go on floors next year.

September Premiere For Mango Girls In USA

Mango Girls, a documentary showcasing a one-of-its-kind tradition of planting fruit trees, including mango, to celebrate the birth of a girl child in Bihar’s Dharhara village, will be premiered in New Hampshire, USA, next month. Mango Girls has been co-produced by an Indian named Kunal Sharma and Robert Carr, 85, an American filmmaker. Sharma, who belongs to Bihar and shifted base to Mumbai, said: “Mango Girls is a 48minute documentary and it will be premiered in New Hampshire in the US in September.” The film has already made headlines in China, Germany, Britain and the USA. “The film attracted attention for its focus on a local initiative by villagers

to fight against female infanticide, dowry and global warming,” he said. Dharhara, 230 km east from Patna in Bhagalpur district, caught the attention of people a few years ago for planting at least 10 trees on the birth of every girl child and investing money earned from the sale of the fruits into their education and marriage. Sharma said that after its premiere, the documentary will be screened at different international film festivals too. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too appreciated Mango Girls. “He watched it at its first screening here on Saturday and was impressed by the film,” he said. “Nitish Kumar praised us for our small effort to take Dharhara village around the world through the

documentary,” he added. It took three years to complete the film, which traces the origin of the tradition and its modern-day implications. “It took more time as we shot a Dharhara girl’s wedding. By tradition, she is first made to marry a mango tree, then her husband,” said Sharma. In 2010, Nitish Kumar came to know about the initiative, which symbolises the empowerment of women and the protection of the environment in a unique way. The chief minister lauded the village and said it is a role model for other villages in Bihar and also in other states. Kumar also said that the novel initiative served the twin purpose of environment conservation and promotion of gender equality.

Karisma Dazzles In Gold At Lakme Fashion Week

Dazzling in a gold gown with a heavily embroidered top, Bollywood actress Karisma Kapur on Sunday walked the ramp for ace designer Vikram Phadnis at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2013. The collection, inspired from “Ponds Gold Radiance”, was for the upcoming festive season and had real gold micro particles. Phadnis’ line showcased a wide variety of long flowy gowns, short dresses, blingy jackets, gold pants. The colour palette included many shades of gold like ivory, copper and beige to a bright golden in some outfits. The line also had beautiful accessories like like belts and kadas (thick bangles). The show started with an audio-visual of the designer talking about his association with gold, and then Karisma Kapur adorning the beautiful gold outfit.


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BNP Cuts India’s GDP Forecast To 3.7%; Says Crisis Approaching

New Delhi (PTI): Financial services major BNP Paribas on Wednesday cut India’s GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 3.7 percent from 5.2 percent (rpt) 5.2 percent earlier, saying the country’s ‘macro muddle’ is fast approaching crisis proportions. Citing plunge in capex demand and industrial production, BNP said the economy appears to be entering a “tailspin” as business confidence collapses under the weight of rapid rupee depreciation, rising energy costs, sharply tightening financial conditions and policy confusion. “India’s ‘macro muddle’ is fast approaching crisis proportions... We now expect the palpable downside risks facing the Indian economy to largely crystallise over the next 6-9 months. “We accordingly now target GDP growth of just 3.7 percent in FY’2014 (previously 5.2 percent),” it said. This 3.7 percent is not only easily the lowest forecast, but would represent the lowest

annual growth since 1991-1992, it added. India’s GDP fell to a decade low of 5 percent in 201213. The French banking major said prospects for 201415, “which feels a long way off at present”, are more propitious. The more competitive rupee should allow a recovery in industrial production and export growth while RBI should be able to reverse quantitative tightening and eventually resume policy ease, it said. “Next year’s general election is necessarily a huge ‘wild card’. At present, we target GDP growth of 5.3 percent for FY’2015,” said the BNP Paribas’ report by its Chief Asia Economist Richard Iley. It said RBI’s “illjudged quantitative tightening” has failed to staunch the selling pressure on rupee. Downward pressure on asset prices is unlikely to abate until the rupee becomes decisively cheap (may be USD/ INR above 70) or the authorities

deliver “shock and awe” tightening, it added. In a series of notes, BNP has been highly critical of India’s macro-policy formation, which, in its view, has “unhelpfully” compounded the stresses facing the economy and the rupee. “The beatings will continue. RBI’s quantitative tightening campaign, in our judgement, has been at best premature and, at worst, wholly injudicious,” it said. BNP said with persistently loose fiscal policy, rather than too low interest rates, “the root cause” of India’s uncomfortably large current account deficit and the recent liquidity squeeze is the “wrong solution to the wrong problem and risks proving entirely counterproductive”. It also said the new RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, who will take charge on September 5, faces a tricky inheritance as he wrestles with the “time inconsistency” problem generated by the central bank’s conflicting policy objectives.

India Plans Oil Import From Iran To Cut Import Bill, CAD Country Self-sufficient In Refinery Capacity: Moily

New Delhi (Agencies): The oil ministry has worked out a plan to save USD 22 billion in the oil import bill from Iran thus helping reduce the current account deficit (CAD), Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily has said. “Oil (imports) is one of the components responsible for CAD. The prime minister has told us to save USD 25 billion in the import bill. As of today, we have pieced together a plan to save $22 billion in import bill,” Moily said. He said the savings would be around one percent of the GDP. Moily was talking to reporters Tuesday at an event to present a cheque for Rs.5 lakh to the widow of Arjuna awardee sportsman late Makhan Singh. Senior oil ministry sources said that the plan includes renewing imports from sanctions-hit Iran, which India pays in rupees thereby saving foreign exchange and reducing the CAD. Officials calculate that importing, for instance, 10 million tonnes oil from Iran means saving $10 billion in foreign

exchange outgo. During the last fiscal, India imported 13.1 million tonnes of oil from Iran, down from 18.11 million tonnes of 2011-12. After not buying any oil from Iran in first four months of the current fiscal, imports were resumed this month with state-run Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals getting the first tanker-load. In view of the current volatility of the rupee against the dollar, India is discussing with Iraq the possibility of trade in local currencies, which would help insulate India’s oil imports from Iraq also. Dr. M. Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC) has reported that as per the original estimates (OE), the estimated demand of petrol, diesel and LPG is 16,335 MT, 73,500 MT and 16,712 MT respectively in the country in the year 2013-14 In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Moily said crude oil from which these products are derived has to be largely (78.75 percent import)

imported.

Dr. Moily also said: “As per the working group report of his for the 12th five year plan, the estimated demand of petroleum products during 2016-17 would be 186.2 Million Metric Tonne (MMT). The minister further said that as on 01.07.2013, the refining capacity in the country is 215 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MMTPA) which is more than the domestic demand of products. During 2012-13, the production of petroleum products in the country, including production from fractionators was 217.8 MMT (Provisional) as against the demand of 155.4 MMT. “Thus, the present refining capacity is adequate to meet the demand of petroleum products in the country in near future on an overall basis. However, some products like LPG and Lubes are in deficit, which are being imported. The net import (Prov.) of LPG and Lubes was 6,093 Thousand Metric Tonnes (TMT) (Value Rs. 30,402 crore) and 1,409 TMT (Value Rs. 8,877 Core) respectively during the year 2012-13,” he added.

Remain Patient On Rupee, Investment Cycle Has Started: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Aug. 27 (ANI): Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday briefed the media on decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Investment yesterday, and asked people to remain firm and patient for the rupee to stabilize, as the investment cycle has started. “We have to be patient and firm, and do what is required. The rupee will find its appropriate value. The rupee has overshot,” Chidambaram said. Commenting on investment into the economy, Chidambaram said the Centre is extremely keen to revive the cycle. “Very keen to get the investment cycle started again. ... The message we are sending is that the investment cycle has started and we will continue to push it further,” Chidambaram said. Chidambaram also

said that the Cabinet Committee on Investment has cleared several projects, which had been stalled, including 18 power projects worth Rs. 83,772 crore, which will be signed by September 6. He confirmed that banks have already disbursed Rs. 30,000 crore to the 18 projects power plant projects. Meanwhile, action reports on 9 non-power projects will be periodically sent to Cabinet Committee on Investment. The Finance Minister said that nine infrastructure, energy projects, involving an investment of Rs. 92,541 crore, have been cleared by the CCI. Additionally, Chidambaram said that the Reliance Power’s Sasan project would receive Stage 2 forest clearance and said the CCI will give its nod to the GMR infra expressway by Septem-

ber 15.

New Delhi, Aug.28 (ANI): Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises Minister Praful Patel has stressed on the need to balance development considerations with sustainability. He exhorted industry to extend green processes from one end of the chain to the other. Inaugurating the Third International Green Manufacturing Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Patel said that he was also open to CII help for strengthening the green rating component in public sector MoUs. Patel also released the CII-BCG report on ‘Green Manufacturing – Imperatives for Indian Industry’ which outlines key action areas for the industry and the government to drive sustainability objectives in a structured and comprehensive manner. Viewing ‘green technologies’ as a public good, Sutanu Behuria, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industries, stressed on the need for green technologies

in the manufacturing process to catalyse sustainable growth and asked for suggestions on how the policy framework could enable affordability of such technologies. Ajay Shriram, president-designate, CII, suggested that the government create industrial parks for the manufacture of green products. The National Investment and Manufacturing zones (NMIZs) could also have a dedicated space for green manufacturing, he added. K Venkataramanan, Chairman, CII Manufacturing Council called upon the manufacturing sector to continuously explore how they can integrate sustainable, green practices into their processes and into the entire supply chain. Dr Arindam Bhattacharya, Vice Chairman, CII Manufacturing Council pointed out green manufacturing was a critical topic both in terms of competitiveness and future sustainability. Earlier, welcoming the participants, CII Director

General Chandrajit Banerjee said that a focus on manufacturing was integral to the inclusive growth agenda of the government. He said the CII had taken up green and sustainable issues and capacity building in the industry in a sustained and committed manner through its Centres of Excellence. A major step in this area has been the CII-GreenCo Rating System and recently in July, the first nine GreenCo Rated Companies were awarded. Currently, over 70 companies are working on the rating and many more companies have expressed their interest in the system. The Summit is an initiative by CII to integrate green manufacturing processes into mainstream manufacturing activities and make the industry more sustainable and clean. The seminar focused on areas such as marketing and promoting green products, creating a value chain, role of IT as enablers, new and emerging technologies and innovation.

Chidambaram assured that the bulk of Fuel Signing Agreement will be completed by August 31. The Indian rupee slumped past the 65 per dollar mark on Tuesday nearing its all-time low and paring its gains in the last two sessions, as concerns weighed heavily in the financial markets on the expected increase in government’s subsidy burden following the passage of the food security bill. The rupee fell to as low as 65.45 per dollar after opening the session at 65.01, compared with its Monday’s close of 64.31. India’s equity benchmark Sensex was trading at 18,347.53 points, down 1.13 per cent. The Indian currency had touched its lifetime low of 65.56 per dollar on 22 August.

Praful Patel Exhorts Industry To Extend Green Processes


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INTERNATIONAL NEWS China-Japan Bilateral Meeting Unlikely At G20 Summit

Beijing, Aug. 27 (ANI): Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said on Tuesday that it is unlikely for Chinese and Japanese leaders to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the forthcoming G20 summit due to Japan’s provocative words and moves. Asked at a press briefing about the prospect of a meeting at the summit, Li said it’s impossible for China to arrange such a bilateral meeting as Japan keeps making provocative moves. “A bilateral meeting involving leaders is not only about taking photos and shaking hands, it offers an opportunity for leaders to work out a solution to problems,” he said.

He noted Japanese leaders are ignoring historical facts and unwilling to face existing problems in ChinaJapan relations, while remain reluctant to hold substantive discussions on the Diaoyu Islands. Li said some political forces in Japan even openly denied the outcomes of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and blatantly challenged the post-war international order. “Under such circumstances how can we arrange the kind of bilateral meeting as wanted by the Japanese side?” Li asked in response. If the Japanese side wants to arrange a meeting for solving problems, it

needs to broaden its mindset, face historical facts and take concrete actions to remove obstacles, Li said. China-Japan relations are in severe difficulties because of the Diaoyu Islands issue and the Chinese side is not to blame, he said, adding that China has called for resolving the dispute through dialogue to improve bilateral relations, Xinhua reported. “We have done as what we’ve said. But Japan repeatedly shows only empty words asking for dialogues and refuses to talk over solutions to the problems, thus their posturing aims to mislead the public,” he said. The G20 Leaders’ Summit is scheduled for Sept. 5-6 in St Petersburg, Russia.

Johannesburg, Aug. 27 (ANI): Ukraine and Japan have agreed to launch a joint satellite project to gather information on the effects of radioactive leaks on the areas adjacent to the crippled Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear plants. The project aims to put eight miniature satellites into the orbit by 2014 to monitor the affected areas of the two world’s major nuclear

disasters, News24 reports. According to the Japanese foreign ministry, their satellites will be launched by Ukrainian carrier rockets under the joint project. The report added that the satellites will take images every two hours from an altitude of about 600 kms and also receive signals from sensors installed on the ground to collect information from areas where radiation levels exceed

the normal. Experts have claimed that Fukushima meltdown, caused by March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is expected to take around four decades for cleanup. And the explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in 1986 that sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere spreading across Europe had claimed more than 25 000 lives of the cleanup workers.

Dubai, Aug. 27 (ANI): The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has prepared an emergency plan to be rolled out to tackle nuclear leaks in the Gulf or elsewhere, after Fukushima nuclear plant leaks raised an alarm-like situation. The Gulf News reported that the GCC countries will hold a meeting in Vienna in the coming week to discuss the emergency plan, in case there were dangerous radiation levels from

the present leaks at the nuclear plant. M o h a m m a d Mubarak Bin Daina, vice chief executive of the Supreme Council for Environment in Bahrain, said that GCC countries were keen on the physical well-being of their citizens. The emergency plan will be implemented in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the report added. GCC officials had

earlier said that the IAEA should send international inspectors to Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant, after an earthquake struck the area and prompted grave concerns to the Gulf region over possible radiation leaks. The GCC countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have regularly called for a close monitoring of the nuclear situation in Iran and neighboring countries.

Japan, Ukraine Launch Joint-satellite Project To Monitor Radiation Leaks From Chernobyl, Fukushima

Gulf Countries Prepare Emergency Plan For Nuclear Leaks

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Italian Politician Insults Black Minister, Likens Her To Prostitute

London, Aug. 27 (ANI): An Italian politician has compared the country’s first black minister, Cécile Kyenge, to a prostitute because of her frequent visits to the black-dominated prostitute area. Cristiano Za Garibaldi, the rightwing deputy mayor of Diano Marina in Liguria, suggested on his Facebook page that Kyenge frequented an area used by prostitutes, many of whom were black, the Guardian reports. Cecile Kyenge, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but has Italian citizenship, has faced repeated racial slurs since being appointed minister for integration in April. Earlier, a former government minister with the Northern League party, Roberto Calderoli, had compared her to an orangutan in

A northern Italian winemaker, Fulvio Bressan, who allegedly called Kyenge a ‘dirty black monkey’ on his Facebook page last week, prompted a debate in the wine world about boycotting his wines. Another local councillor for the Northern League called for Kyenge to be raped earlier in June, in order to make her understand the seriousness of the attempted rape of two women in Genoa by a Somali.

Bananas were thrown at Kyenge during a speech in July. Za Garibaldi, meanwhile, repented on Sunday, and said that his comments were in bad taste and offensive. He clarified that the reason for making such offensive comments was his stress from having to pay high Italian taxes, the report added. Kyenge reacted that this was the umpteenth episode in a constant attack that was not only targeted at me, but anyone in this country who dares to think differently. Kyenge has, since she got appointed, pushed for a law granting Italian citizenship to children born in Italy to immigrants. Recently, she suggested second homes in Italy could be rented out to homeless people.

Washington, Aug. 27 (ANI): A senior Syrian official has said a US strike in Damascus could trigger chaos and threaten worldwide peace and security. The comments were made by Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, who said that his country would defend itself against any international attack. He said that Syria will not be an easy target as the U.S. and other countries ramp up rhetoric in response

to an alleged chemical weapons attack last week on a rebel-held neighborhood of the Syrian capital. According to CBS News, Mikdad spoke as support for an international response was mounting if it is confirmed that President Bashar al-Assad’s troops were responsible for the August 21 attack, which activists say killed hundreds. President Barack Obama is moving toward a military strike against Syria, but any final decision has

not yet been made. Mikdad did not elaborate on how Syria might defend itself, but he said such an attack would trigger “chaos in the entire world.” He said he is 100 percent confident that neither the Syrian army nor anyone who is part of the Syrian government used chemical weapons, adding the Syrian regime will never use them against its own people, if it has them, the report added.

Johannesburg, Aug. 28 (ANI): Libya’s prosecutor general has announced that late dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son and his spy chief’s trial will start on September 19 in the capital on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. Abdel-Qader Radwan said that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and former intelligence chief Abdul-

lah al-Senoussi have been charged with murder during Libya’s 2011 civil war, News24 reports. Gaddafi was captured in 2011 by the Zintan militia while trying to cross into Niger just a month after his father Colonel Gaddafi was captured and killed. Earlier, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges had ruled

that Libyan government was not capable of giving a fair trial to Seif al-Islam and had asked authorities to hand him over to The Hague. However, the Libyan Government has been struggling to exert its influence over large parts of the country and has not been able to transfer him without the permission of Zintan’s militia leaders.

July.

Syria Warns Of Global ‘Chaos’ If US Launches Air Strikes

Libya To Start Saif Gaddafi’s Trial On September 19 Over Murder Charges During Civil War


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Report Provides First Inside Look At Working Environment Of Journalists In Iran

Washington, Aug. 28 (ANI): Despite significant restraints that can include arrests, detentions, and imprisonment, Iranian journalists strive to achieve high standards of journalistic professionalism, according to a new report. The study was published by the Iran Media Program at the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS), Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. The report, Facing Boundaries, Finding Freedom: An In-Depth Report on Iranian Journalists Working in Iran, is based on a field survey of 304 Iranian journalists from both state-run and independent media outlets. The survey offers the first systematic evidence of the working environment for Iranian journalists, including the level of edito-

rial freedom they are able to exercise, their sources for newsgathering and reporting, and if and how they contend with Internet filtering and online censorship. “Our aim was better understand how journalists in Iran operate amidst heavy state censorship, especially since the state’s crackdown on journalists following the 2009 presidential election,” according to Briar Smith, associate director of CGCS and director of the Iran Media Program. “Our findings show that both state and independent reporters in Iran strongly believe that their function is to inform and serve the public and to act as a ‘check’ against the government and political elites—even though in practice, they also recognize there are limits to their ability to fulfill their ‘watchdog’ role,” Smith added. Smith, who co-au-

thored the report with Magdalena Wojcieszak, Ph.D. (Gr ’09), Associate Professor of Political Communication at the University of Amsterdam, and Amy Brouillette, visiting scholar at CGCS, said the report is especially timely given the state’s more recent crackdown on print and online journalists during the June 2013 election. “While the print media generally operate with far greater editorial freedom than Iran’s heavily-controlled state broadcaster, Iran’s print journalists came under intense government scrutiny and monitoring during the 2013 election season,” according to the report. “The constraints placed on both reformist and conservative news outlets demonstrate the unpredictability of the regime’s approach to both censoring and punishing media and journalists,” it added.

Washington, Aug. 27 (ANI): As America draws down its military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. and NATO prepare for future international missions in an age of austerity among allies. After the 2008 global economic meltdown, many nations reduced military budgets and pooled resources in response to economic uncertainties. For example, at one time, Bulgaria and neighboring Romania each had their own very small submarine fleets. Then, as wear and tear necessitated taking equipment out of service, the countries had neither funds nor particular need to replace the old equipment. They instead opted to share vessels in order to meet training needs – while also saving money. This is just one instance of security cooperation driven by today’s shrinking defense budgets. But it exemplifies the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) long-term “smart defense” strategy which calls for such cooperation – along with prioritization and specialization – in the face of both tightening budgets and

the reality that today’s militaries typically join forces in “hot spot” responses related to peacekeeping and postconflict reconstruction. That’s according to University of Cincinnati researcher Ivan Dinev Ivanov, visiting assistant professor of political science in UC’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. Ivanov will present an overview of NATO’s smart defense strategy at the American Political Science Association’s annual conference August 29-Sept. 1. That examination, titled “The Effect of NATO Partnerships on the Alliance’s Smart Defense,” studies to what extent NATO has been successful in persuading its allies and partners to contribute to the alliance’s smart defense focus. Ivanov’s overview analysis compares 27 different nations that participated in the NATO Partnership for Peace Program some time between 1994 and 2012. Some of these nations already were or have become NATO members, while others maintain partnership status. His research found

that those with closer ties to the alliance are more likely conduct security policies in line with smart defense, including Given current unrest in countries like Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East or in sub-Saharan Africa, NATO’s ability to engage its members and progress in various smart defense initiatives could matter even more in coming years. NATO’s broader security focus in the modern era contrasts with its 1949 founding, when it was dedicated to guaranteeing security for Europe against the risk of Soviet expansion and incursion. In fact, today, Russia has a special seat in the NATO-Russia Council. For the most part, today’s NATO members are not particularly concerned about territorial defense, in part because they are surrounded by like-minded friendly nations. Instead, they need to field specialized personnel and combat troops far from home in order to collectively meet the international community’s needs for crisis response, stabilization and reconstruction.

Research Examines NATO And Its ‘Smart Defense’ Focus In Era Of Economic Uncertainty


Nikki Haley Launches Re-election Bid For South Carolina Governor

Washington, Aug. 28 (ANI): South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley has announced her candidacy for a second term. Haley and the blue-shirted band of merry men kicked off her re-election campaign in South Carolina.

According to the New York Daily News, the GOP troupe came out in support of Haley in Greenville and even color-coordinated their outfits for the occasion. Haley took the stage at the BI-LO Center and greeted the crowds as ‘American Girl’ blared in

Jindal ‘Rejects’ Obama Impeachment Calls From Fellow Republicans

Washington, Aug. 26 (ANI): Indian-origin Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has said he disagrees with many of President Barack Obama’s policies, but it’s not time to kick him out of office through the impeachment process. The Republican governor told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ that he rejected that kind of talks, adding that they should be doing that for Obama. According to the Washington Times, Jindal was responding to long-shot talk of drawing up impeachment charges against Obama, an

idea that has surfaced among conservative lawmakers. At a meeting on Wednesday in Muskogee, Senator Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, called Obama ‘a personal friend’, but he warned that the scandals dogging the White House have put the president ‘perilously close’ to impeachment. Much of the speculation over impeachment has centered on the administration’s handling of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups, the report added.

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33 Lawmakers Urge Obama To Seek Congressional Approval For Military Action Against Syria

the background. The 41-year-old touted her job creation record and affirmed her staunch opposition to Obamacare in her speech. Haley will be facing Democratic state Senator Vincent Sheheen in the 2014 campaign.

Washington, Aug. 28 (ANI): Thirty-three House lawmakers have signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to reconvene Congress back into session if he plans to use military force in Syria. Republican Scott Rigell wrote in the letter that en-

gaging the US military in Syria when no direct threat to the United State exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution. According to Politico, the letter notes that the lawmak-

ers believe Obama should have asked Congress for permission when he sent cruise missiles and bombs into Libya. The letter said that if Obama deem military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene to mull over the issue.

London, Aug. 28 (ANI): The eldest son of Martin Luther King still feels inspired by the revolutionary speech his father gave in 1963 for the African-American civil rights movement calling for equality of Africans. Martin Luther King Jr had given the famous ‘I have a dream..’ speech exactly 50 years ago and his son Martin Luther King III was just five at that time but even today the speech appeals to him and reminds him of the euphoric energy that filled their family back then.

King Jr.’s speech became a rallying cry for the African-American Civil Rights movement, a call for equality that began to unite a country divided by racial segregation, Mirror reports. King III said that he didn’t really begin to appreciate the actual message that his father delivered then but he remembers how upbeat they were about bringing a change in the society. He said that at seven years of age when he listened to the speech he was moved to tears as his father had made a reference to his

dream being that his four children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. King III, now 55 and a human rights activist carrying on his father’s crusade himself experienced racism while in school but his father’s absence was more difficult to deal with when he was shot down on April 4, 1968 on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, aged just 39. The report said that

today in Washington, King Jr.’s powerful speech will be commemorated at a ceremony attended by President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton at the Lincoln Memorial. King III said that having an African-American president was only a very small part of the dream adding that responsible steps need to be taken to address issues like little black children being gunned down in the country and make the world a better place for Yolanda and all God’s children.

MLK III Inspired By Father’s ‘I Have A Dream Speech’ Even After 50 Years


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AUG. 31 - SEPT. 1 Gnanananda Seva Samajam, Inc., USA invites all to ‘Namasankeerthanam Mela 2013’ to celebrate the divine celestial wedding of Lord Krishna and Radha. Timings are as follows: August 31 - 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and September 1 - 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Venue is Durga Temple, 8400 Durga Place, Fairfax Station, VA. The program features bhajans, Radha Kalyanam, divyanamam, ashtapathis and guru padhuka pujas. Attend this free event to seek blessings of the Gods. For further information, visit www.gssus. org or e-mail gssus@gssus. org The National Council of Asian Indian Associations (NCAIA) together with the IndianAmerican community of the Washington metro area invites all to a cricket tournament to promote this sport and encourage those who are avidly interested in cricket. The teams which will be representing the Indian Cricket League include Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Tamil/Kerala. Location of the tournament is Calverton Galway Park, 3039 Fairland Road, Silver Spring, MD. For more information, Readers can contact Mayur Mody, tournament coordinator, at mmmayurmody@gmail.com or Dr. Suresh K. Gupta, President of NCAIA, at 301-3329596 or skgupta@gmail.com or Mr. Pavan Bezwada, co-coordinator, at 301-455-0073 or pavanbez@gmail.com SEPTEMBER 6 The Asian Studies Program at the University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC) is presenting a Yakshagana, a musical dance drama in Hindi titled, ‘Panchavati’ - the story of Surpanakha, by the troupe Yaksha Manjusha. Yakshagana depicts Indian epics through song, dance and dialogues. Time is 7:00 p.m. Location is the UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall, Room 118. For further information, call 410-455-2094 or e-mail asianstudies@umbc. edu . Note: Yakshagana is a musical theater popular in the coastal regions of Karnataka. It consists of a ‘himmela’ (background music group)

and a ‘mummela’ (dance and dialogue group in colorful costumes). Yaksha Manjusha is a Yakshagana troupe based in Mangalore, enrolled with ICCR. They are the only troupe to perform Yakshagana in Hindi. The performance at UMBC will have English subtitles. SEPTEMBER 6 - 15 Sri Siva Vishnu Temple is presenting ‘Sri Mahaganapathy Mahotsavam’, a grand religious event for Lord Ganesha. Prayers will be offered for the removal of all obstacles to any endeavor including spiritual ones. It is believed that the positive vibrations created by the participation of the community, including thousands of families with their children, will ensure the continued prosperity of the family unit, the temple satsang and the nation. The temple is located at 6905 Cipriano Road, Lanham, MD. For details, visit www.ssvt.org or call 301-552-3335 or e-mail ssvt@ssvt.org SEPTEMBER 8 - 14 Durga Temple is presenting Ram Katha by Dr. Ram Kamal Das Vedanti Ji. Katha will be followed by Aarti and bhandara everyday. The temple is located at 8400 Durga Place, Fairfax Station, VA (703-6909355). For details, please go to www.durgatemple.org SEPTEMBER 10 Montgomery College is offering a US Citizenship Preparation Program. Are you a legal permanent resident? Do you need help preparing for the US citizenship test and interview? Come to an information session and discover how Montgomery College may be able to help you, for free! Please come to one of the information sessions and bring your Green Card: September 10, at 6:00 p.m.; September 14, at 9:00 a.m.; October 8, at 6:00 p.m.; October 12, at 9:00 a.m.; November 5, at 6:00 p.m.; and November 9, at 9:00 a.m. Location is Westfield South, 11002 Veirs Mill Road, Suite 306, Wheaton, MD. The Montgomery College Citizenship Preparation Program is for legal permanent residents who live in Montgomery

INDIA THIS WEEK

County, MD, and are learning English as a second language. For more information, Readers can contact Nancy Newton at 240-567-8169 or nancy. newton@montgomerycollege. edu SEPTEMBER 14 Network of South Asian Professionals - DC Chapter (NetSAP-DC) presents ‘Fusion 2013’ at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Time is 7:30 p.m. Location is the Terrace Theater. The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC (1-800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600). The evening will celebrate the many cultures and facets of South Asia through various artistic mediums including dance, comedy skits, musical acts and much more! NetSAP-DC is teaming up with the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center to sponsor the release of its groundbreaking exhibition, ‘Beyond Bollywood: IndianAmericans Shape the Nation’, which is scheduled to open in December. For more information, go to www.FusionDC. org or www.kennedy-center. org . If you are interested in performing or volunteering, please e-mail fusion@dc.netsap.org or netsapdcfusion@dc. netsap.org SEPTEMBER 20 Manish and Deepa Sood of Intense Entertainment are presenting top-notch Indian playback singer Shreya Ghoshal - live in concert! Venue is the DAR Constitution Hall located at 1776 D Street, NW, Washington, DC. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; concert starts at 8:00 p.m. For details, please call 202-59-MASTI (62784) or visit www.intenseus.com SEPTEMBER 21 A Money Matter Mortgage, Inc., presents the 19th annual Miss India-DC Pageant. Come and cheer on the Washington metro area’s talented contestants as they compete for the title of 2013 Miss India-DC. Time is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Location is the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville, MD. For more information, please contact Neena Bhaskar

at 202-361-2439, Sibtain Kazmi at 201-460-5626, MyDosti.com at 703-675-2645 or go to http://deals.mydosti.com/ us/ SEPTEMBER 28 American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin - National Capital Chapter (ASEI-NCC) is hosting its 28th Annual National Convention. The theme is “Innovative Technologies: An Engine for Economic Growth”. The program includes: morning plenary; luncheon; evening gala banquet; tracks of technical presentation; and panel discussions. Tracks and panels are on information technology, healthcare IT, nanotechnology, traditional energy, renewable energy, bioengineering and space contributions of Indian-Americans, STEM. Participants include major US and India corporations, government agencies, Indian Embassy, entrepreneurs, dignitaries, academia and students. The convention will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Location is the University of Maryland at College Park, Riggs Alumni Center and Adele Stamp Student Union Building. For further information, go to www.aseincc.org or call 202-800-0333, Dr. Ajay Kothari, Convention Chair, at 301-935-5868, Mr. Hari Bindal, ASEI-NCC President, at 301-262-0254, G.S. Sridhar, Convention Co-Chair at 571-274-9672, Ms. Pavithra Kenjige, ASEI-NCC Vice President, at 703-815-1629 or Mayur Kathuria, ASEI-UMD, at 240-475-2320. Note: The convention is being co-hosted by ASEI-UMD, College Park, in collaboration with PANIIT, MIBRT, USIBC, USINPAC and other professional organizations. Manan Singh Katohora and Panache DC are presenting ‘Dance Milkha Dance’ Bollywood-Hollywood dance party featuring the famous Bollywood disc jockey, SVP DJ. Time is 10:00 p.m. Panache is located at 1725 Desales Street, NW, Washington, DC. For details, please go to https://dancemilkhadance. eventbrite.com or call 202656-DESI (3374).

If you want to publish an upcoming event in our Community Calendar please send an e-mail: GComCal@aol.com or Fax: 703-893-2202 or contact: Geeta at 703-599-6623. Please send the announcement at least one week in advance SEPTEMBER 29 Kerala Cultural Society of Metropolitan Washington (KCSMW), in collaboration with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), are organizing ‘Miles 4 Smiles’, a 5K run/1 mile walk. Time is 8:00 a.m. Location is the National Harbor, a 300-acre multi-use waterfront development on the shores of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County, MD. KCSMW is a non-profit organization which focuses on promoting cultural awareness and social activities primarily among IndianAmericans. For further information, visit www.kcsmw.org or www.miles4smiles.org or www.lls.org OCTOBER 5 The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) is hosting its exceedingly popular and awaited annual Gala. The ‘2013 SAJA Gala’, featuring an awards ceremony and banquet-style dinner, will be held at the Yale Club in New York City. The association will honor and recognize excellence in journalism coverage in South Asia as well as outstanding reporting by South Asian journalists. This is a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow SAJA members, other reporters, editors and producers from reputable media outlets. Registration is open until September 30. For details, head to www.saja.org OCTOBER 19 Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will debut the world’s first exhibition, ‘Yoga: The Art of Transformation’, on the visual history of Yoga. US tour will follow. Yoga is a global phenomenon, practiced by millions of people seeking spiritual insight or better health. Few, however, are aware of yoga’s rich diversity and historical transformations. Opening October 19, at the

Sackler Gallery, ‘Yoga: The Art of Transformation’, the world’s first exhibition about the discipline’s visual history, will reveal the fascinating meanings and histories over the past 2,000 years. ‘Yoga: The Art of Transformation’, on view through January 26, 2014, explores yoga’s philosophies and its goals of transforming body and consciousness, its importance within multiple religious and secular arenas and the varied roles that yogis played in society, from sages to spies. Working with an interdisciplinary team of scholars, curator Debra Diamond assembled more than 130 objects from 25 museums and private collections in India, Europe and the United States, compiling a remarkable survey of Indian art. As much of yoga’s history remains shrouded in mystery, this comprehensive look at yoga’s visual culture marks the start of a new field of study. The Sackler Gallery is located at 1050 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC. For more information, readers can call 202-633-4880 or visit www.asia.si.edu OCTOBER 20 Konark Dance School and MKK-USA are presenting ‘Bandhan’ - the Bond, featuring Konark Dance School artists and invited guest artist, Guru Meera Das of Orissa. The program includes dances in the Kathak, Mohiniattam, North African and Odissi styles, as well as a dance drama. Time is 6:00 p.m. Venue is the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville, MD. Net proceeds will benefit needy and bright STEM scholars. For further information, please call 703-450-4291 or email mkkusa@yahoo.com or konarkdanceschool@gmail. com or visit www.konarkdanceschool.org


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Pak Govt. Says 339 Drone Attacks In 11 Years Claimed 400 Civilian Lives

Islamabad, Aug. 27 (ANI): The Pakistan government has revealed that more than 339 drone attacks have been recorded in the country since 2004, based on the findings of unofficial organisations which followed America’s policy to use the unmanned vehicles worldwide. The government informed the National Assembly that it disapproved the drone attacks on the country that had killed almost 400 civilians in the tribal belt of Pakistan in last 11 years, the Dawn reports. The statement

comes in response to a question asked in the assembly, but did not mention the number of terrorists killed in the drone attacks. The government termed these drone attacks as a violation to the country’s sovereignty and was building pressure through likeminded organisations, countries and the UN against their legitimacy, the report added. Minister of State Khurram Dastagir Khan filed the response in absence of Sartaj Aziz, who is the adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs. Khan also denied to

the subsequent claims that the Pakistan government had any understanding with the U.S. government to allow the use of drones in the tribal areas. He said it could be safely assumed that the previous two governments led by the PML-Q and PPP had silently agreed to the issue, but the government hadn’t found any written agreement between Pakistan and the U.S. on the use of drones. He also claimed that the frequency of the attacks had decreased since the recent visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Pakistan.

London, Aug. 28 (ANI): Survivors of Sri Lanka’s civil war have complained to the United Nations’ human rights chief about missing relatives, military land grabs and a life without basic facilities more than four years after the end of the war. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited a village in northern Sri Lanka, on a factfinding mission, where hundreds of civilians are alleged to have died. According to the BBC, Pillay is the most senior UN official to visit the north

since Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2009. Pillay, who is due to meet senior ministers including President Mahinda Rajapaksa later this week, told survivors that she would raise their complaints with the government. About 300 people demonstrated in Jaffna to complain that the UN was not doing enough to investigate enforced disappearances and land-grabs. One of the protesters, Ananthi Sasitharan, is the wife of Velayutham Sasitharan, a top Tamil rebel leader.

According to the report, Pillay’s seven-day visit comes after a second US-sponsored UN resolution in March urged Colombo to carry out credible investigations into killings and disappearances during the war, especially in its final stages. Human rights activists in Jaffna have said more than 700 people disappeared between 2006 and 2009. Pillay’s visit comes as Canada has called for a boycott of a Commonwealth summit scheduled to take place in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo in November.

Tamil Sri Lankan War Survivors Complain To UN Rights Chief About ‘Life Without Facilities’

Around 90% Pak Rural Areas Lack Safe Drinking Water Supply: Report

Islamabad, Aug. 27 (ANI): The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has revealed that 90 percent of the rural population lack access to safe drinking water. PCRWR officials said that only 15 percent to 18 percent of the groundwater water samples taken were safe for drinking both in urban and rural areas of the country, the Daily Times reports. According to the report, 79 percent of the sources of functional Water Supply Schemes (WSS) in Punjab were unsafe for drinking. The report further showed that around 40 percent of these schemes were unsafe due to microbiological contami-

nation, while about 23 percent contained major pollutants, like total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride, sodium, iron, arsenic and fluoride. PCRWR reportedly found 59 percent of the water samples unfit for drinking in Islamabad, while 83 percent of the samples collected from villages across Rawalpindi district were deemed unsafe by the officials. These figures far exceeded Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority guidelines, the report added. In Faisalabad, out of 162 Water Supply Schemes (WSS), 58 were not functional. Among the non-functional WSSs, 62 percent were temporarily, while 38 percent were permanently closed.

The report added that out of 202 WSSs in the Chakwal district, only 21 percent were supplying safe water from the sources. According to the report, mostly untreated water was being supplied to the consumers, which was causing many waterborne diseases among adults and kids, like diarrhea and dysentery. Safe drinking water was only being supplied in 17 percent of the rural areas of the Rawalpindi district, the report added. The report also suggested that such high levels of water contamination were a result of the unhygienic practices in the rural areas, particularly due to lack of education.

Pakistan Approves Prisoners’ Exchange Treaty With U.S., Europe

Islamabad, Aug. 28 (Xinhua-ANI): Pakistan on Wednesday approved signing of the exchange of prisoners’ treaty with the United States and Europe that will enable Islamabad to seek repatriation of Pakistani citizens imprisoned in the United States as well as other countries which have ratified the agreement, officials said. Pakistan had been negotiating the agreement concerning the transfer of convicted prisoners with more than 20 countries including the United States and European countries. Officials earlier said the United States had called on Pakistan to sign a Council of Europe convention on the transfer of prisoners or convicts. The recommendation came in response to a request for the repatriation of Pakistani prisoners languishing in US jails. The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, 1985, signed and ratified by 64 countries, allows foreigners convicted of a criminal offence to serve out their sentences in their home countries. Former Pakistani Law Minister Ahmer Bilal Soofi said the matter is tricky and may take some more time in obtaining final consent of the United States. Soofi, who served in the caretaker government in-

stalled to supervise the May 11 election this year, said Pakistan had two options to seek repatriation of convicted Pakistani prisoners. Either they could join a bilateral treaty called the Inter- American Convention or ratify the Council of European convention to repatriate Pakistani prisoners. “We preferred the European treaty because it was appropriate,” Soofi, who had also added in in-put in the treaty, said. “Had Pakistan ratified the bilateral Inter-American Convention, then only convicted prisoners could have been repatriated from Pakistan to the United States and vice versa.” Pakistan did not want to ratify the bilateral treaty as it was complicated and could also ask for the repatriation of accused persons. For instance, through the treaty, the United States could demand repatriation of the father of its nuclear program, Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan, who was accused of transferring nuclear technology to some states illegally. Officials said that Washington had also showed its willingness to cooperate with Pakistan over the exchange of prisoners. The former government of Pakistan People Party had endorsed the foreign ministry’s suggestion for

Pakistan to sign the Council of Europe Convention to take up the case of Pakistani national Dr. Aafia’s case, as well as that of other prisoners. Dr. Aafia, a Pakistani neuroscientist, was imprisoned on Sept. 23, 2010 in the United States, and was sentenced by a U.S. court to 86 years for having attempted to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. She is currently being held in a maximum-security prison in Texas. Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved signing of the treaty. The Prime Minister Nawaz directed the Interior Minister to make arrangements for the early return of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, officials said. Former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had, earlier this year, endorsed the foreign ministry’s suggestion for Pakistan to sign the Council of Europe Convention to take up the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqi, as well as other prisoners. The issue of an agreement was formally taken up with Washington some four years back when the then interior minister Rehman Malik and US Attorney General Eric Holder met to discuss matters related to prisoners, including Dr. Aafia.

Islamabad, Aug. 28 (ANI): The European Union human rights delegation has warned Pakistan that resuming executions of criminals and militants could act as a major setback to the prospective trade status of the country, which is under consideration of the European Parliament. European officials are due to visit Pakistan to assess the human rights situation in the country before granting it access to the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP)-plus status for preferential trade tariffs, the Dawn News reports. According to the

report, the countries, which want to gain GSP-plus status, are required to ratify and implement a series of international conventions relating to labour rights and governance. EU Ambassador to Pakistan Lars-Gunnar Wigemark said that the EU’s position on the abolition of the death penalty was very clear as they believed that the executions will not deter any violent crime, including terrorism. Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government had decided to scrap the five-year moratorium on the death penalty in June in a

bid to crack down on criminals and militants in the violence-torn country. However, objections from President Asif Ali Zardari and human rights groups had forced a temporary stay on the Executions of three prisoners last week. Pakistan has been trying to reinvigorate its ailing economy by boosting business with the EU, the report added. Human rights group Amnesty International had estimated that Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row and most of whom have exhausted the appeals process.

EU Warns Pak Resuming Death Penalty Could Deter Prospective Trade Status


Karzai’s Pakistan Visit Ends In ‘Muted Disappointment’: Report

Washington, Aug. 28 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s two-day visit to Pakistan ended in muted disappointment. No agreements or specific statements on the key issues of Taliban peace talks, prisoner releases or insurgent sanctuaries were made. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, welcoming Karzai for the first time since taking office in June, spoke warmly of relations between the two Muslim neighbors. Sharif also reiterated in several statements that Pakistan is committed to Afghanistan’s peace and security. According to the Washington Post, Karzai said the two leaders discussed how to work together to fight terrorism and advance the

peace process. Karzai had also been expected to ask for the release of jailed Taliban leaders who might join in talks, especially Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was arrested in 2010 in a joint operation by Pakistani and U.S. intelligence teams. The report said that even though the Afghan president’s visit was extended by one day and concluded with lunch in a breezy hilltop resort, Sharif and other Pakistani officials made no public offers to help restart talks with the Taliban or to release any Taliban prisoners. As Karzai flew back to Kabul on Tuesday afternoon, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued a bland statement saying that in cordial talks, ‘both sides had reaffirmed their commitment to deepen and broaden’ bilat-

eral relations and “agreed to work together for the promotion of peace and reconciliation” in Afghanistan. According to the report, analysts in Pakistan suggested that the Afghan leader had pinned unrealistic hopes on Sharif, who said recently that Pakistan needed to “think afresh” about Afghanistan and sent his senior security adviser to Kabul to invite Karzai to Islamabad. Karzai has often accused Pakistan of providing shelter and support for Islamist insurgents and of seeking to undermine Afghanistan’s stability. He has visited Pakistan at least 18 times as president since 2002 but has always failed to secure meaningful cooperation in fighting terrorism or reining in the Taliban, the report added.

Moreh (Manipur), Aug.28 (ANI): Even as the Assam Rifles has reportedly alerted the Union Home Ministry about alleged intrusion by Myanmar troops into Indian territory nearly a week ago, but has not issued a formal statement as yet on the incident, a highlevel state committee led by Principal Secretary (Home) Dr.J Suresh Babu visited the border town of Moreh to assess the situation arising out of the allegations. Media reports have stated that Myanmarese troops had been preparing to set up a temporary camp inside Indian land, claiming the area lay within their country. On arriving at the border town,110 km south of Imphal in Chandel District two days ago, committee

members inspected different locations of the ongoing border fencing construction sites, including Govajang village which is said to be divided by the fence. The Centre in consultation with the Manipur Government has started to build the border fence measuring around 10 kilometer at Moreh along the porous Indo-Myanmar border, reports the Assam Tribune daily. According to the villagers, about 10 houses out of 25 in the village, including a church, will go to Myanmar once the fencing comes into existence. In view of the development, the authority has stopped the ongoing construction works at Govajang. The visiting team

also visited the Holenphai village, about two kilometers away from Moreh to verify the allegations that Myanmarese troops are preparing to set up a temporary camp within the village land. Later, Dr. Babu said a report would be submitted to the authorities for further steps to be taken. Meanwhile, the newly floated Committee on Protection of Land in Border Fencing (CPLBF) has demanded a joint border survey along the 398 km Manipur sector of the IndoMyanmar border involving State, Centre and Mynanmar authorities. The CPLBF, according to the daily, has threatened to launch various forms of agitation if the authorities concerned failed to meet their demands.

London, Aug. 26 (ANI): Rioters in Burma have burnt Muslim-owned houses and shops in an outbreak of apparent sectarian violence in the country. Riots broke out around the central town of Kanbalu, after police refused to hand over a Muslim man accused of raping a Buddhist

woman.

The violence sparked clashes in at least three other towns and left more than 12,000 Muslims displaced. The clashes in Meiktila were the worst, where nearly 200 people were killed and tens of thousands forced from their homes, the report added.

Manipur Border Fencing Sites Inspected In Wake Of Alleged Myanmar Troops Intrusion

Burma Rioters Torch Muslim Homes And Shops Following Buddhist Woman Rape According to the BBC, it is the latest in a series of attacks on the Muslim community that police have failed to control. At least 43 people, most of them Muslims, died in the violence that erupted after an argument at a Muslim-owned shop.

ANI

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Women Benefit More From High Intensity Interval Training Than Men

Washington, August 28 (ANI): When it comes to running, women may be able to get more out of high intensity interval training (HIIT) than their male counterparts, according to a study. ‘Sex-specific Responses to Interval Training’ was conducted by Drs. Matt Laurent and Matt Kutz, Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies at Bowling Green State University; Lauren Vervaecke, Division of Applied Physiology, University of South Carolina; and Dr. Matt Green, Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at the University of North Alabama. Earlier interval training studies primarily focused on highly trained males, but researchers say that overlooks the variety of other populations that routinely use interval train-

ing.

Researchers put eight men and eight women between the ages of 19 and 30 through self-paced, high intensity interval training using different recovery periods. All of them reported at least a moderate fitness level and participation in at least one session of interval training a week. Participants hit the treadmill for six, four-minute intervals performed at the highest intensity they felt they could maintain. Recovery between intervals consisted of one minute, two minutes or four minutes. Throughout the intervals, their maximum oxygen consumption and heart rates were measured. Results revealed a significant effect of gender on both percentages. Across the trials, men self-selected a faster relative

pace, but the women worked at a higher percentage of their maximum heart rate than the men and a higher percentage of their maximum oxygen consumption. Laurent said that specifically, in our case, men and women tend to work at the same level of perceived exertion and feel similarly recovered between each interval, however, as they perform the interval runs women tended to work ‘harder’ from a relative cardiovascular (percent HRmax and per cent VO2max) standpoint than men. Results also confirmed previous findings suggesting that a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio is optimal during HIIT for both men and women. The study has been published in an upcoming Journal of Strength and Conditioning.

Treating Diabetes Early Could Also Help Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Washington, Aug 28 (ANI): Two treatments that slow the development of diabetes may also protect people from heart disease, a new study suggests. Researchers examined the effect that making intensive lifestyle changes or taking the medication metformin had on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The study, part of the National Institutes of Health’s Diabetes Prevention

Program, found that both treatments induced positive changes in the level of particles that carry cholesterol and triglycerides through the blood stream. These changes could lower the chances of plaque building up in blood vessels. “Cardiovascular disease is the most significant cause of death and disability in people with diabetes,” the study’s lead author,

Ronald Goldberg, MD, of the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, said. “Our findings demonstrate that the same therapies used to slow the onset of diabetes also may help allay the risk of heart disease,” he said. The study is set to be published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).

Washington, August 27 (ANI): A team of researchers has developed a patch with tiny, biodegradable needles that are able to penetrate the skin and precisely deliver a TB test. Senior author Marco Rolandi, a University of Washington assistant professor of materials science and engineering, said that with a microneedle test there’s little room for user error, because the depth of delivery is determined by the microneedle length rather than the needleinsertion angle. He said that this test is painless and easier to ad-

minister than the traditional skin test with a hypodermic needle. Rolandi’s lab and collaborators at the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle say that their test is going to be easier to use, less painful and has the potential to be more successful than the standard TB skin test. The researchers tested the patch on guinea pigs and found that after the microneedles were inserted using the patch, the skin reaction associated with having a tuberculosis infection was the same as when using the standard hypodermic needle

test.

Microneedle Patch Set To Replace Standard TB Skin Test

Rolandi said that a microneedle patch test has potential as a simpler, more reliable option than the traditional tuberculosis test for children who are needle-shy, or in developing countries where medical care is limited. He added that it’s like putting on a bandage, as long as the patch is applied on the skin, the test is always delivered to the same depth underneath the skin. The research has been published online in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.

Gut’s Sweet Food Taste Mechanisms ‘Abnormal In Diabetics’

Washington, August 26 (ANI): Researchers have found that the way that the gut ‘tastes’ sweet food differs in type 2 diabetes sufferers, which could lead to problems with glucose uptake. Dr Richard Young, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher in the University of Adelaide’s Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory, says taste buds aren’t the only way the body detects sweetness. He said that when we talk about ‘sweet taste’, most people think of tasting sweet food on their tongue, but scientists have found that sweet taste receptors are present in a number of sites in the human body. Young said that they’re now just beginning

to understand the importance of the sweet taste receptors in the human intestine and what this means for sufferers of type 2 diabetes. In his study, Dr Young compared healthy adults with type 2 diabetic adults. He found that the control of sweet taste receptors in the intestine of the healthy adults enabled their bodies to effectively regulate glucose intake 30 minutes after exposure to glucose. However, abnormalities in the diabetic adults resulted in more rapid glucose uptake. Young said that when sweet taste receptors in the intestine detect glucose, they trigger a response that may regulate the way glucose is absorbed by the intestine.

He said that the studies have shown that in diabetes patients, the glucose is absorbed more rapidly and in greater quantities than in healthy adults. Young said that this shows that diabetes is not just a disorder of the pancreas and of insulin - the gut plays a bigger role than researchers have previously considered. He added that this is because the body’s own management of glucose uptake may rely on the actions of sweet taste receptors, and these appear to be abnormally controlled in people with type 2 diabetes. The results have been published online in the international journal Diabetes.

Washington, August 26 (ANI): Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease linked with repeat brain trauma including concussions in athletes, may affect them adversely, according to a new study. The disease can affect people in two major ways: initially affecting behaviour or mood or initially affecting memory and thinking abilities. CTE has been found in amateur and professional athletes, members of the military and others who experienced repeated head injuries, including concussions and subconcussive trauma. For the study, study author Robert A. Stern, PhD, a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine, and his team examined the brains of 36 male athletes, ages 17 to 98, diagnosed with CTE after death, and who had no other brain disease, like Alzheimer’s. The majority of the athletes had played amateur or professional football, with the rest participating in hockey, wrestling or boxing.

The participants’ family members were interviewed about the athletes’ life and medical history, specifically dementia, changes in thinking, memory, behavior, mood, motor skills or ability to carry out daily living tasks. Researchers also reviewed the athletes’ medical records. A total of 22 of the athletes had behaviour and mood problems as their first symptoms of CTE, while 11 had memory and thinking problems as their first symptoms. Three of the athletes did not show any symptoms of CTE at the time of death. Those with behaviour and mood problems experienced symptoms at a younger age, with the first symptom appearing at an average age of 35, compared to an average age of 59 for those with memory and thinking problems. Almost all people in the mood/behaviour group, or 91 percent, experienced symptoms of memory and thinking decline at some point, but fewer in the cognition group experienced mood

and behaviour symptoms throughout their disease, with 55 percent experiencing behaviour symptoms and 64 percent experiencing mood symptoms at some point. The group that experienced mood symptoms was more explosive, out of control, physically and verbally violent and depressed than the group that experienced memory and thinking deficits, with family members reporting that 73 percent of those in the first group were “explosive,” compared to 27 percent in the second group. A total of 64 percent of the first group were described as being “out of control,” compared to 27 percent of the second group, and 68 percent were physically violent, compared to 18 percent. A total of 74 percent were verbally violent, compared to 18 percent. And 86 percent had depression, compared to 18 percent of those with memory symptoms. The study has been published online in Neurology.

Repeated Brain Trauma May Have Adverse Effects In Athletes

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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

It’s Snowing In World’s Driest Hot Desert!

London, August 28 (ANI): Atacama Desert, described as the driest hot desert in the world, in Chile was recently witness to a rare occurrence- snowfall. San Pedro de Atacama’s residents said that the weekend snow was the

heaviest in 30 years for the desert city, which is 750 miles north of the capital, Santiago, Sky News reported. Meanwhile, local officials asserted that they are concerned that the snow and rain that fell over the weekend could cause

rivers to flood. The national tourism office added that the road to the city was temporarily blocked due to the unusual weather. Although officials expect more rain in the area, they have not ordered any evacuation.

New Graphene-Copper Composite 500 Times Stronger Than Original Metal

Washington, August 28 (ANI): Researchers have put graphene’s tensile strength to test by using it in a composite that consists of copper and nickel. The graphene is able to make the copper 500 times as strong as it would be on its own and it makes nickel 180 times as strong, Discovery News reported. In the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) research, chemical vapor de-

position (CVD) was used to grow a single layer of graphene on a metallic deposited substrate, and then another metal layer was deposited on it. These steps were repeated again, which resulted in a multilayer metal-graphene composite material. Professor Sueng Min Han said that the results are astounding as 0.00004 percent in weight of graphene raised the strength of the materials hundreds of

times.

Washington, August 26 (ANI): Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have found twin jets of matter blasting out into space at record-breaking speed. They claim that the forceful molecular “winds” can help refine our understanding of how stars impact their cloudy nurseries and shape their emerging stellar systems. During their formative years, stars both take in and blast away tremendous amounts of matter. When this ejected material collides with the surrounding gas it glows, forming what is known as a Herbig-Haro (HH) object. This give-and-take can greatly impact the way a stellar system evolves and also reshape the surrounding nebula of dust and gas from which either single or whole families of stars form. By studying one such stellar neighborhood, dubbed HH 46/47, the international team of astronomers uncovered high-velocity streams of carbon monox-

ide (CO) molecules flowing away from a star buried deep within its cloudy stellar nursery. ALMA’s superb sensitivity and the orientation of the star enabled the researchers to detect two jets of CO, when only one had ever been seen before. The data also revealed that this material was rushing along at 40 kilometers per second, which is 3 to 4 times faster than seen in previous CO observations. Hector Arce from Yale University, the principal investigator on this study, said that the ALMA data reveal molecular gas close to the protostar at velocities much higher that ever observed from such an object. He said that this means that this rapidly fleeing gas carries much more energy and momentum than previously thought, which could significantly impact the evolution of this emerging stellar system. The star, which is located 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Vela, is relatively young --

on the order of a few hundred thousand years. The astronomers speculate that it is not significantly different from what our infant Sun would have looked like, though a little less massive. In their youth, stars bulk-up by drawing in material from a surrounding disk of dust and gas. A portion of this material, however, gets diverted and caught-up in the star’s magnetic fields causing it to be spewed out as jets from the stars’ north and south poles. Since there is a direct relationship between the jets and a star’s accretion disk, there is a great deal to be learned about stellar formation by simply studying the jets. These new observations also suggest that there have been episodes of outflow followed by quieter, less active periods. This would mean that there has also been episodic accretion of material onto the star. The results are published in the Astrophysical Journal.

He said that improvements on these may also help make possible the production of automobile and spacecraft lightweight, ultra-high strength parts. According to Han, this graphene-metal composite is also capable of being used as a coating in nuclear reactor construction or other structural applications. The study has been published in the journal Nature Communications.

How Stars Shape Emerging Stellar Systems

New Element Discovered

Washington, Aug 28 (ANI): A team of researchers, led by physicists from Lund University, have confirmed the existence of what is considered a new element with atomic number 115. The experiment was conducted at the GSI research facility in Germany. The results confirm earlier measurements performed by research groups in Russia. “This was a very successful experiment and is one of the most important in the field in recent years,” Dirk Rudolph, Professor at the Division of Atomic Physics at Lund University, said. Besides the observations of the new chemical element, the researchers have also gained access to data that gives them a deeper insight into the structure and properties of super-heavy atomic nuclei. By bombarding a thin film of americium with calcium ions, the research

Washington, Aug 27 (ANI): A team of scientists at NASA want to put a sail-powered rover on Venus’ surface. Principal investigator Geoffrey Landis and his team have been looking at electronics and power sources that will hold up in these harsh conditions for Zephyr, their landsail rover named after one the Greek wind gods, ABC News reported. Paul Mahaffy, the principal investigator behind the SAM suite of in-

struments on board the Curiosity rover on Mars, said that NASA has tried to do rigorous measurements in Venus’s atmosphere but failed. Landis’s team went with a landsail design because it takes advantage of the planet’s flat topography and its calm winds. The rover would be passively powered by the sail and any electric power can instead be directed to the radio and the scientific instruments, he said.

Washington, August 26 (ANI): Silica-rich magma reservoirs can persist in Earth’s upper crust for hundreds of thousands of years without causing an eruption, according to a new research. The new University of Washington modeling research shows that an area known to have experienced a massive volcanic eruption in the past, like Yellowstone National Park, could have a large pool of magma festering beneath it and still not be close to going off as it did 600,000 years ago. Recent research models have suggested that reservoirs of silica-rich magma, or molten rock, form on and survive for geologically short time scales – in the tens of thousands of years – in the Earth’s cold upper crust before they solidify. They also suggested that the magma had to be injected into the Earth’s crust at a high rate to reach a large enough volume and pressure to cause an eruption.

But Sarah Gelman, a UW doctoral student in Earth and space sciences and her collaborators took the models further, incorporating changes in the crystallization behavior of silica-rich magma in the upper crust and temperaturedependent heat conductivity. They found that the magma could accumulate more slowly and remain molten for a much longer period than the models previously suggested. There are two different kinds of magma and their relationship to one another is unclear. Plutonic magma freezes in the Earth’s crust and never erupts, but rather becomes a craggy granite formation like those commonly seen in Yosemite National Park. Volcanic magma is associated with eruptions, whether continuous “oozing” types of eruption such as Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano or more explosive eruptions such as Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines or Mount St.

Helens in Washington state. The new work suggests that molten magma reservoirs in the crust can persist for far longer than some scientists believe. Silica content is a way of judging how the magma has been affected by being in the crust, Gelman said. As the magma is forced up a column from lower in the Earth to the crust, it begins to crystallize. Crystals start to drop out as the magma moves higher, leaving the remaining molten rock with higher silica content. Gelman said that even if the molten magma begins to solidify before it erupts it is still a long process. As the magma cools, more crystals form giving the rock a kind of mushy consistency. It is still molten and capable of erupting, but it will behave differently than magma that is much hotter and has fewer crystals. The research has been published in Geology.

team was able to measure photons in connection with the new element’s alpha decay. Certain energies of the photons agreed with the expected energies for X-ray radiation, which is a ‘fingerprint’ of a given element. The new superheavy element has yet to be named. A committee com-

prising members of the international unions of pure and applied physics and chemistry will review the new findings to decide whether to recommend further experiments before the discovery of the new element is acknowledged. The findings are set to be presented in the scientific journal The Physical Review Letters.

NASA Preparing To Send Sail-powered Rover To Venus

Molten Magma Can Survive In Earth’s Upper Crust For Hundreds Of Millennia


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India Mauls Bangladesh 9-1

Penalty corner exponents Rupinderpal Singh and V.R. Raghunath slammed a hat-trick each as India mauled minnows Bangladesh 9-1 to maintain their unbeaten run ahead of the semifinals in the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh on Wednesday. The Indians, who were through to the semifinals even before Wednesday’s match, led 5-1 at the breather and pumped in four more goals in the second session to stamp their authority over their lowly opponents. Rupinder (4th, 19th, 27th, 61st minutes) scored four goals in the match, out of which three came via penalty corner, while Raghunath (29th, 52nd, 59th) converted short corners to emerge as the joint top-scorer of the tournament with Jang Jong Hyun of South Korea on six goals apiece. Nikkin Thimmaiah (25th) and Malak Singh (47th) were the other goalgetters for India.

Bangladesh’s lone goal came from the stick of their skipper Md Mamunur Rahman Chayan (35th minute). By virtue of this win, the Indians finished on top of Pool B with nine points from three games. Defending champions South Korea are second in this pool with six points. India will now face Pool A runners-up and hosts Malaysia in the second semifinal on Friday, while South Korea will be up against Pool A toppers Pakistan. The match between India and Bangladesh started nearly 40 minutes late as the first game of the day between Korea and Oman was delayed due to heavy downpour in the evening. Playing under persistent drizzle and damp conditions, the Indians meant business from the beginning. Such was their dominance that they earned as many as 10 penalty corners in the match, out of which they

Proteas ‘A’ Levels Series Against India ‘A’ With 121-run Win In Second ‘Unofficial Test’

utilise six. The Indians were under no pressure as they played free-flowing hockey to put the Bangladeshi defence under constant pressure. For the sparse crowd present at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, there was excitement from the very beginning as it rained goals in the match.

Johannesburg, Aug 28 (ANI): South African seamer Beuran Hendricks took a career-best 11 for 63 which saw South Africa A achieve a 121-run victory over India A in the second ‘unofficial Test’ and level the series 1-1, at the Tuks Cricket Oval in Pretoria on Monday. According to

Sport24, India A went out for 185 after tea on the final day, with Hendricks starting the morning with three quick wickets of Indian batsmen Shahbaz Nadeem (5), Dinesh Karthik (0) and Ambati Rayudu (1) in the opening five overs. However, the report said that Ajinkya Rahane (86) and Wriddhiman Saha (77 not

Johannesburg, Aug 28 (ANI): Zimbabwe left Pakistan in shock after recording their first oneday win over the country since 1998, in the opening ODI match at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday According to Sport24, chasing 245 in the first one-day international of a three-match series on Tuesday, Hamilton Masakadza (85) and an unbeaten 39 from Sean Williams led Zimbabwe to win by seven wickets with

10 balls to spare. Although Pakistan Test and one-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq held the innings together in his 50th consecutive ODI as Pakistan captain, he, however, lamented his decision to bat first, saying that he misread the pitch as even though it looked like it was going to be slow in the second innings, it did the reverse and played better in that innings. However, Misbah commended the Zimba-

bwe side, saying that they deserved the win, as they played well and comfortably without any panic in their batting line-up, adding that they even played better than his men. According to the report, Misbah finished unbeaten on 83 and shared in a 99-run stand for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, who made 70, but with Pakistan’s middle and lower order failing to fire, they could only manage 244 for seven.

Zimbabwe Win Leaves Pak In Shock

out) batted for two sessions to put on a threatening sixthwicket partnership of 160, which took India A to 177 for five, although still needing 130 runs for victory. Hendricks, who along with Simon Harmer (3/79) wrapped up the innings 30 minutes after tea, described his maiden 10-for performance as the best in his career, saying that he kept his mind clear and focused and tried to keep his game as simple as possible as he was aware that there is no margin for error in games of such level. Meanwhile, South Africa A skipper Justin Ontong, commended his players for the way they fought back after their disappointing performance in the first match, saying that it was very important for them to win after the loss in Rustenburg, adding that they specially needed a win against India as the side has beaten them a few times in the past.


India Cruise To The Quarterfinals With Straight Sets Against Japan

Ankara, Turkey, August 28: India upset Japan in the all-Asian clash of Wednesday’s round of 16 at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship in Ankara. The squad around coach T.C. Jothish stayed on their winning path and qualified for the quarterfinals with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-20) straight-set victory. India played much better throughout the first set and cruised to a 25-18

win with Kumar Sohan’s spectacular back-row hit for the last point. In the second set the Indians started making too many mistakes while the Japanese improved their blocking to control the scoreboard through the 20th point. In the conclusive moments, however, coach T.C. Jothish’s players managed to stay more concentrated and turned things around to close the set at 25-23. The Indians were

once again in charge of the situation during the third set as their tremendous blocking efforts helped them overpower the opponent. It was Kumar N. Yashvanth’s successful block that shaped up the final 25-20 and prompted an Indian party on the court. Kumar Sohan was the top scorer of the match with 13 points for India while Yuki Ishikawa’s 11 points made him Japan’s most productive player of the game.

Dubai, Aug. 26 (ANI): Air India Express’ recent announcement that the free baggage allowance for Gulf bound flights will be brought down from 30kg to 20kg is reportedly going to be revoked. The rule was challenged by a delegation of various registered organizations in Abu Dhabi who visited New Delhi and lobbied against Air India Express’s rule and they were confident that the rule will be reversed within a month.

Air India Express had also announced that for every extra 10kg a cost of 30 Dirhams would be charged, which the delegation argued, affected low and middle income Indian expatriates who depend on the budget airline, Gulf News reports. President of the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC), Joy Thomas John who was part of the delegation said that the senior Indian government officials, including

Cabinet ministers and senior executives of Air India, have promised them that the new baggage rule will be reconsidered. The airline had said that due to the higher free baggage allowance on flights operating into India, the saleable seat capacity is reduced in line with payload constraints and the reduction to 20kg is in tune with the present free baggage allowance on flights operating out of India.

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Air India Express’ ‘Reduced Baggage Allowance’ For Gulf Flights To Be Revoked

Kudos To Moni Gill And Her Team For A Super Successful ‘Mela Teeyan Teej 2013’.

Over 700 ladies, dressed in colorful attire, flocked to a spacious hall in Fairfax, VA, on Saturday, to keep the time-honored and treasured traditions of Punjab alive and flourishing in the Washington area. Mela Teeyan Teej was an entertainment-packed event from the word ‘go’, complete with Boliyan, Gidha, music, mehndi, food, fashion and shopping galore! Moni was brimming with excitement. She had worked for months to organize the event and her hard work bore rich results. She gave special thanks to her team comprising Varinder Randhawa, Kitty Aurora, Sadhna Jain, Kaur B. Brar Cheema, Bably Kaur and Afzala Ali.

Call (703) 971-7809 / 1-866-442-4649


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