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Sonia had tears, put food
bill ahead of illness: Rahul Shahdol (Madhya Pradesh), Oct 17 : Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said Thursday his mother Sonia Gandhi, despite being ill, was more concerned about passing the "historic" food security bill that ensures subsidised food for the poor and hungry. Addressing a Congress rally here, about 522 km from state capital Bhopal, Rahul Gandhi said his mother first refused to go to hospital and
when she finally agreed she had tears in her eyes. "I was sitting behind (in the house) and was watching my mother as I knew she was not well. After sometime, I saw her leave with (Kumari) Selja (minister of social justice and empowerment). I got little worried. "I told her (Sonia) let's go to hospital. But she refused. She said 'I will not leave until the food bill is passed'. She said 'do whatever you want
to do, but I will not leave. She said 'she has fought for it for years," a visibly emotional Rahul Gandhi said, launching the election campaign in the state that will go to the polls Nov 25.He then went on to say that, despite illness, his mother went inside parliament, but came out again after 10 minutes. "By that time voting had started. This time I was adamant that she has to go to hospital. I dragged her to
Convene assembly immediately: Jagan Hyderabad , Oct 17 (IPT) : The YSR Congress party Thursday again urged Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to immediately convene the state assembly so that a resolution to keep the state united could be passed. A delegation of party leaders led by president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy called on the governor at Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum. This was the second time Jagan, as the young leader is popularly known, has met the governor to demand an assembly session. He had called on the governor Sep 30 too. The MP from Kadapa said that only by passing a resolution and sending it to the central government could the process of the state's bifurcation be stalled. Talking to reporters after meeting the governor, Jagan said that with the approval of
the union cabinet, the central government had taken a step forward in the bifurcation of the state."At least now the assembly session should be convened so that a resolution is passed before the centre sends a draft bill (for the formation of Telangana state)," he said. Jagan announced that his party legislators would stage a sit-in in front of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy's camp office Friday, and also meet assembly speaker N. Manohar to press for an assembly session. The MP alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was playing with "our lives and the lives of our children" to make her son the prime minister. He also reiterated that Chief Minister Kiran Reddy and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu were hand-in-glove with the Congress to split the state.He said Naidu under-
took a fast in Delhi seeking the state's division, while the chief minister was holding talks with employees' associations one after another to persuade them to call off their protest for a united Andhra Pradesh."The central ministers have also given up the Samaikyandhra (Andhra Pradesh united) demand and are now seeking a package," he said. Jagan said his party would hold a public meeting in Hyderabad Oct 26 to oppose the state's bifurcation. He urged the chief minister and Naidu to keep aside politics and join him in his efforts to keep the state united.He said he would send a letter through MP M. Rajamohan Reddy to Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, urging her to accept the resignation of all three MPs (Jagan, Rajamohan Reddy and S.P.Y. Reddy).S.P.Y. Reddy recently quit the Congress and joined the YSR Congress.
Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry D.Purandareswari called on Governor E S L Narasimhan at Raj Bhavan on Thursday.
hospital. But even then she was not ready to go. She was crying. And I asked her and she told me that she wanted to vote (for the bill) but could not."It is the first time Rahul Gandhi has spoken publicly about his mother and Congress president's sudden illness while the Lok Sabha was debating the food bill Aug 26.Sonia Gandhi was rushed that day to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi for
treatment.Parliament has since passed the bill which gives right to subsidised grains to two-thirds of India's 1.2 billion population, numbering around 800 million, the largest such scheme anywhere in the world."It is a historic bill. After this legislation, no one (in India) will go hungry," Gandhi declared. The bill is the pet welfare measure of Sonia Gandhi and was a part of the Congress election manifesto of 2009.
SC directs CBI probe against Radia and others New Delhi, Oct 17 : Observing that tapped telephonic conversations between Niira Radia, politicians and others prima facie revealed “deep-rooted malice”, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered CBI probe into six issues relating to corrupt practices being adopted for private gains. “Prima facie, there is a deep rooted malice by private enterprises in connivance with the government officials and Niira Radia’s conversations suggest that influential persons indulged in corrupt practices for private gains for extraneous purpose,” a bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi said. On the basis of analysis of the telephonic conversations of Ms. Radia which was done by apex court-appointed committee, the bench directed the CBI to complete its probe within two months and asked it to file the report in the Supreme Court. However, the bench while reading out the order did not elaborate on the issues to be looked into by the agency. It noted the submission of the CBI which had found element of criminality involved in them. The bench referred one issue, which reportedly pertains to judiciary, to the Chief Justice of India to pass an appropriate order. It also referred another issue to Chief Vigilance Officer of Mines Department. The court directed the committee to scrutinise entire transcript of the tapped conversations and posted the matter for further directions on December 16. It also al-
lowed the expansion of special team analysing the transcripts by including 10 more income tax sub-inspectors. Earlier, the bench had said scrutiny of the tapped conversations of Radia with business tycoon, politicians, bureaucrats and media persons has revealed that they were not restricted to 2G spectrum alone and throw light on different spheres. The apex court, which perused the confidential reports of the committee, had said the scrutiny of call details reflect issues concerning national security. The conversations were recorded as part of surveillance of Radia’s phone on a complaint to the Finance Minister on November 16, 2007 alleging that within a span of nine years she had built up a business empire worth Rs 300 crore. The government had recorded 180 days of Radia’s conversations — first from August 20, 2008 onwards for 60 days and then from October 19 for another 60 days. L a t e r, o n M a y 11 , 2009, her phone was again put on surveillance for another 60 days following a fresh order given on May 8.The apex court had ordered setting up of a team of investigators to examine the contents of the conversations.
Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, K.V. Thomas at a press conference at Krishi Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday.
Cabinet approves panel to supervise Bhabali barrage New Delhi, Oct 17 : The union Cabinet Thursday approved a three-member committee to supervise the Babhali barrage in Maharashtra in accordance with the Supreme Court directions of Feb 28, 2013."The committee will comprise one representative
Digvijay condemns threats to journalist for article based on RSS New Delhi, Oct 17 : AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh today condemned the threats to a journalist of a National daily for her article based on the RSS. "Vidya Subramaniam's article based on Archives of Hindu. She is receiving threatening calls. Strongly condemn it," the senior Congress leader posted on social networking site Twitter. Alleged right wing activists reportedly barged into the office of The Hindu at Coimbatore to lodge a protest against an article about the RSS written by senior journalist Vidya Subramanian, which was translated in a newspaper in Tamil brought out by the same media group.They however left after talking to the Editor of the Tamil newspaper, also called The Hindu.
from the Central Water Commission, who will be the chairman, and one representative each from the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra," said a statement. The apex court had asked the committee to supervise the operation of the
Babhali barrage and ensure that Maharashtra maintains storage capacity of 2.74 TMC feet of water out of the allocation of 60 TMC feet given to the state for new projects under an agreement of October 6, 1975, between the two states.
Hundreds bids adieu to slain soldier in Hyderabad Hyderabad , Oct 17 (IPT) : Hundreds of people Thursday paid a tearful homage to Indian soldier Mohammed Firoz Khan, who was killed by Pakistani troops on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday. The 36-year-old Khan's last rites were performed with full military honours at a Muslim graveyard in Nawab Sahab Kunta in Hyderabad's Old City. Hundreds of Muslim youths turned out to pay their last respects to Khan, whose body was flown in early Thursday. Some of the mourners held Indian flags and banners hailing the soldier. They shouted anti-Pakistan slogans.Andhra Pradesh minister D. Nagender, Greater Hyderabad Mayor Majid Hussain, YSR Congress party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, BJP leaders G. Kishan Reddy and Bandaru Dattatreya and leaders of other political parties also paid their respects to Khan. Heart rending scenes were witnessed at Khan's house. His mother Razia Begum and wife Nasreen Fatima were inconsolable on seeing the body. Many were in tears after seeing his four-year-old daughter Afshin Fatima, two-year-old son Arshad Khan and eight-month-old daughter Aisha Fatima. Lance Naik Firoz Khan was killed when Pakistani troops violated the 2003 ceasefire and fired shells at the Poonch sector in Jammau and Kashmir Tuesday. The family received the news late Tuesday when they were preparing for Eid-ul-Azha the next day. Khan has been serving with the Madras Regiment for 12 years. He had last visited his family on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr two months ago.
Eighth ceasefire violation by Pakistan in 4 days Jammu, Oct 17 : Pakistan Rangers on Thursday resorted to unprovoked firing on forward Indian border outposts during suspected movement of some persons along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu district, prompting retaliation from BSF troops. This is the eight ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in the past four days. Giving details, a BSF officer said there was suspected movement along the
International Border close to Kharkola border outpost in the RS Pura border belt of Jammu district at 9.30 am. BSF troops guarding the borderline took positions and challenged them near Kharkola BoP, the officer said, adding during this period, Pak Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing on the forward area. Troops also retaliated resulting in exchanges, which are still going on when last reports
came in.On October 16, Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire thrice in the Kamalkote forward area of Uri, Krishnagati and Bhimbhergali sub-sectors of Poonch district and Mangu Chak and Khatav Border Out posts along International Border in Samba district. On October 15, Lance Naik M.F. Khan of 15 Bihar regiment was killed when Pakistani troops opened fire at Indian forward posts in
Hamirpur-Balakote sub-sector in Poonch district. On the same day, Pakistani Army had shelled mortars and fired from small arms in forward areas along LoC in Hamirpur and Bhimbher Gali sub-sectors of Poonch district. On October 14, BSF Constable M. Basu was injured when Pakistani troops resorted to firing on Katav Border Out Post along the International Border in Samba district.
Panchayat Raj Employees called on Chief Minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy, at Secretariat on Thursday.
Friday, October 18, 2013
MARK INDIA, Hyderabad
MARK INDIA Flat No. 106, Block - A, Archana Apartment, East Marredpally, Secunderabad 500 - 026.
India doesn't yet deserve an Angkor Wat temple Temples are in the news suddenly. First, wannabe PM Narendra Modi declared that India needs toilets before it needs temples. In fact, Modi categorically stated that despite being perceived as a Hindutva icon, his real thoughts were toilets first, temple later. Incidentally, some months ago, minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh had made a similar comment, and the right-wing Hindu parties reacted with typical fury, saying his statements insulted Hindus, Hinduism, and what not. It remains to be seen how these Hindu parties react when their very hero, Modi, spoke what is really the simple truth. There have also been news reports about plans to build the world’s largest Hindu temple in Bihar. The Virat Mandir is being built in West Champaran district of Bihar, and will have a tower 405 feet tall and a hall with a seating capacity for 20,000. It would appear from this report that the aim of this mega project is to create a temple larger than the temple at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, currently the world’s largest temple, with a spire 215 feet high. This mega project, which will house 18 temples, will cost Rs 500 crore. Money for it will be raised through donations. The person behind the project, Kishore Kunal, a retired IPS officer, reportedly said, “The funds for the temple will be donated by devotees, particularly common people across the country.” Granted Rs 500 crore isn’t an earth shattering figure in this era when we in India have suffered the ignominy of scams with figures such as Rs 1.76 lakh crore (just putting zeroes to it is mind-boggling!), or even the fodder scam that just sent Bihar strongman Laloo Prasad Yadav go to jail for five years, which back in the 1990s cost India Rs 900 crore. Yet, there is something deeply disturbing about wanting to build such a large temple in what is arguably India’s poorest state, a state that like many other states of India, particularly in north India, is crying for more schools, more hospitals and primary health centres, and, dare I say it, more toilets for everyone. The Angkor Wat temples were built by kings at the height of their power. That is to be expected. India too has its share of fabulous monuments, built by our rulers of the past to glorify their reign. Thus we have temples and mausoleums, churches or grandiose palaces (not the least being Rashtrapati Bhavan, the world’s largest presidential palace at present, built by the British as Viceroy House with the explicit aim of showcasing British Raj).
Why Rahul Gandhi is not fit to rule India Staunch ‘secularists’ are being trapped in a dilemma when they oppose the Bharatiya Janata Party bid to hand Narendra Modi the leadership of the country after the next general elections. This article is not aimed at supporting Modi, but questions those who demonstrate their secularist credentials by regularly attacking him, without logically going any further. One may dislike a person, but when commenting from a political standpoint one cannot avoid offering a solution or an alternative. To that extent the ‘right to reject’ is a purely negative reaction without indicating what or who could be better. Most intellectuals and senior journalists who claim to be part of the intelligentsia of India avoid taking a positive stand. After the recent shenanigans of Rahul Gandhi are roundly criticised they tend to go into the NOTA mode provided recently by the Supreme Court. If such persons encourage a “pox on all leaders” attitude it hardly helps in electing a suitable leader in a realistic context. There can be many alternatives to Modi in a democratic country where everyone is free to practice politics, speak freely, be in a political party, and even be a leader of the people. With nearly 50 registered parties and many unregistered ones, the field is always open. Important states are led by party leaders who are not part of the BJP, or even the Congress for that matter. All
intelligent political analysts know that at present the options are the Congress, the BJP, alliances headed by one of these, or a third, fourth or fifth front that comprises of permutations and combinations of various smaller parties, depending on the number of seats they win. Such persons would also know that in the present standoff between them all, the main spaces are likely to be taken by the Congress or the BJP considering their organisational structures and spread of a national support base. Therefore, the qualities of the Congress leader must be examined and then accepted or rejected openly by eminent intellectuals whose statements appear regularly at ‘secular’ gatherings denouncing Modi. There is no time for coyness if one wants to be intellectually honest. If someone like Modi is unacceptable let us see what qualities are required of an alternative: a leader of a complicated and densely populated, often chaotic nation with multi-layered histories, cultures and communities, fault lines and deep problematic needs. A mature understanding of ‘politics’ is essential. This means many things, but this primarily requires vision born out of experience, wisdom and struggle, a deep sense of connection with the Indian people, a sound understanding of governance, good judgement and teamwork. Whether in a party or in a coalition it also requires the
ability to persuade and win over colleagues and opponents on issues, policies and programmes. The person needs confidence demonstrated by being able to communicate effectively with people in an inspirational and convincing manner, and the courage to face adversity and take responsibility at all times. This may be idealistic, but unless politics is based on idealism, even if the path to reach goals inevitably requires practical realism, we are doomed from the start. The Congress party has proclaimed Rahul Gandhi as its leader since the dynastic stranglehold has made it impossible for anyone else to risk offering a name that is not Nehru-Gandhi. Perforce, we have to examine his qualities of leadership, responsibility, mental acumen, and other aspects. Since he is well over 40 years old he cannot be called a ‘youth’ leader just because others are in their eighties. He has been elected to Parliament by retainers of a pocket borough held by the family but this has been out of loyalty and habit rather than acceptance of demonstrated qualities. With this particular family, the rule has been to allow them to lead the country and learn (if possible) on the job. This was tried with his father Rajiv Gandhi with both disastrous and tragic results for the nation. Sonia Gandhi rules from behind curtains and is safely not held ac-
not paid the tax in the 29 years it has operated LRT 1. The official from the first conglomerate said their calculations showed those tax payments alone would reach 64 billion pesos over the 35-year life of the contract, higher than the project cost. But their biggest concern was the low tariff setting, which bidders say makes the project unbankable. For LRT 1, Manila is not offering a fixed level of return, unlike in earlier deals. Using the latest approved fare structure as a basis for the bid, the average fare being set by the government was just a fourth of that in Bangkok, even though rail development costs were similar except for cheaper labour in the Philippines, the official from the first conglomerate said. Bidders also lament that Manila could not guarantee tariff hikes, a politically charged issue in a city of about 12 million people where the daily minimum wage is under $12. Manila has not imposed a fare hike in more than a decade on any of its three light rail lines due to stiff public opposition, a track record which bidders say could lead to a cash flow squeeze. “Government should understand they should eliminate risk - risk of income tax, risk of real estate tax, regulatory risk, there are so many risks,” said Isidro Consunji, president of DMCI, one of the
firms which dropped out of the bidding.For the government of President Benigno Aquino, whose campaign battle cry in 2010 was to end corruption especially in state contracts, the PPP programme was a chance to show the investment community it meant business in its war against graft. “We want to make sure that the contracts are not onerous and can stand scrutiny beyond this administration,” said Cosette Canilao, head of the state agency tasked to oversee the country’s PPP drive. “We’re making sure that tariffs are not too high and that the level of service is being met.” But the drive to ensure less risk exposure to the government is holding up PPP projects, bidders say, with only two out of a wish list of 35 projects getting off the ground.State officials are afraid contracts they have signed will haunt them after Aquino’s term ends in 2016, just like what is happening to several cabinet and top officials of the previous government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, herself under detention for a year now on plunder charges. Private sector sources say they are encouraged by the government’s shift in tone after the LRT 1’s failed tender. Officials are considering a subsidy and dropping payment of real property taxes ahead of the rebidding of LRT 1 early next year.
Philippines infrastructure: taking the slow train to nowhere The fire last week, caused by a short circuit that ignited power cables lining the tracks, was the second on Manila’s elevated rail system in two months and one of many mishaps in its 29-year life - telltale signs that Southeast Asia’s first light rail transit (LRT) network is in dire need of an upgrade. The reliability of the decrepit rail system, without a government warranty on its performance and potential stiff penalties for operational delays, is one of the reasons for last month’s failed tender for LRT 1’s expansion and upgrade, the biggest in a series of public-private partnership (PPP) deals worth at least $4 billion Manila is offering to investors to further boost growth in one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. Of the four groups prequalifed to bid, three backed out at the last minute: DMCI Holdings Inc with Japanese partner Marubeni Corp, SMC Infrastructure of San Miguel Corp, and Malaysian-Korean MTDSamsung C&T consortium. That left Metro Pacific Investments Corp as the lone bidder submitting a conditional bid without partner Ayala Corp.“There is no record at all of extensive rehabilitation, maintenance, or infrastructure testing in its years of operation. That is a significant risk,” said a senior official at one of the conglomerates who asked for anonymity because of the sen-
sitivity of the issue. “(If) a segment of that old system falls apart and the accident leads to a catastrophic result, it will be the concessionaire who will be blamed,” he said, adding there were steep financial risks via penalties and unrealized profits for each day the rail system is not operational. The country’s top conglomerates and some of the region’s big capitalists had initially jumped at the opportunity to fix what the latest Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum says is the top problem in doing business in the Philippines - inadequate infrastructure.But delays and problems with PPP projects three years after the program was launched are clouding prospects of an infrastructure boost to sustain economic growth at 7 percent or higher and bring down the country’s jobless rate, which at 7.3 percent is the highest in Southeast Asia. Underinvestment, including in infrastructure, along with the government’s failure to transform protectionist policies and liberalize more sectors, have contributed to the country’s high unemployment and underemployment rate, the World Bank said in a report on jobs in the Philippines last month. The government has said it needs to raise infrastructure spending from around 3 percent of GDP now to 5-7 pct of GDP, or by about 300
billion to 500 billion pesos ($6.95 billion to $11.59 billion) annually, to keep pace with its regional neighbors and sustain its growth momentum. Officials from some of the bidders said they knew as early as a year ago the LRT 1 project was not going to fly because the government wanted to pass on what bidders called “excessive” technical, economic and even political risks to the private sector with inadequate returns.They conveyed their concerns to the government repeatedly, during some of the four one-on-one meetings, around 10 small group gatherings and more than 100 emails prior to the bid, but to no avail, the companies say.Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the government listened to the companies and changed some of the terms to address concerns. “We have always kept our ears close to the ground. That’s why we spent days, weeks on one-on-ones and answered more than a thousand questions. There were no alarm bells and red lights that came to me days before the bid date,” he said in a mobile phone text reply to questions from Reuters. “We are learning and we want the PPP projects to push through.” The bidders objected to paying real property tax on the rail’s expanded 29 km (18 mile) line, since Manila has
countable for any decision she has influenced. Rahul Gandhi occasionally tours the country exploring facets of poverty afterbeing elected rather than having solutions beforehand to make him worthy of being elected, as if political wisdom is in his genes. He has randomly anointed himself a soldier of farmers, tribals, and Dalits and fallen silent thereafter. His one intervention in Parliament about the Lokpal Bill was pre-written, read out and braggingly called a game changer by himself. It went nowhere. He huddles with his confidants in the back row of Parliament with no involvement in the issues being discussed. We have no idea whether he has any ideas at all, and we know he has no experience in governance. Partying and holidaying abroad regularly take up his time, while his party followers at home celebrate by feeding each other sweets. His real youth was spent studying inconclusively in various institutions under a false name and under heavy protection. The business he was supposed to be running as a major consultancy was a non-existent space in Mumbai that appeared and disappeared on the internet. His pedigree was allowed to come in the way of investigation of and information on any of these matters to which the Indian public is entitled. His citizenship is also a dual one, due to the foreign nationality of his mother, while Indian law does not accept such a status. Ignoring all the above, we have the prime minister of India going so far as to declare that he would not mind working under him. It did not need much time for him to realise the frightening consequences of his declaration. The heir apparent demonstrated it before the whole world when he barged into a press conference of a minister of the government who was defending a decision of the Union Cabinet and tore into the decision of taking the ordinance route to protect convicted members of Parliament from losing their seats till the highest court of the land pronounced their guilt. Rahul Gandhi demonstrated the extent to which his family has been blinded by the belief that it has the divine right to rule, needing to follow no protocol, procedure, discipline, respect for constitutional authorities or decency to be followed when engaging in politics. It has been repeatedly said that he had ample, if somewhat illegitimate, opportunity to oppose and influence the actions of the government and even the cabinet if he so wished. To bulldoze a formal occasion with his ‘personal’ views clearly showed him to be an unstable, immature and discourteous ‘leader’. If this is the kind of leader offered to rule the country because ‘secularism’, of all things, dictates it, we are strengthening the ugly aspects of the dynastic system of democracy that has come to infect India’s body politic deeply.Let us not forget that it was this very same dynasty that destroyed India’s democracy during the Emergency in the first place.
Air pollution during pregnancy can retard baby's growth Pregnant women exposed to even low levels of air pollution during pregnancy face an increased risk of lower birth-weight babies, a study suggests. The research report that was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine Journal finds that the exposure to common air pollutants and traffic during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of restricted foetal growth and have a higher risk of health problems and death of babies. The study was done in 12 European countries involving over 74,000 women.The researchers found that for every increase of five micrograms per cubic metre in exposure to fine particulate matter discharged by cars and industrial houses during a woman's pregnancy, the risk of low birth-weight rises by 18 percent. According to the study, all air pollutants, particularly fine particulate matter and traffic fumes increased the risk of term low birth-weight and reduced average head circumference at birth, after accounting for other factors like maternal smoking, age, weight, and education. Our findings suggest that a substantial proportion of cases of low birth-weight at term could be prevented in Europe if urban air pollution, particularly fine particulate matter, was reduced, lead author of the study Marie Pedersen of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona said. The widespread exposure of pregnant women worldwide to urban ambient air pollution at similar or even higher concentrations than those assessed in our study provides a clear message to policy-makers to improve the quality of the air we all share, Pedersen added.
Popular workout supplement may contain 'meth-like' ingredient
A recent study has revealed that dietary supplement called 'Carze' may contain a meth-like party drug. Pieter Cohen, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School , said that they have found a drug in a mainstream sports supplement that has never been studied in humans, CBS News reported. Cohen added that the health risk of using supplements adulterated with a drug should not be underestimated. Researchers have looked into the Craze supplement, which is marketed by Driven Sports, Inc., after it was flagged in several failed drug tests. Cohen teamed up with the independent testing global health organization NSF International to analyze the supplement's contents.Their study found that a substance called N,alpha-diethylphenylethylamine (N,aDEPEA) which has been termed structurally similar to methamphetamine by scientists, was present in the supplement. According to the analysis, the stimulant is less potent than methamphetamine, but more potent than stimulant called 'ephedra,' which has been banned by the Food and Drug Administration after been linked to heart attacks.The researchers have also found the meth-like compound in a weight loss supplement called Detonate, which is marketed by Gaspari Nutrition. The study has been published in the Drug Testing and Analysis journal.
Self-medication for allergy can be dangerous
Each individual on earth is allergic to something and it should not be ignored, but one should not do selfmedication as the problem could further aggravate, experts said. Allergy, if categorized, can be of more than hundred types and every one of them need separate medication to be cured, Vandana Boobna, consultant internal medicine at Max Super Specialty Hospital in Shalimar Bagh here, told . Allergy at the initial stages can be treated, but when it reaches the extreme end stage, it can be immensely perilous, she added. Boobna said that she has come across many who in an attempt to treat their allergy-related ailments on their own have ended up making it more severe. One should not try to treat skin allergies on their own. I have seen many cases in which people have selfmedicated themselves and then have to undergo major treatment and even drastic surgeries, Boobna said. As the Oct 16 is observed as World Allergy Awareness Day, experts said the first thing anyone should do when they suffer from any allergic problem is to find the trigger point, and then to visit the expert and get proper treatment. An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions can happen when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. Allergies can play a major role in conditions such as asthma. It can be caused by anything such as egg, unhygienic places, milk, cold, rain and even dust. Anurag Mahajan, a consultant in internal medicine at Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute at Sheikh Sarai, said that many patients without doctors prescription take anti-allergic tablets such as cetrizine, avil etc to get rid of it.This may even aggravate their problems. Moreover, if they do not know what is the dose they have to take, they could face side-effects (of the medication) like dizziness, excess sleepiness and laziness, added Mahajan.The aim is to kill the disease and not to escalate it, he added. Mahajan said that not in all cases they suggest patients to undergo anti-allergy test.
Friday, October 18, 2013
MARK INDIA, Hyderabad
US says talks intense, serious after Iran hints at atomic concessions
Thania Sayne cries at the grave of her husband during the playing of taps at a nearby burial service at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia, a day before what would have been their third wedding anniversary. Sayne, was 4 months pregnant with their second son, Douglas, when her husband was killed on Sept. 18, 2011, in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
Edward Snowden has more secrets to share, father says after Russia visit New York, Oct 17 : The father of Edward Snowden said on Wednesday that the former U.S. spy agency contractor has more secrets to share and should stay in Russia "to make sure the true story is told." Father Lon Snowden spoke at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York shortly after returning to the United States from a weeklong visit with his son in Moscow. It was the first time they saw one another since Edward Snowden, an ex-National Security Agency contractor, was given temporary asylum in Russia earlier this year after leaking sensitive data on U.S. security agencies' operations. Asked what he told his son during the visit, Snowden told reporters: "To stay, but that's my advice. It's not necessarily what my son will do. He's comfortable. He's happy. And he's absolutely committed to what he has done." The younger Snowden's
Canada offers Malala honorary citizenship Islamabad, Oct 17 : Canada will offer honorary citizenship to Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. Malala will become just the sixth person to be granted honorary Canadian citizenship after South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, British business magnate Aga Khan and Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, state-run Radio Pakistan reported today. The 16year-old activist was shot by the Taliban last year in Swat Valley of Pakistan for speaking out in favour of girls' rights to education and was also in the running for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Malala was the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Last week, she won the European Union's prestigious Sakharov human rights prize and was welcomed at the White House by US President Barack Obama. The Pakistani Taliban, however, has said that Malala had done "nothing" to deserve a prestigious EU rights award and vowed to try again to kill her.
revelations about the reach and methods of the NSA, including the monitoring of vast volumes of Internet traffic and phone records, have upset U.S. allies from Germany to Brazil. Admirers call him a human rights champion and critics denounce him as a traitor. "There's much more to be shared," Lon Snowden said. Staying in Russia, Snowden said, allows his son "to continue to push these issues forward, to make sure the true story is told." "He's not a fugitive. He's a legal asylee of the Russian Federation and the press needs to get that right and I think our government understands that at this point." Snowden criticized the U.S. intelligence community as being negligent and complicit in the spying scandal, singling out Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander, Senator Diane Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, and Congressman Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. Russia has kept secret where the Snowdens met during the visit as well as where the son has been living. Moscow also has kept the media and public away from Edward Snowden, who has been shepherded by a lawyer believed to have ties with Russia's secret services. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB spy, has repeatedly said that Russia would shelter Snowden only if he stopped harming the United States. But he has used the case to accuse Washington of preaching to the world about rights it does not uphold at home. Lon Snowden's flight home left from Sheremetyevo, the airport where his son spent nearly two months in the international zone before getting temporarily asylum in August.
Hagel apologises for delay in awarding medal to US soldier Washington, Oct 17 : Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has apologised to a former US soldier for having to wait years before his valour was recognised with the Medal of Honor. "Mistakes were made in his case," Hagel yesterday said during a Pentagon ceremony honouring William Swenson, 34, a retired US Army captain given the military's highest decoration this week. Swenson was nominated for the medal in 2009 for his role in a harrowing battle in eastern Afghanistan, but his nomination papers were "lost" by Army officials. His supporters suspected commanders tried to deny him the honor because he had complained about his superiors failing to provide air and artillery support during the battle. But his papers were resubmitted in 2011 and he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. "We're sorry that you and your family had to endure through that, but you did and you handled it right," Hagel said. It was the first time such a senior official publicly apologised over the episode. The Pentagon chief said Swenson proved his courage in the battle but also afterward by daring to question the Army. "He questioned -- he dared to question the institution that he was faithful to and loyal to," Hagel said. "Now, that's courage and that's integrity and that's character." US Army officials eventually rectified the mistake, Hagel said. "They went back and acknowledged a mistake was made and they fixed it." He said Swenson represented "all the good things about our country," including the ability to "self-correct" when mistakes are made. Hagel, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, did not refer specifically to the circumstances of the 2009 battle, when Swenson repeatedly called for air and artillery support while his unit was pinned down by Taliban militants. The request for artillery fire was denied and attack helicopters did not arrive for more than an hour. In a military probe after the battle, Swenson complained bitterly to investigators about the failure to quickly provide back-up to the outnumbered US and Afghan forces. Two officers were later disciplined as a result of the investigation. Another American present at the battle, former corporal Dakota Meyer, whose description of the events differs from Swenson's, received the Medal of Honor in September 2011. A California lawmaker, Duncan Hunter, took up Swenson's case and pushed for the Pentagon to award him the Medal of Honor.
Geneva, Oct 17 : The United States described two days of nuclear negotiations with Iran as the most serious and candid to date after Western diplomats said Tehran hinted it was ready to scale back sensitive atomic activities to secure urgent sanctions relief. But a senior U.S. administration official told reporters after the conclusion of negotiations between Iran and six world powers that no breakthroughs had been achieved and many disagreements remained. Other Western diplomats involved in the talks said there had been no apparent narrowing of differences between Tehran and the six nations over its nuclear ambitions. "I've been doing this now for about two years," the official said on condition of anonymity. "And I have never had such intense, detailed, straightforward, candid conversations with the Iranian delegation before. The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, echoed the remarks, saying Iran's proposal showed "a level of seriousness and substance that we had not seen before". But he cautioned that "no one should expect a breakthrough overnight".
Britain opens nuclear power projects to Chinese investment Beijing, Oct 17 : Britain opened the door to investment from China in its nuclear sector on Thursday as finance minister George Osborne invited Chinese companies to take stakes in new nuclear projects. During a visit to China, Osborne said the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation that included roles for British companies in China's nuclear sector. "While any initial Chinese stake in a nuclear power project is likely to be a minority stake, over time stakes in subsequent new power stations could be majority stakes," a statement from the UK Treasury said. The government said this week it was "extremely close" to a deal with French energy company EDF related to building Britain's first new nuclear power station since 1995. China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) is set to join the project. Osborne's statement did not refer to the EDF project. He was visiting a nuclear plant at Taishan in southern China on Thursday that is a collaboration between EDF and CGNPG. Britain aims to renew its fleet of ageing nuclear power plants but needs foreign investment to pay huge upfront costs. A report for the prime minister warned on Thursday that Britain's shrinking power capacity could lead to blackouts during the winter of next year. Last year, Japan's Hitachi bought a new nuclear joint venture company from Germany's RWE and E.ON for a hefty price tag, underlining interest from Asian firms in entering Britain's nuclear industry. Energy Secretary Ed Davey said on Sunday he expected nuclear investments from South Korea as well as money from China, Japan and France.Thursday's MOU announcement also covers training in BritainforChinesetechnicians,thestatementsaid."Investment from Chinese companies in the UK electricity market is welcome, providing they can meet our stringent regulatory and safety requirements," Ed Davey said in the statement.
Washington's ally Israel, which has told the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China the six nations negotiating with Iran - not to trust Tehran, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to speak next week with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about the Geneva talks and sanctions should not be eased until Iran proves it is dismantling its program. Netanyahu on October 1 told the U.N. General Assembly Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani, widely seen as a pragmatist and centrist, was a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and that Israel was ready to act alone to keep Tehran from getting nuclear weapons. Follow-up talks between the six powers and Iran will be held in Geneva on November 7-8. Tehran denies allegations by Western powers that it is seeking the capability to produce atomic bombs. But so far it has defied U.N. Security Council demands that it halt enrichment and other sensitive nuclear activities, leading to multiple rounds of crippling international sanctions that have reduced Iranian oil exports, caused inflation to soar
and the value of the Iranian rial currency to plummet. Western officials have said that they need Iran to increase the transparency of its nuclear program, stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, reduce its uranium stockpiles and take other steps to assure the world it does not want atomic weapons. In a rare joint statement highlighting the dramatic shift from confrontation to dialogue since Rouhani took office in August, negotiators from Iran and the six world powers said Tehran's new proposal aimed at defusing longstanding suspicions over the nature of its nuclear program was an "important contribution" now under careful consideration. Details of Iran's proposal, presented during two days of negotiations in Geneva, have not been released, and Western officials were unsure whether Tehran was prepared to go far enough to clinch a breakthrough deal. The joint statement, read out by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif "presented an outline of a plan as a proposed basis for negotiation"
and the talks were "substantive and forward looking," without elaborating. Zarif, who is also Iran's chief negotiator, said Tehran looked to a new era in diplomatic relations after a decade of tension, in which concerns about the Islamic state's nuclear ambitions fuelled fears of a new war in the Middle East. "We sense that members of the (six powers) also have exhibited the necessary political will in order to move the process forward. Now we need to get to the details," he told reporters after being brought into the auditorium in a wheelchair due to severe back pain. After Tuesday's initial round, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi suggested Tehran was prepared to address long-standing calls for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to have wider and more intrusive inspection powers.Araqchi met the head of the U.S. delegation, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, on Tuesday, the third bilateral contact between the two nations since Rouhani's election in June. They followed a telephone call between Rouhani and President Barack Obama last month, the high-
Sky News Arabia says TV crew missing in Syria Damascus, Oct 17 : Television channel Sky News Arabia said Thursday it had lost contact with its crew on assignment in the north Syria province of Aleppo, where abductions have been on the rise. The Abu Dhabi-based channel said in a statement that reporter Ishak Moctar, a Mauritanian national, Lebanese cameraman Samir Kassab and a Syrian driver it did not name at his family's request have been missing since Tuesday. It appealed to "all concerned parties" to help it locate its team and support "any effort ensuring their safe return". The journalists are "dedicated to covering the news objectively, professionally and without bias," said Nart Bouran, head of Sky News Arabia. "Their assignment in Syria is largely focused on covering the humanitarian aspects of the situation," he added. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says at least 16 foreign journalists are missing in Syria, although many cases have not been made public at the request of their families. RSF says that since the conflict erupted in Syria in March
2011, at least 25 professional journalists and 70 citizen journalists have been killed. Though journalists have been killed while reporting from the regime side, most deaths and kidnappings have been among those behind rebel lines. Sherif Mansour of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the threat has evolved. "In the beginning we only saw journalists being kidnapped by the government but later we began
to see the opposition becoming increasingly involved," he told AFP. "The kidnappings now are not just for political reasons, but also for financial reasons. We have also seen groups that are specifically targeting journalists, accusing them of being spies." Launched in May 2012, Sky News Arabia is a joint venture between Britain-based BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation.
Everest avalanche: Australian man saves wife, dies after six hours
Sydney, Oct 17 : After surviving being buried under snow for six hours after an avalanche near Mount Everest, Australian man Dean Higgins has died of hypothermia. Higgins dug himself out of the snow and saved his wife, Wendy, and fellow campaigners after the avalanche hit while they were trekking in Tibet. It took the team about eight hours to get down the mountain to safety after which Higgins died. Higgins’ wife said that he was alive until they got down the bottom of the hill. Chinese state media described the tour as “illegal one” organised by the Tibetan tourist agency. According to reports, three others who died in the accident were Tibetan herders. The tour was reportedly organised by Tibet Longda International Travel Agency, consisting of four Australian tourists and six Tibetans.
est level U.S.-Iranian contact since Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979. Washington cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran in 1980. The sequencing of any concessions by Iran and any sanctions relief by the West could prove a stumbling block en route to a landmark, verifiable deal. Western officials have repeatedly said that Iran must suspend enriching uranium to 20 percent fissile purity, their main worry, before sanctions are eased. Rouhani's election opened the door to serious negotiations with the six powers, Western envoys say. Britain said it hoped this week's talks would lead to "concrete" results but that Iran must take the initiative. "Iran will need to take the necessary first steps on its program and we are ready to take proportionate steps in return," Foreign Secretary William Hague said. Russia warned against undue optimism. "The result is better than in Almaty (talks held in April) but does not guarantee further progress," Sergey Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister and Iran negotiator, told Interfax. "There could have been better cooperation."
Suicide truck bomber kills 15 in northern Iraq Mosul, Iraq, Oct 17 : A suicide bomber driving a truck packed with explosives blew himself up in a village in northern Iraq, killing at least 15 members of the country's Shabak minority early on Thursday, police said. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, but Sunni Islamist militants have in the past targeted Shabaks, who are predominantly Shi'ite, and warned them to leave the area. The attack took place in the village of Mwafaqiya in Nineveh province. "At 6 am this morning, a suicide truck bomber detonated himself amidst the houses of my village," said Qusay Abbas, a former Shabak representative in the Mousl provincial council. "There are still some people under the debris of their houses". Sunni Islamist and other insurgents including an al Qaeda affiliate have been regaining ground this year in an onslaught against Iraq's Shi'ite-led government and its allies. Al Qaeda views Shi'ite Muslims as non-believers. More than 6,000 people have been killed in acts of violence across the country this year.
A Lao soldier places incense sticks into the ground beside the wreckage left by a Lao Airlines turboprop plane as he pays his respects to the victims of Wednesday's ill-fated flight, in Pakse in Laos .The aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and crashed into the Mekong River, killing all 49 people onboard.
Friday, October 18, 2013
MARK INDIA, Hyderabad
Coalgate: Industry shocked at FIR against Birla; govt defends PM New Delhi, Oct 17 : Captains of the industry on Thursday hit back at the government for dragging in Hindcalco, the world’s largest aluminium rolling company, into the coalgate scam, terming it as a “ridiculous” decision which would have a negative impact on the already floundering economy. The industry’s reaction came in the backdrop of the CBI naming the company’s chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla in a first information report (FIR) over the allocation of two coal blocks in Odisha way back in 2005. “Just because some coal block which was reserved for the public sector is partially allocated to the private sector, it cannot be termed wrong. So I think it’s (the FIR) a bit ridiculous; it’ll spoil sentiment, perception and several things…,” TV channels quoted the chairman of Godrej Group Adi Godej as
Seemandhra Congress leaders to meet President, PM
Hyderabad , Oct 17 (IPT) : Congress party leaders from Seemandhra Thursday decided to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to demand the reconsideration of the "unilateral" decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. Seemandhra Congress coordination committee comprising state ministers from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra held a meeting here and took this decision. The committee also made it clear that there is no change in its stand that the state should be kept united. Committee's convenor and state minister S. Sailajanath told reporters after the meeting that they would also meet Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who is incharge of party affairs in the state. Some of the participants in the meeting found fault with some union ministers and MPs for stating that the bifurcation was inevitable. Meanwhile, Congress MP R.Sambasiva Rao has demanded that Hyderabad be declared a union territory and the second capital of India. The MP from Guntur said the resignations of Seemandhra MPs were accepted, they would be happy and if the resignations were not accepted, they would vote against the Telangana bill in parliament.
saying.Former Infosys chairman Mohandas Pai too spoke out against the FIR. “If there is strong evidence against the individual of wrongdoing…, then they are right because rule of law must prevail in this country. But if the evidence is just a meeting and a conspiracy is attached to that then I think it raises doubts,” he said. Others who had come out in defence of Hindalco include HDFC Bank chairman Deepak Parekh and country head of HSBC India Naina Lal Kidwai, besides industry bodies like Assocham and PHD Chamber of Commerce. Significantly, Union corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot too had expressed doubts over the FIR saying, “We must ensure that such actions are based on hard
facts and do not create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.” Former coal secretary PC Parakh gave a new twist to the scam by claiming that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who held the coal portfolio at that time, knew of the coal blocks being allocated to companies like Hindalco and he too should be named as a “conspirator” and made an “accused” in the case. The Opposition BJP has demanded the Prime Minister’s resignation following allegation by Parakh. Coal minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal, however, defended Singh on Thursday saying that that the Prime Minister does not need a certificate of honesty from anyone. Jaiswal cautioned that everyone should refrain from
issuing such statements which could weaken the economy of the country or prevent bureaucracy from working.“Everyone should take precaution that no such statements are issued which could impact market sentiments, weaken the economy or could prevent bureaucrats from working,” he said, without referring to any specific person or party. Jaiswal refused to comment further on coal block allocation controversy saying that “any comment on it by me would not be proper as CBI is probing the matter and the Supreme Court is also reviewing it”. He reiterated that the auction process for allocating coal blocks in a transparent manner was likely to begin in two months span.
NDA will win more than 300 seats in LS polls: Naqvi
New Delhi, Oct 17 : Reacting to a new survey which suggests that the BJP will emerge as the single largest party in the 2014 general elections with 162 seats, the principal Opposition party today said the NDA will get more than 300 seats as the country's environment was in favour of BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. "The BJP and its allies will win more than 300 seats in the next Lok Sabha elections. Changed surveys will come before the polls," BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told UNI over phone.He claimed that environment in the country was in favour of Mr Modi. "People are fed up of Congress and its corruption. They want to remove the Congress. The BJP is the only party which will become the strongest alternative," Mr Naqvi said.He said talks were on with different po-
litical parties to bring them into the NDA fold. "Talks are on with a number of parties. Some parties will come with us before the polls and some after the polls," Mr Naqvi, a BJP Rajya Sabha MP, added. The survey said the BJP looks set to emerge as the single largest party in 2014 polls with 162 seats. It will be far ahead of the ruling Congress party's tally of 102. It said regional players will hold the key to power at the Centre.The recent surveys has shown that Mr Modi's projection as the PM candidate has given a boost to the BJP's chances in the next general elections.The BJP has also been making all out efforts for a better performance in Uttar Pradesh, which sends the largest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha, to achieve the 272 magic mark out of the 545member Lower House of Parliament.
Actresses Moon Moon Sen (R) and Gargi Roy Chowdhury during a 'Celebrities Sindoor Khela' programme at a community puja pandal, as part of Durga puja celebrations in Kolkata.
Ponting questions Sachin Tendulkar's role in ‘Monkeygate’ scandal
Melbourne, Oct 17 : The ghost of 'Monkeygate' has risen again with former Australian captain Ricky Ponting questioning Sachin Tendulkar's role in the scandal, claiming that he was taken aback by the senior Indian batsman's statement which saved Harbhajan Singh. Singh was accused of calling Aussie all-rounder Andrew Symonds a monkey during the 2008 Sydney Test and was suspended for three Tests. But he was cleared in an appeal hearing, conducted by Justice John Hansen from New Zealand, in which Tendulkar appeared as a witness and gave a statement in favour of the Indian. In his memoirs -- titled 'The Close of Play' -- Ponting said he didn't understand why Tendulkar vouched for Singh during the appeal hearing but did not say anything when match referee Mike Procter initially suspended the spinner for passing allegedly racial comments at Symonds. "I couldn't understand why Sachin didn't tell this to (match referee) Mike Procter in the first place," Ponting, captain of Australia at that time, wrote on the role of Tendulkar, who will retire from the game after his 200th Test next month. Ponting is not the first cricketer to question Tendulkar's role in the scandal as retired wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist had taken a similar view in his autobiography five years ago.
Three police jawans killed in Gadchiroli Naxal attack Gadchiroli, Oct 17 : Three police commandos were killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in a forest area on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border in the early hours of Thursday. Acting on a tip-off, the anti-Naxal commando force jawans were conducting a combing operation in the Bada Zariya forest area in Dhanora taluka when the Naxals triggered a landmine blast. Three jawans of C-60 Commando Force were killed in the blast, police said, adding further details were awaited. There was also an exchange of fire after the blast, locals said. Senior police officials have rushed to the spot and the bodies are being brought to Gadchiroli, police said. This is a major attack by Maoists in the last few months after police eliminated more than 23 ultras in different operations this year.
Rain or thundershowers to occur at isolated place in AP next 48 hrs
Hyderabad , Oct 17 (IPT) : Rain or thundershowers would occur at isolated places over Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Telangana during next 48 hours. The outlook for subsequent two days there would be no large change, the Met Office here said today. The sky over Hyderabad and neighbourhood would be generally cloudy. Thunder clouds may develop towards evening/night over next two days. Maximum and Minimum temperatures would be around 33 and 22 degrees Celsius respectively. Observations recorded till 0830 hours today indicated that rain occurred at isolated places over Coastal Andhra Pradesh, and Rayalaseema and Weather has been dry over Telangana.On Wednesday, the maximum temperatures appreciably rose at one or two places over Rayalaseema,changed little over Telangana and rose at few places over Coastal Andhra Pradesh. They were appreciably above normal at a few places over Coastal Andhra Pradesh & Rayalaseema at one or two places over Telangana.
No possibility of UPA-III: Trinamool leader
President Pranab Mukherjee shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Mihály Orbán during a meeting at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi.
Kolkata, Oct 17 : Slamming the Congress-led UPA government for providing "special benefits" to some states and giving West Bengal a miss, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay Thursday said there was no possibility of a UPA-III coming to power. "The way UPA-II is functioning, there is no chance that there will be UPA-III ... There will be no UPA-III," Bandopadhyay told a party rally at Sealdah here."We will battle the Congress government on why it is sidelining our state," he said.He said regional parties would have a major role to play after the Lok Sabha election. "The regional parties are assuming primary positions, and Trinamool Congress' power will prevail."
Coal scam: CBI may question Odisha CM New Delhi, Oct 17 : CBI could question Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of coal block to Hindalco as he had written a letter to the Coal Ministry after application of the Aditya Birla company was rejected in 2005. CBI sources said as its officials were scrutinising the documents they found a letter written by Mr. Patnaik requesting for a relook and reverse rejection of Hindalco’s application for Talabira II block in Odisha. While the CBI said no final decision has been taken as to who all would be questioned, sources said the Chief Minister would be questioned only if need was felt to seek his views on the reasons for recommending coal blocks to Hindalco. CBI sources said 46-yearold Kumar Manglam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, had written a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office which had forwarded the letter to the Coal Ministry. CBI has alleged in its FIR after rejection of Hindalco’s plea in 2005, Birla wrote two letters and held a “personal meeting” with the then Coal Secretary P.C. Parakh, after which a decision was reversed and Hindalco was given the block which was
earlier meant for two Public Sector Undertakings — Mahanadi Coal Fields and Neyveli Lignite.“Pursuant to these letters and personal meeting between Mr. Parakh and Mr. Birla, Mr. Parakh, by abusing his official position as a public servant, recommended the allocation of Talabira II along with Talabira III coal block to Hindalco Industries Limited, along with other two companies without any valid basis or change in circumstances and with the sole intention to show undue
favours to Hindalco Industries Limited,” the agency alleged in its FIR.The allegations have been denied by Hindalco and Mr. Parakh. The former Coal Secretary has said if he was a conspirator, so was Prime Minister as he had signed the allocation letter to Hindalco. The agency, in the meanwhile, has started scrutinising the documents recovered from searches at the five offices of Hindalco and residence of Mr. Parakh in Hyderabad on October 15.
BJP hits back at Rahul over his comments New Delhi, Oct 17 : Hitting back at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for terming the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh as 'anti-tribal', the BJP today said it was his party which has to be blamed for the situation of tribals. "The Congress is responsible for the situation of the tribals. His (Rahul) family members were in the power for most of the time at the Centre. His party was involved only in photo sessions with tribals," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters here.He claimed that the BJP-ruled states including Madhya Pradesh have taken several steps for welfare of the tribals."We have no need to learn anything from him. He should read his party's history," Mr Hussain commented.Mr Hussain said the Congress has suspended its two activists for putting posters about party president Sonia Gandhi's illness but Rahul himself mentioned about UPA Chairperson's health in his rally in Madhya Pradesh's Shahdol.The posters were put up a day after the Allahabad unit of the Congress urged Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Phoolpur constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The ‘Herald Sun’s Malcom Conn has also written in a column titled ‘Sachin’s Sin City’ earlier that the scandal will forever haunt tendulkar. ”...despite the unparalleled greatness of his achievements, some Australians lost respect for him when he gave completely different accounts of what took place as a key witness in the Harbhajan Singh—Andrew Symonds racism meltdown,” he claimed. Ponting, in his recollection of the drama that unfolded, said he found it absurd when Harbhajan was merely fined after the incident which threatened to hurt the relations between the two countries. "Owing to an administrative error, the judge was never told about any of Harbhajan's past offences, which meant the penalty was way less than what it should have been," Ponting was quoted as saying in excerpts published by a newspaper."As I pondered this result over the weeks and months that followed, I started to think that I needed to be more savvy about the off-field politics", Ponting wrote. "Maybe the Indian cricket juggernaut of the 21st century is too influential to shake. But then I thought about the way a number of people in the game had questioned our motives; how they thought we were just seeking an advantage rather than acting on principle," he added.
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