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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UPA III will give houses, medical facilities to poor: Rahul Durg (Chhattisgarh), April 22 : Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday promised the poor living in Chhattisgarh that UPA III would provide them free housing and medical facilities if it returns to power. "In keeping with your expectation, if UPA III forms government at the centre, we will provide you free houses and medical facilities," Gandhi said in an election rally in Durg district.Gandhi trashed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s development claims, noting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) registered better growth rate than the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

Editor : L. Aseervadam Kidney racket busted: 3 held

Sonia Gandhi during an election campaign rally at Chep Ghati in Jangipur, Murshidabad, West Bengal on Tuesday.

Campaigning ends in 11 states, one union territory

New Delhi, April 22 : Campaigning for the Lok Sabha election ended Tuesday across 11 states and one union territory where 179 million voters are eligible to decide the political fate of over 2,000 candidates in 117 seats.This is the seventh round of the 10-phase polls across the subcontinental size country, which began April 7 and culminates May 12. The results will be out May 16, paving way for a new government. Balloting will be held Thursday for six seats in Assam, seven in Bihar, seven in Chhattisgarh, one in Jammu and Kashmir, four in Jharkhand, 10 in Madhya Pradesh, 19 in Maharashtra, five in Rajasthan, 39 in Tamil Nadu, 12 in Uttar Pradesh, six in West Bengal and one in Puducherry. It will be third and final phase of voting in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.A total electorate of 179,084,206 gets to

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vote across the length and breadth of the country - right from Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu and from Assam to Maharashtra.The maximum 53,752,682 voters are in Tamil Nadu and the least 901,357 in Puducherry. The fate of a total of 2,095 candidates across the country will be sealed in the Electronic Voting Machines during this round.A maximum 846 nominees are in the fray in Tamil Nadu and just a dozen in Jammu and Kashmir's only cosntituency Anantnag where opposition Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti is locked in a bitter electoral battle with ruling National Conference candidate Mehboob Beg. Nurturing national ambitions, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa is going alone in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.For the DMK, which too is going it alone this time, a good performance will help it grab national attention again. The lone Puducherry seat

too is witnessing a keen contest.In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who harbours prime ministerial ambitions, and daughter-inlaw Dimple Yadav are both seeking re-election, respectively, from in Mainpuri and Kannauj cosntituencies. Yesteryear's "Dream Girl" Hema Malini is slugging it out on a BJP ticket in Mathura against Rashtriya Lok Dal's sitting MP Jayant Chowdhary, son of union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh. Amar Singh, one-time confidant of Mulayam Singh and now an RLD candidate, is contesting from Fatehpur Sikri while union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is fighting again from Farrukhabad. The candidates in Rajasthan include India's former cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin, union ministers Namonarain Meena and Jitendra Singh of the Congress, former DGP Harish Meena and Mahant

Chandnath of the BJP, and Kirodi Lal Meena of the National People's Party. In Assam, the main contestants are Ramen Deka and Bijoya Chakraborty (BJP), Manas Bora (Congress), Badaruddin Ajmal (All India United Democratic Front), Chandan Brahma (Bodoland People's Front), Birendra Prasad Baishya (Asom Gana Parishad), and former Meghalaya governor R.S. Mooshahary (Trinamool Congress). In Bihar where the voting has been staggered, balloting takes place in Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria, Katihar, Supaul, Bhagalpur and Banka -- all of them having sizeable Muslim population.The BJP has been winning most of the Seemanchal seats, except Kishanganj for nearly two decades. In Kishanganj, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) candidate Akhtarul Iman declared he won't contest, so the minority votes go en bloc to Congress's Asrarul Haque.

India, China discuss maintenance Union Minister Jaipal Reddy shifts of peace along LAC base again to Mahbubnagar New Delhi, April 22 : India and China today agreed on the need to enhance bilateral military engagements and discussed various issues including maintenance of peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), enhancing cooperation and understanding between their respective armies and implementation of the existing Bilateral Agreements.A nine-member Chinese Army delegation, led by Lt Gen Qi Jianguo, Deputy Chief of General Staff (Operations) of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), arrived here today on a two-day official visit and held talks with their Indian counterparts on the need to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.The visit is in response to an invitation extended by the Government of India, a Defence spokesman said.During the talks, the two sides exchanged views on various issues of mutual interest like maintenance of peace and tranquillity along LAC and enhancing mutual cooperation and understanding between their armies. Measures for implementation of the existing Bilateral Agreements were also discussed, the spokesman added. Both sides agreed on the need to enhance bilateral military engagements.The Chinese side confirmed their participation in the Fourth India-China Joint Training Exercise scheduled to be held in November in India. The PLA delegation also called on the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh and the Defence Secretary."India and China attach great importance to high level military exchanges. This year has also been declared the 'Year of Friendly Exchanges"In February, the PLA delegation led by Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief of General Staff had come to India for Annual Defence Dialogue and Defence Minister AK Antony had visited China in July 2013. The Chinese side have also confirmed the visit of their Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan to India later this year.

Hyderabad, April 22 (IPT) : After almost 18 years, constituency- hopper Union Minister for Science and Technology S.Jaipal Reddy returned his home turf Mahbubnagar to contest the 2014 elections. To win his sixth election the veteran politician has chosen one of the most backward, arid and second largest districts in the undivided Andhra Pradesh. Jaipal Reddy won the Mahbubnagar LS seat on behalf of Janata Party in 1984, he lost elections in 1998 as Janata Dal candidate, and then he joined Congress and won Mirayalaguda LS seat of Nalgonda district in 1999 and again in 2004 elections. He shifted to Chevella in Ranga Reddy district on the fringes of Hyderabad city in 2009 and won the elections for Congress. Jaipal Reddy denies allegation that he frequently changes his constituency.'In the first place, Miryalaguda was cancelled during delimi-

tation and I was advised by the party to move to Chevella,' he said. Now, he moved out of Chevella because the natives, former home minister Sabitha Indra Reddy and her son Karthik Reddy, wanted Jaipal, an outsider, to move out. Mahbubnagar is witnessing a very tough triangular contest with stalwarts such as Jaipal Reddy (Cong), former minister Nagam Janarthan Reddy (BJP) and former MP, Jintender Reddy (TRS) in the fray. With all the three candidates belonging to the same district and more or less strong votaries of separate Telangana cause, the competition is fierce. On his part Jaipal already got the list of contenders he wanted for all the seven Assembly segments, Kodangal, Narayanpet, Mahbubnagar, Jadcherla, Devarakadra, Maktal and Shadnagar to ensure victory in the Lok Sabha segment.

Chhattisgarh's political bigwigs in the poll fray include six-time BJP MP Ramesh Bais, Congress leader and union minister of state Charandas Mahant and Karuna Shukla, niece of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In Bilaspur, the Congress has fielded Shukla, who was with the BJP for about 25 years.Two former chief ministers of Jharkhand -Jharkhand Vikas MorchaPrajatantrik (JVM-P) president Babulal Marandi and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren -have locked horns in Dumka. In Madhya Pradesh, Vidisha's sitting MP and BJP's leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj is pitted against Congress candidate Lakshman Singh, the younger brother of Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh.The big names in the race in Maharashtra include union Minister of State for Shipping Milind Deora, former union minister and AICC general secretary Gurudas Kamat, former journalist Sanjay Nirupam, Priya Dutt (all from the Congress in Mumbai), besides the Nationalist Congress Party's Chhagan Bhujbal in Nashik and Medha Patkar in Mumbai North-East.

Hyderabad, April 22 (IPT) : The city police today busted a Sri Lankabased kidney racket with the arrest of three persons. On credible information, Cyber Crime Police arrested Noothi Venkatesham (38) of Paddakaparthi in Nalgonda District, Dogiparthi Shanmukha Pavan Srinivas (25) of Vanastalipuram in Ranga Reddy district and Govind Suryanarayana (29) of Prasadampadu, Vijayawada for the offence, Hyderabad Police Commissoner Anurag Sharma told reporters here today. It came to light when Mr Ganesh Kumar, brother of a deceased (Dinesh), had filed a complaint.The accused acted as agents and collected the donor's details from the internet postings and informed the Srilankan Doctor who arranged flight tickets, accommodation and surgery at some Sri Lankan hospitals by offering a package Rs 30-40 lakh. The doctor paid only Rs 3-5 lakh to the victims (donor) and Rs 50,000 to 1.5 lakh as agent commission. The victim, Dinesh, had approached N Venatesham who promised to pay Rs five lakhs and accordingly Dinesh along with Kiran Kumar reached ColombofromChennai by flight on March 23.

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Government intended to punish Sikhs, reveals Cobrapost New Delhi, April 22 : The Delhi Police succumbed to anti-Sikh sentiments in 1984, thus abetting rioting and arson, a sting operation by news portal Cobrapost revealed Tuesday. The expose triggered a political row. The Congress, which was also in power then, sought a probe into the sting operation, while the BJP said it proves that the riots were sponsored by the then ruling party and its coalition ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal reiterated its manifesto resolve to set up fast track courts to nail the guilty and ensure justice for the victims. The sting operation titled "Chapter 84" claimed that the government did not allow the police to act while creating an impression that police were not performing their duty. "The government's intention appeared to be that the Sikhs should get some punishment," said Shoorveer Singh Tyagi, then police station house officer (SHO) at Kalyanpuri area of east Delhi, whom Cobrapost interviewed. "Messages were broadcast directing police to not take action against rioters who were shouting slogans of 'Indira Gandhi zindabad'," Rohtas Singh, SHO at Delhi Cantonment, told Cobrapost. Throwing light on the

complicity of the state in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the report added that police logbooks were conveniently changed to eliminate evidence of inaction by senior police officials. Police did not allow the victims of rioting to file first information reports (FIRs or police complaints) or when they filed FIRs, they clubbed many cases of murder and arson that took place in different places under one FIR, according to Cobrapost. Police officers were also guilty of dumping bodies of victims elsewhere to minimise riot-related crimes near their police stations, Cobrapost claimed. BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the 1984 riots were a Congress-sponsored pogrom in which not only "human beings but also humanity died". "The way Congress has tried to justify this saying when a big tree falls, the earth shakes. Today, children who saw their families being burnt are coming forward. There is no question of forgiving the Congress for this," he said. Congress's Rashid Alvi said the claims made by the sting operation should be investigated properly. "It should be inquired into and action should be taken against all those officers who are involved."

Sangita Reddy undertakes election campaign Hyderabad, April 22 (IPT) : Apollo Hospital Executive Director Sangita Reddy undertook election campaigning at Yellamabanda, Dhatatreyanagar and NTR Nagar areas of Serilingampally today, on behalf of TRS Chevella Lok Sabha Candidate Konda Vishweshwar Reddy. She inaugurated party offices in the areas and several youth and women joined TRS in her presence. Speaking on the occasion she said, the response for TRS and its candidates has been overwhelming from the people. The electorate wants to express their gratitude to TRS for achieving Telanagana, by voting for the party. TRS would also live up to their trust by implementing all the promises made in the

manifesto, including offering free education from KG to PG, housing for the poor, potable water for all, increasing the pension for senior citizens from meager Rs 200 to Rs 1000, Rs 1500 pension for disabled, she said and added only TRS is committed to ameliorating the condition of the people of Telangana. Speaking about her husband and TRS Chevella Lok Sabha Candidate Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, she said, he was giving up his successful business to do public service. He was moved by the plight of the people in Telangana and is genuinely interested in improving the condition of the people and the state of Telangana. She appealed to them to vote for Mr Vishweshwar Reddy and Serilingampally MLA candidate Shankar Goud.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi during a road show in support of party candidate Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, in Alwar, Rajasthan.


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Pacific accord on maritime code could help prevent conflicts More than 20 countries with interests in the western Pacific signed up to a framework maritime communication deal in what could a step towards ensuring that miscommunication between naval vessels does not develop into a conflict. Naval officers from China and the United States told Reuters the document was not meant to directly address problems, including territorial issues, pitting China against several of its neighbors in the East and South China Seas. But incidents in those waters have raised fears of an accidental clash, which could escalate into a broader conflict. The United States wants clearer operational communications with the growing Chinese fleet, arrangements in part hampered by different interpretations of what operations are acceptable in international waters, U.S. naval officers have said. The risks of a mishap were highlighted in December when the U.S. guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens had to take evasive action in the South China Sea to avoid hitting a warship supporting China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. China's increasingly assertive navy, which has modernized quickly in the past decade, has sparked nervousness from other countries in the region - particularly Japan. More than 20 countries with strategic interests in the Western Pacific region unanimously agreed to the framework, including China, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia. The agreement took place at a meeting of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium in the eastern Chinese coastal city of Qingdao. A late draft of the non-binding document, obtained by Reuters, is essentially a handbook for maneuvers and communication when naval ships and aircraft from the signing countries encounter each other unexpectedly. Navies are told to fire off flares in green, yellow and red in different situations and given a list of English-language terms. "The document is not legally binding, rather, it's a coordinated means of communication to maximize safety at sea," the draft says.The final version has not been publicly released, but a naval official privy to the discussions said the language in the draft was close to what had been formally agreed upon. The document defines "unplanned encounters" as when vessels from two countries meet "casually or unexpectedly".

Next PM must ensure Dr Singh's mistakes aren't repeated A change of government at the Centre is on the cards. Whether the new government is led by the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi or someone else from any other political party, a key to the success of the new leadership would be how it chooses to use the available administrative apparatus and various wings of the government. Not surprisingly, therefore, civil servants in different departments of the central government are busy these days debating and discussing what went wrong in the last 10 years with the administration and what the new government ought to focus on to make amends. One of the main failures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his 10-year long tenure was that he did precious little in terms of making the administration more effective and efficient. This was a disappointment since he was a product of the government system, having worked in various capacities in different departments for several decades before taking charge as finance minister in the early 1990s and then as prime minister in 2004. The new prime minister must draw the right lessons from Singh's mistakes. Lesson number one for the new prime minister would be that he must assert his right to choose key members of the Union council of ministers. Singh suffered from a handicap in this area. Congress president Sonia Gandhi was seen to be exercising her right to nominate people of her choice in key

ministerial portfolios and Singh had no option but to accept them. The new prime minister, expected to take oath sometime in the latter half of next month, should try hard to retain that right for himself. If Modi happens to be the next prime minister with substantial seat strength for the BJP in the Lok Sabha, as many people believe, there should be no such problem. He is known to be a man of clear choices and will brook no interference in selecting his own team of ministers. But if the outcome of the election is a coalition government and the prime minister has to necessarily take the views of his coalition partners on board before choosing his ministerial team, the problem is likely to recur and even get complicated. Even if the prime minister fails to get all the ministers of his choice, he would do well not to repeat Singh's second mistake. This would be lesson number two. Singh allowed his ministers to choose the top bureaucrats heading the ministries. Even in the Prime Minister's Office or PMO, Singh had to make a few compromises, after being unable to choose some of the officers he wanted in his team. This was in stark contrast to his stint as finance minister, where he had full freedom from his p r i m e m i n i s t e r, P V Narasimha Rao, to have a team of secretaries that was entirely his choice. Several civil servants, some of them retired, believe that by allowing the ministers to appoint sec-

retaries in their departments of their choice, Singh lost control of the government. The secretaries owed their allegiance and survival to the ministers and not necessarily to the prime minister. Thus, a telecommunications minister could have a secretary of his choice and influence his decisions or a finance minister could insist on a certain civil servant to be the secretary in his ministry, even though the prime minister would have preferred somebody else, who was seen as more competent. The new prime minister must reassert his right to choose the top bureaucrats not only in the PMO, but also in the key ministries at the Centre. The third lesson to which the he new prime minister must pay attention is to revive the institution of the cabinet secretariat. A strong cabinet secretariat can help the prime minister and his team to get decisions implemented efficiently and quickly. It should be treated as an important and necessary link between the large number of civil servants who have to implement policy decisions, and the political leadership. Unfortunately, that link is no longer as strong as it should be. This distortion should be corrected. There are two more radical changes that the new prime minister should consider to improve governance. One, it is time the new government severed

the connection between public sector undertakings (there are about 260 of them, excluding the statecontrolled banks and insurance companies) and the ministries. The idea of attaching public sector undertakings to their administrative ministries has outlived its utility. The time has come to end the cosy relationship that these state-controlled units have with their administrative ministries. There should be a debate over this and one idea could be to shift these undertakings to either a new organisation or to the PMO. Finally, the Planning Commission as a body needs a close relook. Its utility and relevance need to be reassessed. The Commission has a huge pool of manpower resources, including experts and learned advisors on various sectors of the economy. These experts should either be utilised effectively or reallocated to the various Union ministries so that they can play a more effective role in decision-making. The current administrative set-up is not geared to optimally utilising such a large body like the Planning Commission for improving governance. In many ways, the widening gap between thinkers and doers in the government is symbolised by the Planning Commission. The thinkers in the C o m m i s s i on should be mainstreamed by making them a part of the ministries that are expected to be the doers in the system.

Syria’s chemical weapons wild card: chlorine gas Chlorine gas attacks in Syria this month, if proven, expose a major loophole in an international deal which promised to remove chemical weapons from Syria and suggest chemical warfare could persist after the removal operation has finished. President Bashar alAssad agreed with the United States and Russia to dispose of his chemical weapons - an arsenal which Damascus had never previously formally acknowledged - after hundreds of people were killed in a sarin gas attack on the outskirts of the capital last August. Washington and its Western allies said it was Assad’s forces who unleashed the nerve agent, in the world’s worst chemical attack in a quartercentury. The government blamed the rebel side in Syria’s civil war, which is now in its fourth year. Syria has vowed to hand over or destroy its entire arsenal by the end of this week, but still has roughly 20 percent of the chemicals it declared to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In addition, chlorine gas that was never included on the list submitted to the OPCW is now allegedly being used on the battlefield, leading some countries to consider requesting an investigation, possibly through the United Nations. Attacks this month in several areas of the country share characteristics that

have led analysts to believe that there is a coordinated chlorine campaign, with growing evidence that it is the government side dropping the bombs. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday that Washington had indications that chlorine was probably used by government forces in Syria. “We are examining allegations that the government was responsible,” she said. “Obviously there needs to be an investigation of what’s happened here.” YELLOW CANISTERS In the rebel-held village of Kfar Zeita in the central province of Hama, 125 miles north of Damascus, opposition activists uploaded video of people choking and being fed oxygen following what they said were bombs dropped from helicopters on April 11 and 12. Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the videos and activists regularly make similar claims, but further footage of canisters provided an indication of what had happened. One of the canisters had only partially exploded and the marking CL2 was written along its side. CL2 is the symbol for chlorine gas. Also visible was “Norinco” China’s biggest arms maker. Repeated calls to China North Industries Group Corporation, or Norinco, went unan-

swered. Canisters pictured in three separate areas were all painted yellow complying with international standards on industrial gas color codes indicating chlorine. Since April 11, there have been repeated attacks on Kfar Zeita and also on the town of AlTamana’a in north west Idlib on Friday which shared the same characteristics. Activists said helicopters dropped improvised barrel bombs with a chlorine canister enclosed, which led to casualties. If inhaled, chlorine gas - a deadly agent widely used in World War One turns to hydrochloric acid in the lungs, which can lead to internal burning and drowning through a reactionary release of water in the lungs. Hamish de BrettonGordon, head of Britishbased chemical biological radiological and nuclear consultancy firm Secure Bio, said he is “reasonably satisfied that chlorine has been used”. “The evidence is pretty compelling,” he said. DOMESTIC CHEMICAL INDUSTRY Amy Smithson, a leading American chemical weapons expert at the Monterey Institute, said that unless tests are run, it is not certain that chlorine was used or some similar agent. “Once the Syrian government gets the

remainder of the declared chemicals out, pressure should mount for Syria to revise its declaration again, to cough up the remainder of their offensive chemical program,” she said, questioning whether Syria had weaponized its domestic chemical industry. Chlorine, a so-called dual-use chemical which has industrial uses, is not on the list of chemical weapons submitted to the OPCW but was produced in Syria before the war. It should have been declared if the government has it, an OPCW spokesman said. On Monday, opposition groups reported a further attack, this time 20 miles northeast of Kfar Zeita in the town of Telminnes. Video footage was posted on YouTube by several opposition groups of men, women and children being treated in a field hospital. Many appeared to have trouble breathing and medics held them down. One boy who looked less than 10 years old shook as a medic poured a liquid on his eyes and in his mouth. A Reuters photograph of another young boy who had been transferred to a hospital closer to the Turkish border showed him lying dead on a stretcher with blood around his mouth. Medics said he had been exposed to chlorine gas at Telminnes.

Videos from the site of Monday’s bombing showed the same yellow canisters, this time twisted from an explosion. Eliot Higgins, a Britishbased researcher who trawls daily through online videos of Syria’s civil war to verify weapons in them, said that these “chlorine bombs” have similar features to improvised barrel bombs the army has used in the war. He said one bomb from Kafr Zeita shows metal rods, consistent with other large government barrel bomb designs, to hold the impact fuse plate in place. Another video of an exploded barrel bomb shows a canister inside the barrel, which has fins on the back and what appear to be explosives around the top of the canister with a detonation cord. “The interesting thing about these new videos is that there’s the same blue det cord you see in other DIY barrel bombs,” Higgins said. Hundreds of videos confirm barrel bombs have been dropped from helicopters. Rebels have access to large rockets and missiles but there has never been a case reported of the opposition using airdropped munitions nor commandeering a helicopter. GREY AREA A United Nations inquiry found in December that chemical weapons were likely used in five attacks in 2013, although it did not apportion blame. The nerve

agent sarin was likely used in four of the five attacks, the inquiry found. The OPCW mission to extract Assad’s chemicals has been mired by delays and inconsistencies. On Thursday, Reuters reported that Syria had submitted a “more specific” list of its chemical weapons to the OPCW after discrepancies were reported by inspectors on the ground, officials said. Although it not public, officials have said the list includes more than 500 metric tons of highly toxic chemical weapons, such as sulfur mustard and precursors for the poisonous gas sarin, as well as more than 700 metric tons of bulk industrial chemicals. The OPCW, which is overseeing the destruction with the United Nations, has taken an inventory of the chemicals and facilities Syria reported to the joint mission, but has not looked into whether the list may have been incomplete. “Chlorine has a host of commercial uses. Actually, it’s not very toxic. Sarin is probably 2,000 to 3,000 times more toxic. You and I can buy chlorine in a shop,” chemical weapons specialist De Bretton-Gordon said. This makes it a grey area, he said, as industrialuse chlorine in canisters which is what these bombs appear to be - is not strictly a chemical weapon until it is used as one. Nevertheless, he says, “the OPCW and others have been frankly naive.”

Cow manure has new antibiotic resistance genes In a path-breaking research, scientists in the US have found that cow manure is a potential source of new types of antibiotic resistance genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where food is grown.Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertiliser, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows' gut bacteria, said lead author Fabienne Wichmann, former post-doctoral researcher at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Thousands of antibiotic resistance (AR) genes have already been identified, but the vast majority of them do not pose a problem when found in harmless bacteria. The real worry is when these genes appear in the types of pathogenic bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses or hospital infections.Since there is a connection between AR genes found in environmental bacteria and bacteria in hospitals, we wanted to know what kind of bacteria are released into the environment via this route of manure fertilisation, Wichmann explained.Farmers use raw or composted cow manure on some vegetable crops, which could lead to a scenario where residual manure bacteria might cling to produce and they or their genes might move to the human ecosystem.Is this a route for movement of these genes from the barn to the table? asked Jo Handelsman, a microbiologist at Yale. To understand this, Handelsman's team used a powerful screening-plus-sequencing approach to identify 80 unique and functional AR genes. The genes made a laboratory strain of Escherichia coli bacteria resistant to one of four types of antibiotics - beta-lactams (like penicillin), aminoglycosides (like kanamycin), tetracycline or chloramphenicol.The team also found an entire new family of AR genes that confer resistance to chloramphenicol antibiotics which are commonly used to treat respiratory infections in livestock.The diversity of genes we found is remarkable in itself considering the small set of five manure samples, Handelsman noted.That might signal good news that AR genes from cow gut bacteria are not currently causing problems for human patients. But, Wichmann points out, another possibility is that "cow manure harbours an unprecedented reservoir of AR genes" that could be next to move into humans. The study was reported in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Daytime napping may lead to early death: Study

Those who doze off during the day to catch some 'missed' night sleep, beware!According to an alarming research, middle-age and older adults who take daytime naps at office or home may be at increased risk of dying.In particular, naps were linked with an increased risk of dying from respiratory diseases. Those between ages 40 and 65 were nearly twice as likely to die during the study period if they napped for an hour or more, compared to those who did not nap, the researchers from University of Cambridge said. Excessive daytime napping might be a useful marker of underlying health risks, particularly respiratory problems, especially among those 65 years of age or younger, emphasised Cambridge epidemiologist Yue Leng and lead author of the study.It may not be napping per se that is unhealthy, but rather, that those who tend to nap also have undiagnosed medical conditions that affect their risk of dying, the researchers noted.The study involved more than 16,000 people in Britain who answered questions about their napping habits between 1998 and 2000, and were followed for 13 years.People aged 40 to 79 who napped daily, for less than an hour, were 14 percent more likely to die over a 13-year period, compared to those who did not nap.People whose daily naps lasted an hour or more were 32 percent more likely to die over the study period, the research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, added.

Optimistic partner your gateway to better health

Planning to tie the knot soon? Gauge his/her optimism levels too as a cheerful partner with loads of positive attitude would be a harbinger of health for you. According to a study, having an optimistic spouse predicted better mobility and fewer chronic illnesses over time, even above and beyond a person's own level of optimism.This is the first study to show that someone's else optimism could be impacting your own health, said Eric Kim, a doctoral student in psychology at University of Michigan. In close relationships, optimism predicts enhanced satisfaction and better cooperative problem-solving. An optimistic spouse encourage his or her partner to go to the gym or eat a healthier meal because the spouse genuinely believes the behaviour will make a difference in health, Kim noted.To reach this conclusion, researchers tracked 3,940 adults for four years and reported on their physical functioning (mobility, motor skills), health and number of chronic illnesses.Past research found that social support may partly explain the link between optimism and enhanced health. Optimists are more likely to seek social support when facing difficult situations and have a larger network of friends who provide that support.Identifying factors that protect against declining health is important for the increasing number of older adults who face the dual threat of declining health and rising health care costs, co-author Jacqui Smith, a professor in the department of psychology, emphasised.The study appeared in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad

BNP launches march demanding ‘due share’ in Teesta waters Dhaka, April 22: Bangladesh’s main opposition BNP on Tuesday launched a long march demanding a “due share” in the waters of the Teesta river, raking up the contentious issue that has been a major irritant in ties with India. A convoy of 50 minibuses and cars carrying leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) began the march towards the Teesta Barrage bordering Lalmonirhat district where the Teesta river makes its way into Bangladesh from India. “Our long march is not a programme against the government. Rather, we are holding the programme for ensuring people’s due share of Teesta water... BNP is waging the campaign for Teesta’s water as it is a life-and-death question for Bangladesh,” BNP’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam

Alamgir said at a brief rally before the start of the march from Uttara area here. He said the demonstration is aimed at enabling Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to take a stronger stance to realise the justified demands for Teesta water and other common rivers while making the international community aware of the miseries Bangladeshis have to suffer. The BNP demonstration came as officials said massive withdrawal of waters upstream of the Teesta has severely affected the major Boro crops particularly in four northwestern districts, often called the granary of Bangladesh. They said the water flow in the Teesta river has dropped to 650 cusecs from 3,500 cusecs around this time last year. During his last month visit to New Delhi, Bangladesh’s foreign secre-

tary Shahidul Haque expressed concern about the drastic fall in the flow of water of the Teesta. However, political analysts say Khaleda Zia-led BNP is using the march as an opportunity to make visible its presence in the political arena as its boycott of the January 5 elections largely eroded the morale of party activists and supporters as it lost a chance of becoming a strong opposition in the Parliament. Bangladesh and India were set to ink a deal on the issue during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka visit in September, 2011, but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly raised objection over the proposed quantum of waters saying it would harm her state. She also scrapped her tour to Dhaka accompanying Prime Minister Singh. Senior BNP leader Hannan Shah on

Monday said the party was temporarily enjoying a “vacation or hibernation” while addressing a discussion. BNP, in a statement earlier, said the party leaders would stage six street side rallies on its way to the Teesta Barrage site and conclude the march holding another rally at Dalia area of Lalmonirhat. State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan on Monday said the government would extend its support to the long march provided BNP holds the demonstration peacefully. However, Mr. Khan issued a note of warning against any activity to disrupt peace, saying stern legal actions would be taken if any such situation arose during the demonstration. The water of the Teesta is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March

Russia PM says certain can minimize sanctions impact

London, April 22: Russia, under threat of further sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, said on Tuesday it could minimize their impact and would support industries dependent on supplies from abroad. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told parliament sanctions were a chance for Russia to reduce its dependence on imports and that its economic priorities were unchanged."We shan't give up on cooperation with foreign companies, including from Western countries, but we will be ready for unfriendly steps," he said in a report to lawmakers on the government's work in 2013. "I am sure we can minimize their impact," he said. "We will not allow our citizens to become hostages of political games." The United States and the European Union have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on a number of Russian individuals since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region last month. Washington has said further sanctions could be imposed "within days" if Russia does not take steps to implement an

international accord, signed in Geneva last week, which was meant to defuse the crisis. Medvedev said some Russian banks had been shut out of international payments systems. "This is no doubt a violation of existing agreements with these systems. I believe that this must not go unpunished," he said, adding it was a stimulus to creating a national payments system.Medvedev said Russia was more interested than ever in diversifying its gas exports and described talk of Europe importing U.S. gas to reduce reliance on imports from Russia as "a bluff". A third of Europe's gas comes from Russia. The prime minister said Russia would seek to counter sanctions through a pivot towards Eastern markets. "We shall not reduce economic ties but, if our Western partners make that mistake, intensive work in other markets will reduce the losses," he said, adding the Russia was developing cooperation with countries of the Asia-Pacific region and with India and China, among others.

Members of the Thai Army, Airforce and Police forces are ordained as Buddhist monks in Bodh Gaya.

Submarine drone search for Malaysian plane to continue Perth, April 22: A U.S. submarine drone will keep scouring the Indian Ocean floor for traces of a missing Malaysian jetliner after it finishes its current targeted search, Australian authorities told Reuters as a tropical cyclone suspended the air search. Authorities are under growing pressure to decide their next course of action as the Bluefin-21 drone nears the end of its first sweep of remote seabed which authorities believe is the most likely resting place of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 which vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board. The Bluefin-21 is expected to finish its targeted search of a 10 square kms

(6.2 square mile) stretch of ocean floor, where a signal suspected to be from the plane's black box was detected, come Wednesday. No wreckage has yet been found. "Bluefin-21 has now completed more than 80 percent of the focused underwater search area and further missions are planned," the Perth based Joint Agency Coordination Centre told Reuters in an email. "The search will continue. We are currently consulting very closely with our international partners on the best way to effect this for the future." As the Bluefin embarked on its 10th trip to depths of more than 4.5 kms (2.8 miles), some 2,000 kms (1,200 miles) northwest of the

Australian city of Perth, a tropical cyclone heading south over the Indian Ocean suspended the air search. "It has been determined that the current weather conditions are resulting in heavy seas and poor visibility, and would make any air search activities ineffective and potentially hazardous," the JACC said. The ships involved in the day's search about 1,600 kms (990 miles) northwest of the Australian city of Perth would continue with their planned activities, the center added. The search coordinator, retired Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said on April 14 that the air and surface component of the operation would end about

a week ago. But daily sorties have continued unabated in what is shaping to be the most expensive search in aviation history, involving some two dozen nations. "There will be no change to our mission of one ninehour flight per day," U.S. 7th Fleet public affairs officer Commander William J. Marks told Reuters on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a statement attributed to the families of passengers on board the missing flight accused the Malaysian government of giving information about the investigation to the media before them and demanded "regular pre-payments" of compensation before the investigation was complete.

when the water flow comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs.Drastic fall in water flow of the Teesta during the lean season, especially in February and March, seriously hampers irrigation in Bangladesh. Sources in Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) said the flow on the river has weakened significantly in the last 24 years. Officials said Teesta water is vital for irrigating around 6.4 lakh hectares of cropland in Bangladesh’s northwestern part during the lean season. Riverine Bangladesh is criss-crossed by dozens of major rivers with 54 originating from India with only one bilateral treaty signed on the sharing of Ganges water in 1996. Indian leadership earlier repeatedly assured Dhaka of signing the deal as early as possible after ensuring the consensus of all stakeholders.

Nine killed in attacks in Pakistan's volatile northwest Peshawar, April 22: Nine people, including policemen, were killed and dozens wounded in two separate bomb and gun attacks in Pakistan's volatile northwest on Tuesday, police said, a week after the Taliban refused to extend a ceasefire with the government. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took power last year promising to end years of fighting with Taliban insurgents through peace negotiations. Talks began in February but have achieved little. On Tuesday, three people were killed and 33 others, including 12 policemen, were wounded in a bombing in the Charsadda district of KhyberPakhtunkhwa province during the morning rush hour. Six people, including five policemen and an ambulance driver, were killed in a separate attack on a police patrol on the outskirts of the regional capital of Peshawar overnight. Three others were wounded when militants opened fire. Senior police officer Shafiullah Khan said unknown people had planted a bomb on a motorcycle and parked it near police headquarters in Peshawar. "The bomb went off when a police van carrying 13 policemen for duty was passing through the spot. Three persons were killed and 33 were wounded," he said. "It seems the police van was the target of the attack." On April 16, the Pakistani Taliban formally ended a 40-day ceasefire, saying government forces had continued to arrest their men and killed more than 50 people associated with the insurgency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Russian Security Council meeting in the Kremlin, Moscow on Tuesday.

US stands by Ukraine, says Biden Kiev, April 22: US VicePresident Joe Biden on Tuesday told Ukrainian political leaders that the United States stands with them against “humiliating threats” and encouraged them to root out corruption as they rebuild their government. In the most high-level visit of a U.S. official since crisis erupted in Ukraine, Mr. Biden told leaders from various political parties that he brings a message of support from President Barack Obama as they face a historic opportunity to usher in reforms. “The opportunity to generate a united Ukraine and getting it right is within your grasp,” Mr. Biden said. “And we want to be your partner and friend in the project. We’re ready to assist.” Mr. Biden spoke to nine Ukrainians in a hearing room with gilded moldings at the parliament, or Rada. The group included three candidates running for president in the May 25 election most notably billionaire chocolate magnate and front-runner Petro Poroshenko. Mr. Biden told the candidates he hopes that they have more luck than he did in two presidential

runs. Mr. Biden met earlier with acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov and planned a later meeting with acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and democracy activists. After his meetings, Mr. Biden plans to announce new technical support to the Ukrainian government for energy and economic reforms. The US Vice-President’s visit comes at a critical time, days after a tenuous international agreement was reached to de-escalate violence in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia insurgents oppose the government in Kiev. “You face some very daunting problems and some might say humiliating threats are taking place,” Mr. Biden said. Mr. Biden told the lawmakers a priority for the U.S. is to help them become independent from Russian energy supplies. “Imagine where you’d stand today if you could tell Russia to keep your own gas,” Mr. Biden said. Mr. Biden said they have an historic chance now that former President Viktor Yanukovych has fled the country. “This is a second

opportunity to make good on the promise of the Orange Revolution,” Mr. Biden said in a reference to 2004 protests that overturned a widely criticized election that had given Mr. Yanukovych the presidency. Mr. Yanukovych later took office but left the country after violent protests in February. Mr. Biden added, “You have to fight the cancer of corruption that is endemic in your system right now.” He mentioned cleaning up the court system and finding the right balance of power between the president and Rada. “I want you to know I do not underestimate the incredible pressure you all are under,” Mr. Biden said. “I do not underestimate the challenges you all face. And I do not underestimate the frustration you all must feel when someone like me comes along to say what a great opportunity this is for you all. ” But he added that the upcoming election may be the most important in the country’s history. “The truth of the matter is your fellow countrymen expect a whole lot from you right now,” he said.

Afghan campaign worker shot dead outside his home Kabul, April 22: A prominent campaign worker in Afghanistan’s presidential election was shot dead outside his home in the country’s east, officials said on Tuesday. The Taliban denied they were involved in the killing. Campaign worker Esmatullah, who like many Afghan men uses only one name, was returning home from visiting a friend on Monday afternoon when unknown gunmen opened fire outside his house in Logar province, provincial spokesman Din Mohammad Darwish said.Esmatullah known as Commandor Tor for his role in the struggle against the 1990s Soviet occupation was killed instantly while his two bodyguards were wounded, Mr. Darwish said. Esmatullah worked as an election observer for presidential candidate Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, a prominent Islamic cleric who is currently running fourth in the race for the top post, according to the partial results that have been released. A spokesman for Sayyaf’s campaign, Mohammad Fahim Kadamani, confirmed that Esmatullah was an election observer and blamed the Taliban for his death. But the Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, denied

involvement. He told AP over telephone on Tuesday that the insurgents would not target Esmatullah because of his high status as a former mujahedeen fighter against the Soviets. “We respect him. He was a good man,” Mr. Mujahid said. The Taliban have unleashed a wave of attacks during the election to replace President Hamid Karzai, who under Afghan law cannot serve a third term. Candidates, campaign workers and government offices have all been targeted with bombings and armed attacks, although the insurgents failed to disrupt the election day itself, which saw some 7 milllion Afghans turn out to cast votes. Preliminary results of the vote are due on Thursday, though it is likely that a second round a runoff between former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will be necessary, dragging out the entire election process until at least June. Mr. Abdullah is leading with 44.4 percent of the partial results and Mr. Ahmadzai is in second place with 33.2 percent. If neither candidate gains a majority of the vote, a runoff is required under electoral law.

First sign of SK ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy Seoul, April 22: The first distress call from a sinking South Korean ferry was made by a boy with a shaking voice, three minutes after the vessel made its fateful last turn. He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters. The Sewol ferry sank last

Wednesday on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the traditional honeymoon island of Jeju.Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Only 174 people have been rescued and the remainder are all presumed to have drowned. The boy who made the first call, with the family name of Choi, is among the missing. His voice was shaking and sounded urgent, a fire officer told MBC TV. It took a while to identify

the ship as the Sewol. "Save us! We're on a ship and I think it's sinking," Yonhap news agency quoted him as saying. The fire service official asked him to switch the phone to the captain, and the boy replied: "Do you mean teacher?" The pronunciation of the words for "captain" and "teacher" is similar in Korean. The captain of the ship, Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members have been arrested on negligence charges. Lee was also

charged with undertaking an "excessive change of course without slowing down". Authorities are also investigating the Yoo family, which controls the company that owns the ferry, Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd, for possible financial wrongdoing amid growing public scrutiny. An official at the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) told Reuters it was investigating whether Chonghaejin or the Yoo family engaged in any illegal foreign exchange transactions. The official did not elaborate.


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad TPCC complains on KCR

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during an election campaign for her mother, Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli on Tuesday.

Modi promises to nurture Telangana, secure its future Karimnagar/Nizamabad (Andhra Pradesh), April 22 : BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Tuesday said that he is ready to take the responsibility of nurturing Telangana and securing its future. Addressing election meetings in Telangana, he called upon people to give power to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) both in Telangana and at the centre for a bright future. Describing Telangana as a newborn and motherless child, Modi promised to look after and nurture it. He promised to change the destiny of people of Telangana, which is set to become India's 29th state on June 2. He also assured people that he would solve the problems faced by lakhs of Telangana youth working as labourers in the Gulf countries and also vowed to check the farmers' suicides. Modi targeted both the Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for

Not surprised when row over marriage started: Modi

New Delhi, April 22 : BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Tuesday said he was not "surprised" when his political opponents started highlighting his marital status, and dismissed that there was anything to discuss about his personal life."I am not surprised at anything, there is nothing to my (personal) life. Since there is nothing much for them (to talk about), they keep talking about (such) things," Modi told ABP News in an interview. The Congress took up the issue of Modi's marital status after he filed his nomination papers from Vadodara constituency in Gujarat. It was for the first time that Modi in the affidavit admitted he was married and mentioned the name of his wife. In all his past affidavits, he had left the column blank. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi targeted Modi over this, for not once mentioning his wife's name in the past.Congress leader Kapil Sibal moved the Election Commission against Modi, alleging that he had been "hiding" facts. The poll panel has said it is examining the matter.

promoting dynasty politics and said their only aim is to loot."A family in Delhi has already destroyed India. Will you commit the same mistake here," he asked the people in an obvious reference to the family of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao. Modi pointed out that four members of a family are in fray and wondered if they did not find Telangana boys and girls capable of contesting elections.Chandrasekhara Rao, his daughter, son and nephew are also contesting elections."Telangana is infancy stage. It needs special care and love which only BJP can give. It can't be allowed to die by giving it in the hands of others," Modi said. Urging people to reject Congress, he explained how the party and the NehruGandhi family always insulted sons of soil from Telangana and Seemandhra. The BJP leader said the elections were important for

Telangana people as they have to decide what kind of government they want in Delhi and in Telangana. Countering the Congress claim that it carved out Telangana state, Modi said it was people of Telangana who achieved the state through their sacrifices. Claiming that he alone can look after Telangana, he pointed out that he is already taking care of three lakh people of Telangana who are employed in Surat. At Nizamabad, which was Modi's first election meeting in Telangana, he shared dais with Telugu film actor Pawan Kalyan, who recently floated a new political party Jana Sena and declared his support to Modi. Pawan, who is younger brother of superstar and now central minister K. Chiranjeevi, appealed to people to vote for BJP and remove Congress to save the country.Modi said Pawan, who hails from Seemandhra, symbolized the spirit of

Exercise utmost restraint: Modi, Jaitley to BJP well-wishers New Delhi, April 22 : Expressing disapproval over "irresponsible" statements, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and senior leader Arun Jaitley Tuesday urged the party's well-wishers to exercise restraint. "I disapprove (of) any such irresponsible statement & appeal to those making them to kindly refrain from doing so," Modi tweeted.Jaitley wrote in his blog: "Even an isolated irresponsible statement will bring discredit to us. Every sensible well-wisher of the BJP is expected to exercise utmost restraint and concentrate on the issue of governance, which is the theme of our campaign. Any statement to the contrary will only help our rivals." The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders' reaction comes in the wake of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia and party leader Giriraj Singh's reported hate speeches. Modi said that with great happiness, the entire nation was looking towards the BJP for going to the people solely on the issues of good governance and development. "Petty statements by those claiming to be BJP's wellwishers are deviating the campaign from the issues of development and good governance," he wrote without naming the leaders.Togadia, who reportedly said Muslims should be thrown out of Hindu areas, had Monday triggered a controversy.Giriraj Singh, during an election rally in Deogarh, Jharkhand, had said that those opposing Modi will have no place in India but in Pakistan.Jaitley also attacked the Congress in his blog, saying that the leadership of that party was non-inspirational while Modi has become a "symbol of hope" for the country.Targeting Congress leader Amarinder Singh yet again, Jaitley said his politics reflected his "feudal instincts" and called him an "emperor". "He (Amarinder Singh) denies that he ever gave (Jagdish) Tytler a clean chit. He, in a monarchical style, shouts down criticism and refuses to take questions. "Having been caught lying with a straight face on the property tax and the Jagdish Tytler issue, any other candidate would have been put to shame before the people," he said, referring to the former Punjab chief minister purportedly giving a clean chit to Congress leader Tytler over his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Telugus and vowed to look after both Telangana and Seemandhra as the two sons.Targetting the Congress for the manner in which it handled bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the Gujarat chief minister likened the party to a doctor which delivered a child but killed the mother."The Congress killed the mother which is Telugu spirit, language, culture and tradition. I was worried over this. One day Pawan Kalyan came to me and his words touched my heart. If my country has youth like Pawan, the Telugu spirit can't die," he said.Pawan, whose party has not fielded candidates from any constituency, also targeted the TRS chief for promoting his family. He said if TRS came to power, Telangana would be pushed back by 20 years. Telangana, which has 119 assembly and 17 Lok Sabha seats, is going to polls April 30. The BJP is fighting the polls in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Hyderabad, April 22 (IPT) : Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) today complained to Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bhanwar Lal against Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao who was allegedly violating poll model conduct of code by using filthy language against TPCC President.In a memorandum submitted to CEO,a copy of which was released to media here, election campaign committee member P Sudhakar Reddy said that during the election campaign in Medak and Karimnagar yesterday, Mr Chandrasekhar Rao used most un-civilized and un-parliamentary words and it was against the respectable civilized society. 'I feel ashamed to mention the verbatim of Mr KCR. I am enclosing herewith the press clippings for your kind perusal', Mr Reddy said. 'Keeping in view the facts, I request you to take stringent and stern action against Mr KCR for his arrogant behavior as per the rules and regulations ECI as early as possible', Mr Reddy added.

Ribeiro for Dr JP as MP

Hyderabad, April 22 (IPT) : Padma Bhushan recipient Julio Francis Ribeiro has said Parliament needs to have ideal members like Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta Party National President. He appealed to voters in Malkajgiri Constituency to elect Dr Narayan to the Lok Sabha in the elections scheduled for April 30, a party release said here today. Known as a super cop during his distinguished service, Dr Ribero has been waging a relentless battle against corruption and for police reforms post-retirement.

BJP, SAD politicising 84 riots to improve electoral chances: Cong New Delhi, April 22 : Congress today charged the BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal for trying to politicise the 1984 anti-Sikh riots issue for electoral gains. "Faced with an electoral debacle in Lok Sabha seats at Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal is trying to politicise the issue of antiSikh riots in 1984 to boost their electoral chances. "Two enquiry commissions and six enquiry committees have been set up to probe the 1984 incidents.

"Several people, including activists from BJP, RSS and Congress workers are either being tried in cases related to the riots or have been given punishment," AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters here. He said Congress had time and again said the 1984 riots are 'regretful, sad and inhuman'. "Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have, more than once, expressed regret for the riots in

Parliament as well as outside. "We feel that whoever is guilty in the case, be it from the Congress or BJP, should be given the strictest punishment." A recent statement by Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh allegedly giving a clean chit to former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler has raked up a controversy with the SAD activists yesterday protesting outside the AICC office at 24, Akbar Road over Captain Singh's statement.

Government committed contempt over order on black money: SC

New Delhi, April 22 : he Supreme Court Tuesday pulled up the government for doing nothing to comply with its July 2011 order directing it to disclose the names of Indians who have stashed away money in foreign banks. located in Liechtenstein. The details of Indian account holders in banks of Liechtenstein, a landlocked country in central Europe bordering Switzerland and Austria, were furnished to the government by Germany. Describing the centre's conduct as "contemptuous", the bench of Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Madan B. Lokur said the government has used the shield of review petition to put in cold storage the directions of the court issued July 4, 2011. "This order was passed in 2011. In the name of the review petition, you (government) don't carry out our orders. This is nothing but contempt of court," said Justice Dattu, taking exception to Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran's submission that four directions of July 2011 order had to be read in conjunction and not separately. The court made it clear that at no stage, the operation of July 2011 was stayed and it was incumbent upon the government to continue with the investigation. The apex court by its July 2011 order directed the centre to furnish to petitioners and counsel Ram Jethmalani and others "forthwith" all those "documents and information which they have secured from Ger-

many" in connection with Indian account holders in banks of Liechtenstein. Rejecting the plea by Solicitor General Parasaran that the first direction could not be read without the direction that provides for a Special Investigation Team (SIT), the court said the use of word "forthwith" itself says that the information secured from Germany has to be provided to Jethmalani and others immediately without waiting for any other outcome. "You have to furnish the information provided by Germany 'forthwith' and not after the investigation by the SIT. Forthwith means now. Where does the SIT come into the picture? We will clarify the order if you want to take instructions (from the finance ministry)," the court said, making clear its displeasure at the way the government chose to sit on its orders. Saying there was no ambiguity in the four directions issued by the court July 4, 2011, the bench said each of the directions had to be seen independently and not together. Adjourning the matter till April 29, the court asked Solicitor General Parasaran to take instructions from the government on what it intends to do for complying with the directions of the court without waiting for the SIT coming into existence.The court also asked both the petitioners - Jethmalani and Parasaran - to suggest a common name to be appointed as chairman of the SIT after it took on record two communications sent by Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy expressing his inability to function as the SIT head.

Summer special trains Hyderabad, April 22 (IPT) : In order to clear extra rush of passengers during summer season, four special trains will be run between Secunderabad-Bikaner and Secunderabad-Guwahati. In a release here, South Central Railway (SCR) said Train 07037 SecunderabadBikaner special train will depart Secunderabad at 2330 hrs on April 27, arrive/ depart Nanded at 0430/ 0645 hrs on April 28 and arrive Bikaner at 2030 hrs on April 29. In the return direction, Train 07038 BikanerSecunderabad special train will depart Bikaner at 1540 hrs on April 30, arrive/ depart Nanded at 0345/ 0400 hrs on May 2 and arrive Secunderabad at 0955 hrs. Train 07249 Secunderabad-Guwahati special train will depart Secunderabad at 0730 hrs on May 16 (Friday) and arrive Guwahati at 0755 hrs Sunday. In the return direction, Train 07250 GuwahatiSecunderabad special train will depart Guwahati at 0600 hrs on May 19 (Monday) and arrive Secunderabad at 1000 hrs on Wednesday

Women voters stand in a queue to cast their votes during the re-poll for Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency at Thoubal Mijing, Thoubal district.

Giriraj Singh banned by EC from campaigning in Bihar, Jharkhand New Delhi, April 22 : The Election Commission on Tuesday, banned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Giriraj Singh from campaigning in Bihar and Jharkhand for his highly inflammatory speeches. In its directive to the Chief Secretaries of both the states, the commission asked them not to allow him to hold rallies, public meetings, road shows and take all preventive measures to restrain him.The Election Commission was very critical of Giriraj Singh's speech as this was totally violative of principles enshrined in the constitution. Such statement only promote feeling of hatred and ill-will and create disharmony between different communities. The poll body also asked the states for compliance reports in this regard by Thursday evening.

Owaisi hate speech video: Ban plea hearing April 26 New Delhi, April 22 : A court here Tuesday fixed April 26 for hearing a plea for a permanent restraint on Andhra Pradesh legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi's hate speeches being aired on YouTube. Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Owaisi delivered the controversial speeches at public meetings in Nizamabad and Nirmal of Andhra Pradesh

Dec 8 and 22, 2012, respectively. Police took action after the speeches went viral over social networking sites and some people lodged complaints with the police and in courts. Following the complaints, Owaisi, a legislator from Chandrayangutta assembly constituency was arrested, but released on bail in January 2013.

Edited, Printed, Published and Owned by L. Aseervadam, Printed at Krashak Printer, Vidyanagar, O.U. Campus Road, Hyderabad. Published from Flat No: 106, Block - A, Archana Apartments, East Marredpally, Secunderabad 500 026. Phone : 040 40160906, 27712775, Fax : 040 -27712774, E-mail : markindiadaily@gmail.com, Editor-in-chief : L. Aseervadam, RNI. No : APENG/2012/47447

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