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Vol.II. No.170

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Edition : HYDERABAD

ENGLISH DAILY Friday, June 6, 2014

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Narendra Modi-Obama summit in September, will end visa ban

BJP MP Hema Malini arrives at Parliament House during the 1st session of 16th Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Thursday.

New Delh, June 5 : Nearly a decade after it denied him a visa and blacklisted him, the US is practically preparing to roll out the red carpet for Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is set to hold a summit meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington in Septemberend this year. According to official sources, Modi has expressed his keenness to give a push to the flagging IndoUS ties and has accepted Obamas invite to visit Washington. The US denied Modi a visa in 2005 over the Gujarat riots, in which over a 1,000 people, mostly Muslims were killed. Modi was Gujarat chief minister when the riots occured and the US State Department invoked a little-known US law passed in 1998 that makes foreign officials responsible for "severe violations of religious

Members of 16th Lok Sabha take oath New Delhi, June 5 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his council of ministers and senior leaders, including BJP patriarch L.K. Advani and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were among the members of the newlyelected 16th Lok Sabha who took oath Thursday. Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, who was swornin Wednesday by President Pranab Mukherjee as the protem speaker, administered the oath to Modi, who was attired in a spotless white churidar-kurta and matching jacket.Advani and Gandhi next took oath next. The three leaders took the oath in Hindi.They were followed by Arjun Charan Sethi of the Biju Janata Dal, P.A. Sangma of the National People's Party and Biren Singh Engti of the Congress. After them, most of the members of the council of ministers of the National Democratic Alliance government took their oath as MPs of the new Lok Sabha. Ex-

ternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took her oath in impeccable Sanskrit. The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader was followed by her party colleague and Minister for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti, who too took her oath in Sanskrit as did union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.Union ministers from Karnataka, including Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar, and Minister of State for Civil Aviation G.M. Siddeshwara, took their oath in Kannada. Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, who is minister for food processing industries, took oath in Punjabi. Jual Oram, tribal affairs minister, took oath in Odiya, while Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava took oath in Gujarati.Sarbananda Sonowal, minister of state for skill development, youth affairs and sports (Independent

charge), took oath in Assamese.Other ministers took oath in Hindi while Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi took oath in English. The 16th Lok Sabha has the highest number of first time MPs. Kamal Nath was the only member who had taken oath Wednesday as the house was adjourned on the first day of the new Lok Sabha following death of union minister Gopinath Munde June 3. The oath taking of the members proceeded statewise in the alphabetical order with some exceptions for senior members like former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and two former deputy speakers Karia Munda and M. Thambidurai and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Some members were, however, not present to take oath. Notable among them being senior BJP MPs Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ram Kripal Yadav.

freedom" ineligible for visas. After the swearing-in of Modi, who led the BJP to a spectacular victory in the general election, Obama in a message vowed to work closely together with the new Indian prime minister for years to come. Obama was quick to acknowledge Modis resounding victory in the election and extended an invitation to him to visit Washington effectively ending the visa ban on him. Obama is believed to be keen to patch up the damage to Indo-US ties as fast as possible. His meeting with Modi will be the second within the span of a year with an Indian prime minister. He had met Manmohan Singh in September last year during the former prime ministers visit to Washington enroute to the UN General Assembly. The proposed June 8 visit of US Assistant Secretary of

Governor invites Naidu to form AP Govt Hyderabad, June 5 (IPT) : Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan today invited TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu to form the government in the residuary Andhra Pradesh.Earlier in the day, a delegation of TDP MLAs met the governor at the Raj Bhavan and urged him to invite Mr.Naidu to form the government.They informed that the TDP legislature party had unanimously elected Mr Naidu as its leader and presented the copy of the resolution of the TDLP in this regard.Mr Naidu will take oath as the Chief minister near Guntur on June 8. A team of TDP MPs led by union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi today and invited him to attend the swaering in ceremony. Meanwhile, the sprawling ground in front of the Acharya Nagarjuna University, the venue of the swearing in ceremony is being readied on a war footing under the supervision of district officials and top TDP leaders.

5 govt servants including FRO, CI held in bribe case Hyderabad, June 5 (IPT) : The sleuths of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) have arrested five government servants including Forest Ranger officer (In-charge), Circle Inspector and Agriculture Market Special Grade Secretary in a bribe case after being caught them when they were accepting bribe from the complainants at Visakhapatnam, Warangal and Kasrimnagar districts in Andhra Pradesh. The Forest Range Officer (FRO) working at Chodavaram (Deputy Range Officer, Madugula) in Visakhapatnam district and the Technical Assistant (Mesthri) were caught red handed by the ACB officials,

when the FRO demanded and accepted the bribe amount of Rs 12,000 today from the complainant for doing an official favour to handover the transport permit issued by Divisional Forest Officer to the complainant for transporting the teakwood logs from the fields of the complainant. The accused FRO received the bribe amount and handed over the same to the Technical Assistant for safe custody. Both the accused persons were being arrested and produced before the ACB Court, Visakhapatnam, ACB said in a release here. At Karimnagar , Agriculture Market Special Grade

Secretary, Juvvadi Chukarao, Agricultural Market Yard, Champagandi, was caught red handed by the ACB officials today when he demanded and accepted an amount of Rs.15,000 as bribe from the complainant, for doing an official favour ' to issue the cheque for construction of shed at market yard of the complainant's land. Bribe amount was recovered from him and the Accused Officer has been arrested and produced before the IInd Additional Special Judge for SPE & ACB Cases, Hyderabad, In another trap case in Warangal district yesterday, Circle Inspector of Police and

Head Constable working in the office of City Crime Station in Warangal Urban were caught red handed yesterday when they demanded and accepted an amount of Rs 25,000 as bribe from the complainant, for doing an official favour ' as reward for enlarging complainant's brother in the anticipatory bail in a case of Sebadri Police Station and not to harass in the name of investigation', the release said. Bribe amount was recovered from them and the Accused Officers has been arrested and produced before the IInd Additional Special Judge for SPE & ACB Cases, Hyderabad, the release added.

State Nisha Desai Biswal, the Obama administrations point person for South and Central Asia, to New Delhi is an indication of the urgency with which the US is keen to mend ties with the Modi government. Modi, whose move to reach out to South Asian neighbours during his swearing-in has been lauded, gave an indication of his foreign policy thoughts in interviews before coming to power. He had said that individual incidents should not be allowed to cloud bilateral relations an apparent reference to the visa ban on him by the US. Bilateral ties, which had seen a cooling off during the latter years of UPA-II, suffered a setback with the handcuffing and strip search of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade last year for alleged visa fraud and under-

paying her nanny. The policy paralysis of the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is seen to have crept into its bilateral ties as well, with little headway on many ticklish issues. The US is keen to get started with implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, which is stuck over Indias civil nuclear liability laws. The US is also keen to increase its defence ties with India, a major market, and also keen to push trade with India from the current around $100 billion annually to $500 billion by 2015. Indian Ambassador to the US S. Jaishankar, who is believed to be tipped for a bigger role in the Prime Ministers Office, is also said to be flying down for consultations in South Block with regard to the upcoming Modi-Obama meet.

Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia at Parliament House on the first day of 16th Lok Sabha, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Agriculture high on Govt's priority list : Jaitley New Delhi, June 6 : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said agriculture was high on the priority list of Narendra Modi government and assured that despite constraints of the economy, the Government would try its best to boost this sector. The Finance Minister, in his first pre-budget consultation meeting with the representatives of the agriculture Sector, lamented that although agriculture and its allied sector employed the largest number of people, yet

YSRCP flays TDP's extravaganza Hyderabad, June 5 (IPT) : Criticising the misuse of official machinery, extravaganza, pomp and boasting of the swearing-in ceremony of TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, YSR Congress Party today said this only indicates the manner in which he will be serving his coterie that has been running the show ignoring the people's plight. 'The manner in which the hotels are booked, aircraft and choppers are being commissioned and sub-stations being erected for the swearing-in ceremony while people are reeling under severe power cuts shows the priorities of the TDP government,' party leader G Srikanth Reddy said in a press conference here.Booking five special flights, helicopters, villas and hotel rooms in Guntur and Vijayawada and the way money is being spent in an extravagant manner for the swearing-in ceremony shows that the coterie that is working to illuminate the function will be taken care of in the days to come and nepotism will be the keyword of the governance, he said." Seeking donations without giving any thought to the dire situation coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema is in, and spending money and misusing official machinery for unproductive means is highly objectionable," he said.

its share in the GDP had contracted over the years. The meeting was also attended by Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Dr Arvind Mayaram, Finance Secretary, Mr Ratan P Watal, Expenditure Secretary, Mr Rajiv Takru, Revenue Secretary, Mr Ashish Bahuguna, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, and other senior officers of the Ministry of Finance among others. Various suggestions

were received from the different representatives of the Agriculture Sector including establishing a Kissan TV Channel to create awareness among farmers about new technologies, government programmes and quality parameters etc. The suggestions also included timely decision on 'Minimum Support Price' at the cost of production plus 50 per cent, timely and efficient procurement policy, priority for mechanization in all commodities, setting-up of commodity wise board, wa-

ter conservation as a national priority with focus on drip and sprinkler irrigation, timely completion of irrigation projects and linking of rivers; setting-up of National Water Authority and River Valley Authorities among others. Other suggestions included use of information technology, new marketing technologies, setting up of soil health testing facilities in each Panchayat, making animal husbandry a profitable occupation, and strengthening of agriculture research and extension facilities.

Uma questions law and order in UP, Dimple defends state government

Harsh Vardhan announces plan for converting AIIMS into ''green hospital''

New Delhi, June 5 : The increasing rape incidents in Uttar Pradesh led to charges and counter-charges between the BJP and the SP with Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti Thursday accusing the state's ruling party of "protecting rapists" while Dimple Yadav put up a spirited defence of her husband and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav."...this (Uttar Pradesh) is the only state where politicians and the government protect rapists," Uma Bharti, who is an MP from the state's Jhansi, told the media after taking oath.She said the state had become "insensitive towards women", alluding to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh's questioning of the capital punishment for rapists during the Lok Sabha campaign.Dimple Yadav however complained that the rape cases in the state have been excessively played up in the media."You cannot just say that rapes are happening in just one state. It is an important social issue faced by the whole country, and we should take it very seriously. We need to discuss this issue and take steps," argued the 36-year-old Kannauj MP.She contended that Akhilesh Yadav's failure to visit Badaun, where two Dalit girls were gang-raped and murdered May 27, should not to be seen as the governmnet's indifference regarding crime against women."Our party is very strict on this issue and will ensure that the culprits are given strict punishment. Our government is working in this direction," she said.Both Mulayam Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav have attracted strong criticism for failing to do much to maintain law and order in UP, where a woman judge was raped on June 3, while shocking people with their comments.Asked about the law and order situation in the state, Mulayam Yadav snapped at reporters saying: "You do your work, I will do mine".His remarks came after his son told reporters earlier that they should "Google" search the number of rapes happening elsewhere in the country and stop focusing on UP.

New Delhi, June 5 : On the occasion of World Environment Day today, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan announced his resolve for greening the health care and to converting All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi into a "green hospital". With environmental degradation and environmental risks emerging as the single biggest source of diseases from ordinary water borne diseases to cancers -the Health Minister has announced plans for setting up a network of capacity building institutions all over India modelled on the lines of All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, and the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health in Delhi's Maulana Azad Medical College. Addressing a gathering here at Vigyan Bhavan, Dr Harsh Vardhan said his plan to "green" AIIMS is based on the government's determination to showcase its determination to fight climate change.


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Friday, June 6, 2014

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Nitish Kumar's calculated regression Eventually, everything in Bihar revolves around caste. Socialists of yore, like Dr Ram Manohar Lodia and Karpoori Thakur, whose political ideologies, theories, strategies and calculations were based on caste, did it with the purpose of accepting ground realities and finding ways of overcoming its hierarchical limitations and oppressive practices. Abolition of castes was the goal. Even after the momentous elections of 1977, when George Fernandes and Ram Vilas Paswan won by huge margins in Bihar, breaking all caste divisions, the next election of 1980 found everything back in its caste mould. Fernandes, representing the backward castes through the Lok Dal, had to struggle to win that election against Digvijay Narain Singh, an upper caste leader from the Congress. In those days the upper castes terrorised the ‘under castes’ with weapons and bombs or openly bought votes with inducements. Things changed slowly but surely with the advent of mobility through the social justice moves of Mandal politics, along with the T N Seshan-headed Election Commission’s lengthy but firm and fair holding of elections. The OBCs came into their own. Then it became ‘Yadavised’, so the Samata party was formed to give a balance in favour of the Kurmis and Koeris. Finally, to defeat Lalu Yadav who was accused of both casteism and corruption in the fodder scam, a coalition was formed with the Bharatiya Janata Party to draw the upper castes into a united front -- a rainbow coalition that was to unite all castes. It was the state-level precursor of the National Democratic Alliance of 1998. Neither caste nor religion were mentioned in the campaigns. Power at the Centre led to Nitish Kumar ascending the gaddi of Bihar and here began his plan to take the gaddi in Delhi. Ideology and principle are always put to work to camouflage political ambition. Nitish Kumar is a past master at this. His acceptance of the NDA in the first place was aimed at the top spot of Bihar. Then Delhi became the goal, but Narendra Modi’s rise as head of the campaign rang alarm bells. So Nitish suddenly remembered secularism. He did believe, as most superficial secularists did, that the BJP would not get a majority and there would be an opportunity awaiting the leader from Bihar who combined secularism and development. We all saw what happened.

Modi's ministry bears indelible impress of a single person In style, Narendra Damodardas Modi's swearing-in in the presence of 4,000 invitees at a ceremony unprecedented for its grandiose character, and pomp and circumstance, resembled a King Emperor's coronation more than the installation of the elected prime minister of a democracy. Never before has an Indian prime minister organised oath-taking on this scale, inviting the heads of South Asian governments, in itself a welcome move, and domestic dignitaries from the worlds of big money and glamour. Only psychologists can say if this is the result of an intense craving for recognition and approval, an astute political calculation, or just a continuation of the excess and extravagance of Modi's lavish multi-billion-dollar election campaign. In substance too, Modi's choice of his council of ministers resembles the kind of centralised decision-making around one person found in states where chief ministers command more absolute power than does the prime minister at the Centre. The new Cabinet is dominated by Bharatiya Janata Party office-bearers and state leaders, and above all, by the triumvirate that took over the party last September, including Modi, party President Rajnath Singh and General Secretary Arun Jaitley, both Modi groupies. The three men, who have never before held a Cabinet Committee on Security-level portfolio, will now wield powerful CCS positions, with Jaitley holding three portfo-

lios, including finance and defence, which has never happened before. Jaitley was rewarded -- despite losing his own election -- for defying his mentor L K Advani over Modi's nomination as PMcandidate. As for Singh, Modi asked him to declare repeatedly that he would have no role in government. This was to dispel the impression that someone other than the supremo might become PM in case the BJP didn't win a majority and its allies demanded someone less divisive: Either Modi would head the government, or the BJP would sit in the Opposition. Modi reportedly extracted this commitment from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.The 34-strong new team comprising Cabinet ministers and ministers of state with independent charge includes only four non-BJP members. They hold relatively unimportant portfolios like food, food processing and civil supplies. All the weighty portfolios have gone to BJP ministers, including human resource development to the inexperienced Smriti Irani, 38. This is a reward for brazenly defending Modi and reducing Rahul Gandhi's victory margin by over 200,000 votes. The council of ministers is skewed too: It is heavily tilted in favour of the north, especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and the west (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka) and against the south and the east (West Bengal, a big state, is not represented at all). It also under-represents certain

BJP-ruled states (Rajasthan, where the BJP won all 25 seats) and castes/communities (Dalits, Adivasis, Bhumihars, and especially Muslims).Two persons have been given independent charge of major portfolios: Prakash Javadekar (environment, and information and broadcasting) and Nirmala Sitharaman (commerce and industry), for their loyalty. General V K Singh, a controversial newcomer, has been given external affairs and the northeast -- despite the army's hard-line on these. This doesn't speak of merit, balance or prudence. Perhaps the Cabinet's sole positive feature is that a quarter of it consists of women, who form just 11 per cent of the Lok Sabha's membership. Yet, the Cabinet bears the strong, indelible impress of a single person, backed by his loyalists and camp-followers, just as the BJP's election campaign did.If the council of ministers were to reflect the parliamentary system's spirit, based on collective responsibility -as opposed to the dominance of an individual -- it should have had greater diversity and plurality, and more checks and balances. But under Modi, that wasn't to be. Going by business leaders' increasingly strident demands, the government will try to boost economic growth by dismantling or further weakening already feeble environmental and labour regulations, and approving projects regardless of their ecological and human consequences.Gujarat-style economic elitism and ram-

pant privatisation of public resources will violate the rights of the vast majority of the Indian people, especially the poor and vulnerable. In some ways, this would reflect the great polarisation wrought by the BJP's election campaign along caste, class and community lines. Apart from the Congress' unpopularity, such polarisation was key to the BJP's victory. It only won 31 percent of the votes polled nationally, and hence represents barely one-third of the electorate.Contrary to the dominant Modi-media narrative, the people didn't discard 'narrow' considerations of caste and religion to vote for the BJP in large numbers because they believed it would deliver higher economic performance, or fulfil their (especially young people's) aspirations to a better life.According to postpoll surveys by LoknitiCSDS, the election saw the greatest-ever polarisation of the upper castes in favour of the BJP, and of the Muslims (who felt threatened by Modi) in favour of its opponents, including the Congress and Samajwadi Party. Nationally, almost 60 percent of upper caste Hindus voted for the BJP while 43 percent of Muslims backed the Congress. The BJP strongly outperformed the Congress in constituencies with a significant Muslim presence. In constituencies where Muslims form 10to-20 percent of the population, the BJP won 33 percent of the vote to the Congress' 17 percent, and in seats with a 20-to40 percent Muslim population, it won 35 percent votes against the Congress' 14 percent.

even primary -- component of our leadership... Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.' Plainly put, Obama has come to the conclusion that no good US national security interest has been served by the US' extended stay in Afghanistan and it is high time to extricate the troops. Beware of Soviet footfall... Where does that leave Afghanistan and the region? A senior US official who annotated Obama's decision in a media briefing claimed that the primary objective of the war has been achieved, namely, to vanquish the Al Qaeda leadership ensconced in Afghanistan. The US will continue the hunt for Al Qaeda, but the theatre has shifted from the so-called AfPak region -- to Yemen, Syria, Libya and so on.In sum, it is important to understand at this point that the Taliban have never really been the US' 'enemy' in Afghanistan and the decision to pull out all troops returns the conflict to its status of civil war.'Our objectives,' Obama said, 'are clear (beyond 2014): Disrupting threats posed by Al Qaeda; supporting Afghan security forces; and giving the Afghan people the opportunity to succeed as they stand on their own.'He never once mentioned the Taliban. The clincher here is how far he (and his successors) will keep the promise to support Afghans 'for years to come' with financial and development assistance. That is the key question. The resilience of the Afghans to tackle their security chal-

lenges was never really in doubt and Obama took note of it as a major factor behind his decision. But Afghanistan critically needs the support of the international community in terms of financial, technical and development assistance without which it cannot survive. The US should not repeat the mistake that the Soviet Union made of cutting adrift Dr Najibullah. On the plus side, the new president being elected in Afghanistan enjoys a level of legitimacy that Hamid Karzai never really enjoyed. Dr Abdullah Abdullah, who might be the most likely winner, does not carry the opprobrium of being an 'American puppet.' Abdullah's credentials as an Afghan nationalist have never been in doubt -- and Pakistan knows it, too. Pakistan would know it cannot get away with playing smoke and mirrors with Dr Abdullah, as it could do with Karzai. The withdrawal of the US troops by end2016, therefore, lends a sense of urgency to the Pakistani calculus on Afghanistan.It ought to be a nightmarish scenario for Pakistan that the US would be leaving Afghanistan without linking its exit with the Taliban's reconciliation. Therefore, it is a fair guess that Abdullah's chances of negotiating a settlement with the Taliban might be much higher than Karzai's. All in all, Obama has a point in claiming credit that the US is withdrawing from the war after dealing 'decisive blows against our adversaries' (Al Qaeda) and success-

fully making 'transitions to elected governments.' Equally, the US military presence in Afghanistan was a major contributing factor behind the instability in Pakistan.Of course, Pakistan's importance still remains. Obama underscored that the new shift in the US' counterterrorism strategy involves building up the capacity of the regional States to shoulder the burden and working with them without having American 'boots on the ground.' But the US drone attacks on Pakistan have become a thing of the past. The withdrawal of troops also eliminates NATO's dependence on the transit routes via Karachi Port. A paradigm shift All this taken into consideration, the factors that led to the groundswell of 'antiAmericanism in Pakistani society could gradually begin to dissipate and, in turn, the US and Pakistan are in a better position than in very many years to turn a new page in their relations. India, too, has a great opportunity opening up here if it plays its cards in sync with the spirit of the times rather than continuing to view the Afghan problem in zerosum terms.Taking a leaf out of the 'Obama Doctrine', India too can play a creative role politically and diplomatically by encouraging Pakistan to nudge the Taliban to negotiate with Abdullah.The bottom line is that Abdullah is an old and trusted friend of India and Delhi should be able to live with any whichever settlement he reaches with the Taliban (with

Pakistan's help). However, in the first instance there has to be a paradigm shift in the Indian thinking, which has been one-dimensional so far, riveted on a blind belief that Pakistan will inevitably pitch for an outright Taliban takeover in Afghanistan by next year.The plain truth is that Pakistan should have a great deal to worry from a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Pakistan is hardly coping with the blowback from the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. In any case, Pakistan's capacity to project power into Afghanistan is very limited today and the Taliban lack the overwhelming superiority needed to vanquish the Afghan armed forces. The Taliban can at best force a stalemate, but then the debris of a prolonged conflict will keep falling on Pakistan only.Unlike in the mid1990s, Pakistan will have to factor in that the Kabul government is a representative government enjoying international legitimacy and credibility.That is to say, cross-border terrorism across the Durand Line is one thing, but a replay of the outright invasion of Afghanistan as in the mid-1990s is simply out of the question. Pakistan cannot all over again get away with flying the Taliban's 'air force', driving its tanks, providing it with intelligence, drawing up its battle plans, inducting the Pakistani regulars and, of course, bankrolling the entire enterprise with gasoline, food, clothing and what not -- all that it did in the Mujahideen-led Afghanistan to catapult the Taliban to power in Kabul in 1996.

What the US withdrawal from Afghanistan means When it was made, finally, on Tuesday at the Rose Garden on the White House lawns in Washington DC, it couldn't have had any real surprise left in it -- President Barack Obama's announcement on how he is bringing 'America's longest war to a responsible end.' The US-led war in Afghanistan has been grinding to a halt for quite some time already. Let, Obama sprang a surprise, a big surprise. He notionally gave in to the Pentagon's demand that an absolutely irreducible minimum of 10,000 US troops should remain in Afghanistan beyond this year. He chalked up a figure of 9,800. But then he added the caveat that this number would come down by half in a year's time by end-2015 and the remaining troops shall thenceforth be confined to two locations -- Kabul and Bagram -- and, furthermore, that there shall be a complete drawdown by end2016.This is vintage Obama. Call it by any other name, but Obama has in reality decided to exercise the 'zero option' to be implemented through the next 30-month period.Without even acknowledging it, he neatly delinked it from the signing of the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement (which is now a certainty as soon as the next Afghan president takes over in July.) 'The bottom line is it's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,' Obama said. He is redeem-

ing an important election pledge that he'd bring the warriors home.There was no triumphalism in Obama's announcement -- no victory cry, no bragging of 'Mission Accomplished', not even airy claims or his famous rhetorical flourish. In fact, Obama was rather philosophical -- Yet, this is how wars end in the 21st century -- not through signing ceremonies... Obama rationalised his decision primarily in terms of the US' priorities -- the war needed to be brought to an end -- having lasted 'longer than many Americans expected.' Period. Indeed, some of the resources saved by ending the war could be redirected 'to respond nimbly to the changing threat of terrorism, while addressing a broader set of (foreign policy) priorities around the globe.' So, this is not quite a 'standalone' decision, either. Later, in a major speech at West Point on Wednesday, he embedded his decision within what is being lately talked about as the 'Obama Doctrine.'The Obama Doctrine is emphatic that there shall be 'no useless wars' anymore in which American troops will get entangled. The US will instead strive to pursue its global strategies by broadening its tools 'to include diplomacy and development,' while the 'threshold of military action must be higher.' To quote from the West Point speech, 'Here's my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage... But US military action cannot be the only -- or

22 British hospitals got food linked to baby poisoning While government hospitals in developing countries are usually looked down upon, hospitals in a country like Britain too are not an exception to their share of shortcomings. A top British health official has revealed how the authorities had to issue an urgent recall after finding that a stock of liquid food linked to death of an infant and blood poisoning in 14 newborns was supplied to 22 hospitals. According to Paul Cosford, the head of Public Health England (PHE), an urgent recall had been ordered after a contaminated batch of the food was suspected of causing the septicaemia that killed a baby at a neonatal intensive care unit at London's Guy's and St. Thomas' hospital, the Guardian reported Thursday. Another 14 premature babies in six separate hospitals in London and the south-east all suffered food poisoning after receiving drips containing a batch of liquid feed from a specialist company based in north-west London, ITH Pharma. They are responding to antibiotics but are described as poorly by PHE. The emergency developed rapidly over the weekend with one baby after another falling ill, triggering a frantic search to identify the source of the bacteria causing the life-threatening septicaemia, Cosford told BBC during a programme.He said the feed was the "most likely cause" of the infection and an urgent investigation was under way into what went wrong.The feed was infected with a bacterium known as Bacillus cereus, PHE said. A top official of the north-west London based company said the firm was cooperating fully with the investigation.Cosford said: "We know there are 22 hospitals across the country which received this product. We also know that this product is no longer being used. It is a very short-life product and the regulator has put out an urgent recall to make sure that there isn't any that is being used." A statement issued by the manufacturer of the feed said: "ITH Pharma is very saddened to hear about the death of a baby in hospital, and that 14 others are ill with septicaemia. ITH Pharma is a specialist manufacturer of parenteral nutrition, which is given to babies in neonatal intensive care units, the company said.

Divorce may end in obese kids!

Children, whose parents are divorced or not married but living together, are at a higher risk of obesity, a study has found."The emotional fallout of a divorce and resulting stress generated by disruptions in the parent-child relationship, ongoing conflict between the exes, moving home and the need to create new social networks, might also explain the findings," the authors suggested. The researchers based their findings on a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 children attending 127 schools across Norway.All the children were part of the national 2010 Norwegian Child Growth Study.Around 19 percent children were overweight or obese according to the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) definition.Overall, significantly more of the 1537 girls were overweight or obese than the 1629 boys.More of the children whose parents were categorised as divorced were overweight or obese than those whose parents remained married.They were 54 percent more likely to be overweight/obese."Children whose parents had never married had a similar prevalence of overweight and obesity to those with married parents," the study's authors noted.The differences were generally larger for boys whose parents were divorced. They were 63 percent more likely to be generally overweight/obese than boys whose parents were married. The same pattern was seen among girls, but the associations were less marked and, unlike the boys, not statistically significant.Possible explanations for the link could include less time spent on domestic tasks such as cooking, an over-reliance on unhealthy foods and lower household income, the study concluded.

Malnutrition kills healthy gut microbes in kids: Study

Malnutrition does not affect children's tissues only, it severely affects healthy intestinal microbes too, a new study reveals.Gut microbiota is known to contribute to immune function and nutrient extraction. The mix of microbes in people's gut gets established early on in childhood and plays a large part in keeping kids healthy.But starvation disrupts the development of a healthy microbiome, according to a new study that compared the gut microbiota of healthy and severely malnourished children in the first two years after birth. The children were from a slum area in Dhaka, Bangladesh.This disruption persisted even after the malnutrition was treated with high-nutrient foods. "The results suggest the mix of gut microbiota, which is known to contribute to immune function and nutrient extraction, could play a significant role in the pathology of malnutrition," explained Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University in St Louis. To determine the composition of normal microbiota and how they develop, a team of researchers led by Gordon took monthly faecal samples from 12 healthy children from the slum over the first two years of life.When the researchers analysed the gut microbiota of starving children from the same part of Dhaka, however, they found that the microbial composition did not correspond to the children's actual age.Instead, it was that expected in a younger child. The discrepancy was greatest in the most severely malnourished children.


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Group of Thai politicians plan overseas movement to resist coup

President Barack Obama with, clockwise: European Council President Herman Van Rompuy; European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso; French President Francois Hollande; Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; British Prime Minister David Cameron; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; as they participate in a G7 working dinner in Brussels, Belgium.

Bangkok, June 5: Around 15 Thai political leaders allied to the ousted government plan to establish a movement outside Thailand to lead a campaign of civil disobedience to military rule, two members of the group said on Thursday. General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power on May 22 and has since led a crackdown that has stifled dissent and silenced the "red shirt" supporters of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother, billionaire former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.The military has detained many politicians and activists and demanded as a condition of release that they sign documents stating they would avoid politics and halt anti-coup activities. If the plan proceeds, the group would represent the first at-

Fighting rages in eastern Ukraine town, residents flee Slaviansk, June 5: Ukrainian government forces battled separatists with artillery and automatic weapons on Wednesday in a second day of fighting in and around Slaviansk, forcing many residents to flee. The Kiev government, trying to break rebellions by pro-Russia militias, said over 300 rebels had been killed in the past 24 hours in the "anti-terrorist operation" centered on the eastern town, a strategically located separatist stronghold.Rebels denied this, saying losses among the Ukrainian forces during an offensive begun on Tuesday exceeded theirs. At an army checkpoint on the edge of town, heavy artillery shelling could be heard while a plume of black smoke rose above the outskirts. Automatic gunfire rattled out from nearby fields. Families fled the fighting through a barbedwire checkpoint with only as much as they could carry. "It's a mess," sobbed a

young woman as she clutched her husband's arm. "It's war." Andrei Bander left with his four-year-old daughter. "We are going. We don't even know where. We will head to Russia though because it's clear we need to leave Ukraine," he said, waiting for a taxi in a small a no-man's land between the two sides. In support for the Ukrainian forces, acting President Oleksander Turchinov and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov paid an impromptu visit, clad in flak jackets, to another army roadblock on the far side of the encircled town on Wednesday. A spokesman for government forces said two soldiers had been killed and 45 wounded since Kiev launched its offensive near Slaviansk with aircraft, helicopters and artillery. Separatists controlling the town since early April denied the government's casualty figures and claimed to have shot down an army he-

White House apologises for Bergdhal fumble Washington, June 5: The White House has issued an apology to the U.S. Congress for flouting a mandatory requirement that it inform lawmakers 30 days ahead of time if it planned to undertake a prisoner swap such as the one it undertook to secure the release Taliban captive Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. According to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, Chair and ranking opposition members respectively on the Select Committee on Intelligence, White House officials called them on Monday to say the lack of notification had been an “oversight.” Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken was said to have telephoned Senator Feinstein on Monday night and “apologised for the failure.” However she said to media, “It's very disappointing that there was not a level of trust sufficient to justify alerting us… There were very strong views and they were virtually unanimous against the trade.”Earlier House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon and the ranking Republican on the Senate committee, James Inhofe, said in a joint statement that in executing this transfer, U.S. President Barack Obama had “violated laws which require him to notify Congress thirty days before any transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay and to explain how the threat posed by such terrorists has been substantially mitigated.” The White House responded that it had to act despite the legal requirement for the transfer due to the “unique and exigent circumstances” The sharp criticism from Capitol Hill came even as the Taliban released a video showing the transfer of Sergeant Bergdahl to U.S. officials arriving via Blackhawk helicopter. In the video, armed men appeared to stand around him, one with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher ready. According to media reports, video narration said that the transfer took place in Khost province, in eastern Afghanistan, adding, “We had a number of tribal elders with us ... in order to build trust between us and the other side.” Further, the narrator reportedly explained, “We told them that we had warned all our” Mujahideen fighters in Khost province and especially in Batai area not to attack them.The Pentagon said that it was “reviewing” the video but that it had “no reason to doubt the video's authenticity.”

licopter - something denied in turn by Kiev. "Losses to the Ukrainian side were more than ours," said Aleksander Boroday, "prime minister" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. He said nine had died and 15 were injured among separatists forces in Slaviansk. At a news conference in the regional capital Donetsk, he said separatists would mobilize forces and train volunteers to fight in Slaviansk and defend their positions in Donetsk. President-elect Petro Poroshenko ordered the resumption of operations by government forces soon after his May 25 election to quell the rebellion by militia in the Russian-speaking, where people were largely unable or unwilling to vote in the poll.In Warsaw, where he met U.S. President Barack Obama, he said he would unveil a plan for a "peaceful resolution" of the situation in the east after his inauguration next Saturday. Kiev says

US gang targeting Indians for gold busted New York, June 5: US police have arrested five members of a street gang in Long Beach city for stealing gold from Indian families across California and Nevada, a media report said. The gang members, who were involved in dangerous criminal acts like murders, take-over robberies, extortions, and drive-by shootings, had turned to burglarising Indian families, robbing them of gold, cash and other valuables since February 2013, CBS local reported Wednesday.Police have arrested Long Beach residents Juan Guerrero, 22, Ivan Ramirez, 22, Albaro Miranda, 24, Salvador Ramirez, 24, and Teresa Ramirez, 57, with four other suspects still on the run. The hunt for other suspects is under way, police said. Gary Pentis, Ventura county assistant sheriff, said the suspects were found the same way as the alleged thieves found their victims -- through Facebook. "A lot of these are on Facebook, MySpace, Instagram, where they are bragging, showing gold and cash from their robberies, with their face," the assistant sheriff said. Pentis said the gang was using internet to identify people of Indian descent and locate their houses.

the fighting was stirred up by Moscow, which opposes its pro-Western course, and accuses Russia of letting volunteers cross into Ukraine to fight alongside the rebels. Moscow denies this and renewed calls on Wednesday for Ukraine to open dialogue with the separatists. But the separatists look to Moscow for help. "When is (Russian President Vladimir) Putin going to come help us?" asked a young man in fatigues at a rebel checkpoint. A few kilometers away, a man from central Ukraine said he belonged to a separatist group called the Russian Orthodox army. "This is our land. We will stand here until the last," he said. Slaviansk, a separatist stronghold of 130,000, has strategic value since it sits at the center of the Donbass region at the cross-roads of eastern Ukraine's three main regions. Government forces appeared to be tightening their grip but it was too soon

to predict the outcome. A government camp in Luhansk, further to the east on the Russian border, was evacuated after an attack by separatists on Monday. The military operation has hardened antagonism against the present government that came to power when President Viktor Yanokovich was toppled in February after mass protests in Kiev. "Our Ukrainian army is not protecting us, instead it is attacking us. Thanks to them I have to flee my own land," said Larissa Zhuratova, a Slaviansk resident piling onto a bus full of refugees bound for Moscow. Men were mostly not being let through the army checkpoint. At a run-down dormitory in a village some 100 km south of the fighting, an eight-year-old refugee mimicked the sound of shelling. "It went ba-boom. We sat in the bathtub," little Vitaly said, playing with toys gifted by local residents.

Russia’s Putin dominates G-7 summit in absentia Brussels, June 5: Russian President Vladimir Putin was kept out of the summit of world leaders but dominated the meeting as President Barack Obama and his counterparts from the G-7 group of major economies sought the Kremlin chief’s renewed cooperation to end the Ukraine crisis. French President Francois Hollande said the meeting held on Wednesday sent a clear signal of unity by urging Russia to help stabilise the situation in Ukraine, while keeping the threat of further sanctions on the table.In faraway Moscow, Mr. Putin seemed to shrug off the snub of having not been invited to Brussels, but declared he was still open to “dialogue”. In March, the U.S. and its most important allies retaliated for Mr. Putin’s military occupation and subsequent annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula by suspending Russia’s membership in what had been the G-8 club of rich countries. They also nixed Mr. Putin’s plan to hold the meeting in Sochi, the city Russia lavished billions on to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Around the dinner table in Brussels, “there were seven of us, not eight,” Mr. Hollande said afterward. In a joint statement, the leaders of the U.S., Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany and Italy urged Russia to recognise the results of Ukraine’s recent presidential

poll, complete the withdrawal of its troops on the border with Ukraine and stop the flow of weapons and militants.“We stand ready to intensify targeted sanctions and to implement significant additional restrictive measures to impose further costs on Russia, should events so require,” the leaders warned. But the tough language couldn’t hide the fact that many U.S. allies, especially the Europeans, have shifted their focus toward re-engaging with Mr. Putin since Russia has refrained from a fullblown invasion of Ukraine and started pulling back its troops.Mr. Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Ms. Merkel are all planning to hold talks with the Russian President in France during ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion this week. Mr. Obama, however, has no plans to meet with Mr. Putin — a clear indication the U.S. is more reluctant than its European peers about renewing the dialogue. The meeting was not expected to produce any major decisions. Many observers criticise the format as being mostly a talking shop since the role of setting rules for global economic governance in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crisis has shifted to the wider Group of 20, which also includes emerging economies like China, India and Brazil.

tempt to mount organised opposition to military rule. The two activists said they had yet to formulate exactly what measures the group would use, but said they would be peaceful and would aim to fill the leadership vacuum among anti-coup elements."We believe democracy in Thailand has been systematically destroyed," said former government minister and red-shirt founding member Jakrapob Penkair in a telephone interview from Phnom Penh, the capital of neighbouring Cambodia. "People have been chastened, hunted and bullied with no sense of fairness, justice or decency. We aim to create an organisation for all groups protesting the coup

Fugitive found dead after Adelaide city siege Sydney, June 5: A fugitive was found dead Thursday after a 13-hour standoff with police that locked down the business centre of Adelaide, a news report said. Police had been hunting for former prison guard Rodney Clavell for two weeks until they cornered him at a massage parlour in the centre of the city at 1 am (1530 GMT). Police closed down four city blocks while they tried to communicate with the wanted man who was believed to be armed, the Adelaide Advertiser reported. Clavell would not answer phone calls and police used live TV and radio broadcasts to make direct appeals for him to give himself up. After 11 hours four women emerged from the building in tears and were led away by police. Two hours later police entered the building and found Clavell dead. Clavell was a violent criminal who for a time was part of a right-wing Christian fundamentalist group. In 2004 he led police in a slow—speed road chase when he hijacked a 12—ton road grader and threatened police with a gun as he drove at walking pace. He was stopped in that incident when police shot him in the leg and shoulder.

Three cops killed in Canada shooting Canada, June 5: Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said, and authorities were searching for a suspect. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in New Brunswick confirmed on its Twitter feed that three officers were dead on Wednesday and two others had sustained non-life threatening injuries. Police spokesman Paul Greene confirmed the deaths. The RCMP said on Twitter that they were looking for 24-year-old Justin Bourque of Moncton. The police force tweeted an image of a suspect wearing military camouflage and wielding two guns. Constable Damien Theriault said police are urging people in the area to stay inside their homes and lock their doors. Drivers were also asked to stay out of the area. Such violence is rare in Canada, particularly on Canada’s East Coast. The Horizon Health Network, a provincial health authority, said on its Twitter feed that two patients were taken to Moncton Hospital with gunshot wounds. Theriault said earlier the search for the suspect was concentrated around two streets.

inside and outside Thailand. This would be a non-radical group using civil disobedience."Thaksin, who lives in exile, is not involved in the movement, said both Jakrapob and a second member of the group, fugitive former member of parliament Sunai Julapongsathorn. It is unclear how much momentum the movement would gain among those opposed to the junta without the backing of Thaksin, who revolutionised Thai politics and commands the loyalty of millions in the populous north.The coup was the latest twist in nearly a decade of confrontation between Thaksin and the Bangkokbased royalist establishment, which sees him as a

threat to their interests. Thaksin has given no guidance to his supporters since the military seized power. The former prime minister has effectively funded and controlled the red shirt movement from self-imposed exile since fleeing a 2008 conviction for abuse of power. He was ousted by the military in a previous coup in 2006. "We will advance with or without him," said Jakrapob, a former spokesman for Thaksin. "He's not involved and had no influence in setting this up." Jakrapob was forced to resign as a minister in May 2008 after being accused of violating Thailand's strict lesemajeste laws and has lived in Cambodia for some time.

Canada police extend manhunt after 3 police officers shot dead

Toronto/Ottawa, June 5: Canadian police on Thursday mounted a massive hunt for a 24-year-old gunman they suspect shot dead three officers and wounded two more in the eastern city of Moncton. The incident was one of the worst of its kind in Canada, where fatal attacks on police are rare. Police cordoned off a large area in the northwest of the city and warned residents to stay inside their homes. A large blue armored police truck entered the area early on Thursday morning and a helicopter hovered overhead. Schools and government offices were shut in the small city of 70,000 in the east coast province of New Brunswick. Police told residents not to tweet the locations of officers for fear they could be helping the gunman. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been hunting Justin Bourque, 24, after three officers were killed late on Wednesday and two more were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States, and the killings have spurred an outpouring of grief on social media. The last mass killing of Canadian police took place in Mayerthorpe in the western province Of Alberta in 2005, when a gunman killed four officers before shooting himself. The losses were the most the RCMP had suffered in a day for 100 years. Local media in Moncton published a photograph of a man in camouflage clothing and a black headband carrying a rifle. Reuters could not immediately authenticate the picture. A Facebook page purporting to belong to the shooter was filled with posts critical of the police and those who backed gun control. Police declined to give any details about Bourque. A spokeswoman said a news conference was scheduled for 11 am eastern (1500 GMT) on Thursday. City officials said there had been no murders in Moncton in all of 2013 and none had been recorded this year until Wednesday. Resident Will Njoku said at first he thought the shots had been firecrackers but then he heard sirens. "My neighbor called and said there was a gunman on the loose and they were just down the road and it kind of freaked us out," he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp."I jumped out of my house and started directing traffic away ... I knew people going down there would be in danger."

Cherie Blair arrives for the Asian Woman of Achievement Awards, celebrating Asian heroines of British life, at the Park Lane Hilton in central London.


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Robust education system critical to join front ranking nations:Prez Kolkata, June 5 : President Pranab Mukherjee today said if India has to be one of the front ranking nations in the world, the way ahead is only through a robust education system. He said India needs many more individuals like Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee willing to dedicate their lives to improving the quality of education in our country. He called upon the leaders of educational institutions to follow in the footsteps of this great son of India. Mr Mukherjee delivered Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee memorial lecture to mark his 150th birth anniversary in Kolkata today. Speaking on the occasion, the President said Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee was a rare combination of aca-

demic brilliance.He had an integrated persona, was fiercely independent and a wonderful example of an interdisciplinary scholar. He was also a linguist who was responsible for the foundation of the Bengal Technical Institute in 1906 and the College of Science of the Calcutta University in 1914, the President added. He said under his guidance, Calcutta University became a major centre of learning and research in the Indian sub-continent encompassing students from Lahore to Rangoon. His sterling character was in evidence when he refused the post of Vice Chancellor in 1923 as the colonial administration tried to reinstate government control of education.The President said

Sir Ashutosh worked towards excellence in educational Institutions. Through determination, zeal, hard work and above all remarkable leadership skills, he strived to raise Calcutta University to the ranks of leading institutions of the world.Mr Mukherjee said, similarly, we must transform our Universities into world class institutions. For almost 1500 years, from the founding of Takshashila in 3rd century BC to the collapse of Nalanda in 12th Century AD, India was a world leader in the field of higher education. But today our universities lag behind the best universities in the world. We must urgently salvage the declining standards of our country's higher education as a top priority, the President added.

Techie death: Pune police may seek ban on outfit Pune, June 5 : Two days after a 24year-old Muslim man was killed allegedly by members of the radical right-wing outfit, the Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS), the Pune police are contemplating banning the organisation. Seventeen people, all below the age of 30, belonging to the HRS have been arrested on charges of murder, and remanded in police custody. Mohsin Shaikh, an IT professional, was beaten to death on Monday night by members of the HRS, in what is emerging as a hate crime. The youngsters were incited by rumours that a Shivaji statue was stoned, police said. Last week, the city witnessed communal tensions after morphed derogatory photographs of Shivaji and Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray went viral on social media.

Nawaz Sharif gifts a saree to Narendra Modi's mother

Gandhinagar, June 5 : Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent a saree as gift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mother here today."Nawaz Sharif has sent a wonderful white Sari for my Mother. I am really grateful to him and will send it to my Mother very soon," tweeted Modi. Sharif had received the gift of shawl for his mother during his recent visit to New Delhi to attend the Modi's oath-taking ceremony.

More than 200 buses were vandalised and 180 people have been arrested so far. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur stated that the police is in the process of collecting information about the organisation. “We will send a proposal to the central government suggesting a ban on the outfit,” Mr. Mathur said. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also said: “We will probe the organisations behind this, and if it was a conspiracy. We will also investigate if it was linked to the recent polls.” Stating that Mohsin was innocent, Home Minister R.R. Patil said, “The government will take strict action against people involved in the murder and violence. We will also investigate people who posted the controversial photos on Facebook.”

Split in votes of backward classes led BJP to power at Centre:Lalu Patna, June 5 : RJD supremo Lalu Prasad today alleged that split in votes of backward classes and secular forces, led to voting BJP to power at the Centre. Mr Prasad told media persons here after a meeting convened to review the poor performance of his party in Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, told media persons that Mr split in backward and secular votes, led BJP voting to power at the Centre. It was true that BJP managed to come to power at the Centre by creating confusion among the people, he noted. 'President address to joint sitting of both houses of parliament would make claer the stand on sensitive issues and also issues of the public importance of Narendra Modi government', Mt Prasad said adding that his party RJD was not feeling discouraged despite its poor performance in Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. RJD leader said that his party's votes increased in Lok Sabha elections but failed to win more seats. Only one candidate of RJD lost deposit in Lok Sabha elections while 26 JD(U) candidates lost their deposit. Expressing his profound grief over the union minister Gopinath Munde in road accident, Mr Prasad demanded CBI inquiry into the incident. Truth must come out, he pointed out.

Telangana legislature summoned to meet on June 9 Hyderabad, June 5 (IPT) : Governor E S L Narasimhan today issued notification summoning the Telangana Legislative Assembly to meet for the first session on June 9. In a notification, the Governor said the Assembly would meet at 1100 hrs in the Assembly Hall, Public Gardens.

Telangana is Maoists free state: Nayani

Hyderabad, June 5 (IPT) : Telangana Home Minister Nayani Narsimha Reddy today claimed that Telangana was Moaist free state and it was only a hype created by the media regarding the presence of Maoists. Talking to reporters after taking charge as Home Minister at Secretariat, Mr Nayani assured that he would make corruption free police department in the state and modernise it. Besides security of Hyderabad, he would give top priority to law and order, he said."Keeping in mind welfare of police it will be made sure that police personnel get weekly off," he said. Earlier, he performed pooja in his camber before assuming office and he was greeted him with flowers by Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma,City police commissioner M Mahender Reddy and senior officers.

CPI asks T-Govt to waive all farm crop loans Hyderabad, June 5 (IPT) : The Communist Party of India (CPI) today urged the Telangana government to waive all types of crop loans taken by farmers in the state. Talking to reporters here, CPI National Committee Member Dr K Narayana said Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who promised during T-formation Day celebrations to waive farm crop loans, should keep his promise.Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Pocharam Sirinivas Reddy had said that they had not arrived at a conclusion over waiver of crops loans as there was no time limit for it."We already sought information relating farm crop loans waive from the bankers during the first SLBC meeting held under the chairmanship of KCR yesterday," he said. As far as seeds and pes-

SCR to run Special trains between various destination Hyderabad, June 5 (IPT) : n order to clear extra rush of passengers during summer season, South Central Railway (SCR) will run special trains between Secunderabad and Kakinada Town, Vijayawada and Tirupati, Tirupati and Narsapur, Guntur and Kakinada Town and Guntur and Visakhapatnam . On Secunderabad-Kakinada TownSecunderabad (via Nalgonda, Guntur), Train No. 07101 Secunderabad - Kakinada Town special train will depart Secunderabad at 11:00 pm on June 7, (Saturday) and arrive Kakinada Town at 08:35 am on the next day. In the return direction, Train No.07102 Kakinada Town - Secunderabad Special train will depart Kakinada Town at 06:35 pm on June 8 (Sunday) and arrive Secunderabad at 04:40 am on the next day, SCR said in a release here today. Eroute, these special trains will stop at Nalgonda, Miryalguda, Pidugurala, Guntur, Nambur, Nagarjuna Nagar, Vijayawada, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Nidadavolu, Rajahmundry, Anaparti and Samalkot stations in both the directions. These trains will have 16 coaches including, two AC II Tier, two AC III Tier and ten Sleeper Class and two Second Class Luggage Cum Brake van Coaches.

NCP MP Supriya Sule at the Parliament House on the first day of 16th Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Thursday.

Aged, children facing health hazards due to pollution Hyderabad, June 5 (IPT) : Telangana State Transport Commissioner Mr M Jagdeeshwar today said that the major cause of the Air pollution in the urban areas is the increasing number of vehicle and due to which the citizen particularly the aged and the chidren are becoming victims of various diseases.Speaking at a function organised in connection with the World Environment Day by the Human rights Ob-

servers (Affiliated to UNO) here, Mr Jagdeeshwar said there are 74 lakh vehicles in the Telangan state out of which 54 are two wheelers, while 30 lakh two wheelers under the GHMC limits.He advised the vehicle owners to pay attention on regular maintenance of thier vehicles.He said the peoples awareness programme should be launched from the NGOs against the Air pollution. Justice A Lakshman Rao

Indian Army launches portal for army veterans grievances New Delhi, June 5 : The Indian Army today launched the 'Army Veterans Grievance Handling (AVGH) Portal' to enable the veterans and their dependents take up their grievances with the concerned agencies at the click of a button. Developed and designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) Ltd, this internet based web portal is one of the several initiatives undertaken by the Indian Army to reach out to its veterans in recent times, a Defence spokesman said here.With a unique User ID and Password, a veteran can login at his/her convenience and refer to a host of policy letters/ regulations to educate himself on the latest entitlements and benefits.In his message, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh reiterated that welfare of Veterans and Veer Naris was an important Key Result Area and with the fielding of this portal, the ease of interaction and resolution of issues would be greatly enhanced.The portal enables veterans from across the Country to follow up their petitions with the offices concerned in a near real timeframe. It incorporates an automated response feature, which through an e-mail or SMS, keeps the veteran informed about the progress of his case. The AVGH portal can be accessed at www.indianarmyveterans.gov.in and would contribute immensely in meeting the needs and aspirations of the veterans and their dependents, the spokesman added.

Man shot dead by bikers in Delhi

NCP MP Supriya Sule at the Parliament House on the first day of 16th Lok Sabha.

New Delhi, June 5 : A 55-year-old man was Thursday shot dead in Delhi by two unidentified assailants riding a bike, police said. Om Prakash Oberoi, sales executive at an ad agency, was attacked in north Delhi's Subhash Park area around 11.30 a.m. He had gone to deposit a cheque at a bank. An eyewitness told police that as he got down from the auto rickshaw, two people approached him and opened fire. Oberoi received two bullet wounds and the assailants fled from the scene. The auto rickshaw driver took him to the hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. Oberoi is survived by his wife and two sons. Police have not been able to ascertain the motive for the attack nor have they established the identity of the assailants as yet.Police have not ruled out the possibility of personal enmity behind the attack.

former Judge AP High Court lamented the increasing pollution and said that due to this menace the people have to suffer fatal diseases like Diabetis, BP and heart diseases even in small age of 40.No item of human consumption is free from pollution, the justice said that in spite of development the crimes are also on increase. Human Rights Observers (HRO) Chairman Mr Mohammed Tameem in his

presidential remarks observed that in urban areas 70 per cent pollution is caused by incresing number of vehicles.He disclosed that a survey conducted by HRO revealed that in India over 7.27 lakh persons die due to diseases caused by air pollution.He said the Air pollution is the worlds largest single environmental health hazard. By reducing air pollution millions of lives could be saved world over, he said.

Combing operation against GNLA will continue, Meghalaya CM Shillong, June 5 : Meghalaya Chief minister Mukul Sangma today said combing operations against the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) will continue, even as home minister Roshan Warjri assured justice would be delivered to the family members of the woman who was brutally killed by the GNLA. On Tuesday, GNLA militants allegedly shot her dead when she resisted attempts to rape her. The militants had shot around 5-6 shots on the woman's face, which nearly blew her head off. The victim was identified as Josbina Sangma, 35, a resident of Rajaronggat, a militancy-affected region near Chokpot, around 400km from Shillong. Sangma was reportedly shot dead in front of her four children in her house while her husband was prevented to come out of the house. Taking responsibility of the murder, GNLA alleged that the woman was a "police informer". "The GNLA has verified and confirmed that woman was a police informer and she was responsible for the death of our training instructor Kram. These command comprising group of cadres were on a

mission to eliminate this woman. She fled away but on fateful day she came back and got executed," GNLA political affairs secretary, Bikdot Nikjang Marak said. "The GNLA shall never spare anyone if he or she is responsible for the death of our cadres," he warned. But the Meghalaya government, which has been criticised by the Union Government for not being able to neutralise the outfit, is now apparently firm to take on the GNLA with security forces busted the camp of the outfit's commander-in-chief Sohan D Shira at Adugre area in the foothills of Durama Hill range under East Garo Hills. The militants, including Shira escaped from their camp during the gun battle, security forces, however, dismantled nine camps of the militants at Adugre and seized bullet proof jackets, sewing machines, utensils and other incriminating documents, a police official said. Home minister Roshan Warjri who met the victim's family in remote Rajaronggat village in South Garo Hills district has assured severest punishment to those men involved in the cold blooded murder of the woman.

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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