Saturday, July 31, 2010

India, U.S. sign accord on reprocessing spent fuel

Washington : India and the U.S. on Friday evening signed the much-debated agreement on modalities for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, under the civilian nuclear deal between the two countries.

The agreement on arrangements and procedures for reprocessing was signed at a State Department ceremony by Indian ambassador Meera Shankar and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns.

Pursuant to Article 6(iii) of the bilateral '123 Agreement\' on civilian nuclear cooperation, the agreement was hailed as "a significant step which highlights the strong relationship and growing cooperation between India and the U.S.," by the Indian embassy here. Upon entry into force, it will enable reprocessing by India of United States-obligated nuclear material under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

The State Department in a statement said that as per the agreement the reprocessing would be undertaken at a new, safeguarded national facility to be established by India, and that it would be dedicated solely to this.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Shankar congratulated negotiators on both sides of the agreement for bringing it to completion well ahead of the stipulated period of one year. "This early completion in some sense reflects how our two countries are increasingly getting into the habit of working together," she said.

She further reiterated that the Government of India had an ambitious programme for development of civil nuclear energy to meet its growing energy needs, noting that its target was "to increase our installed capacity more than seven fold to 35000 MWe by the year 2022, and to 60,000 MWe by 2032."

In this context the government had already designated two sites for nuclear power plants to be established in cooperation with the U.S. and the companies of the two countries were now engaged in discussions, she noted.

The State Department corroborated this commitment on the U.S. side, noting that the reprocessing arrangement, negotiated and concluded under President Obama, reflected the administration\'s "strong commitment to building successfully on the landmark U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative." It was also a prerequisite for U.S. nuclear fuel suppliers to conduct business with India, a spokesperson noted.

Officials also sought to underscore the rarity of such agreements between the U.S. and other nations, emphasising that on previous occasions, the U.S. had extended such reprocessing consent only to the European Union and Japan.

Hinting at some of the key factors driving this agreement on the U.S. side the State Department spokesman said that the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative had facilitated "significant new commercial opportunities across India\'s multi-billion dollar nuclear energy market, including the designation of two nuclear reactor park sites for U.S. technology in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat."

He added that increased civil nuclear trade with India would create thousands of new jobs for the U.S. economy and also help India to meet its rising energy needs in an environmentally responsible way by reducing the growth of carbon emissions.
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Major scam hits Commonwealth Games

New Delhi : A major scam hit the Commonwealth Games on Friday with allegations being made that a substantial sum of money was transferred to a little known U.K. company from the Games Organising Committee (OC) about which the British government has raised questions.

Television channels reported that over £ 4.50 lakh were transferred through a British bank to the A M Films company, said to be a one man show and which was also receiving £ 25,000 a month.

'Times Now\' quoted documents to show that the entire deal came to light when the OC asked for a VAT refund of £ 14,000 in March this year for the payments made to the British company.

The channel quoted a letter of the British Revenue and Customs Department to the Indian High Commission stating that there was no written contract between the CWG and A M Films and that no tendering procedure had been followed and there was no paper work regarding the contract.

The OC is reported to have made a payment of nearly £2.5 lakh for video equipment purchase while A M Films had claimed that it provided services of car hire, makeshift toilets, barriers and electricity.

Indian High Commission sources said the information provided by the U.K. authorities had been forwarded to the Sports Ministry for follow-up action.

"The U.K. authorities had referred some matter regarding A M Films to us. We passed on the information to the Indian government. The matter is now with the Indian government," the sources told PTI.

In Delhi, Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar has conveyed concern over the charges as well as delay in preparations to the OC of the mega sporting event in October this year.

Mr. Chandrashekhar held a review meeting on Friday. It was attended by secretaries of agencies concerned, including officials of the OC, and Ministries of Youth and Sports, Urban Development, and Tourism.

His remarks come close on the heels of the Central Vigilance Commission asking its officers to re-examine all the tenders and procurement process related to the projects.

Enforcement Directorate sources in Delhi said the agency was probing the issue.

The company was involved in the arrangements for the Queen\'s Baton Relay when it started its journey from London with a function outside the Buckingham Palace.

Late in the night, the OC refuted the allegations about financial irregularities with relation to the launch of the QBR in London on October 29 last year.

"We must point out that we have not received any official communication in this regard," it said in a statement.

"We have cleared all the payments in October itself. We asked for the VAT refund and we got it" OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot, who dismissed the allegations of financial irregularities, said.

"There is no money laundering and no manipulation. Whatever payment made has been done officially and all transactions are transparent," he told Times Now.

The British authorities have sought to know details of how A M Films which supplied cars for rentals was involved in supply of video equipment and providing consultancy for costume designing.
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Israeli air strikes on Gaza kill Hamas commander

Gaza : Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip have killed a Hamas commander and wounded 11 other people.

Warplanes fired missiles at five targets across Gaza, including Gaza City, last night for the first time since Israel\'s three-week offensive in the territory ended 18 months ago.

Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the territory, said the man killed was Issa Batran, 42, a commander of its military wing in central Gaza and a rocket maker. Eight of its supporters and three civilians were also injured.

The air raids came after a Palestinian rocket attack struck the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon on Friday, causing no casualties but damaging buildings and cars in the city.

The city\'s mayor said the attack was the most serious since the end of Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli offensive that left around 1,400 Palestinians dead, in January last year. Renegade militant groups have fired dozens of rockets and mortars into southern Israel since then, although most of those attack have been ineffective, with rockets mostly landing in open fields.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, earlier said he took the rocket attack on Ashkelon, which lies seven miles north of Gaza, \"very seriously\". No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The cross-border violence has raised concerns of further escalation.

A Hamas spokesman said the group would avenge Batran\'s killing.

\"Hamas will not be quiet over the blood of its martyrs,\" said Hamad al-Rakabi. \"Israel is opening all the gates of fire. This blood will cascade into rage and fire.\"

The targets hit in last night\'s air strike included a military training camp in Gaza City, smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border and Batran\'s shack, on the outskirts of the Nusseirat refugee camp, according to Hamas security officials.
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Malayala Manorama Chief Editor K.M. Mathew passes away

Kottayam : K.M. Mathew, Chief Editor of Malayala Manorama passed away here this morning. He was 93 years old.

He is survived by sons Mammen Mathew, Editor, Malayala Manorama, Philip Mathew, Managing Editor and Jacob Mathew, Executive Editor. His daughter Thangam is married to C.P. Mammen, managing director of Cochin Computers.

After embalming, his body would be brought to his residence at Kanjikuzhi by about 1 pm on Sunday.

Mr. Mathew's body would be taken to the Malayala Manorama headquarters on Monday at 1 pm for the public to pay homage.

The funeral will take place at 4 pm at the Puthenpalli cemetery on the same day.

Mr. Mathew was a former chairman of Press Trust of India.

The Funeral will take place at Puthenpally church cemetery here tomorrow.

Mr. Mathew had played a key role in making Malayala Manorama one of the major Indian language dailies after he took over the reins of the media house a few decades ago.

Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan, leaders of all political parties and people from different walks of life expressed profound grief at the passing away of Mr. Mathew.

Born on January two, 1917, Mathew joined the organisation as Managing Editor in 1954 and became chief editor in 1973.

Mathew launched many publications such as the women's magazine Vanitha in Malayalam and English, the English magazine The Week, the farmer's magazine Karshakasree, children's magazines Balarama Amar Chitra Katha and Kalikudukka in Malayalam and Magic Pot in English and encyclopedic Manorama Year Book in Malayalam, English, Hindi Tamil and Bengali.

In 1988 he received the Padma Bhushan. He has received many other awards including Foundation of Freedom of Information Award (1991), National Citizen's award (1992), Ramakrishna Jay Dayal award (1995), Durga Prasad Chaudhary award (1996), B. D. Goenka Award (1996).
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Over 800 people killed, lakhs affected by flash floods in Pak

More than 800 people have died and at least one million affected by flash floods triggered by the worst monsoon rains in Pakistan in eight decades, officials and the UN said today.

The death toll in the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province alone has risen above 800, said provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

Reports of deaths had come in from several districts in the northwest, which was worst hit by rains and floods this past week. Over 100 people were missing and more than 26,000 were stranded, Hussain said.

Some 50 deaths were reported in Punjab province while over 30 people have died in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, officials said.

At least one million people in the northwest have been affected by the worst monsoon since 1929, the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

Torrential rains had breached flood defences and caused many rivers to burst their banks. Various areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, including Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera, were affected by flooding for the fifth day today.

Provincial capital Peshawar, which has a population of about three million, has been cut off for the past three days.

Some 200 Chinese nationals working on a hydropower project were trapped in Kohistan district.

People continued to flee the inundated areas in trucks and makeshift boats. Rescuers were struggling to reach inundated areas where flooded rivers have swept away roads and bridges and snapped communication links.

Geo News channel aired dramatic footage of riverside houses and hotels being swept away by the swollen Swat river in the Kalam area. Reports from the region said over 300 houses had been destroyed by the rains and flooding.

In Punjab, about 3,000 people were stranded in Taunsa Sharif due to floods. Over 100 villages have been flooded in Mianwali.

An emergency was declared in Dera Ghazi Khan, Bhakkar, Muzaffarghar and Rajanpur as they could be affected when inflows of up to 900,000 cusecs cross the Taunsa Barrage during August 1-3, officials said.

The Kohlu, Nasirabad, Jhal Magsi and Barkhan areas of Balochistan too were affected by floods.

Many people made homeless were living in the open and officials feared they could be affected by the outbreak of water-borne diseases.

The deluge also submerged millions of acres of agricultural land.

Though floodwaters were receding in the northwest today, officials said rescuers were facing problems reaching affected people because of damage to roads and bridges.

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IAF targets tunnels in Gaza

Second air strike in as many days in response to Gaza rockets. The Israeli Air Force struck targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Saturday in what the IDF said is retaliation for a Kassam rocket fired into Israel which struck near Sderot damaging a building.

The target of the strike was a tunnel used to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip, said IDF Spokesperson.

The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to hurt Israeli citizens or soldiers and will continue to demonstrate perseverance and strength against anyone attempting to terrorize Israel,\" said the announcement.

The statement added that the IDF holds Hamas responsible for maintaining peace and quiet in Gaza.

The air strike was the second such retaliatory mission undertaken by the IAF in as many days

A top Hamas commander was killed and another 11 Gazans were wounded late on Friday night by an Israeli air strike that came in response to a Katyusha attack on Ashkelon earlier in the day.

Palestinians continued firing rockets over the weekend.

Late Saturday evening, a Kassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip toward the western Negev.

The rocket landed outside of Sderot, hitting a public building that was empty at the time. There were no reports of casualties, but the building's roof and three rooms inside it were damaged.

Hamas officials in Gaza identified the dead man as Issa Batran, 42, a commander of the group's Izzadin Kassam military wing in central Gaza and a senior rocket maker.

According to Hamas, Batran had survived several previous Israeli attempts to kill him, but his wife and five of his children died during an attempt to target him in the Bureij refugee camp during Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.

"Hamas will not be quiet over the blood of its martyrs," spokesman Hamad al- Rakab said. "Israel is opening all the gates of fire. This blood will cascade into rage and fire."

IAF missiles target smuggling tunnel

Israel Air Force missiles also targeted a smuggling tunnel along the Gaza-Egyptian border and a weapons manufacturing plant in the central Strip.

The Grad-model Katyusha rocket that struck southern Ashkelon on Friday morning damaged an apartment building and sent a number of residents into shock. The attack, attributed to Hamas, was a sharp break from the terrorist group's policy since Operation Cast Lead of refraining from rocket attacks against Israel.

Defense officials said it was possible that the rocket, which broke a period of relative quiet in the South, came in response to the Arab League's decision on Thursday to authorize the Palestinian Authority to negotiate directly with Israel.

"The IDF remains committed to protecting the citizens of Israel and will continue to act against terrorism. The IDF holds Hamas solely responsible for terrorism emanating from the Gaza Strip," the army said in a statement.

In closed talks, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said of the attack, "Israel views this very seriously."

The Foreign Ministry said that the attack was a clear violation of international law and asked its ambassador to the UN in New York, Gabriela Shalev, to complain to the Security Council. The ministry also asked its ambassador in Geneva, Aharon Leshno Yaar, to send a letter to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Navanethem Pillay asking her to condemn the attack.

"The indiscriminate launching of rockets at civilians and civilian objects amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity," he wrote. He noted that it came just after the Arab League had authorized the Palestinian Authority to enter direct talks with Israel.

The attack "seriously violates international law and undermines the peace process and the efforts to renew direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," said the ambassador.

UN calls rocket attack an act of terrorism

The United Nations in Israel issued an unusually harsh statement against the rocket attack through Richard Miron, spokesman for UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process Robert Serry.

Serry regularly issues condemnations of Israel. But on Friday his office said that the rocket attack on Ashkelon was an act of terrorism. "Indiscriminate rocket fire against civilians is completely unacceptable and constitutes a terrorist attack.

"We call on the de-facto authorities in Gaza to ensure that these kinds of actions do not occur.

"Violent actions must not be allowed to undermine progress in the ongoing talks between Israel and the Palestinians. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and international law," said Serry's office.

The US response by contrast was more mild.

"The United States is deeply concerned about rocket attacks originating in Gaza and calls on all parties to protect innocent lives. In an effort to avoid an escalation of the situation, we encourage all parties to exercise restraint," a State Department official said Friday.

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CJI says all cases not arrears, Patil takes note

A correction pointed out by Chief Justice of India (CJI) S H Kapadia at a function on Saturday that not all of the three crore pending cases cited in official data are "arrears" saw President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the speaker immediately after him, improvise on her feet.

"Stop blaming "my brother judges" for arrears in courts, not all pending cases are arrears," said CJI Kapadia as President Patil watched on at Vigyan Bhawan.

They were attending the inaugural function of a workshop 'Balance Sheet of 60 Years of the Administration of Justice under the Indian Constitution (1950-2010)'.

The CJI said the much-touted data of 3 crore arrears (as on October 2009) is incorrect for the simple reason that it does not differentiate between "arrears" and "pendency". "Pendency is not arrears. There are different parameters for pendency and arrears. If I admit a case today... this morning, it cannot be arrears. We need to dissect this 3-crore data. Arrears is not 3 crore but one crore," the Chief Justice said.

The CJI divided arrears into two — "sticky" or complex cases and "subverted" cases in which one of the litigants deliberately delays court proceedings.

Facts and figures at his finger tips, Justice Kapadia spelt out each one in detail: "62 per cent of the cases shown as arrears in subordinate courts are one year old. Out of 40.6 lakh cases shown as arrears in high courts as of December 2009, only 22.7 lakh are arrears." "The high courts have disposed off 1.61 lakh cases and subordinate courts have a disposal rate of 16 lakh cases. Still, no appreciation is shown for the efforts put in by my brother judges in the Supreme Court, high courts and subordinate judiciary. By 'brother' I mean even the Munsiff is my brother," Justice Kapadia said in his short impassioned speech.

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Two more dead in firing, Valley burns

Two civilians were killed after the J-K Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) opened fire on protestors on Saturday, taking the death toll to six since Friday. The death toll in police and CRPF firing in past two months has risen to 24.

Mudasir Ahmad Mir (17) was killed when Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel opened fire on protestors at Naidkhai village in Bandipore district while Javeed Ahmad Teli (20) died in the firing at Cement Bridge in Baramulla. Six persons were also wounded in the Bandipore firing.

The fresh killings have sparked a series of protests across Kashmir and more than 40 protestors have been wounded in police and CRPF firing in different parts of the Valley. Angry protestors torched a police camp, a railway station, three Army and police vehicles and a fire service vehicle. Even as the J-K government had imposed curfew in most parts of Kashmir valley, people defied the security restrictions and took to the streets. In Srinagar, hundreds of people took to the streets in the Natipora, Channapora and Rambagh neighbourhoods. Protests also erupted at Ganderbal and Palhalan. Protests also erupted at Achabal, Kaimoh, Dooru, Kulgam, Tral and Qazigund in south Kashmir. Protesters at Delina village in north Kashmir blocked the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway.

Today in the morning, a CRPF patrol beat some boys in the village. This angered the youth and they came out on the streets and started to pelt stones at the security camp. They (CRPF personnel) opened indiscriminate fire on the protestors. One protestor was killed and more than six were wounded," said Bashir Ahmad, an eyewitness at Naidkhai. As the news of Teli's death spread in Baramulla, hundreds of youth took to the streets.
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Graduate commits ‘suicide’ for Telangana

HYDERABAD: A day after celebrating the victory of the TRS-BJP combine in the just-concluded byelections, Osmania University woke up to the shocking death of an engineering graduate on its campus on Saturday. Tension prevailed in the varsity and its vicinity as students and Telangana activists took out a procession with the body to the martyrs' memorial near the Assembly and the police tried hard to prevent a massive gathering.

A B.Tech (electronics and communications) graduate from Scient college at Ibrahimpatnam, P Eshan Reddy, (21) allegedly "sacrificed" himself for the cause of a separate Telangana near the OU library in the wee hours. In a suicide note, purportedly written by him, he said: "I promised to Maisamma Talli (a local deity in Telangana) that if DS (PCC chief D Srinivas) loses (the election), I will sacrifice myself to the Talli. I am proud to do this.'' Eshan Reddy's charred body was found on a bushy path adjacent to the library around 6 a.m. In the note, nine Congress and TDP leaders were branded as cheats and the Joint Action Committee of the OU students was asked to either kill or ostracise them.

Eshan Reddy was a native of Basanthpur village in Nylakal mandal, Medak district.

The note further carried a wish that his body be taken in a procession to the martyrs' memorial. Following a petition by Prof Gali Vinod Kumar, the State Human Rights Commission directed the police to grant permission for the procession but with a rider that only 100 people be allowed to take part in it.

TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao, BJP senior leader Ch Vidyasagar Rao and Telangana Political JAC convenor Prof Kodandaram visited the campus and took part in the procession. Chandrasekhara Rao and Vidyasagar Rao broke down upon seeing the dead body. Despite the SHRC directive, scores of students and Telangana activists participated in the procession.

Later, Eshan Reddy's body was sent to his native village.
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With strongman Modi at the helm, where does the Congress go in Gujarat ?

New Delhi: For the Congress, the fact that the former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah is behind bars for his alleged involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case is clearly a matter of some satisfaction. It has put its principal political, the BJP, on the defensive. Simultaneously, the Congress hopes this will send out a positive message to the minorities, especially in Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, where Assembly elections are due this year, in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

If the BJP\'s central leaders turned down Prime Minister Manmohan Singh\'s invitation to lunch on the eve of the current Parliament session, accusing the UPA government of "misusing" the Central Bureau of Investigation, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi reads the current activities of the CBI as a plot against his State: "They have been maligning me for the last eight years. Now they have started maligning the State\'s judicial system," he said in a no-holds barred speech at a rally in Ahmedabad on Saturday, and then asked, "Am I doing anything wrong by fighting terrorism?"

The Congress sees the BJP\'s response to the CBI\'s line of action in the Sohrabuddin case as a sign that "the party is on the run," especially as it has not evinced any enthusiasm for an early discussion on the CBI in Parliament. So, what is the message that the Congress is hoping will go out from all this?

Rejecting the idea that the party hopes to make political gains in Gujarat, especially as reports are coming in of the possibility of the investigating agencies closing in on Mr. Modi himself, Congress general secretary in-charge of the State, B.K. Hariprasad, told The Hindu "For us, what is most important is that people should not lose faith in the legal system. Everybody in this country is entitled to a fair trial and no one, howsoever powerful, is above the law – that\'s the message. People cannot be eliminated in encounters."

But whatever the impact the Congress hopes the current investigations will make nationally, what does it hope to achieve in Gujarat? In the State, the party, wary of giving Mr. Modi any advantage, is maintaining a very low profile, occasionally indulging in some verbal sparring, as Leader of the Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil did on July 28. "Whenever there is an atrocity on a woman, the tormentor loses power," Mr. Gohil said, citing the example of Sita and Ravana from the Ramayana, while referring to the murder of Kausarbi, Sohrabuddin\'s wife.

"Politically, Modi is still strong, if one is to judge by the number of people showing up at his rallies," a senior Congress leader from Gujarat, analysing the situation, told The Hindu. "But there is public disapproval of the encounters, and that is reflected in the Gujarati media, which is reporting on the current events in a neutral fashion, unlike at the time of the riots in 2002." Nevertheless, the Congress morale is low in the State, with party leaders acknowledging that they don\'t expect to do well in the coming local body elections. They are now resting their hopes on Mr. Modi being called in for questioning by the CBI. "If the CBI has enough evidence and is able to arrest Mr. Modi," the Congress leader said, "then things could change radically. The BJP would be forced to replace him, and given the divisions in the BJP State unit, we could then get some advantage."

Clearly, the Congress is a demoralised force in Gujarat: as long as Mr. Modi rules the roost in the State, it does not see much of a role for itself there. Meanwhile, it is banking on sending out a strong message to the minorities elsewhere — and praying that this issue will help to break the new found unity in the Opposition, in evidence in Parliament.

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Shraddha Das Features In Madhur’s Next Movie

Mumbai : Shraddha Das who was seen in Lahore happens to be the first female lead to be cast in Madhur Bhandarkar directed comedy Dil To Bachcha Hai.

Dil To Bachcha Hai is Bhandarkar's first comedy film. The movie has a good star cast and includes the likes of Ajay Devgan and Emraan Hashmi. Omi Vadidya of 3 Idiots also joins in the action. Shraddha is paired with Omi in the film.

Shraddha had to face a stiff competition from 99 other women who showed up for the audition. She said that she never got any calls after her audition, however later she was informed that she was the chose one.

Shraddha has done some movies down south and has made her Hindi movie debut in the critically applauded Lahore. However, she always wanted to feature in a Bhandarkar movie.

She also claims that getting signed to work in Dil To Bachcha Hai has definitely been a high point of her life.
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Fiona Mackeown deposes before Goa court

Panaji : Deposing before president of the Goa Children\'s Court, P.V. Sawaikar, here on Friday, Fiona Mackeown, mother of a British teenager who died under mysterious circumstances in Goa two years ago, said: "I believed that my daughter was murdered and the police were trying to hide it."

Ms. Mackeown did not believe the version of investigating police officer of the Anjuna police station, Nerlon Albuquerue, that "her daughter had drowned" because "her daughter was very good in swimming."

She alleged that the police lied about the bruises on the teenager\'s body.

Narrating the sequence of events, right from her arrival in Goa in November 2008 with her boyfriend and her eight children, the victim\'s mother said her daughter occasionally drank beer, but to her knowledge, never consumed drugs. The mother arrived from London on Thursday specially to depose before the Court.

Regarding her daughter\'s unnatural death, Ms. Mackeown also said she first suspected Shanti, an Israeli boy who she and her children met in Anjuna.

But during cross-examination, the victim\'s mother said it was not true to say that she suspected him because he had threatened all of them.

"We met Shanti in Anjuna. He is an Israeli boy. He was harmless and met us a lot. He had followed us and we had to ask him to go away." Ms. Mackeown said she had come to India to show her children the beaches in the country and give them spiritual education. On February 17, she said, she spoke to her daughter from Gokarna in Karnatka on the phone and told the teenager that they would be going back to England to look after her son who had met with an accident.

"My daughter was very happy that we were going home." The teenager was found dead on Anjuna beach on the morning of February 18. Indicating how the police did not do a serious job of collecting evidence in the first place, Ms. Mackeown disclosed how she found some of her daughter\'s sandals, underwear and shorts, which were crucial evidence, halfway between two bars on the beach three days after the tragedy.

Not knowing what to do with them, she called the Foreign Office and on their advice, she handed them over to Mr. Albuquerque. "When I showed him these articles, he looked shocked."

She gave a detailed account during the deposition about how she went knocking doors for justice and writing to different police and other authorities as she suspected foul play. Accusing the police of suppressing information, Ms. Mackeown said she was told that she would get the autopsy report only six months later. She eventually got it after she wrote to some other authority.
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Koodankulam reactor to go critical by year-end

CHENNAI : The first reactor of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project is expected to go critical by the year-end, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Srikumar Banerjee said on Friday.

Addressing reporters after launching the latest High Performance Computation (HPC) cluster 'Annapurna\' at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), he said the second reactor unit was on track to attain criticality about eight months after that.

The AEC Chairman said there was no undue delay in commissioning the Koodankulam plant, which had initially been hit by problems in getting fuel supplies. Construction work on the second reactor was nearing completion and "we\'re expecting to begin fuel loading soon."

According to Mr. Banerjee, indigenous uranium production in the country was expected to increase and this would help the AEC achieve higher capacity utilisation in plants and add more reactors.

A positive development was the estimation of uranium deposits in Tummalapalle, Andhra Pradesh, that would provide an alternative to sourcing from Jharkhand, he said. The AEC\'s Atomic Minerals Directorate had revised its initial estimate of 15,000 tonnes of uranium deposits in Tummalapalle to about 45,000 tonnes now. The Tummalapalle mine, the first in the country to adopt alkali leaching processing in place of the conventional acid leaching method, will go on stream in 18 to 20 months, he said.

On the reservations expressed by some countries on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill, 2010, Mr. Banerjee said no nation could bypass the liability clause in the event of a mishap.

"How can they say no? We are not saying something which is totally out of the way. This is exactly the manner in which liability bills are made in other countries," Mr. Banerjee said. Noting that there were no liability clauses earlier, Mr. Banerjee said the basic objective of the Nuclear Liability Bill was to ensure "prompt and absolute responsibility," and provide a scope for payment of compensation.

Earlier, Mr. Banerjee lauded the efforts of scientists in putting together 'Annapurna,\' the new wonder in the IMSc\'s high performance super computer legacy that has produced 'Kabru,\' 'Vindhya\' and 'Aravalli\' clusters.

'Annapurna\' is a factory-integrated cluster in the non-commercial domain with 1.5 Tera Bytes memory and 30 TB storage stack. Its peak speed of 12 Tera Flops (TF) makes it the seventh fastest HPC machine in the country. Among broad-based scientific institutions, the 'Annapurna\' cluster is the third fastest entity.
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TRS wins 11 out of 12 seats in by-elections

Hyderabad : TRS candidates emerged victorious in eleven of the twelve assembly constituencies in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh where the by-elections were held recently and the BJP retained the lone seat held by it.

The TRS nominees won from the five assembly constituencies whose results were announced in the early hours on Saturday.

In Huzurabad, TRS candidate E Rajendra defeated his nearest TDP rival by a margin of 55,360 votes. In Koreatla, TRS candidate K Vidyasagar Rao won by a margin of 45,895 votes against his Congress rival J Ratnakar Rao.

In Sircilla, TRS President K Chandrashekhar Rao's son K T Rama Rao won by a majority of 44,642 votes over his Congress rival K K Mahinder Reddy. In Yellareddy, TRS candidate E Ravinder Reddy defeated his Congress rival Mohammad Ali Sabire.

In Warrangal West constituency, TRS nominee D Vinay Bhaskare trounced his Congress rival by a margin of 67,524 votes. The results of the five constituencies came late, as ballot papers were used for polling as a number of candidates exceeded the maximum limit of 64 for an EVM. TRS has bagged six constituencies whose results were announced yesterday.

The BJP retained the lone seat of Nizamabad it contested.

The by-elections were necessitated as the sitting MLAs —10 from TRS and one each from TDP and BJP— had quit their post in support of separate Telangana demand.

The TDP MLA has subsequently joined TRS and won from Vemulawada in the current elections.
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Dimpy Ganguly Wants To Stay Away From Rahul Mahajan

Rahul Mahajan should be awarded with the title of the worst husband ever. He has left his 21 years old wife, Dimpy Ganguly in a state of shock after abusing her physically. She is in such a depressed state that she is not ready to go back to him again.

The results of the 4 months marriage of Dimpy and Rahul are horrible and as usual the victim is once again's Rahul's wife. History repeats itself, very true and even holds 100 percent true in this case of brutality.

Dimpy has an innocent heart and she is punished severely by Rahul just for doing nothing. Just because of a message on her mobile phone, she was thrashed by her new hubby, the bad guy Rahul Mahajan.

Rahul is a mad man and doesn't have any respect for feminism; his brutal acts have already let to a divorce in the past. Even his ex-girl friend, Payal has come out in open and is blaming Rahul that he has been plaguing her with calls, threatening to commit suicide if she doesn't take him back.

Now, in the present situation, Dimpy is really depressed and Rahul has reportedly apologized to her.

She states, "We had a conversation. He has regrets about what happened. Both of us are upset. I am deeply hurt and need some time alone to think about this. I want to be left alone till then Rahul has apologized. He regrets his action sincerely. I haven't recovered from what happened.\"

Dimpy's condition is really bad and she is horrified by Rahul, she has even mentioned once, that Rahul pointed a gun at her for a very small thing. Political leaders like Jaya Prada have supported her and have offered her as much support as possible.

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Red wine can suppress inflammation

A popular plant extract, called resveratrol, can suppress inflammation in humans, according to a new study.

The extract is already known to prolong life in yeast and lower animals due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Resveratrol is produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi, and is found in the skin of red grapes and red wine.

It can be made artificially by chemical synthesis derived primarily from Japanese knotweed and is sold as a nutritional supplement.

Husam Ghanim, PhD, UB research assistant professor of medicine also said that the compound could help insulin resistance as well, a condition related to oxidative stress.

The results of the trial showed that resveratrol suppressed the generation of free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, unstable molecules known to cause oxidative stress and release proinflammatory factors into the blood stream, resulting in damage to the blood vessel lining.

The trial blood samples also showed suppression of the inflammatory protein tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and other similar compounds that increase inflammation in blood vessels and interfere with insulin action, causing insulin resistance and the risk of developing diabetes.

However, it is possible that something else other than resveratrol caused these changes.

\"The product we used has only 20 per cent resveratrol, so it is possible that something else in the preparation is responsible for the positive effects," said Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, UB distinguished professor of medicine and senior author on the study.

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Women \'view modesty as sign of weakness\'

Research suggested that females have found the rise of the \'more feminine man\', or \'metrosexual\', a big turn-off. Photo: CORBIS Research suggested that females have found the rise of the "more feminine man", or "metrosexual", a big turn-off.

Women see modesty amonsgt men as a poor character trait that could adversely affect their employability or earnings potential.

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Women more attracted to men in expensive carsThe study of 132 female and 100 male student volunteers found, however, that men did not view female modesty negatively.

The participants viewed footage of 15-minute job interviews of males and female actors delivering similar responses to questions for the position that required social skills.

The applicants were judged to be equally competent for the role but the "modest" males were less liked, results published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity showed.

Corinne Moss-Racusin, a psychologist who led the study, said: "For men and women, there are things they must and must not be. Women must be communal and other-oriented, but they must not be dominant.

"Historically and cross-culturally, men have been stereotyped as more independent and self-focused than women. Women are allowed to be weak while this trait is strongly prohibited in men.

"By contrast, dominance is reserved for men and prohibited for women. Thus, gender stereotypes are comprised of four sets of rules and expectations for behaviour consist of both \'should' and \'should notes' for each gender."

Researchers dismissed, however, suggestions that modest male applicants would have greater difficulty in finding jobs.

Miss Moss-Racusin, of Rutgers University, New Jersey, said she believed that men had a higher status in society than women which meant meek males were afforded the benefit of the doubt over dominant females.

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Belt in chest but treated for TB

NEW DELHI: For doctors at Indraprastha Apollo hospital, he was just another patient suffering from a complicated case of tuberculosis. After running a battery of tests, they concluded that 20-year-old Anuj Ranjan from Allahabad had a fistula an abnormal opening (passage) created due to infection in his chest cavity and needed a surgery. But they were in for a shock. While cleaning the fistula and removing the infected portion of the left lung, doctors discovered a eight-inch-long piece of leather belt lodged between the lung and the heart.

In a three-hour surgery, doctors removed four pieces of leather belt and a small piece of cloth. \"It was a routine surgery for us. We knew that he was on anti-tubercular treatment for 18 months and fistula is a known complication in such cases. While cleaning the infected portion in the chest I pulled out a small piece of leather and minutes later, I pulled out a long piece of leather belt,\'\' said Dr KK Pandey, senior consultant, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, who operated upon Anuj 10 days ago.

Anuj\'s parents, too, were shocked to learn about the doctor\'s discovery as their son had never undergone a surgery before. \"I couldn\'t believe that a piece of belt was taken out from my son\'s chest. How did it enter his body in the first place? The doctors too couldn\'t understand,\'\' said VK Srivastava, Anuj\'s father.

But Anuj, who is now recuperating, said the belt entered his body four years back when he met with a road accident. \"I was riding pillion with my friend when we met with an accident. I was hit by a scooter which was coming from behind and its kick entered my abdomen from the left side. The belt must have entered my body then. I was taken to Allahabad Medical College where doctors stitched up the wound,\'\' said Anuj, who initially didn\'t believe the doctors when told about the piece of belt retrieved from his chest.

Weeks after the accident, Anuj developed high grade fever, chest pain and breathlessness, and was put on anti-tubercular treatment. \"His X-ray reports showed patches in the left lung as the leather belt was lodged near the lung and rest of the symptoms were similar to the ones seen in TB patients. He was treated for TB for 18 months,\'\' said Dr Pandey.

But as there was no relief, his parents consulted doctors in Lucknow, where he was taken for surgery as pus had collected in his chest cavity, resulting in a fistula. \"But doctors couldn\'t operate on him as his respiration rate was low. The infection was also fast spreading to his second lung,\'\' said Anuj\'s father.

According to Dr Pandey, \"We also couldn\'t imagine a foreign body inside him as his X-ray showed a huge patch in the left lung indicating a diseased organ. It was only on the operation table did we discover the foreign body. But the way the leather belt entered his body is bizarre. The impact of the accident must have been major and doctors missed it when they stitched up the wound.\'\'

All set to go home, Anuj hopes to get back to normal life. \"I have wasted four years of my life. I wish doctors had located this leather piece earlier. But now I\'m hopeful that I can strike back,\'\' said Anuj.
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CAN STEVIA, a natural sweetener procured from the plant's leaves, replace sugar? Unlikely. But the sugar lobby is uncomfortable, because India, with around 41 million diabetics, and a Rs 400 crore-insulin market, holds immense potential for the new product which is available in India in limited markets. Though much of it is imported, the plant is being cultivated on a small scale in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, with the government considering large scale cultivation. MOS for Agriculture KV Thomas, in a written statement to TEHELKA, said there were plans to start growing stevia in areas "which have assured irrigation temperatures between 15 and 35 degrees Celsius."

Apart from being diabeticfriendly, stevia leaves are also calorie-free, and useful in treating digestive disorders. "Extracts of dry stevia leaves are 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is a zero-calorie sweetener that can replace sugar in every aspect," says Piyush Mittal, owner of Herboveda, the biggest supplier of stevia products in India. There are more than 200 species of genus Stevia, which is native to South and Central America and Mexico, and has been in use for more than 100 years.

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VIP pressure, move case out of Gujarat: CBI

Filing a status report in the Supreme Court on its six-month investigation into the 2005 killing of alleged gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, the CBI today sought immediate transfer of the case from Gujarat for a "fair trial".

Quoting the report, sources said the CBI expressed apprehension that the influence of "senior politicians and police officers" could deprive the agency of a "conducive atmosphere"

Sources said the killing of Prajapati took place just when the then investigating officer, Geeta Johri, had decided to examine him as a "witness to the kidnapping". Sources confirmed that the political leadership in Rajasthan was also under the scanner.

Incidentally, the Prajapati chargesheet filed today is viewed within the CBI circles as an attempt to dissuade former Dy SP N K Amin from turning approver in the Sohrabuddin case. Amin, who is already an accused in the Sheikh encounter case, does not find mention in the Prajapati case chargesheet, sources said.

The CBI expects that the statements of police officers who have been summoned, including P C Pande, O P Mathur and Geeta Johri, will shed some light on the role of the political leadership that "goes beyond" Shah

to investigate further or prosecute.

The agency sought permission from the Supreme Court for "further investigation" into the involvement of the "political leadership" of both Gujarat and Rajasthan in the alleged fake encounter.

Sources said the involvement of the political leadership could "go beyond" arrested Gujarat minister Amit Shah. CBI, the sources said, was looking at "documents" which allegedly have references to others.

The agency is looking at the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati who was reportedly accompanying Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi in a bus when they were taken away by Gujarat police.

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4 killed in firing, Srinagar under curfew

Breaking more than a week-long lull, four persons were killed in firing by securitymen as protests erupted again in the Valley today after firing in the Natipora neighbourhood of Srinagar left two youths wounded. There were reports of clashes between security forces and protesters at more than 26 places.

Curfew was imposed in Srinagar but hundreds took to the streets late at night after calls for protests were made from loudspeakers in mosques.

Two persons were killed when CRPF and police opened fire at protesters in Amargarh near Sopore. At least 45 people were injured. Earlier, the CRPF opened fire in Chanpora in Srinagar, leaving five youths injured.

There was firing in Pattan too and two more were killed. Pattan Block Medical Officer Dr Javid Ahmad said a 16-year-old had died. "He had a bullet injury in the chest and died at the Pattan sub-district hospital," he said. "We have referred 20 injured to different hospitals." The teenager who died was identified as Rafiq Ahmad. Late this evening, 21-year-old Nazir Ahmad Mir of Sheeri Baramulla, working at a bakery in Pattan, too died of injuries.

After the Friday prayers, hundreds assembled on the Sopore-Baramulla highway and began marching towards Sopore town. As the protesters approached the Amargarh power station, CRPF and police personnel tried to stop them. But when they pushed ahead, CRPF personnel opened fire, killing Mohammad Ahsan Ganai and Showkat Ahmad Wagay.

Police also opened fire in Kreeri village. In Pothkah, protesters set ablaze two police vehicles. Ten people were injured.

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Jagan Effect? TRS gets seats back, Cong routed

Grappling with the Jagan Mohan Reddy crisis in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress took another body blow today when it was routed in by-elections to 12 Assembly seats in the Telangana region where the TRS, riding a strong sentiment for a separate state, captured 11 seats.

To top the Congress misery, its state chief D Srinivas lost from Nizamabad Urban to Y Laksmi Narayana of BJP by 12,000 votes. Laksmi Narayana was supported by the TRS.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah said his party would respect the verdict of the people. The by-elections had to be held because sitting MLAs had quit their posts in support of a separate Telangana.

The results came as a shot in the arm for the TRS which is spearheading the Telangana movement — 14 months ago, it had been routed in the Telangana region, winning only 10 of the 45 it contested in alliance with the TDP.

TRS leader T Harish Rao, nephew of TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao, set a record, retaining Siddipet in Medak with a victory margin of 95,858 votes. He polled 1,08,770 votes. He broke the 68,681-votes victory margin record of the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy who was re-elected from Pulivendula in Kadapa in May 2009. The Congress and TDP candidates in Siddipet lost their deposits.

The by-elections were held in Siddipet, Sircilla, Vemulavada, Huzurabad, Chennur, Sirpur, Macherial, Korutla, Warangal (West), Yellaredy, Dharmapuri, Nizamabad (Urban).

The TRS, besides retaining its 10 seats, wrested Vemulavada from the TDP. Defying his party, TDP MLA C Ramesh resigned in favour of a separate Telangana and was expelled. He contested on a TRS ticket this time and won. KCR's son K T Rama Rao won from Sirculla.

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Telangana by-polls: TRS sweeps 6 of 12 seats


, Jul 30: Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has claimed six out of 12 constituencies that went into polling in Telangana by-elections 2010.

Buzz up!TRS has bagged Siddipet, Dharmapuri, Vemulawada, Chennur, Mancherial and Sirpur constituencies. Besides this, the party, that spearheaded the Telangana agitation, is leading in five other seats including Warangal West, Yellareddy, Huzurabad, Sircilla and Koratla.

Since ballot papers, instead of the electronic voting machines (EVM), were used in above mentioned constituencies the results are expected to take time.

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CBI asks Sohrabuddin case to be shifted out of Gujarat

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday submitted its status report on the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case to the Supreme Court. According to television reports, CBI in its status report has asked for the case to be shifted out of Gujarat as it feels that investigation cannot be

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Police brass get CBI summons

carried out in an impartial manner in the State.

The CBI is also learnt to have said that it will investigate the fake encounter of Tulsiram Prajapati, the man who allegedly witnessed the killing of Sohrabuddin.

The apex Court had set July 31 as the deadline for the CBI to submit its status report into the case.

According to sources, former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah, who is in judicial custody till August 7, was not cooperating in the probe and there was a need to interrogate him.

Most of Shah\'s replies according to the agency were evasive.

\"He has feigned ignorance and loss of memory and is getting away by saying that that \'I do not know or I do not remember,\" sources said.

Earlier, the CBI summoned Geetha Johri, the first woman IPS officer of Gujarat, in connection with the case.

Johri, who was the part of Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case, has been asked to appear before the CBI on August 10.

Earlier, the CBI has also summoned former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) P C Pandey and asked him to appear before it on August 11.

Pandey was DGP of Gujarat when the state CID was investigating the fake encounter case.

Meanwhile, the CBI team is likely to seek permission from its headquarters to question Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the case.

The investigating agency may want Modi to answer some questions in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

The CBI wants to know if Modi was aware of the attempts being made by top police officials to scuttle the probe.

If Modi is summoned for questioning, it will be for the second time this year. He was earlier questioned by a Special Investigation Team in 2002 Gujarat riots case.

Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2005.

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J&K situation not yet normal, says Chidambaram

Acknowledging that situation in Jammu and Kashmir is "not yet" normal, the Centre on Friday made it clear that it was committed to holding quiet dialogue with all shades of opinion in the State and said "we are willing to hold talks with our own people."

Asked whether any political party was also involved in disrupting peace in the Valley, Mr. Chidambaram nodded in agreement and said "presumably".

Briefing reporters here after presenting his report card for the month of July, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the stand of the Government was clear. "From the day one I have favoured a quiet dialogue with all sections of opinion, all groups, all political parties."

He was replying to a question whether the Centre was willing to hold talks with separatists groups including Hurriyat Conference in the State.

"I continue to meet leaders of different groups and political parties," he said but admitted that "there has been some interruption in the process... I do not deny that."

"But we are always prepared to meet everyone who is willing to meet us. The Prime Minister said he favours a dialogue with all groups. Chief Minister of the State is encouraged to meet all groups. Talking to our won people — what is the reservation? There is no reservation at all.

"We are willing to talk to our own people," he said.

Asked whether any political party was also involved in disrupting peace in the Valley, Mr. Chidambaram nodded in agreement and said "presumably".

Mr. Chidambaram had announced last year that he would be holding quiet diplomacy with separatists organisations and also met Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on three occasions. However, the separatist group backtracked from the process after terrorists shot at a moderate leader Farl-ul-Haq Qureshi earlier this year.

He disagreed with a suggestion that separatists' writ was running in the State. "I don't agree with you that the writ of the separatists is running. Yes, in Srinagar and some other towns, they are able to mobilise support, urge people to indulge in stone pelting and are able to call bandhs."

According to the State government, he said, there are many areas in the Valley which are "quite normal or by and large normal.

"...They (State government) have announced a few measures. They have appointed a Commission of Inquiry, they are formulating a surrender policy, they have offered compensation and jobs… hope these measures will help in normalising the situation," he said.

In his written statement, Mr. Chidambaram said the situation in the State is "not yet normal. Repeated calls for bandh have paralysed normal life in the Valley. Security forces continue to operate in a difficult situation exercising maximum restraint."

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In Punjab Agricultural University, Inter-College swimming competition was held on July 28-29. In this competition, student of College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T), Miss Ajalpreet Kaur got 16 gold medals in different events. Besides winning the gold medal the swimmer set-up several new records. In this competition the overall championship for men and women were won by COAE&T. Student Sunil Kumar and Ajalpreet Kaur were declared best swimmer men and best swimmer women, respectively.
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Punjab Agricultural University organizes need-based training and refresher courses on different themes for the benefit of farmers and farm women. During August, 2010 a number of such programmes have been formulated. The Directorate of Extension Education will organize a refresher course on August 3-4 at Kairon Kisan Ghar wherein 35 participants will participate. The Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S.Gill said that the course will focus on nutrition for pregnant women and lactating mothers, low cost diets, physical and psychological care of mothers, feeding and immunization of infants, sterilization of feeding bottles, nutrition related disorders, etc. by the experts.

A training camp of PAU Kisan Club will be held on August 5 at the Wheat Auditorium wherein the PAU experts will highlight the role of cooperative agriculture for minimizing production costs, water borne diseases, plant protection of Kharif crops, organic agriculture and the procedure for standards and certification, marketing, processing of foods, bee-keeping and opportunities for PAU Kisan Club Members. The subject matter specialists of PAU will highlight these important topics through their deliberations. The ladies wing members of the Club will also meet and review the last months progress. Special lecture on health care through acupressure and textile fabrics will be organized, said Dr. Gill adding that a competition on folk songs and cultural activities related to the month of sawan will be organized on the occasion.
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A rare honor for a GADVASU scientist

Dr. Pritam Kaur Sidhu working as Toxicologist in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU has been a receiver of a rare honor offered by the University of London, United Kingdom. She was invited by the University of London as a guest speaker in the International Symposium held at Royal Veterinary College, London . Dr. Sidhu delivered the lecture on "PK-PD modeling of antimicrobials". The lecture was highly appreciated by the leading scientists of the world participating in the symposium. The symposium was held to celebrate the distinguished career of Professor Peter Lees of Royal Veterinary College, London who has been working in the field of Pharmacology. Dr. Sidhu is Professor Lees's ex-PhD student and is amongst the five speakers whose visit was sponsored by the London University to attend this special scientific event. Dr. Sidhu was chosen as one of the special guests of the symposium who were extended with the rare opportunity of having dinner at the House of Lords (Parliament House) of the United Kingdom at Westminster, London. The dinner was hosted by the House of Lords to honor an exemplary research contribution of Professor Peter Lees to the Veterinary Science and Dr. Sidhu is one of the collaborators of this research group.

Dr. Sidhu is working in the field of Veterinary Pharmacology and her research interests are pharmacology of antimicrobials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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On the eve of their superannuation, Shri Som Nath Sharma and Shri Gurmeet Singh Grewal working as Personal Assistants with Director of Extension Education and Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, respectively of PAU were given a warm send off in a luncheon meeting. The Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S. Gill, Director of Research, Dr. S.S.Gosal and Dean, COAE&T, Dr. P.P.S.Lubana spoke about the dedication, devotion and sincerity with which these employees served the University. Shri Sharma hailed from village Rajgarh while Shri Grewal from village Lalton Kalan, both in Ludhiana district. They served the University in various capacities including Clerk, Steno-typist, etc. and spent 41 and 37 years of their lives at PAU, respectively. Those present on the occasion wished the retiring employees health, happiness and well being for their post retired period.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mallika Sherawat Uploads Topless Photograph On Twitter

Last time Mallika Sherawat was in a Hollywood movie, she left no stone unturned to attract all the attention to her, and promote the film. This time around the situation is not any different. The actress is doing all it takes to promote her new Hollywood film, Hisss where she plays a snakewoman.

Mallika, who is known for her risqué ways, has posted her topless photograph on twitter. In the picture, the actress is topless, covering her modesty with her beautiful locks and her hands. Her eyes have a kohl-laden look in them, and her arms are wrapped in a design that resembles scaly snake skin. The actress surely looks an ideal snakewoman in the photograph, and tweets boldly "Is this too much?". Surely nothing is much for this extremely audacious actress who is very fond of publicity and is known to shed clothes in her movies.

Mallika Sherawat's first Hollywood film was The Myth with Jackie Chan. Hisss will be her second movie on the Hollywood silver screens. Hisss is being directed by Jennifer Lynch, and also stars Indian actors, Irrfan Khan and Divya Dutta.

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In Kashmir, pro-freedom agitators chop off Sikh youth’s hair

Pro-freedom protestors beat up a Sikh youth and chopped off his hair in Malangpora, south Kashmir, on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, angry Sikhs led a march from Tral and blocked the Srinagar-Jammu national highway near Awantipora, demanding the arrest of the culprits.

According to police, Harmeet Singh aka Mithun Singh, an employee of Border Roards Organisation, was on his way to a market when he was stopped by pro-freedom protestors and asked to raise slogans. Though Singh did as told, protestors beat him up and chopped off his hair.

Police registered a case and picked up two people for questioning. "Investigations have been put on fast track. The victim has also given his statement about the events. We hope to crack the case soon," Shafaqat Watali, DIG, south Kashmir, said.

Sikhs led a protest march from Tral and blocked the Srinagar-Jammu highway for some time . Protests also rocked Digiana area in Jammu. "We have assured the Sikh community that action will be taken against the guilty. We even promised them that if necessary Public Safety Act will be slapped against the culprits," Watali said.

The issue has snowballed into a major controversy with Guru Manyo Granth Society, a Sikh organisation, asking separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to come clean on this issue.

"They [separatists] claim the freedom struggle is not restricted to Muslims but also belongs to Sikhs and Hindus. Then why have these so-called leaders not uttered a single word to condemn the attack on the Sikh community. Their silence arouses suspicion about their role in the attack," Jasdeep Singh, president of the society said.

Sikhs have urged chief minister Omar Abdullah to take action against the offenders or face repercussions.

"The security of Sikhs will be ensured and people who try to disrupt communal harmony will be dealt with sternly," the chief minister said.

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In Punjab, during rainy season, due to high temperature and humidity in the atmosphere, there is an accumulation of poisonous gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon mono-oxide, etc in the tubewell pits. Due to scarcity of oxygen in the pit, workers entering the well die due to asphyxia. There are many tubewell related deaths reported in Punjab. These accidents do occur because of farmers are generally not aware of poisonous gas in the well during entering in the well. The scientists working in the PAU Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering, namely Charan Jeet Singh Pannu, Mahesh Kumar Narang and Gursharan Singh Sidhu have cautioned farmers to be ware of the poisonous gas accumulating in the tubewell pits/wells during the monsoon season.

Discussing how to identify the poisonous gas in the tubewell, the scientists suggested that First, lower a burning lamp or candle into the pit to ascertain the presence of poisonous gas. If it blows out, it means carbon dioxide is present in the pit and there is scarcity of oxygen. There should be a wall or safety cage around the well, said they adding that A fan can be lowered into the pit and run for at least an hour to force the poisonous gas out from the pit. The fan should be left on while the labourer works. Likewise, using an empty jute bag, bucket or umbrella and moving it up and down in the pit to remove the gas can be helpful, said the scientists. At least two persons should be present at the site while working for repair of pumpset.

Four to 5 kg of lime (calcium oxide) dissolved in water should be sprinkled into the pit before someone enters it, they said adding that in case of belt-driven pump sets, run the pump idle for 15-20 minutes. The gas will be agitated and will come out of pit. Plastering of the walls may reduce the entry of harmful gases but may not prevent it fully, observed the experts. After using these measures, one should re-test presence of the gas with kerosene lamp before going in the pit for repairs etc.

PAU has developed a blower for removing poisonous gases from the tubewell. The blower can be operated by PTO of 35 hp tractor and blower runs at 1000 rpm. A flexible plastic pipe of 7.5 cm diameter having length of 10 m is attached with inlet of blower. Length of pipe may be according to the depth of tubewell. One side of the pipe has some holes of 15 cm diameter through which gases can be extracted. This machine should be available in every village so that gases can be removed from tubewells before entering into it and human lives can be saved.

Mostly, there is no wall/ fencing around tubewells that is why human or animals fall into the well and accident happens, observed the experts. To minimize these accidents, a safety cage has been developed having height of 75 cm and diameter of 210 cm. Diameter of the cage is more than the diameter of tubewell/pit. To enter into the tubewell a window is provided and a 5 inch hole is also provided in the center of the cage for delivery pipe of tubewell. By using this cage, accident of falling in the wells can be prevented.
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Elements in Pakistan provoking J&K protests: Maken

New Delhi : \"The statements of All Party Hurriyat Conference (Abbas) and All Party Hurriyat Conference (Geelani) in the media and LeT across the border in this regard are documented,\" Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken informed the Rajya Sabha

The Government today said it was aware of anti-India elements based in Pakistan provoking the people of Jammu and Kashmir with the support of certain sections of secessionist groups based in the state.

Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken informed the Rajya Sabha that these anti-India elements were provoking people on various pretexts to arouse public sentiments.

"The statements of All Party Hurriyat Conference (Abbas) and All Party Hurriyat Conference (Geelani) in the media and LeT across the border in this regard are documented," he said.

Mr. Maken said the average annual quantum of arms and ammunition and money coming to Kashmir cannot be quantified but during 2009, Rs. 76,84,600 in cash and cheques worth Rs. 50,000 had been seized, which was being carried through hawala channels and cases have been registered.

During 2009, 668 AK-47 and 56 other arms, 1,142 Magazines, 59,333 rounds of ammunitions including RPG Ammunition, explosive material including RDX, Pakistani currency, fake currency, remote control panels and other gadgetry were recovered from militants.
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Funny man Cyrus Sahukar finally learns to drive

He might be best known for his wisecracks on the small screen, but veejay-actor Cyrus Sahukar had his wits running out on the sets of Aisha as he was forced to learn driving. He does admit, however, that playing a rich guy was a pleasant change! \"I was 14 years old when I took out a car for the first time and had a very bad accident. I have been a little psyched ever since. I couldn\'t get myself to drive after that. After I accepted Aisha, I was told I have driving shots and I told them, \'You can\'t expect me to drive.

But the actor had no choice. He had to give in and enrolled for a one-month driving class.

\"They said you are the driver of the gang in the film and you have to drive; so I started learning how to drive. And now I can proudly say that I can drive,\" he added.

However, the MTV India VJ says he was extremely disappointed when the actual scene with him in the driver\'s seat was supposed to be shot.

\"When the actual scene was to be shot in Rishikesh, my dear co-stars Sonam Kapoor and Ira Dubey refused to sit with me! Can you imagine? The moment I would turn the key to start the car, they used to start screaming. I was incredibly angry that they were scaring the hell out of me.

\"I was disappointed with their lack of faith in me. And despite the classes, they had no belief in my driving. Disappointing! But, yes, I did finally drive and they did sit with me,\" Cyrus, known for his satirical comedy shows, said with a bout of laughter.

Asked whether he has perfected his driving moves in the jam-packed streets of Mumbai, he said: \"I do drive in Mumbai and believe me or not, it is an amazing place for beginners because the car can never go beyond 40 kmph!\"

Driving was not the only thing he learnt while shooting. He also got free training in horse riding.

\"I also learnt horse riding for a scene in this film. I think by the end of my career, I would have learnt how to drive every form of transportation - boat, cycle, etc. Jokes apart, I was told this horse that I had to ride is a superstar as he has acted in films like Asoka and Jodhaa-Akbar. He was quite a maniac and kept galloping all over,\" he said.

For Cyrus, Aisha is his fourth Bollywood project after he was seen in tiny roles in movies like Om Jai Jagdish, Rang De Basanti and Delhi-6.

In Aisha, to be released Aug 6, he plays the role of a wealthy west Delhi boy alongside actors Abhay Deol, Sonam Kapoor, Arunoday Singh and debutantes Lisa Haydon and Amrita Puri. Unlike his real self, his character in the film is not very talkative and believes in internal dialogues instead.

After playing a struggling radio jockey and a jobless photographer respectively in Rang De Basanti and Delhi 6, the only respite that Aisha brings for Cyrus is the fact that he is plays a rich guy in the film.

\"Thank god I am not borrowing money in Aisha. In every other film, they made me ask for money. Luckily in this one, I am rich,\" he said in a jocular mood.
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CBI summons former Gujarat DGP for questioning in Sohrabuddin case

Ahmedabad : Amid allegations that some police officers tried to influence investigation into the fake encounter case, the CBI has summoned P.C. Pandey, the then Gujarat DGP, for questioning

CBI has summoned former Gujarat DGP P. C. Pandey for questioning in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter killing case.

The agency has called Mr. Pandey to appear before it on August 11, CBI officials said last night.

Mr. Pandey was DGP when the state CID was investigating the fake encounter case.

There have been allegations that some police officials of Gujarat had tried to influence the investigation into the incident.

This is for the first time that Mr. Pandey has been called for questioning by CBI. It had earlier called other IPS officers, including G. C. Raigar and O. P. Mathur, for questioning in the case.

The Supreme Court handed over the fake encounter case to CBI in January this year. The investigating agency has so far arrested former minister of state for Home Amit Shah, IPS officer Abhay Chudasama and owners of Arham farm Rajendra Jirawala in the case.

CBI had interrogated Mr. Shah inside the Sabarmati jail yesterday.
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Raina 12th Indian to get Test hundred on debut

Colombo : Under pressure, chasing a massive total, Suresh Raina pulled off a rare feat, rubbing shoulders with some big cricketing names in the record books

Suresh Raina today became the 12th Indian cricketer to score a Test century on debut with a fluent 120-run knock against Sri Lanka in the ongoing second Test here.

Raina's century comes nine years after Virender Sehwag achieved the similar feat against South Africa.

The diminutive left-hander, who came in place of an unwell Yuvraj Singh for the second Test against Sri Lanka, made full use of the opportunity to make a case for himself in the lower-middle order of the team.

Raina got to the three-figure mark by elegantly driving paceman Dammika Prasad to off-side boundary. He took 192 balls to complete his century.

His knock came off 228 balls overall with 12 fours and two sixes. He was dismissed when Ajantha Mandis had him caught by Kumar Sangakkara at short midwicket in the 141st over of the Indian innings.

The Uttar Pradesh batsman has been doing well consistently in the shorter version of the game and even led the team in a tri-series in Zimbabwe.

Raina's innings today came at a crucial juncture as India were chasing a massive total of 642 to stay afloat in the Test match.

Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin, who also scored a Test hundred on debut in 1984 against England in Kolkata, lavished praise on Raina.

"Today my own memories of a debut-century came back after 20-25 years. I hope he scores more and matures as a Test batsman soon. He is an attacking and stylish player and hope lot of runs come from him in future," Azharuddin, now a Congress MP from Moradabad, told reporters.

A list of other Indian players who scored a Test century on debut:

1. Lala Amarnath 118 v England (1933)

2. Deepak Shodhan 110 v Pakistan (1952)

3. AG Kripal Singh 100* v New Zealand (1955)

4. Abbas Ali Baig 112 v England (1959)

5. Hanumant Singh 105 v England (1964)

6. Gundappa Viswanath 137 v Australia (1969)

7. Surinder Amarnath 124 v New Zealand (1976)

8. Mohammed Azharuddin 110 v England (1984)

9. Praveen Amre 103 v South Africa (1992)

10. Sourav Ganguly 131 v England (1996)

11. Virender Sehwag 105 v South Africa (2001)
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Worried over Kashmir; UN urges India, Pak to talk

Worried over the unrest in Kashmir, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged both India and Pakistan to \"rekindle the spirit of the composite dialogue\".

"In relation to recent developments in Indian-administered Kashmir, the Secretary-General is concerned over the prevailing security situation there over the past month," Farhan Haq, Mr Ban's spokesperson, said in a statement.

Over the last month as many as 17 people have died in the violence that erupted in the valley as civilians clashed against the security forces.

"He calls on all concerned to exercise utmost restraint and address problems peacefully," the statement added.

While the Indian central government blamed the anti-India elements based in Pakistan for instigating violence in Jammu Kashmir, the state government constituted an inquiry commission to look into the deaths of civilians in the protests.

"He (Ban Ki-moon) encourages both sides to rekindle the spirit of the composite dialogue, which was initiated in 2004 and had made encouraging progress on some important confidence building measures, and to make renewed efforts to address outstanding issues, including on Jammu and Kashmir.

"He underlines the need for patience, perseverance and compromise on all sides,\" the UN chief\'s spokesperson said.

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The Horticulturist of Punjab Agricultural University suggested that the water should be drained out from the area of fruit plants. This information was given by Dr. Pushpinder Singh Aulakh, Head, Department of Horticulture. He further suggested that the fruit plants need more attention during the rainy season because stagnant water may cause damage to the fruit plants which may result in poor quality of fruit. Dr. Aulakh further suggested that the farmers should grow new fruit plants during the month of August as this month is best suitable for the plantation which results in protection of the plants from certain diseases. He further elaborated that during the rainy season due to the fungus infection, the diseases like citrus canker and scab may harm the plants. The infected plants should be treated by spraying blitox. Dr. Aulakh further informed that the University will provide virus free plants to the farmers and these plants will be available for them during next month.
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INSPIRE fellowship for GADVASU Ph.D. scholar

A PhD scholar Dr. Chandan Singh of Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, Ludhiana has been selected for "INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research)" fellowship for pursuing his Ph.D. programme at GADVASU by Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

INSPIRE Program is focused on attraction of student to pursue doctoral degree in basic and applied sciences including engineering, medicine, agriculture, veterinary, pharmacy etc. after either masters' degree in science or bachelor/ masters' degree in engineering/ applied sciences. In Veterinary Science category the "INSPIRE" fellowship is awarded to two Veterinary students only. The students are selected among the First Rank / Gold Medal holders in postgraduate programme for pursuing doctoral programme in Science & Technology. The fellowship is under Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC) - a component of the `Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)' being implemented by DST (Department of Science and Technology), Ministry of Science and Technology.

Dr. N.S. Saini, Head of the department, Veterinary Surgery and Radiology said that Dr. Chandan Singh is the first student from the GADVASU, who has been selected for INSPIRE fellowship. Dr. Saini further added that Dr. Chandan Singh did his B.V.Sc. & A.H. from College of Veterinary Science, KVAFSU, Bidar, (Karnataka) and was awarded Gold medal for highest OCPA in B.V.Sc. & A.H and he did his Master's degree with distinction from Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, GADVASU, Ludhiana. Recently he has also been selected as captain in Remount Veterinary Corps (Indian Army).

He was also recipient of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) from ICAR, New Delhi, during his M.V.Sc. programme. He was the topper student of M.V.Sc. 2007 batch of GADVASU, Ludhiana. He has already published one research article and his five papers has been accepted in the journals of national repute.

He did his M.V.Sc. under the guidance of Dr. Simrat Sagar Singh, Dean, COVS. Dr S.S. Singh, Dean, COVS commented that Dr. Chandan Singh is a very meritorious and hard working student who rightly deserve this honor and wished him good luck. He also exhorted other student of GADVASU to work hard and study hard to achieve national and international feats.

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To seek the blessings of Almighty God, Akhand Path of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was organized in the Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana from 26th -28th July, 2010. In the series of events organized in the College, Sri Akhand Path Sahib marks the beginning of new academic session. The students of music department recited Shabads on the occasion. Principal, Dr. (Mrs.) Charanjit Mahal appreciated the hard work, sincere efforts and achievements of meritorious students. She motivated the students to participate in the curricular and co-curricular activities. S. Gurbir Singh, President of Guru Nanak Education Trust congratulated the students who bagged top positions in Panjab University Annual Examinations.
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India mourns victims of Pakistan plane crash

India on Wednesday conveyed its condolences to Pakistan over the plane crash near Islamabad that killed all 155 people on board.

In a message to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, external affairs minister S.M. Krishna \"conveyed deep condolences on behalf of the people and government of India to the people and government of Pakistan, especially to the bereaved families\", the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

All 155 people on board were confirmed dead when an aircraft of a private airline crashed on Wednesday morning amid heavy rain in the wooded Margalla Hills skirting the Pakistani capital.

The Airblue flight 202, flying from Karachi to Islamabad, suddenly lost contact with the airport here and crashed near the popular Damanekoh resort in the Margalla Hills at about 9.45 a.m.

This is the first time Krishna has written to Qureshi after the July 15 talks the two held in Islamabad which stalled over conflicting perceptions on terror and Jammu and Kashmir.

Recently, Qureshi sent a condolence message to Krishna over the train accident in West Bengal that killed over 60 people.

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Mallika Sherawat tweets topless pic

Mumbai : Mallika Sherawat is trying all the tricks in the bag to promote her upcoming Hollywood film Hisss where she plays a snakewoman. The actress known for her risqué ways has posted a topless pic on Twitter. In the pic, the sassy babe is seen covering her modesty with her lustrous locks and

hands. With her eyes covered in kajal, and arms covered in scaly snake design the actress sure looks like a snakewoman.

Along with the pic, the actress asks with audacity \"is this too much?\" But apparently nothing is too much for the bold actress who is infamous for shedding clothes in her movies.

Her forthcoming film, Hisss is directed by Hollywood\'s Jennifer Lynch, and also stars Irrfan Khan and Divya Dutta.
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Khatta Meetha already making profits

Akshay Kumar must be secretly grinning away to glory. After receiving brickbats from all corners for his insolent smile next to an ailing Laxman, Kumar has done it again! Even as the critics completely rubbished his latest release Khatta Meetha, the film has managed to make the box office

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Kumar\'s performance as the aam aadmi has impressed the junta especially the single screen goers. The film has already grossed over 20 crore in the first three days of its release.

Interestingly, the film made profits even before its theatrical release. The film was made in 30 crore. A TV channel paid 12 crore to obtain its rights, overseas rights went for 5 crore, music for 4 crore and 2 crore for home-video rights. To sum it all, the film made 23 crore even before its release.

A trade source told Mid-Day, \"Khatta Meetha was made with a budget of Rs 30 crore (including print and publicity) and has already made Rs 48 crore in pre-sold rights and digital revenues even before the movie hit screens on Friday.\"

Priyadarshan, director of Khatta Meetha felt that the film stuck a chord with the common man and that is why it has been doing well despite poor reviews.

Khiladi Kumar told the tabloid, \"It turned out to be a win-win situation as they bought the film under recession. If my distributors are happy I am happy. Also I\'m pleased that the film has worked with the masses. The film is about the common man and if they have liked it, that works for me.\"

Incidentally, last year the Salman Khan starrer, Wanted did excellent business in single screen theatres and not so well in multiplexes but managed to make hefty profits.

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Once Upon A Time In Mumbai can release, no stay from high court

Mumbai: Balaji Telefilms, producers of Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, today agreed to issue a press statement saying that the movie is not based on the life of alleged late smuggler Haji Mastan, paving way for its release on July 30.

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With this, the Bombay high court disposed of the application filed by Haji Mastan\'s adoptive son Sundar Shekhar alias Suleiman Mirza, who had sought stay to the film\'s release and a preview screening.

He had contended that he needed to see the film prior to the release to check if there was any thing defamatory in it.

But Justice RC Chavan did not grant such a relief.

The media statement, to be issued today itself, would mention that producers have \"never represented to before anyone that the film is based on Haji Mastan a pure work of fiction\" and characters therein are fictitious.

The statement will be in addition to the disclaimer to the same effect in the beginning of the film.

The sessions court had earlier directed that a disclaimer be inserted in the film stating that it was not based on Mastan\'s life.

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Pressure mounts for direct Mideast talks

JERUSALEM — International calls for direct Middle East peace talks mounted on Wednesday ahead of a key meeting of Arab ministers as the Palestinians stuck to their demand for guarantees on borders.

Arab foreign ministers were to meet in Cairo on Thursday to decide whether to endorse moving to face-to-face negotiations after nearly three months of US-mediated indirect talks that the Palestinians say have made no progress.

The ministers were expected to back Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who has said he will only go to direct negotiations if he is given assurances they will succeed where past talks have collapsed into violence.

\"We do not reject negotiations, but we want negotiations on a clear foundation that will lead to an independent Palestinian state,\" he told AFP earlier this week.

Specifically, he wants the 1967 borders separating Israel from the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem as the starting point of the negotiations and for Israel to freeze all settlement activity in both territories.

\"It is clear that the Netanyahu government does not want this,\" he said, referring to Israel\'s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads a right-wing coalition deeply opposed to giving up east Jerusalem.

Israel annexed the Arab half of the city after capturing it in the 1967 Six Day War in a move not recognised internationally. The Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said he is willing to meet with Abbas to discuss all the core issues of the decades-old conflict, and he and other top officials have accused the Palestinians of dodging direct talks.

\"Everything is open for discussion... But it is impossible in advance to agree on a specific agenda on the 1967 lines, settlements or (Palestinian) refugees,\" Israel\'s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday.

\"Clearly, it\'s going to be a long and complex negotiation process,\" he added, speaking to reporters alongside visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

Moratinos echoed his remarks, saying \"if you want to make peace, if you want to make a final settlement, you need to meet directly.\"

Washington has also stepped up pressure on the two sides, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking at the weekend by telephone with Netanyahu and her counterparts from Jordan and Qatar.

\"We have a full-court press under way to see if we can move to direct negotiations,\" State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said Tuesday.

\"We\'re hopeful that the parties will reach this point but I can\'t pinpoint a particular day on the calendar.\"

Netanyahu and Abbas met separately with Jordan\'s King Abdullah II this week, and both have received a string of phone calls from European leaders urging direct negotiations.

Abbas has meanwhile faced internal pressure to hold off on direct talks from his own secular Fatah movement and their bitter rivals in the Islamist Hamas, which is sworn to Israel\'s destruction.

Earlier this month Fatah said there was a \"lack of credibility and confidence\" in the indirect talks that could undermine direct negotiations.

And on Tuesday senior Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil warned a return to direct talks would \"only serve the Zionist occupation.\"

\"We warn (Abbas) of the consequences of returning to negotiations, either with Arab cover or under pressure from America, because this will deepen the divide and put our cause on the the brink of collapse,\" he said.

\"Abbas\'s talk of a clearly defined reference as a condition for restarting direct talks with the enemy confirms that Fatah has committed a huge error by negotiating for the last 20 years without one,\" he added.

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David Cameron: Gaza is a a prison camp

David Cameron yesterday launched a blistering attack on Israel over its crippling blockade of Gaza.

He accused officials of turning the disputed territory into a prison camp and demanded provisions be allowed in.

In a speech to Turkish business leaders, the PM said: \"Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions.

\"Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.\"

Turkey has felt the full force of Israeli brutality. Nine nationals died when special forces raided a flotilla carrying emergency aid to Gaza in May. Quizzed later on his comments, Mr Cameron insisted the prison description was warranted.

He said: \"The fact is we have long supported lifting the blockade and long supported proper humanitarian access.\"

But the PM called on Turkey to stop supporting Iran with its refusal to back sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear weapons programme. Turkey was one of only two countries to vote against a new round of UN action against Iran.

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Wikileaks Afghanistan: former Pakistani general blames US for war leak

Hamid Gul, a former Pakistan general accused of helping the Taliban, says United States orchestrated the mass leak of war files to scapegoat him for its imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Wikileaks Afghanistan: former Pakistani general blames US for war leak

Hamid Gul, a former Pakistan general accused of helping the Taliban, says United States orchestrated the mass leak of war files to scapegoat him for its imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Published: 11:39AM BST 28 Jul 2010

General Hamid Gul Photo: Justin Sutcliffe The former chief of the ISI intelligence agency was accused in several of the leaked documents of regularly meeting al-Qaeda and Taliban commanders to order suicide attacks.

Gen Gul, 74, told the Financial Times that the US had a hidden role in the publication of thousands of classified reports through the WikiLeaks website.

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Afghan war leaks \'could lead to revenge killings\' He told the newspaper: "I am a very favourite whipping boy of America. They can't imagine the Afghans can win wars on their own.

"It would be an abiding shame that a 74-year-old general living a retired life manipulating the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan results in the defeat of America.

"What are they going to do to the history books for their own posterity?"

The files also link active and retired ISI officers to some of the conflict\'s most notorious leaders. According to the reports, in 2007, they sent also 1,000 motorbikes for use in suicide attacks.

The Financial Times said Mr Gul's name appears in about 10 of roughly 180 classified US files that allege Pakistan's intelligence service supported Afghan militants fighting Nato forces.

Mr Gul told the newspaper his main occupation in retirement was spending time with his grandchildren and pursuing his horticultural hobby of refining mango and peach species.

He said the US had lost the war in Afghanistan, and that the leak of the documents would help the Obama administration deflect blame by suggesting that Pakistan was responsible.

His comments are unlikely to be taken seriously in Washington, which has long suspected Gen Gul of being a dangerous influence in Pakistan politics, but there is concern in Islamabad that the early withdrawal of American and British troops starting next summer might destabilise the region\'s politics.

July has fuelled concerns in Pakistan that a rapid US withdrawal will sow further turmoil in its neighbour.

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More than 90 killed in plane crash near Islamabad

More than 90 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of a Pakistani passenger plane which crashed near Islamabad on Wednesday, police said. There were 152 people on board. \"The chances of any survivors are very dim. We have collected the remains of more than 90 people so far,\" Islamabad

senior police official Bin Yameen told Reuters.

The aircraft of the private airline Air Blue, flying from Karachi to Islamabad, hit the Margalla Hills near the Daman-e-Koh viewpoint this morning, officials of the police and a state-run rescue service said.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Ahsan Mukhtar, who is about 600-700mts away from the crash site, says authorities have confirmed that there are at least six survivors. There is a single helicopter till now, which is airlifting the survivors. Ambulance and rescue teams have reached the crash site.

Mukhtar says that the co-pilot was an ex-Air Force pilot.

Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Spokesman Pervez George said that 146 passengers and a six-member crew were on board the plane. Islamabad has been hit by heavy rains for the past few days and the city was covered by fog and low-lying clouds.

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Civil aviation officials said the aircraft had disappeared from radar screens shortly before the crash was reported.

The crash occurred in an area that is not accessible by roads or trials. Rescue workers said they were facing problems in approaching the crash site.

The heavy rains too were hampering rescue efforts, they said. Footage aired on TV news channels showed white smoke rising from the thick forests in the Margalla Hills.

Witnesses said they had seen flames in the wreckage of the aircraft.

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