Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: Antardwand

Set in rural Bihar where nothing works except the law of the lawless, Antardwand takes the firm and gripping route to expose a hinterland-headline - the kidnapping of marriageable boys by desperate fathers of wannabe brides.
This was a prevalent malpractice in Bihar until some years ago. Not so much any more.
Debutant director Sushil Rajpal's film works more for its deeper resonances than just the surface sincerity. It is not so much the sensational value of the theme (dulha uth gaya) that makes Antardwand watchable as the treatment of the layers of socio-political irregularities and caste aberrations that generate a society of anarchy where kidnapping an aspiring groom is serious business.
The narrative is punctuated with bouts of savage humour. When the Delhi University civil service candidate Raghuveer (Raj Singh Choudhary) with a pregnant girlfriend (Himanshi), is kidnapped just yards away from his parents' home in rural Bihar, his confoundedness, and rage at the bizarre confinement is expressed in bouts and spasms of indignance.
The director knows the milieu well. He doesn't waste time exploring rural Bihar just because he has chosen to film his story on location.
The narrative never loses its momentum. Rather than opt for a dry docu-drama tone, director Sushil Rajpal has chosen to format the film as a thriller. The pace from the moment of Raghuveer's kidnapping to his escape is largely relentless.
The second-half of the plot gets more introspective as it becomes the story of the humiliated bride (newcomer Swati Sen, well cast) who finds herself with a man who has been forced to marry her. The rage of confinement and the anguish of rejection ooze out of the tense frames.
Sequences in the couple's bedroom with a gigantic tell-tale double-bed at its centre, capture the ironical nullity of a marriage based on bullying tactics. There is an element of naïve desperation in the couple's shared space.
The writing is hard-hitting but relentless, supple and slender. There is ample room for innuendoes in the dialogues and situations.
"Antardwand" avoids the easy road to realism. The ambience does not depend on how the actors pitch the accent in the spoken word or their body language. Though these are authentic, it's the deeper malaise of a society buried neck-deep in prejudices and superstition that the director focuses on.
The camera work by Malay Ray is exploratory but non-judgemental. Scenes of characters moving in and out of dark old-fashioned interiors are shot without wallowing in symbolism.
The performances are thoughtful. Akhilendra Mishra and Vinay Pathak pitch into the ambience of rousing realism as the father of the bride and the kidnapped groom, respectively. Raj Singh as the precious groom last seen in Anurag Kashyap's "Gulaal" again reveals an admirable ability to blend into the bleeding fabric of mofussil mayhem.
The film is suffused with sincerely sketched characters. Jaya Bhattacharya as the bride's far-from-persecuted bhabhi (sister-in-law) and for that matter the unknown actor Dadhi Raj Paney who plays Akhilendra Mishra's faithful servant, bring a kind of fringe fertility into the storytelling.
The finale is self indulgent in its idealism. A society so breached by gender and caste biases cannot be lit up by a sudden beam of optimistic light.
But no harm in trying.
"Antardwand" is a commendable attempt to examine the underbelly of rural Bihar. It doesn't purport to shake up the status quo. The film only wants to remind us that we need to heal our collective social conscience before curing the discrepancies that feed into our dream of emerging from the darkness into the light.

Beauty, fashion and personality always go hand in hand

Beauty, fashion and personality always go hand in hand. When we talk about trendy looks, sexy figure, a beautiful wardrobe and a beautiful personality inside this trendy looks we tempt to get excited and then go home and try the same for ourselves to look beautiful. Who doesn't want to look beautiful????But the most important factor that we ignore is one's personality and comfortability to wear the trendy wardrobe and the heavy make-up. Yes, since every individual is unique by looks, appearance, height, weight , face-cut, hair cut so it is obvious that there are different make-ups, different wardrobes to suit the personality . Climate plays an important role in making you look different. Let us today talk about "Monsoon". Monsoon will not be messy with our monsoon beauty and fashion tips. Also find out what\'s hot this monsoon with our article on monsoon fashion.

After the sizzling summer, monsoon is a welcome season which brings with itself bold fashion that reflects your personality and moods. This is a season when fashion takes an altogether new turn that can be termed as romantic and dreamy. The color of the season is shades of reds, blues, magentas, fluorescent pinks and acid greens. Thus monsoon is the season to make bold fashion statements.

In Vogue

The hottest style this season is short skirts, Capri\'s, dungarees, sling tops, cargo pants, strappy rain sandals, colorful gum boots, trendy umbrella\'s and sexy transparent raincoats. This season say goodbye to the body hugging jeans. Jeans get very heavy when wet and take ages to dry hence the best option is to avoid them for these few months. Hence use lots of cotton because it is light and easy to wear. If you prefer Indian outfits then Salwaar Kameez is the best option.

Trendy Rainwear

This season grab all the fashion accessories around you and let others fall for your creativity. Black is boring. Get neon pink or a transparent umbrella with delicate prints over it or a bright orange rain coat. Be bold and get noticed. Pick up a bright red or a tangy orange or a pineapple yellow or a strawberry pink umbrella and everyone will envy you.

Look sexy and trendy in a transparent rain coat. The transparent rain coats look as thin as polythin and usually they come with a smart looking plastic zipper that runs down the whole length of the coat. You can wear the most colorful clothes underneath as the transparent rain coats will give a soothing effect to your entire attire!

Rain Boots

High Heels and Leather Boots are completely out this season. Go in for those PVC transparent sandals, strappy sandals, rubber shoes which come in different colors and styles and gum boots. Black, ankle length gum boots look great with almost all western outfits. But if you are bold enough to experiment then try out red, green, blue or yellow ones.

Monsoon Makeup

Be natural, that\'s the fashion statement for monsoon. But if you can't do without makeup then apply as little as possible. Refrain from using powder based mascara and compact. Go in for waterproof mascara and a nice long lasting lipstick. As far as possible keep your hair tied up.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com


Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana trained farmers of the Una District of Himachal Pradesh in three day training programme on Scientific Dairy Farming, said Dr. H.K. Verma, Prof. cum- Head. At the concluding function of the training program organized for the 20 beneficiaries, Dr.Verma said that there was immense potential of improving income and employment in the rural areas of Hills through increased milk production besides meeting the demand of the quality fluid milk in the tourist state. Experts interacted with the farmers and dealt with their queries at the concluding function. Dr V B Joshi , Deputy Director Animal health and Breeding, Animal Husbandry Department informed that the training programme was sponsored one and were imparted training by the experts of GADVASU .Himachal Govt. in all have trained around 40 batches from GADVASU, which is an excellent centre of learning and they like to visit Ludhiana. Dr.Verma said "the trainees were imparted training in animal feeding, breeding, health care, and management of animals in hilly areas besides being shown the elite herd of cattle being maintained at the institute's dairy farm and the progessive dairy farmers in the field that would help them in making their dairy farms scientifically." . Dr. Kulbir Singh Sandhu, Director Extension Education, GADVASU, Ludhiana told that university is organizing such training on regular basis viz dairy farming, poultry farming, piggery farming and many other tailor made courses as per demand . A senior farmer and participant of this training programme thanked the university and organizers for such a meticulously organized training. Training. Dr. R. S. Sahota, course coordinator of the training gave a word of advice to all the outgoing farmers. All the farmers were provided University literature and also subscribed for monthly magazine Vigyanik Pashu Palan.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com


Punjab Agricultural University is a treasure house of field worthy recommendations for farmers. This was stated by S. Sucha Singh Langah, Agriculture Minister, Punjab while addressing a gathering of PAU scientists working at out stations. S. Langah said that due to scientific intricacies, the contemporary farming has become greatly knowledge-intensive. The Minister said that there are a variety of economic and ecological constraints in Punjab Agriculture including declining profitability, increasing production cost, pollution and retention of toxic residue in crop produce, etc. He appreciated the farm scientists in understanding and solving these constraints and pin pointed that the relevant knowledge must reach out effectively to farmers. S.Langah said that agricultural research and technology generation must be viewed from holistic angle and that the effect of inputs used on health of humans, cattle and soil should be monitored. Only those technologies should be recommended which are cost effective, environmentally benign, user-friendly and viable.

The Minister said that the entire country looks upon Punjab as far as the matter of food security is concerned. He lauded the diligence and inquisitiveness of Punjabi farmers and said that their contribution on the food front at the national level was tremendous. PAU is a torch bearer for farmers of Punjab who in turn make Punjab progress and prosper. S. Langah said that farmers should follow the advice of experts to enrich soil through using green manures. He said that the efforts made to delay transplanting of paddy has been effective in stemming the pace of water table decline that in turn saved electricity and fuel worth thousands of crores of Rupees. If the issue is of emergent nature, he suggested the scientists to approach him directly so that the same is addressed at the government level. S. Langah said that the current crop seemed to yield bumper harvest and wished farmers and scientists very well in their endeavors. He suggested that such interactive meetings should be held at regular intervals as it provides opportunities to learn about the ongoing research and technology transfer programmes.

The PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, while welcoming the honourable Minister said that PAU is dedicatedly working for Punjab farmers and that the scientists reorient their programmes to make these as per the technological needs of farmers. He shared that the university, during the last three years has released 65 new verities of different crops alongwith 51 production and 58 protection technologies which have been well received by farmers. He said that the focus of scientists is on developing cost-effective and eco-friendly technologies that help conserve the natural resource base. He thanked the Minister for his ever available support and suggestions for formulating and implementing programmes. He said that S. Langah played an immensely positive role in solving the pension issue that the university was facing in the recent past.

The member of PAU Board of Management and a former PAU Agronomist, Dr. B.S. Boparai appreciated the programmes steered by PAU and complemented its role in green revolution. He said that the establishment of Borlaug Institute of South Asia, near Ludhiana will be a landmark in agricultural development as the work done on wheat and maize will not only benefit India but South East Asian region as a whole. Dr. Boparai said that need based technologies developed by PAU help address the problems effectively. He appreciated PAU for suggesting contingency plan in the wake of developing flood like situation due to incessant rains received in some places in the state and publicizing the same as flash messages through electronic and print media. He suggested that the high value crops with excellent market potential should be given enhanced focus. Discussing about cropping pattern in Punjab agriculture, Dr. Boparai said that pulses and sugarcane should be given due importance. He said that PAU has deviced water saving technologies such as short duration crops, bed/trench planting, crop diversification, etc. but more needs to be done in this direction. He said Bt cotton has enhanced the prospects of the crop in recent past and added that transgenics hold great potential in several crops. Dr. Boparai appreciated the way the scientists projected mandates, achievements, constraints and future thrust of different out stations of PAU. He expressed thanks to S.Langah for his interest in PAU activities.

The scientists from different out stations of PAU namely, Dr.J.S. Josan of Regional Station, Abohar, Dr. R.K. Gumber of Regional Station, Faridkot, Dr. P.S. Bagga of Regional Station, Gurdaspur, Dr. S.C. Sharma of Regional Station for Kandi Area, Ballowal Saunkhri, Dr. Navtej Singh of Fruit Research Station, Gangian, Dr. Rajbir Singh Boora of Fruit Research Station, Bahadurgarh presented the progress of technology generation and dissemination during the last three years. Dr. S.S. Bal, Director (Seeds) discussed the seed production programmes undertaken by PAU at Ladhowal, Kapurthala, Nabha, Naraingarh, Faridkot during the last three years.

Earlier, the Director of Research, Dr. S.S. Gosal welcomed S. Langah, Dr. Kang, Deans and Directors and other officers, scientists from outstations and Heads of various departments and highlighted the role played by PAU in developing technologies and their transfer to farmers.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Dabangg song composed on character sketch of Salman

They say that the only thing that gives you a high without getting stoned is music. They also say that it is the Indian music that won us an Oscar and not an individual. It is music, they say, which is the only thing imported by the West from Bollywood. They do things that cannot exist unless there\'s an audience as a participant. It\'s easy to fall into their music, whether you\'re hearing it along with the film or simply spinning it on your iPod. They weave an aural tapestry coloured with lush orchestral passages, moments of rural rustiness, darkness, and an ethereal, entrancing haze seen and heard in scenic locations on the big screen. It\'s as much of a gorgeous head-trip as the film itself is. Their songs are immersive and India\'s superstar Salman Khan has danced on most of them. Moreover, they want audiences to participate in their film Dabangg and its music directly. And you\'ll remember them always when you\'re on \'Aksa beach\', when you\'re proposing for marriage, when you\'re wanted by your male mates for street dancing or if you\'re desperately seeking for a new partner. They are the ones who don\'t make music...they weave it. Please put your hands together because they are special, because they are Sajid and Wajid. Brothers who\'ve given us undisputed songs since their first big break when they shook hands with Salman Khan and Arbaaz Khan in Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya. Twelve years have passed....today, they are brothers in arms. This special correspondent talks to Wajid on their wacky wilderness in the wild Bollywood.

Buzz up!\"Dabangg music is as whacky as its script\"

Dabangg music goes to show that Sajid and Wajid are capable of surprising the audiences again and again. The surprise element is very important in your work. Dabangg is a very rural subject in terms of its music. We were confident that we would do something as wacky as the script. Munni was already recorded before but who knows, we could\'ve come up with \'Munni\' or better than that. But what\'s important is the fact that the song is working for the film.

\"We love our journey with the \'Khan\' brothers\"

Salman Khan always brings out the best in us. He is our brother and we love him like anything. It\'s a blessing in disguise that we\'ve been working with the superstar of our country where he is being loved all over the world. Our first film with him was Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya where we had cut the first theatrical trailer for the film and worked on the song \'Teri Jawani Badi Mast Mast Hain\' which was filmed on Arbaaz Khan. Now Dabangg is again with Salman and Arbaaz. We love our journey with the \'Khan\' brothers.

\"Background score of Dabangg is \'todu\'\"

We haven\'t done the background score for Dabangg but our musician Sandeep Shirodkar is doing it. He has done the programming and most of the arrangement we do. We do all the themes and original soundtracks. The background score of Dabangg has shaped up just like the look of the film: \'todu\' as we say in our slang.

\"Background score scene in India is improving\"

Background score in India isn\'t given much importance as much as they do in Hollywood. But now-a-days, background score has improved a lot in our films. The problem is that only big banner films concentrate on background score. Background is very interesting if done properly because it can make or break your film. We\'ve done background score for Welcome. Background should bring out the elements of that particular character and more importantly, the flavour of the film.

\"The amount of money Hollywood puts in songs and scores is equivalent to the budget of our films\"

In India, our forte is Indian classical and all. That\'s our upbringing. We are learning and we are fast learners too. The amount of money Hollywood puts in songs and background score is equivalent to the budget of our films. The intelligence which they use in their films is far better than us because they are sincere and their filmmaking is like an institute. When you see their visuals, you get stunned, shocked, and speechless. There is a certain kind of truthfulness in their work. Music is the only thing that has reached the West from Bollywood. No actor or a director has got an Oscar. It\'s the music that has got the Oscar. Music is the purest form of creativity.

\"We would like to work with all big production houses\"

Yes, there is a group created even in music now. Many production houses want to work with their favourite music directors. There\'s nothing wrong in that but if the same production houses wants to work with us, they need to approach us without spoiling relations with their current ones. I would love to work with Karan Johar too and prove many people wrong. Sajid- Wajid wants to work with everyone. \'Tere Mast Mast Do Nain\' won\'t sound like a Pritam song and that\'s what we are good at. It will only sound like our song because that\'s our trademark. All the rest of our talented music directors also have their trademark.

\"Vishal & Shekhar are the only ones who experiment with their music\"

In my eyes, I\'d consider R.D Burman as a maestro, Kishore Kumar as versatile, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy as brilliant, Amit Trivedi as a learner and Vishal Shekhar as the new age sound. Out of all the above, and I\'m not disrespecting any of the superb music directors of our industry, Vishal and Shekhar have taken their music to another level. They have their own style but also surprise you a lot. \'Aankhon Mein Teri Ajab Si\' from Om Shanti Om was a brilliant composition but when you hear a different song from the same film \'Jag Suna Suna Laage\', you feel their passion for music and where they can take it to. But people like Illayaraj, AR Rahman, Pancham-da, Kishore-da should not be even compared to us current lot. Those were and some are trendsetters.

\"We composed the title track of Dabangg even before hearing the full script\"

When Abhinav narrated us the script along with Arbaaz, we loved it. Dabangg\'s title track was made in front of Arbaaz and Abhinav. Before he completed the narration, we came up with the track. We made the song on just a mere character sketch of Salman. But imagine a debutant director like Abhinav and his film becoming a movement. Man, he can\'t be blessed better. He is born noble. People like Abhinav Kashyap and many others are always accepted with open heart in the \'Khan\' family. Those who don\'t get quick opportunities in life need to meet the \'Khan\' brothers. Abhinav is lucky.

\"Munni is a Jatin-Lalit song and not a Lalit song\"

The more I say about Lalit ji is less. But I don\'t want to address him as Lalit. I would say Jatin-Lalit because my heart cries when I see their split up. When the names of two brothers are taken together, you feel blessed and happy. \'Munni\' is a Jatin-Lalit song and not a Lalit song. It\'s a great song which is helping our film. \'Munni\' song is mesmerizing.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Bigg Boss 3 to clash with KBC 4

Apparently to settle scores with Sallu, Sony Entertainment Television is launching the fourth edition of Kaun Banega Crorepati with Big B on the same day as Bigg Boss 3, starring Khan.

A top source from the television industry told Mumbai Mirror, \"Kaun Banega related stories

Salman Khan to host Bigg Boss

Salman dumps 10 ka Dum for Bigg Boss

Crorepati 4 will lock horns with Bigg Boss 3. It will be an interesting battle."

But isn\'t the channel worried about losing out on TRPs? \"We are confident of Kaun Banega Crorepati 3. The KBC brand is a tried and tested one,\" the tabloid quotes a source from the channel.

It might be recalled that Salman\'s show Dus Ka Dum revved up Sony\'s TRP ratings extensively.

Meanwhile, another round of Sallu-Big B clash would be interesting to watch after IIFA. What say?

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

DTC bill scarps LTA from tax exemption list

NEW DELHI: Salaried taxpayers may have less kitty for holidays from April 2012, with the government proposing to scrap tax incentives on leave travel allowance in the new direct tax regime DTC.

The Direct Taxes Code (DTC) bill, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha yesterday, seeks to do away with leave travel concession (LTC) from its list of exemption.

\"LTC was one of the popular elements given to employees by the government. Taxpayers will not be too happy, as already there aren\'t many benefits for them in DTC. It may also be a dampener for the travel industry, which may see less people willing to travel and holiday,\" Ernst & Young Tax Partner Vishal Malhotra said.

DTC aims to replace the archaic Income Tax Act and other direct taxes legislation like Wealth Tax Act, from April 1, 2012. It proposes, among other things, to remove a plethora of exemptions and effect changes in income tax slabs.

While DTC proposes to retain exemptions such as house rent allowance and leave encashment, it seeks to remove LTC from the list. The exemption limit for medical reimbursements, however, is sought to be increased.

The Government has also proposed only a marginal raise in income tax exemption for investment in approved funds, insurance schemes and tuition fee to Rs 1.5 lakh in a year, from Rs 1.2 lakh currently.

It seeks to provide income tax exemption on investment of up to Rs 1 lakh in approved funds. Besides, it proposes to provide exemption of up to Rs 50,000 on investments made in insurance, including health cover, and tuition fee.

Currently, investment up to Rs 1 lakh in approved funds and insurance schemes is exempt from income tax. For this fiscal, investment up to Rs 20,000 in infrastructure bonds have also been given this benefit.

The exemptions proposed in the DTC bill are much lower than Rs 3 lakh suggested in the first draft.

This is so because the bill proposes to retain Income Tax exemption on interest up to Rs 1.5 lakh a year paid on housing loan, tax experts said.

The first draft was silent on exemption for interest paid on housing loans. However, after adverse feedback from various quarter, the second draft proposed to retain this exemption, which is also incorporated in the bill.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Sensex down 61 pts on global cues

MUMBAI: The BSE benchmark Sensex shed 61 points to end below the 18,000-mark Tuesday despite strong GDP growth in the first quarter, with blue-chips led by RIL registering sharp losses amid a weak global trend.

The Sensex, which tumbled nearly 212 points on heavy selling, recouped some of the losses at the fag-end of trade on buying at lower levels and ended 60.99 points down at 17,971.12.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 13.05 points to 5,402.40 after touching an intra-day low of 5,348.90.

Market analysts said the selling pressure was caused by concerns that the fastest economic growth registered by the Indian economy in 30 months might prompt the Reserve Bank of India to continue with its monetary policy tightening measures.

The government on Tuesday announced that the Gross Domestic Product grew by 8 per cent.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

India seeks \'lawful access\' to all telecom data

NEW DELHI: India has asked companies that allow users to make voice calls over the Internet to provide security agencies access to their encrypted data, a day after BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) agreed to do so.

Home ministry officials said agencies involved in monitoring voice and Internet data have asked firms like Skype, Google and Virtual Private Network ( VPN) to provide access to calls that can be made to traditional landline phones or mobile phones using the Internet.

\"Yes, we have expanded our quest for lawful access of telecom data,\" a senior home ministry official said on being asked if the government would now target such communication, which cannot be monitored currently.

\"The ministry of home affairs has made it clear that any communication through the telecom networks should be accessible to the law enforcement agencies and all telecom service providers including third parties have to comply with this,\" the home ministry said on Monday.

The services offered by the likes of Skype and Google convert audio in a digital format that is later transmitted over the Internet. So a Skype user can make a call using a regular Internet connection to another computer, or a regular landline and mobile phone.

Though such calls are not allowed within the country, it is possible to do so for international calls. Security agencies have a problem with such calls as they are not able to monitor the encrypted content.

The official, who did not wish to be identified, said the home ministry will issue notices to such firms seeking \"access to their data routed into and out of India in readable and intelligible forms.\"

The government Monday gave RIM 60 days to work out a feasible solution with the department of telecom, including the possibility of locating a server in India.

During the period, the government\'s technical experts will examine the feasibility of the solutions provided by companies like Google and Skype.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Gaddafi wants EU cash to stop African migrants

Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi says the EU should pay Libya at least 5bn euros (£4bn; $6.3bn) a year to stop illegal African immigration and avoid a \"black Europe\".

Speaking on a visit to Italy, Col Gaddafi said Europe \"could turn into Africa\" as \"there are millions of Africans who want to come in\".

Italy has drawn criticism for handing over to Libya migrants it intercepts at sea, without screening them first.

Far fewer now reach Italy from Libya.

Continue reading the main story


Start Quote

We don\'t know... what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans"

End Quote

Col Muammar Gaddafi

European Commission figures show that in 2009 the number of people caught trying to enter Italy illegally fell to 7,300, from 32,052 in 2008. The data was collected under the EU\'s Eurodac fingerprinting system.

Col Gaddafi has forged close ties with Italy since a friendship treaty was signed two years ago. It sought to draw a line under historic bitterness between Libya and Italy, its former colonial master.

\"Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European, and even black, as there are millions who want to come in,\" said Col Gaddafi, quoted by the AFP news agency.

He was speaking at a ceremony in Rome late on Monday, standing next to Italy\'s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

\"We don\'t know what will happen, what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans,\" Col Gaddafi said.

\"We don\'t know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions.\"

Audience of women

Col Gaddafi has long seen himself as a champion of African interests on the international stage and has hosted many summits with African leaders.

Mr Berlusconi made no immediate comment on Col Gaddafi\'s demand.

Italy has been carrying out joint naval patrols with Libya for the past year, intercepting illegal migrants at sea.

The BBC\'s David Willey says Col Gaddafi\'s visit to Rome was overshadowed by another controversial speech he made - to two groups of several hundred young Italian women, hired at a fee of 70 or 80 euros each from a local modelling agency.

He told them that Islam should become the religion of Europe and gave them free copies of the Koran, after he had lectured them for an hour on the freedoms enjoyed by women in Libya.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Hurricane Earl intensifies into Category 4 storm

Miami, Aug 31: Hurricane Earl, which was declared Category 2 storm on Sunday, Aug 29, gathered more strength as it swept past Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to take shape as a dangerous Catergory 4 storm.

Buzz up!Category 4 is the second most powerful rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale, which is a classification used for some Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms.

A storm this strong leaves a trail of destruction on its path as it is capable of causing heavy damage to buildings, trees and power lines.

With sustained winds of 135 mph, Hurricane Earl was about 110 miles northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Monday, Aug 30 evening.

US National Hurricane Center

here has said that the hurricane moving at about 15 mph and is expected to turn northwest Tuesday, Aug 31.

Hurricane warnings are in place in the tourist popular-Caribbean Islands. Advisories warn of Earl intensifying over Tuesday, Aug 31 and posing as a threat.

People and businesses on the US mainland may also be hit as Earl is set to carve off the East Coast later in the week.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

President Patil to visit Leh tomorrow

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will visit Leh on Wednesday, which was hit by a cloudburst and flash floods on August 6.

During her stay, President Patil will tour the affected areas and meet the people at the relief camp.

She will also be briefed by civil and military officials about the ongoing relief and rehabilitation operations following the cloudburst.

She will distribute shawls and sweaters to the affected people in the camp.

Later, she will address defence personnel in Leh.

Over 189, including 18 Nepali and Tibetan workers, three French, one Spanish and one Italian tourist were killed and around 500 people sustained injuries in the natural calamity.

Flash floods and mudslides have swept the road links and bridges in the area. The deluge has damaged hospitals, schools, government buildings, bus terminals, radio station transmitter, telephone exchange and mobile-phone towers.

Five villages Sabu, Phyang, Nimoo, Choglumsar and Shapoo are worst hit by the flash floods. Old Leh city was also among the worst affected.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Concern in Rajya Sabha over reports of Chinese presence in Gilgit

Expressing concern over reports of presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, a BJP member today wanted to know the steps India was taking to ensure safety and security of the nation.

Raising the matter during Zero Hour, Ramdas Agarwal referred to reports in New York Times about the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the Chinese People\'s Liberation Army in strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region.

\"I want to ask the government how intelligence agencies failed to know about this development? Has the system collapsed that it was not aware of Chinese soldiers having reached PoK,\" he asked.

Agarwal said that at the recent Shanghai Expo, Chinese authorities took away from the Indian pavilion brochures which

bore the map of India. \"They objected to Arunachal Pradesh

being shown as part of India in the map,\" he said.

He said it was \"strange\" that the government has not reacted to the development, even when Beijing has refused permission to a senior Indian Army official to visit China.

\"I want to know will 1962 be repeated? When will our eyes open?,\" Agarwal asked, amidst shouts of \"shame, shame\" from

the Opposition benches.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Distribution of food grains an order, not a suggestion, SC pulls up Pawar

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today made it clear that it had ordered free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in godowns and it was not a suggestion as made out by Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.

\"It was not a suggestion. It is there in our order. You tell the Minister,\" the court told the government counsel.

The apex court had on August 12 asked the Centre to consider free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in Food Corporation of India godowns.

The court had passed the direction while dealing with a public interest litigation filed by civil rights group PUCL on rampant corruption in Public Distribution System (PDS) besides rotting of food grains in FCI godowns.

Following this, Pawar had said it was not possible to implement the \"suggestion\" of the court for free distribution.

Today, a Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma referred to newspaper reports quoting Pawar that the apex court had only made a suggestion and it was not an order.

\"You tell the Minister that it is there in the order, it is part of the order,\" the Bench said.

The court directed the Government to conduct a fresh survey of the BPL/ABPL/ AAY beneficiaries on the basis of the figures available for 2010 and said the authorities cannot rely on a decade-old data to extend the benefits.

The Bench further said that the government must take urgent steps to prevent further rotting of food grains while maintaining that it must procure only that much quantity which it can preserve.

The Bench reiterated its earlier order that persons above poverty line shall not be entitled to subsidised foodgrains but if the Government was determined to extend the benefit, the same shall be given to those families whose annual income is below Rs three lakh.

Earlier, the apex court had asked the government to consider the suggestion for disbanding PDS supply to Above Poverty Line (APL) families and restrict the benefit only to BPL families and Antodya Anna Yojana (AAY) Scheme beneficiaries.

However, the Centre, in an affidavit, had said it was extending the PDS supply to APL families only after meeting the requirements of the BPL/ AAY beneficiaries.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Obama to Address US on Iraq Transition

President Barack Obama will address the American people on Tuesday about the new advisory and training role for the U.S. military in Iraq. Mr. Obama\'s speech from the Oval Office comes after a visit with U.S. troops at Ft. Bliss, Texas and private visits at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington with soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president is expected to explain to Americans what the U.S. has accomplished in Iraq since 2003, underscore a continuing commitment to Iraq\'s stability, and pay tribute to the sacrifices by American military personnel.

On Monday, Mr. Obama visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Out of view of television cameras, he sat down with some of the wounded from the conflict in Iraq and the ongoing combat operations in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the president is expected to visit the huge U.S. Army base at Ft. Bliss, Texas. It will be another chance for him to thank soldiers who served in the long Iraq conflict, before heading back to Washington.

The U.S. Defense Department puts the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq at more than 4,400, with nearly 32,000 wounded.

President Obama has stressed that regardless of whether one opposed or supported former President George W. Bush\'s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, Americans must honor the sacrifices of the U.S. military in helping to bring the United States to the point of formally ending combat operations.

What Mr. Obama said about the war in Iraq before he became president and what he says he believes now about the conflict were a major topic of Monday\'s White House news briefing.

Observing that if Mr. Obama had been president in 2003, the U.S. would never have invaded Iraq, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president has been consistent in criticizing a focus on Iraq rather than on Afghanistan.

\"Iraq, without a doubt, took our emphasis and our commitment off of Afghanistan. In many ways, we are having to make up for years of that -- years of not having the necessary number of forces in a country [i.e., Afghanistan] that poses an actual threat to our own security,\" Gibbs said.

Gibbs said Mr. Obama will attempt to put into a broader context what the U.S. military draw down in Iraq means for national security efforts and the fight against al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

Reporters asked Gibbs about any comparison between President Obama\'s speech, and the now famous remarks in 2003 by former President George W. Bush who, standing against a backdrop of a large \"mission accomplished\" banner, said: \"In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.\"

While the transition from a combat role in Iraq is a milestone, Gibbs said it does not mean that violence will end. He went on to outline the responsibilities that Iraqis will now bear.

\"What it means also is that this redoubles the efforts of the Iraqis. They will write the next chapter in Iraqi history and they will be principally responsible for it. We will be their ally. But the responsibility of charting the future of Iraq, first and foremost, belongs to the Iraqis,\" he said.

President Obama has set an end of 2011 timeline for withdrawing all U.S forces from Iraq. Until then, fewer than 50,000 American troops will advise and assist Iraqi forces, conduct counterterrorism operations and protect U.S. civilians and diplomats.

Fred Kagan, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says Mr. Obama should avoid stressing anything that sounds like a declaration of a mission having been accomplished.

\"The mission is not accomplished in the sense of the establishment of a long-term, stable relationship with an Iraq that can defend itself and be stable in the region. That mission has not been accomplished. That is a core American national security interest,\" Kagan said.

In a recent New York Times interview, the outgoing U.S. commander in Iraq, Army General Ray Odierno, said the United States entered Iraq in 2003 \"very naive\" about the problems there, and he expressed concern about how long it will take to resolve Iraq\'s political stalemate.

Press Secretary Gibbs said on Monday that, with the way it went into Iraq and with the type of resources it went in with, the United States made some \"pretty huge strategic and tactical errors.\"

Resolving Iraq\'s political stalemate is one of the priorities on Vice President Joe Biden\'s agenda as he visits Baghdad. Biden will formally acknowledge on behalf of the Obama administration the end of the U.S. combat mission and handover of security responsibilities to Iraqis.(http://www.voanews.com)
News From: http://www.s7News.com

Army passes intel to Govt: PLA men at pass linking PoK to China

The Army has received confirmation that China deployed an infantry battalion of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) at the 15,397-feet Khunjerab Pass on the Karakoram highway this month for the security of its workers engaged in building a railroad. This railroad will eventually connect Xinjiang to the port of Gwadar in Balochistan, Pakistan.

The Khunjerab Pass straddles the border between China and PoK and is 272 km from Gilgit in the Northern Areas. This PLA deployment is expected to be raised to brigade strength (3,000 troops) as work on the railroad progresses in the Northern Areas.

Writing in The New York Times — the article was carried by The Indian Express — Selig S Harrison, director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy, reported that 7,000-11,000 PLA troops are already in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The Indian Army brass has taken note of the deployment of 1,000 troops at Khunjerab Pass but is not unduly alarmed about the build-up.
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Youth found dead in Punjab in suspected honour killing

A man in his mid-20s has been killed in Punjab\'s Sangrur district, police said Monday and suspected it to be a case of honour killing.

The body of Raja Ram was recovered early Monday by his relatives and the police from railway tracks in a village near Sangrur, about 130 km from Chandigarh.

A police official investigating the death said Raja Ram got married with Manjit Kaur last month against the wishes of her family.

Ram\'s relatives allege that he was killed by the Manjit Kaur\'s family members.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

BSF patrols flooded border areas in Punjab

Ferozepur, Aug 30 (ANI): The Border Security Force (BSF) have deployed boats to patrol the flooded areas near the fenced Pakistan border in Punjab\'s Ferozepur district.

Buzz up!BSF officials said the level of water in the Satluj river rose after Pakistan released water from its side.

\"A lot of water is filled in the low-lying areas here. Water is also near the fencing areas, so, due to this we have increased the personnel in our water wing, and we are dominating the area like this,\" said Bachu Ram, a BSF Post Commander.

\"Many instructions have come from our seniors related to the waterborne diseases, which we are taking care of. We are taking care of the medication here. There are snake-biting kits available at every point. Our medical officers are visiting here regularly. The anti-malaria fogging is also done on a regular basis,\" he added. By Sarabjeet (ANI)
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WWE Raw House Show Results (8/29/10) - Newark, New Jersey

Below are results from the 8/29/10 WWE Raw brand house show from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey:

This was the earliest and quickest WWE show I\'ve ever been to as it stared around 5pm and ended around 7:30pm Eastern time, I sat in the 7th row from ring side and let me tell you it was the best seats I\'ve ever had!.

The arena only about half full; there were a bunch of empty seats.

* The first match of the night, was John Morrison vs. Ted DiBiase, Winner John Morrison with the Starship Pain, very good back and forth match with interference from Maryse.

* The next match of the night was Miz w/Alex Riley vs. Evan Bourne for the WWE United States Championship, Winner and still US champion The Miz. Again some interference by Riley.

* Eve Torres came out after the match to announce someone to be special person to ring the bell, you have to answer a question to to do it a little kid got it right and won.

* The third match of the night was William Regal vs. Mark Henry, Very quick match winner Mark Henry.

* The fourth match was Yoshi Tatsu vs. Zack Ryder. Winner Yoshi. After the match Jericho came out to talk about how he should have won at SummerSlam for his team and called out Cena. John Cena came out but at the same time Nexus, Sheamus attacked Cena, Orton and Daniel Bryan came for the save. Then the General Manager sent an email saying it will be Cena vs. Sheamus for the WWE Championship in a steel cage for tonight, but right now it will be Micheal Tarver, Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel vs. Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan.

* Fifth match, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton def The Nexus.

* Sixth match was a Divas match i didn\'t see sorry.

* The seventh match was for the WWE Tag Team Championship, The Uso Brothers vs. The Hart Dynasty. Winners, The Hart Dynasty.

* Main event was the match of the night as Sheamus def Cena to retain the WWE Championship in a steel cage with help from The Nexus.

Great show, but went very quick and lots of seats were empty.
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Nadiadwala to launch three big budget films

Producer Sajid Nadiadwala is all set to announce three major projects and each will have big have names - Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan. The total budget for the three projects is R150 crore.

After the box office success of Housefull and the positive buzz surrounding

his forthcoming Anjaana Anjaani, Nadiadwala has decided to make more films.

One offing on the cards is a sequel to Housefull directed by Sajid Khan starring Akshay, then there is Kick with Salman and lastly an untitled film with Saif. All the three projects will be made under his banner Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt Ltd.

\"Sajid Nadiadwala has the knack to recognise out-of-the-ordinary storylines and talents and his belief that no opportunity is beyond reach ensures the cash registers ringing at the box office. He works with the best in the industry since he's of the belief that the audiences deserve only the best,\" said a source close to the filmmaker.

For now, the producer looks forward to his forthcoming film Anjaana Anjaani. Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, the film will release Sep 24.
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I’ll slap the person who talks rubbish about SRK and me: Karan Johar

Every artist in showbiz is kept under a microscope by his fans and the media as it is after all they who make an artist a celebrity by acknowledging his talent. It thus becomes imperative for the celebrity to silence their curiosity, no matter how personal or annoying it is!

Karan Johar's sexual preference and personal life is often a topic of interest. The filmmaker even gets posts addressed to him on his microblogging site asking the same! Rumours of his alleged 'close' relationship with SRK too keep floating around in social circles and media.

Though KJO or SRK do not pay heed to the unflattering things said about their friendship, or at times make fun of the news themselves KJO couldn't help but retort to the journalist who dared to ask him a question on it.

"Shah Rukh is like my elder brother. He is seven years older than me. I respect him the way I respect my parents. I am closer to his wife Gauri. I have worked with Shah Rukh the most as a filmmaker. If it wasn't for him and Aditya Chopra, I wouldn't be what I am today. So those who think of my friendship with SRK as something else are just sick! I'd slap such people if they come in front of me" said Karan to a journalist in a TV interview.
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Salman Khan fulfils female fan’s wish

A female fan of Salman Khan managed to sneak into the press conference the actor held in New Delhi to promote his film Dabangg along with the film's leading lady Sonakshi Sinha and co-star and producer Arbaaz Khan.

Not to be content with just a glimpse of Salman, the fan, named Komal, wanted to 'touch' the 44-year-old star. She was with her husband at the event, when she requested Salman to allow her to touch him once. She said it was her lifelong wish.

Salman was sporty and granted an excited Komal the wish. Not only did he allow her to touch him, he also chatted with her.

"I am happy because he was really nice to me. He asked me my name and waved to my husband in the crowd. And he looks so much better in real life," Komal told a news agency.

After Salman granted Komal her wish, there were other fans as well who wanted to touch Salman. But security intervened to keep them at a distance.

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Palestinians: Settlements remain biggest obstacle for peace talks

RAMALLAH, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Jewish settlement in occupied Palestinian territories is the biggest obstacle that will emerge in peace talks with Israel, Palestinian officials said Monday.

\"Stopping the settlement is the real test to the success of the negotiations,\" said Hannan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The negotiations will resume in Washington in September 2, the same month in which a 10-month Israeli freeze of constructions in the West Bank ends. The Palestinians expect that Israel is unlikely going to extend the moratorium.

\"Peace and settlements are separate tracks that can never meet, \" Ashrawi told Voice of Palestine Radio. She noted that Israel stepped up settlement in East Jerusalem which the Palestinians see as a future capital. Israel excluded East Jerusalem from the moratorium.

On Sunday, President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of threatening the negotiations by showing no readiness to freeze all forms of Jewish settlement.

Meanwhile, Mustafa Al-Barghouti, leader of the leftist National Initiative Party, warned that Israel was going to increase building or expanding settlements \"and this means destroying the direct peace talks.\"

\"The Israeli government wants to use the negotiations to cover its settlement activities,\" Al-Barghouti told reporters.

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Philippine chief hostage investigator against unauthorized disclosure

MANILA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has issued an order barring various agencies involved in the probe of the Aug. 23 hostage-taking incident from making premature disclosures while investigations are ongoing.

This was announced to media by De Lima following a case conference with other members of the Incident Report Committee, which she heads, to investigate the 10-hour hostage incident inside a tourist bus that led to the gruesome death of eight Hong Kong tourists.

De Lima said the disclosure of such premature information on sensitive matters such as preliminary reports, will only tend to aggravate the situation. She further said that the panel and the Hong Kong officials, who attended the case conference, have agreed to refrain from precipitately talking to the media about the case.

The Department of Justice chief also said a joint Department Order is being finalized for the creation of the Incident Report Committee (IRC), with her as chairperson and Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo as vice chair. Members of the fact-finding panel are the heads of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police.

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Maoists kill 10 security men in Bihar

Ten security personnel were killed and 10 injured by Maoists in a six-hour-long gunfight in a forested area of Bihar\'s Lakhisarai district, police said Monday.

Lakhisarai Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar Singh has confirmed that 10 security personnel were killed. Bodies of 10 security personnel were recovered by police teams Monday afternoon, Singh said.

\'Ten Bihar Military Police personnel were killed late Sunday in the gun battle with over 200 rebels in the forests of Ghoghraghat Kanimoh (some 150 km from here),\' said a senior police official in Lakhisarai.

Kavaiyah police outpost officer incharge Bhulan Yadav was among those killed by the rebels.

The gunfight lasted six hours and the guerrillas looted 30 rifles from the security personnel, the police official said.

Seven seriously injured personnel were admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).

\'More than 200 armed Maoists, including women, in green military dress, attacked the search teams of Bihar Police that were combing the area after intelligence reports of Maoists\' presence in the forest,\' another police official said.

Police have launched combing operations in Lakhisarai and adjoining areas, the official said.

Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) P.K. Thakur told IANS that additional security forces, including a special COBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) battalion and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers, have been rushed to Lakhisarai for the combing operations.

According to police in Lakhisarai, security personnel reached the incident site more than 24 hours after the gunfight started.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met the injured security personnel at PMCH here and announced a probe into the incident.

\'I held a meeting with top officials in this regard Monday morning and asked Bihar police chief Neelmani to visit the incident site and enquire into it,\' he said.

He announced a compensation of Rs.10 lakh to the next of kin of each of those killed and Rs.2 lakh to Rs.50,000 for the injured.

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Parliament adopts Nuclear Liability Bill

NEW DELHI: Paving the way for India to have nuclear commerce with the world, parliament on Monday adopted a nuclear liability bill with the government insisting that the compensation package for victims matches that of the US and it was still open to accommodate some suggestions.

With BJP on board after its suggestions were accepted, the Civil Liability for the Nuclear Damages Bill, 2010 was adopted by the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote after it rejected certain amendments moved by the Left parties.

The bill, which is crucial for operationalisation of India\'s civil nuclear deals with the US and other countries, was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 25.

Winding up a debate on the proposed legislation, Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan said, \"This is not a finality... We will take care of every single suggestion. If required, the bill will be changed for better.\"

Responding to a number of proposals made by the members during the five-hour debate during which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present, Chavan said, \"When we frame rules and regulations, we will keep the suggestions in mind.\"

He said the bill provides for prompt \"no-fault\" compensation to victims in the event of a nuclear accident without bypassing the existing criminal laws.

On questions over the quantum of compensation of Rs 1500 crore on the part of the operator, the minister said the amount, along with the 300 million dollar Special Drawing Rights ( SDR), is exactly the same which is provided in the US.

He said besides Rs 1500 crore and 300 million SDRs, the bill provides for setting up a compensation fund.

CPM member Sitaram Yechury, however, contested Chavan\'s contention that the compensation amount matches that of the US and moved an amendment for raising it to Rs 10,000 crore which was defeated.

Amid repeated thumping of desks by the Prime Minister and other members of the ruling benches, Chavan said the government tried to reach out to the opposition by making 18 amendments to the bill.

Praising the BJP for its support to the Bill, the minister said, \"We took upon ourselves to carry forward the good work which was started by the NDA government.\"

The BJP came on board to support the government on the bill after days of wrangling. The support of the main opposition came when the government agreed to drop some controversial words from the proposed legislation.

Observing that passage of the bill would complete the journey which the Prime Minister undertook to the US five years ago, he said the opening up of the nuclear commerce would increase India nuclear power capacity from 4500 MW to 40,000-50,000 MW.

The first step towards ending India\'s nuclear isolation since 1974 began in July 2005 when an atomic deal was signed with the US during Singh\'s visit there.

Chavan said India would be the first country where liability has been fixed for suppliers as no other country has suffered Bhopal gas tragedy.

Extending support to the bill, BJP asked the government not to be carried away by \"phoney campaign\" that no global supplier would be coming to India with the proposed law fixing the suppliers\' liability in the event of the nuclear mishap.

Initiating a debate on the bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said the government should not be \"apologetic\" about inserting a clause making supplier along with operator liable for any nuclear incident.

Referring to recent reports that reactor supplier from several countries would not be interested to come to India, he described it as \"phoney campaign\".

Making a spirited speech, Chavan said India needed cooperation with the international community in the nuclear field as its own uranium resources are not adequately exploited, preventing adequate utilisation of atomic plants.

He said the country has 1,47,000 tonnes of known uranium resources but in certain areas like those in Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh, mining is yet to begin because of \"local\" and environmental reasons.

The bill was taken up for consideration after days of intense bitterness between the government and opposition parties over the language regarding supplier liability.

A clause on supplier was subsequently rephrased after negotiations with the opposition including a couple of meetings convened by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to break the deadlock.

The original version of the amendment had come under sharp attack from the BJP and Left parties as it provided for proving the \"intent\" of a supplier of causing an accident if an operator were to claim compensation.

The parties had contended that it was impossible to prove an intent on the part of suppliers or their employees in case of an accident.

The controversial word \"intent\" found its mention in an earlier government amendment, which was different from the one recommended by the Parliamentary Committee that examined the bill.

On questions over the clause under which the government will be taking full responsibility of liability for plants not run by the government, Chavan said this had been done to prevent any insurance company official from visiting \"certain\" installations for strategic reasons.

He said the government is in talks with four companies from the US, France, Japan and Russia for supplying of reactors.

The minister also insisted that the cost of nuclear power would be comparable with coal-based energy.

With regard to the country\'s domestic nuclear programme, Chavan said work is going on for development of Thorium-based programme as part of energy security.

He also allayed apprehensions on account of management of nuclear waste, saying spent fuel would be reprocessed and the residue would be carefully stored.

Chavan also said there was a need for taking a relook at the Public Liability Act of 1991, enacted after the Bhopal gas tragedy, as the compensation amount is too low at Rs 25,000 for death.

After Chavan responded to all the queries raised by members, the Prime Minister reminded him that he had forgotten to give clarification to the question asked by Satish Mishra ( BSP).

Mishra wanted to know the period by which a victim could claim compensation. Chavan said the period was 20 years.
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Nifty ends flat at 5400; Power Grid, Tata Steel shine

MUMBAI: Indian equity benchmarks ended a volatile session on flat-to-positive note Monday, due to lack of direction from global peers. Metals, realty and auto led the upmove while IT, capital goods and FMCG stocks slipped.

Indices opened on firm note taking cues from Asian peers but gave away gains as the session progressed due to lack of conviction at current levels. Positive opening of European markets failed to provide support and indices briefly slipped in the negative terrain before closing in the green.

Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex closed at 18,032.11, up 33.70 points or 0.19 per cent. The index touched a high of 18,216.50 and low of 17,960.23 in today's trade.

National Stock Exchange's Nifty ended at 5415.45, up 6.75 points or 0.12 per cent. The broader index touched intraday high of 5469 and low of 5390.35.

"In the coming week one should be careful at higher levels 5450/5470. Our advice is to reduce trading long positions around same. Look for some shorting opportunities with tight stoplosses. Below 5350, come out of trading long positions as the market may fall to the level minimum 5200 and maximum 5000.

On the higher side the trend reversal level is at 5550 and sustenance above it will trigger stoplosses for bears, which may result in to an explosive rally up to 5750," said Shrikant Chouhan, Senior Vice President Technical Research, Kotak Securities.

BSE Midcap Index was up 0.08 per cent and BSE Smallcap Index edged lower by 0.05 per cent.

Amongst the sectors, BSE FMCG Index fell 0.67 per cent and BSE IT Index slipped 0.64 per cent. BSE Metal Index moved 1.46 per cent higher and BSE Auto Index gained 0.36 per cent.

"We have seen profit taking in banking stocks--be open to trade on both the sides in the same. IT stocks turned weak and entered into medium term down trend--be ready to reduce trading long positions at higher levels and look for shorting opportunities.

For auto and pharma, the view is to buy on declines. For cement, infra and capital goods again the view is same of being stock specific. For metals and telecom the strategy should be to trade on break outs," Chouhan added.

Power Grid Corporation (4.22%), Tata Steel (3.48%), ABB (2.47%), Bharti Airtel (2.12%) and ONGC (1.97%) were the top Nifty gainers.

HCL Tech (-2.49%), Siemens (-2.11%), Suzlon Energy (-2.10%), IDFC (-1.49%) and Sun Pharma (-1.27%) were amongst the top losers.

Shares of Tata Steel moved up after the company entered into an MoU for with Thailand's Sahaviriya Steel Industries for potential sale of Teesside Cast Products in the UK.

Shares of ONGC were in action on reports that the state-run oil company may get permission from the Centre to pay only a third of its total royalty obligation to the Rajasthan government on the revenues earned from the oil blocks owned by Cairn India, removing a possible obstacle to the Vedanta-Cairn deal and saving the oil explorer an annual outgo of $350 million.

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BlackBerry gives in, agrees to lawful access of its services

Canada based firm Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, today agreed to give lawful access to its corporate e-mail and instant messaging services to Indian security agencies.

The smartphone maker has also decided to set up its servers in India to help the agencies to decode BlackBerry\'s heavily encrypted traffic.

India, which struggles with a host of home-grown insurgencies and threats from terror groups based in neighbouring Pakistan, has been worried that BlackBerry phones could be used by militants.

The Home Ministry will now review issues related to Blackberry security within 60 days.

Earlier today, the Union Home secretary GK Pillai met key officials from the Intelligence Bureau and Dept of Telecom to take a decision on the BlackBerry issue. The government had imposed August 31 deadline for RIM, to give security agencies access to encrypted data.

India toughened its stance against BlackBerry earlier this month saying it would ban messages sent on smartphones unless the company came up with a way for security agencies to decode the heavily encrypted traffic by August 31.

Monday\'s meeting follows weeks of talks between RIM and the government on ways monitoring could work without the firm abandoning its public commitment not to directly aid governments in decoding its messages.

The government has already told cellular operators to be prepared to shut off BlackBerry\'s corporate messaging services. Non-corporate emails are less heavily encrypted and can already be accessed by Indian security agencies.

To head off a showdown, RIM offered last week to set up an \"industry forum\" to focus \"on developing recommendations for policies and processes aimed at preventing the misuse of strong encryption technologies.\"

BlackBerry has about a million subscribers in India and the services are growing. Nine telecom operators including government owned BSNL and MTNL, Airtel, Vodafone, RCom and Tatas offer BlackBerry services.

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DTC may boost investment flow into capital markets: Analysts

NEW DELHI: The Direct Taxes Code Bill (DTC) is expected to boost investment flow into capital markets, as the government proposes to retain a zero long-term capital gain tax, less than that proposed in the first DTC draft.

The DTC Bill, introduced today by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha, proposes to keep long-term capital gain tax at the present level of zero per cent, that means any investor selling a share after a year of holding will not have to pay any tax on the gains.

\"The draft DTC had proposed long-term capital gain tax at the same rate as that of Income Tax slabs. This had raised concerns amongst investors. With the DTC Bill retaining the present status, it will be a boost for capital market as more investments will flow in,\" Deloitte Haskins & Sells Partner NC Hedge said.

Besides, the DTC has also tinkered with the short-term capital gain tax charged from investors. Individual investors will now have to pay tax on 50 per cent of the gains earned. The rate of short-term capital gain tax would be according to the income tax slab of that individual.

For corporates, the short-term capital gain tax would be calculated at 30 per cent after deducting 50 per cent from the overall gains.

In an overall positive reaction to the DTC Bill, the Dalal Street experts said that the new code is in favour of the common man and can even boost retail participation in stock market.

\"On the long-term basis, the move will give a big push to the inclusive growth agenda. Retail investors will get a big booster from the proposal,\" CNI Research CMD Kishore P Ostwal said.

The DTC Bill seeks to increase tax exemption on income from Rs 1.6 lakh to Rs 2 lakh and fix the corporate tax at a flat 30 per cent.

Echoing a similar view, Geojit BNP Paribas Assistant Vice President Gaurang Shah said, \"On long-term basis it is a healthy and a positive move for retail investors, who will have more money to invest in markets.\"

On the Distribution Dividend Tax, which will be at 15 per cent, Ostwal said, that \"it will slightly affect the cash proportion of smaller companies.\"

The DTC also proposes to raise minimum alternate tax to 20 per cent. MAT is imposed on profit-earning entities, which do not fall under the tax net because of various exemptions.

\"Overall the DTC Bill is good for the market, though rise in MAT had some negative impact on some specific sectors,\" Networth Stock Broking Head of Institutional Business Prakash Diwan said.

Investors were concerned about the changes in taxation of capital gains in the revised DTC and at one point of time, the Bombay Stock Exchange\'s benchmark Sensex slipped 38 points, though later bounced back as the details of the Bill trickled in. The Sensex ended 34 points higher at 18,032.11.

\"Market heaved a sigh of relief and recovered a part of the lost ground,\" Bonanza Portfolio Vice-President Avinash Gupta said.

Market is likely to open in a positive note tomorrow, as the DTC issue has already been factored in, analysts said.

\"The GDP data, scheduled to be released tomorrow, will set the tone on the Dalal Street tomorrow,\" a broker said.
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To apprise the students and faculty members of PAU about the facilities and services available in the Dr. M.S.Randhawa Library of the University, an orientation programme was conducted wherein faculty, students, research scholars participated. Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU said that in the age of internet connectivity, the information in the libraries can be accessed effectively. He said that the library provides enormous services to readers, now than ever before.

The Librarian, Dr. (Mrs.) J.K.Sangha highlighted the online activities as well as CD-ROM databases and other softwares in the direction of automation. Mr. Kanwal Narula and Miss Sunidhi Bala projected the web page, OPAC and other modes of library use through power point presentation. Miss Yogita Sharma and Mr. Sanjiv Kumar guided users to make their profiles in consortium of e-Resources in Agriculture (CeRA) to avail of more than 6000 on-line journals. The use of J-Gate databases to have access to more than 2000 on-line journals pertaining to agricultural and biological sciences and Indian doctoral theses (Krishi Prabha), a database of Ph. D dissertations with effect from 2000 in Indian Agricultural Universities was also explained. Dr. Sangha said that the PAU Library has emerged Knowledge Resource Centre having more than 3.5 lakh documents to its users from 9.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. on all working days. One reading hall with the sitting capacity of 40 is open day and night even on holidays. Two of its centrally air-conditioned reading halls are with Wi-Fi Internet connectivity. She elaborated that internet bases library services are provided to its users free of charges.
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The 49th All India Wheat and Barley Research Workers\' Meet, jointly organized by PAU, Ludhiana and the Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), Karnal at Punjab Agricultural University from August 27-30, besides reviewing the progress of preceding crop season and finalizing the plan of work for the ensuing crop season also held a special session on \' Strategies to bridge the yield gaps in wheat and barley production\' and \' Strengthening international collaboration for wheat and barley research\'. Over 350 scientists, policy makers, administrators and those concerned with the promotion of wheat and barley participated in the meeting. the convention was inaugurated by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, vice-chancellor of pau and presided over by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Deputy Director General , Dr Swapan K Datta. in addition to scientific presentations from various stations of the All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) on wheat and barley, those who made deliberations included Dr R P Dua (ADG-FFG), Dr RR Hanchinal (VC, UAS, Dharwar), Dr GB Singh (Agriculture Commissioner, GOI), Dr SS Gosal (PAU Director Research), Dr JP Tandon (former Project Director Wheat), Dr GS Nanda (former Director of Research, PAU), and representatives of ICARDA and CIMMYT.

Dr SS Singh, Project Director presented the Progress Report for 2009-10 and highlighted that 8 new improved varieties of wheat were released for commercial cultivation. for increasing the availability of improved seed to farmers, ~35,000 quintal of breeder seeds of 145 varieties against the indent of 31,000 quintals has been produced in 2010, he said. Dr Singh said that to counter the terminal heat tolerance, scientists have contributed to develop futuristic wheat strains endowed with tolerance. he highlighted that a close watch on the dynamics of important diseases and pests has been kept, especially, on Ug 99 race of stem rust of wheat, which has not so far been detected in India. Further, molecular approaches for improving the grain quality and biscuit/bread making quality of wheat have been put into practice for developing improved wheat varieties. in case of barley, improved varieties/strains suitable for producing malt, feed and fodder have been developed/identified.

The scientists suggested that the variety PBW 343 be replaced by resistant varieties, PBW 550 and DBW 17, to address the problem of yellow rust. it was recommended that awareness campaign be initiated in view of the incidence of cereal cyst nematode.

The Resource Management and Social Sciences Group highlighted that for higher profitability and sustainability of the rice-wheat system, direct seeded rice followed by wheat with rice residue incorporation or surface retention and 25% additional nitrogen, should be practiced. Further, green gram or cowpeas after wheat or vegetable peas after rice, followed by late sown wheat in rice-wheat for greater system productivity, profitability and sustainability, should be grown. For higher productivity of pulse crops, grow green gram, cowpeas and vegetable peas under bed planting or zero tillage. It was emphasized that good interaction between breeders and quality experts is crucial for progress in wheat and barley quality.

The workshop provided opportunity to scientists to finalize the work plan for the year 2010-11. To foster international collaboration for wheat and barley research, programmes should have joint endeavours in several areas including exploitation and use of genetic resources from various origins, phenotyping for drought, heat, salinity, rusts, net and spot blotch, initiating a pre-breeding programme, malting barley, human resource enhancement, germplasm exchange, etc. The deliberations were made by Dr. Gordan Cisar who discussed Borlaug Rust Global Initiative/Cornell University programmes, Dr. Ravi Singh highlighted the achievements made by CIMMYT programmes on durable rust resistance, harvest plus (varieties with zinc and iron concentration in the grain), while discussing Australian Cereal Rust Control Programme, Dr. Flavio Capttini highlighted the achievements of barley programme at ICARDA.

The Organizing Secretary, Dr. (Mrs.) Indu Sharma said that the session on strategies to Bridge the yield gaps in wheat and barley production, Strengthening international collaboration for wheat and barley research, Progress of wheat research in NWPZ and finalization of work plan based on the recommendations of different session were held. The work plan was finalized in the Plenary Session, today under the chairmanship of Dr. Dutta while Dr. Dua and Dr. Singh were Co-Chairman, said she.
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FAO Training Course for Nepalese Technicians at GADVASU Concludes

The training will help us to deliver our services in a better manner to serve the ailing animal community. It would also develop an atmosphere for mutual deliberations in Indian Sub- continent. With mutual understanding we can fight strongly with Transboundary diseases and infections. The views were expressed by Surya Narayan Sharma the team leader of Nepalese Technician delegation who were here for a two weeks long training. Training course in Laboratory Techniques in Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology for Nepalese technicians at GADVASU, Ludhiana has concluded. The training covered the basic laboratory procedures and techniques employed in the diagnosis of infectious diseases. The course was sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ten Veterinary technicians from the Department of Livestock Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of the Government of Nepal participated in the training. This program was a component under the FAO and the Government of Nepal Agreement on FAO Technical Assistance to the Avian Influenza Control Program. The prime objective of this course was to train the technicians in the routine and advanced laboratory techniques and impart knowledge on avian diseases. The training course was jointly conducted by the Departments of Veterinary Microbiology and Veterinary Pathology of the College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, Ludhiana. The Heads of the Departments, Dr. Hari Mohan Saxena (Microbiology) and Dr. Naresh Sood (Pathology) were the Coordinators in their respective disciplines while Dr. Saxena was the overall Incharge of the Course.

The Valedictory Function was presided by Dr. P. D. Juyal, Registrar and Dr. S. N. S. Randhawa, Dean, Postgraduate Studies was the Chief Guest. Dr. Randhawa distributed certificates to the trainees and released manuals on Microbiological and Pathological techniques prepared by the faculty of the two departments. In his Valedictory address, Dr. Randhawa hoped that the momentum and bonhomie generated by this apex level capacity building effort at GADVASU would be sustained by the FAO and those other international agencies like OIE and WHO would take the benefit of GADVASU to extend human resource development to other developing countries of the world. He mentioned that the host departments have a highly skilled faculty trained at prestigious institutes in India and abroad and have brought laurels at national and international levels. They also contribute significantly to the diagnostic laboratory facility for diseased animals brought at the College Veterinary Clinics. Dr. Juyal released the Compact Discs containing the manuals and presented mementos to the faculty involved in the training. Dr. Juyal lauded the faculty of both the departments which succeeded in bagging the prestigious assignment for GADVASU. The College has a vast experience of organizing ICAR sponsored Winter and Summer Schools, Veterinary Council of India sponsored Continuing Education Programs and national and international conferences. He mentioned that the training is an effort to cater the need for coordinated efforts among the neighboring countries in the region for human resource development and networking for effective control of infectious diseases of livestock and zoonoses like bird flu and swine flu.

The trainees shared their experiences during the training in their speeches charged with emotions and full of praise for the choice and quality of course contents, friendly behavior of the faculty and excellent arrangements. They admired the world class facilities and the top notch faculty at GADVASU. They hoped that such trainings would be conducted in future also and would be extended to the Nepalese Veterinarians as well.

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Even Israelis didn’t mind this time when we sold F-15s to Saudi Arabia. That’s because they share an enemy, Iran, and know that we’re going to help them fight it.

The United States is preparing to sell 84 advanced F-15s to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Once upon a time, this might have meant upsetting a crucial ally—Israel. But this time, once the Obama administration told Israel that the F-15s destined for Riyadh were not equipped with certain long-range offensive capabilities, Jerusalem relented. The balance of power in the Middle East has changed and may yet change again before long. If Israel and Saudi Arabia aren't exactly headed toward rapprochement, the old enmities are not what they used to be.

Historically, Israel has been extremely prickly when the United States sells weapons to its putative opponents, like Saudi Arabia. Most famous was the 1981 deal that sent AWACS radar planes to Riyadh, against Israeli opposition so strong it required President Ronald Reagan's personal charm to persuade Congress to make the sale. That arms deal was especially important to Washington, coming two years after the revolution that overthrew the shah of Iran and took an American ally off the board in the energy-rich Persian Gulf. After losing Iran, President Jimmy Carter had initiated the Rapid Deployment Force (CentCom's precursor), showing that even then Washington understood that U.S. troops would have to protect Saudi oilfields from real predators, as they did when Saddam Hussein marched through Kuwait. Reagan presumably saw this as well, for while the arms sold to Saudi Arabia were ostensibly intended to help protect the Saudis against the Soviet Union as well as the revolutionary energies that turned their Shia neighbor in Tehran openly hostile, the deal was largely an expression of U.S. support for a vital ally.

It is worth remembering that the Israelis also lost an ally with the fall of the shah; moreover, they gained an enemy in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran has fought the Jewish state for almost three decades through the efforts of its Lebanese asset, the Shia militia Hizbullah. So if Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's government can sleep at night knowing the Saudis have F-15s, it's because Saudi Arabia isn't really the enemy anymore. Indeed, Jerusalem and Riyadh are in agreement, alongside Washington, that Iran constitutes their major strategic threat, which makes them de facto allies. Further, it explains why Washington-based friends of the Jewish state predictably (and correctly) helped persuade Congress to suspend military aid to Lebanon—whose national Army, allegedly responsible for the assassination last week of an Israeli colonel, appears to have been penetrated by Hizbullah.

Nonetheless, it's hardly an easy decision to cut off Lebanon. American statesmen are not obtuse, and they know that Hizbullah has taken control of Lebanon and its state institutions. At the same time, they're more accustomed to dealing with Arab countries through their military and security establishments than through these states' feeble political institutions, like parliaments and judiciaries. American policymakers fear that, with nothing to offer the Lebanese Armed Forces, they will no longer have leverage to shape a future Lebanon on behalf of American interests. Historically, U.S. arms sales to the Arabs are driven by political exigencies as often as by the actual security needs of those particular Arab states.

The weirdest, coolest weapons in the U.S. arsenal

U.S. military aid to the Arabs is proof that the Americans know how to treat their friends—sort of. Washington has provided military support to Jordan since 1950, but when King Abdullah II proved a loyal ally in the George W. Bush administration's war on terror (with unrivaled intelligence cooperation) and assisted in the war in Iraq—in the face of considerable and dangerous domestic Jordanian opposition—Washington made the Hashemite Kingdom a major recipient of U.S. military aid. In 2007 the U.S. upgraded Jordan's fleet of F-16s (single-engine planes, compared with the dual-engine, pricier, and more powerful F-15s) and provided military-communications and intelligence networks, as well as Black Hawk helicopters—a package worth well over a half-billion dollars.

After Egypt signed a peace accord with Israel, Washington rewarded Cairo with an enormous influx of military aid, standing presently at $1.3 billion of the $2 billion given annually to Egypt. That money allows the Egyptians to feather the nests of their senior officers, thereby guaranteeing that the ruling regime stays in power. On our end of the bargain, it buys us a fair amount of security cooperation and intelligence sharing (more discreet than that provided by Jordan). Most important, the support helps ensure that Cairo maintains its peace with Israel.

If we didn't give Egypt that aid, we would have no window onto its military budget, which would raise tensions around the region, especially with Israel. But while Washington is sensitive to Cairo's wish to keep up with the Joneses—we once sold Egypt planes less suitable to its military requirements and capabilities but more desirable, since they were the same planes the Israelis used in 1973 to defeat the Egyptian Air Force—we do not arm Egypt, or any other Middle Eastern state, to have military parity with Israel.

For four decades now, American strategy in the Middle East has been based on one simple idea: that everyone in the region knows it is pointless to wage war against the Jewish state, since Washington backs it to the hilt. Therefore, if the Arabs had a problem with Israel, they'd have to petition Israel's American patron for relief. This post-1973, post-energy-crisis strategy put us in the middle of the Arab-Israeli conflict and tied all our regional allies, from Jerusalem to Riyadh, to American apron strings. It gave rise to the peace process, producing Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and a negotiating track with the Palestinians and Syria, while helping to hedge against the possibility of the Saudis again using oil as a political weapon. This arrangement made the United States the regional power broker, which suits not only Jerusalem but Arab nations as well—at least compared with the prospect of Iranian regional hegemony. America's regional allies fear that an Iranian nuclear bomb would shift the balance of power against the entire order of the Middle East.

A few months ago, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal explained to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that sanctions against Iran did not offer the immediate solution required to stop the revolutionary regime's push for a nuclear weapon. This sentiment was echoed a few weeks back by the United Arab Emirates' ambassdor to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, who calculated that bombing Iran was preferable to an Iranian bomb. Even as the ambassador later backtracked, the Middle East's worst-kept secret was now in the public record: the Arabs are even more concerned than the Israelis about an Iranian bomb. After all, the Jewish state allegedly has its own nuclear deterrent, while Arab nations finally depend on Washington to protect them—no matter how many arms we sell them. The Saudis didn't fuss over our decision to withhold long-range offensive capabilities from those advanced F-15s because they understand the deal as a token of our friendship; it does not mean they are equipped to defend themselves against their No. 1 concern, Iran. To preserve the American-backed regional order, Arab nations expect us to stop the Iranians, a security arrangement that has been clear since the Carter administration. What's new is that if we don't step up, the Arabs' unlikeliest ally, Israel, may have to do it.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Facebook popularity growing but privacy still a worry: Experts

NEW DELHI: More and more Indians might be hooked to social networking site Facebook, but experts feel that privacy issues still remain a concern since users face the vulnerability of their personal data getting hacked.

According to experts and publicly available information, users\' privacy is not fully protected while using many of the applications available on Facebook.

Facebook applications have potential privacy issues and when a user signs up for an application, they are in essence allowing the developer to access all of their information and their friends\' information, they said.

Rahul Chaudhry, partner at intellectual property law firm Lall Lahiri & Salhotra said that although Facebook is a great way of being connected, the site also brings several potential privacy issues which the user must be aware of.

\"Your basic information, pictures, notes, local hard drive, the posts that one likes are vulnerable of becoming public,\" Chaudhry told media.

\"A users\' profile pictures would be available on websites liked by clicking Facebook \'like\' application. The pictures can also be downloaded by the person one is allowing to view them. Your local drive/information becomes accessible to third parties,\" he noted.

Moreover, the users profile pictures and names would always be available on the internet.

Last month, in an effort to highlight the privacy issues involved with the website globally, a security consultant had published personal details of 100 million Facebook users on the internet.

Earlier this year, Facebook had faced public ire over the complexity of its privacy settings, following which the site had rolled out simplified privacy controls.

\"Privacy setting can be edited to hide the information from \'everyone\' to \'friends of friends\', only friends, customised etc, but the risk still remains,\" Chaudhry added.

Depicting the fast growing popularity of the website, Facebook has beaten competitors like Orkut and Yahoo! to become the top social networking site in India with 20.9 million visitors in July this year, as per the report by research firm comScore.

Another legal expert said that the loopholes in privacy could make a user vulnerable to cyber criminals and hackers.

The user has to be aware of protecting himself and his personal data as, \"Facebook has completely absolved itself of any liabilities as it has expressly stated in their terms of agreement importance of account settings and that applications developed by third parties are not created by it.\"

\"And Facebook has stated that it does not have the ability to control such applications or remove any infringing content from them,\" he said.
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RBI policy will be based on growth-inflation dynamics

G.R.N. Somashekar, The RBI Governor, Dr D. Subbarao, and the IISc Director,P. Balaram, at a lecture at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore on Friday.

The Reserve Bank of India will calibrate policy action based on the evolving growth-inflation dynamics, said the RBI Governor, Dr D. Subbarao, while delivering the M.Ct.M. Chidambaram Chettyar Memorial Lecture on `Economic Crisis and Crisis in Economics` at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, on Friday.

Explaining that on the recovery trail of the global recession, India has been an outlier on two fronts - faster recovery and higher inflation - and moving out of an expansionary monetary policy stance is difficult, he said. According to him, it was a challenge for the RBI in the October-December quarter of 2009 to respond to a hardening inflation situation even as recovery was still fragile?.

Currently, though the service sector contributes 65% of the country`s GDP, Dr Subbarao said policy-makers now realise that the future of the economy depends on developing the manufacturing sector and agricultural sector.

``But it has to be technology-based manufacturing, because we need to compete with the world. We need to improve our productivity, and that`s where technology comes in,`` he explained.

Economic models:

The RBI has its own economic models that have been robust and good for policy calibration, he said. ``We have a mandate for price stability, growth and financial stability,`` he added. Dr Subbarao pointed out that monetary policy transmission in India was flawed for many reasons, including interest rates and Government borrowings. ``But it is improving now,`` he said.

On the criticism by economists that the RBI was behind the curve and on neutral rates, Dr Subbarao said in an economy such as India`s, - a neutral rate is not a static or constant rate?.

Speaking on the economic crisis, Dr Subbarao said there were flaws in the models used by Governments, central banks and economic agents that led to the financial crisis, caused by assumptions that the future can be predicted by extrapolation of past and present trends and that risk follows a normal distribution and does not take into account `black swan` events - low-probability, high-impact events.

Instead of fitting the model to the real world, economists were trying to fit the real world into models, he added.

Economists should be sensitive to the limitations of their models and use judgements to interpret model results, he said, adding that they should acquire a sense of economic history too.

``Policy makers need to superimpose judgement on top of economic analysis,`` he explained.

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Gold prices set to touch Rs 20,000 per 10 gram by Diwali

MUMBAI: Gold prices are all set to touch Rs 19,500-20,000 per 10 grams by Diwali due to rising investor interest, a top industry official said.

\"We expect gold prices to cross Rs 19,500-Rs 20,000 per 10 grams by Diwali this year after some correction in prices,\" The Bombay Bullion Associations (BBA) President, Suresh Hundia, told PTI here.

The standard gold (99.5 purity) closed at Rs 18,910 and pure gold (99.9 purity) at Rs 19,000 per 10 grams in the Mumbai bullion market.

In New York, gold for December delivery is hovering at USD 1,237.90 an ounce on the Comex division of NYMEX.

Gold may reach at least USD 1,350 an ounce this year as investors seek a shield against financial turmoil, weak currencies and inflation, analysts said.

Indian households are the largest gold consumers in the world. India\'s bullion demand almost doubled in the first-half of the year even as prices reached a record in June.

The forthcoming festive season of Ganesh Chaturthi, Dassera and Diwali may attract more gold jewellery demand.

\"Gold demand is expected to increase due to forthcoming festival seasons and wedding season,\" Hundia said.

Gold prices continued to trade strong in the international market with prices touching multi-week highs in dollar and euro term. This was due to concerns about the health of the global economy and double dip recession fears that is making gold more attractive as a safe haven investment, Bonanza Commodity Brokers\' Senior Research Analyst, Basant Vaid, said.

A stronger Indian rupee against the dollar has somehow restricted gold prices in the Indian market to rise even more sharply but the technical strength is going to push prices higher once again towards the Rs 19,000 mark, Vaid said.

Demand for gold in India rose by 94 per cent to 365- tonnes in H1 2010 compared to 188.4-tonnes in H1 2009, clearly indicating that there has been a rebound in demand. In value terms, India\'s gold demand grew from Rs 27,300-crore to Rs 60,500-crore, an increase of 122 per cent.

\"With the Indian marriage season coming up as well as important festivals like Dhanteras and Diwali, we anticipate gold demand will remain robust throughout 2010,\" World Gold Council, Managing Director, Middle East and India, Ajay Mitra, said.
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